Douglas Arms Hotel: High Street, Banchory
THE dying fizz of my camp stove put paid to my plans to gorge on a fry-up.
Worse, I was 10 miles from the nearest town.
So I set off on a cycle with my backpack on and an empty stomach.
And it was with elation that I walked through the doors of the Douglas Arms in Banchory and sank into a soft, high-backed leather chair.
I ordered a pint of Kelburn Brewery’s Pivo Estivo from the range of cask ales and supped the froth off greedily.
The blue cheese and walnut salad I ordered as a starter was strictly speaking a side order, but the staff didn’t argue.
This pleasingly balanced dish had lettuce added, more as a garnish to the cheese and nuts than anything else.
The pork and black pudding burger arrived with homemade apple chutney, chips and salad – and was much posher than I expected.
The burger came on what seemed to be rosemary foccacia bread and the ensemble was neatly held together with a skewer.
If I was nitpicking, I would have preferred less bread to burger and a juicier chutney.
With attentive service in a relaxed atmosphere, this was a tasty and fairly-priced feast.