Category Archives: Scotland

What to do in Scotland; attractions in Scotland and the best places to visit in Scotland.

High Tea at the Royal George Hotel Perth

I’d been wanting to have High Tea at the Royal George Hotel in Perth for ages. High Tea is a Scottish meal, usually eaten between 4-7pm, which consists of a hot main course, followed by a selection of scones and cakes, served with either tea or coffee.

I’d previously had High Tea in Perth at both Summer’s restaurant (now closed) and Willow’s (how have now stopped serving High Tea in favour of a more expensive and less substantial Afternoon Tea).

The restaurant at the Royal George is located in the conservatory at the rear of the hotel, which overlooks the River Tay. However it was dark when I went for High Tea, so I couldn’t see the river, just the illuminated bridge,

I hadn’t booked a table. I was lucky to get a table as the restaurant was busy. Obviously their High Teas are very popular.

My Steak Pie main course was very good. The chips were some of the tastiest that I’ve ever eaten, the meat was tender with plenty of gravy. I would have liked to have had 2 or 3 different veg served with the main course, there were just a few sliced carrots.

I was rather disappointed with what followed. In other establishments serving High Tea there has been a selection of cakes. At the Royal George, there were only scones and a meringue. I wasn’t impressed by the scones. they were small, a bit hard and too sweet. The cream meringue was fantastic, crisp on the exterior and gooey in the interior.

Overall, my High Tea at the Royal George in Perth was a mixed bag. The main course was slightly let down by the paucity of vegetables. In my opinion, a wider selection of cakes should be served.

Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2018

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) Annual Exhibition in Edinburgh runs until 6 June 2018.

There’s an admission charge of £6 for adults (£4 for concessionary tickets). This price includes a catalogue. However, you can get free entry on Mondays, but you have to pay £3 if you wish to have a catalogue.

Below are some of my favourite pieces from the RSA Annual Exhibition 2018.

I really enjoyed the RSA Annual Exhibition 2018.

Bird-land by Simon Ward at Patriothall Edinburgh

Simon Ward’s Bird-land ceramics exhibition runs until 20 May 2018 at the Patriothall Gallery in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh. Opening times are Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 5pm.

I was looking forward to seeing this exhibition, as I recently completed a ceramics course at the Stirling campus of Forth Valley College. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved Simon’s work.

Scenic Train Journey From Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh

I was keen to travel on the Kyle Line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh during the Scotrail Oneline 50 Club £17 flat fare promotion.

I have done this journey once before, around 15 years ago in the Summer I remember it as a very scenic rail journey, and seeing herds of deer from the train.

Near Beauly

Garve station

Wooden shelter at Garve station

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Achnasheen station

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Strathcarron station

Between Strathcarron and Stomeferry

Loch Carron

Between Strathcarron and Stromeferry

Between Strathcarron and Stromeferry

Between Stromeferry and Plockton

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Scotrail train at Kyle of Lochalsh station

Kyle of Lochalsh station

I am really glad that I travelled on the Kyle Line in Autumn to see the lovely colours. The weather was variable during the almost three hour journey, but that mix of sunshine, dark cloud and rain made the scenery all more wonderful.

Review of the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh

I stayed at the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh in the Scottish Highland in October 2017. It’s hard to find a cheap hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh, as it’s a small town and its proximity to the island of Skye makes it popular.

The cheapest single room which I could find was £50 a night, including breakfast, booked through Superbreak.

The Kyle hotel is located a couple of minutes walk from the railway station.

My single room was a reasonable size. I had a sea view from my bathroom. The room was lovely and warm, which was welcoming, as it was dreich, wet afternoon.

There wasn’t a proper chair in the room, just a stool at the desk. It wasn’t ideal for me working on my computer, The free WiFi was very good. It said on the hotel description that free WiFi was available in the public areas, I think that my room was above the public areas.

The main issue that I had was the very creaky floorboards in the corridor outside my room and in the room above. I was awakened by other guests moving around.

The bathroom was a spacious with a good sized bath. I really enjoyed a soak in the bath after my three hour delay on the journey from Stirling to Kyle of Lochalsh. The bathroom looked as though it had been recently refurbished.

There was a buffet selection of cereals, tinned fruit (they don’t seem to serve fresh fruit in many Scottish hotels), fruit juice, yoghurt and some very tasty croissants. A hot breakfast was cooked to order. I thought that giving me one rasher of bacon and one fried egg was a bit stingy. In keeping with local tradition, the tomato was tinned.

