Our second (and third) houseguests were here this past week! E’s cousin who was doing a few weeks in England with her university had a couple days off and came up to visit us with a friend. It was a short trip (arrived late Saturday, left first thing Tuesday) so we knew that they wouldn’t be able to get the full taste of Scotland, but we wanted to give them as much as possible. I had emailed her a list of about 10 things we could do and it was decided that we were going to shoot clay pigeons, go to a whiskey distillery, see a castle, and have an afternoon tea. Not too ambitious and a good sampling.
Shooting and hunting in Scotland (and I’m assuming most of the UK) is a very posh event. In general it seems it costs a lot to go on these expeditions and it’s just an all out formal affair down to your dress. You need a game license, and you need permission to hunt on whomever owns the land. In hunting certain breeds- the permission needs to be in writing and very detailed reports must be kept and submitted for anything shot. So you can’t hunt unless you have land, or have a friend with land, or pay to use someone’s land. And as I said….the apparel. Perfection.
I’ve only ever shot anything once with a groupon in Michigan. Mostly handguns and a massive AK-47, because it’s America! (ugh) But I actually hated it. It seemed…well it just wasn’t my thing. And my (limited) experience with hunting is a bunch of rednecks drinking shitty beer, wearing camo, and shooting stuff. Definitely not my thing. So I was pretty skeptical when it came to clay pigeon shooting- but I loved it! I wasn’t very good, but with every station got better and more comfortable. I think a lot was nerves, and after that horrible eye sight, and after that, the fact it felt like the rifle weighed 100 lbs (I was told it was the lightest one and probably weight like 12 lbs, but I was sore for daaaaaays after). But definitely enjoyable. Just about 15 minutes from Aberdeen is Seal’s Cove Shooting Ground. For £35 a person, our group of 4 was out for 2 hours going about from 4-5 different stations with different kinds of shots. During the whole thing we had instruction with a very patient instructor: Ian. He was a saint! And of course tea, coffee and biscuits afterwards.
Actually, there is a “Ladies Shooting Club” in Aberdeen called Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags….ya never know. I need a new hobby.
Next we went to Glen Dronach Distillery. The girls had never had Scotch and I hear it’s something Scotland is known for or something? Kidding…To tell you the truth, I’m fine with never going to another distillery ever again. It just seems to me everyone would be the same. It wasn’t awful by any means…but. I don’t even like Scotch. And even if I did- I was dd so I couldn’t have any. But what a true Scottish experience for the girls! And the drive out to the distillery was gorgeous full of blooming gorse and sheep as far as the eye could see.
Came home to a slow cooked pot roast that was cooking all day. A smidge dry but what can you do…
On Monday, E headed off to work. I took the girls out to Drum Castle and dropped them off while I headed to my golf lesson. I haven’t personally been to Drum Castle but the girls seemed to really enjoy it. And it’s part of the National Trust for Scotland, which we’re members and thus get free access, so I’m sure we’ll check it out at some point. Especially because it’s so close! That afternoon we headed to a scaled down afternoon tea at Cup in downtown Aberdeen. It wasn’t awful….but it was no Marcliff. They did have a pretty epic tea selection, including adorable iced tea. Oh and nutella paninis…can’t go wrong with that.
I then left to sewing class (my Mondays are quite busy) and afterwards met E & co at Adelphi Kitchen to treat them to some good meat before they had to head back to London and eat on a student budget. It was a quick trip, but I think it provided a great taste of Scotland