Balmoral Pub: 1 Netherly Place, Ballater
RUNNING the Balmoral 10k left me frankly delirious with hunger and a handful of re-energising jelly beans at the end just wasn’t going to cut it.
I had fantasised about a victory pub lunch the whole way round the course – particularly halfway up the infamously gruelling 1.2k hill. So when we passed an all-day menu blackboard at the Balmoral Pub in Ballater, I screeched to a halt.
A waiter came over to us almost as soon as we had sat down at one of the few available tables and brought us menus.
I picked the homemade steak pie (£9), my boyfriend chose the fish and chips (£9) and we both ordered a well-earned pint.
A very short wait allowed us to enjoy the strains of Katy Perry pulsating over the pub jukebox and, within 10 minutes, our food was steaming on the table.
I have to say I was disappointed at my pseudo-pie, as the chef had succumbed to the idea a puff pastry lid over a bowl of stew is the same as a good suet crust. It is not and never will be.
Nevertheless, the meat was tender, the gravy juicy and tasty and the chips fluffy and crisp.
My boyfriend’s fish was as big as the plate and wrapped in deliciously crisp batter with soft white flesh inside.