Check out time was 11.00. As my train didn’t depart until just after 12.00. I requested a later check out time of 11.45, which was granted.

I wouldn’t rave about the Kyle Hotel. The room, although it was rather dated, was comfortable and cosy. with good WiFi, You have to expect creaky floorboards in an old building.

Click here to check availability and price at the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh.

Glasgow Police Museum

Glasgow Police Museum tells the history of Britain’s first police force in Glasgow from 1779 to 1975. It is run by volunteer members of the Glasgow Police Heritage Society.

There’s an impressive display of medals.

There’s an International Police Exhibition showcasing uniforms from around the world.

The Glasgow Police Museum is located in Bell Street in the Merchant City district. It’s free to enter, although donations are welcome. The opening hours vary by season. From 1 November to 31 March, the Glasgow Police Museum is only open two days a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Whereas from 1 April to 31 October, it’s open seven days a week.

 

Review of Britannia Edinburgh Hotel

I stayed at the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel on a Thursday night in November 2017. It cost £40 for the night on a room only basis, booked on the Amoma website.

I really like the location of the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel on the banks of the Water of Leith. It takes around 20 – 25 minutes to walk to Princes Street from the hotel. It’s a five minute walk to the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art from the hotel.

There’s a car park for guests, which costs £5 for up to 24 hours. You need to enter you car registration number when you buy your parking ticket at the machine. Then take the ticket to be stamped at reception as proof that you are a guest. This must be to discourage commuters and shoppers from parking at the hotel, as £5 for 24 hours is very cheap for parking in the area.

I arrived at the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel around 12.30. Check in time wasn’t until 3pm, but I wanted to park my car at the hotel and walk up to the Odeon Cinema in Lothian Road. The very cheerful and friendly reception allowed me to check in early.

I had requested a room with a view of the Water of Leith which was granted.

The hotel was formerly a Travelodge, so a lot of the room fittings and the shower room were very familiar. There was an addition of a table lamp on the desk, an armchair, an iron and ironing board and a glass bedside table.

Britannia Edinburgh Hotel

I didn’t try to WiFi at the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel as I was out for most of the evening and I had a good signal with my Three mobile broadband. I found the bed to be very comfortable. There was only a small electric panel heater in the room, but I don’t like the bedroom to be too hot, or a I can’t sleep at night.

I enjoyed my stay at the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel. At £40 for the night, It was good value for money for the location. It was great to be able to park for only £5 and my room was quiet and comfortable.

Click here to check availability and price at the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel.

McCaig’s Tower in Oban

If you visit the town of Oban, on the Scottish west coast, I recommend that you go up to McCaig’s Tower.  It was designed by the Scottish banker James Stuart McCaig as a monument to his family and a job creation scheme. But it was never completed.

It was a beautiful sunny September evening during my most recent visit to McCaig’s Tower.

There are wonderful views over the bay towards the island of Mull.

The structure has total of 94 arches with fifty on the top tier and forty four below.

I had planned to stay to watch the sunset. Although there was bright sunshine, the codl wind had me scurrying back to the warm of my hotel room before dusk.

Revealing Characters & Face to Face at McManus Galleries in Dundee

The Revealing Characters and Face to Face exhibitions runs at the McManus in Dundee until 20 May 2018.

Below are photos of my favourites pieces at the exhibitions,

 False Posiive, False Negative by Jane and Louise Wilson

Young Man in Landscape by Robert Colquhoun

Sacrifice by David Cook

Uphill by Lex Braes

2 Local Sporting Heroes: Liz McCougan & Jackie ‘Jock’ Gordon

Father by Simon Reekie 

Self-portrait by Margaret Milne

It’s free to visit the exhibitions. The McManus Galleries are open Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 17.00 and Sunday 12.30 to !6.30.

Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness at Dundee Contemporary Arts

The Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness exhibition runs until the 27 May 2018 at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA).

It is a exhibition of works by various artists, curated by John Walter.

I really liked the exhibition. There were several colourful sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle, whose work I have saw at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice, France.

Andrew Logan’s sculptures, constructed with broken tiles, mirrors, jewels, resin and glitter, appealed to me. The head in the cage below reminded me of Louise Bourgeois’ cells, which I’ve seen at Tate Modern in London. Although Logan’s subject looked a lot happier, and more glamourous, than the occupants of Bourgeois’ cells.


If you’re in Dundee, why not take a look at Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness at DCA. It’s free to enter. It’s open every day from 10.00 to 18.00, with late opening until 20.00 on Thursday. My Dad is a fan of the Jute Cafe Bar at DCA.