Two of my friends recently moved to the UK from New Zealand, and when I was invited to a ceilidh (a traditional Scottish dance / party) at Aberdeen Music Hall I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to invite them up for a Very Scottish Weekend.
I picked them up from the airport and we dashed straight to the ceilidh, which was being held by Danse McCabre. It was a fantastic night, and we did some unusual dances as well as the old favourites, so the Scots weren’t at that much of an advantage. There was also a wedding party using the ceilidh as their reception, which I thought was a great idea and made the night that bit more special and memorable for the rest of us too. No photos of the ceilidh I’m afraid, because I was having so much fun I completely forgot!
My guests went to visit family on the Saturday, so I just lazed around enjoying my extra-clean house, and then when they returned we went for dinner at Indian restaurant Jewel in the Crown. Obviously not the most Scottish option available, but they had been at a Burns Night dinner earlier in the week, and to be honest us Brits love a curry so it was still pretty authentic 😉 Jewel in the Crown is our favourite restaurant in Aberdeen – the food is always amazing and the service is great – attentive but not in-your-face. The whole experience feels a little bit deluxe, as you get not only the usual poppadoms on arrival, but also tasty orange slices and a hot napkin afterwards, mints and bombay mix with the bill, and no matter how busy they are, one of the waiters will always somehow pop up from nowhere to open the door for you as you leave.
On Sunday we went for a little wander around Inverurie, and then a visit to Huntly Castle. Living in Aberdeen I am spoiled for choice for local castles, but Huntly is definitely one of my favourites, and is open throughout the winter (except on Thursdays and Fridays). It’s a good level of ruined, which is a weird thing to say, but it’s intact/preserved enough that you can walk around inside and get a good sense of what it must have been like in its prime, and yet it’s also enough of a ruin to be romantic and mean that you do have to imagine rather than just looking at it. Halfway through the visit it seems I accidentally changed a setting on my camera, meaning half my photos turned out pitch black… but it did result in the dramatic one below, which was a nice bonus!