Sadly when we visited, Brodick Castle was closed for renovation, so we only could visit the gardens. The gardens in itself were very lovely though. Really worth a visit. We went in April so there were lots of daffodils blooming. The little pavilion on the inside from walls to ceiling decorated with pineapples was very charming. Loved walking around in the gardens, enjoying the scenery and the sea views. The castle itself is also very beautiful. It’s too bad we didn’t get to visit the interior of the castle.
Tip: there are some nice picnic tables right in front of the castle. An ideal place to stop for lunch and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park
Brodick, Isle of Arran
+44 1770 302202
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park also on TripAdvisor.
We had an excellent meal at Fiddlers’ Music Bar & Bistro. The food that Fiddlers’ serves is fusion, with influences from all over the world, but also with a local touch, because they use local produce in all of their dishes. One of the dishes on the menu was balontine of chicken filled with haggis and wrapped in Parma ham. The menu options are rather limited, but even so I found it hard to choose between the different options, everything sounded nice.
When our main dish arrived we weren’t disappointed. My parmesan and herb-crusted haddock fillet was lovely presented and very tasty. Really excellent! The other dishes were equally as good. We loved the food so much that we simply couldn’t resist ordering dessert. The panna cotta was nice, but a little bit of a disappointment after the really outstanding main course. Should have gone for the Arran cheeseboard! I finished off my meal with a rum (the fact that I ordered it straight was kind of confusing to our waiter).
Service was excellent and very friendly!
We sat at a lovely table at the window, my only complaint is that is was rather chilly sitting nearby the window. Wouldn’t have mind some better insulation!
Fiddlers’ Music Bar & Bistro
Isle of Arran
+44 1770 302579
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Fiddlers Music Bar & Bistro also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 5/5, service 5/5, food 5/5.
Springbank distillery established in 1828 sure has a lot of history. What makes this distillery definitely worth a visit is the fact that Springbank uses traditional production methods and 100% of the whisky making process (including the malting) is done on site. It was very nice to learn more about the malting process and see how the barley is processed with our own eyes. The distillery has a real old and authentic vibe, which a liked a lot.
The guide was really nice and very knowledgeable. I could hardly believe he was 78 years old! He told us he was thinking about retiring as a guide, but I doubt he will do this anytime soon, since he was so passionate when speaking about Springbank.
After our tour in the Springbank distillery we visited the Glengyle distillery (we bought a combi ticket). This site was brand new and not as interesting as Springbank. Not really worth the extra money, if you asked me. Just stick to Springbank.
When the tour ended we had a little tasting in the shop. The shop was a strange mismatch of different rooms joined together throughout the years, which gave an special feel to the place.
Campbeltown PA28 6EX
+44 1586 552009
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Springbank Distillery also on TripAdvisor.
Brasserie 28 is a fairly new place to have something to eat and (their specialty) enjoy a Belgian beer. The location couldn’t be better: the restaurant is situated inside of the Brussels Central train station. Ideal for travellers. They even have a little terrace outside. The interior is spacious with lots of light pouring in through the windows. I find the interior hard to describe, since it is such an interesting mix of styles. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself.
So, is the food any good? Since my company and I had to catch a train, there wasn’t enough time to try the food sharing formula, which sounded really lovely. I’ll have to come back for that another time. The concept of Brasserie 28 was developed by Caulier, the producer of the only naturally sugar free beers in the market. Since I don’t drink beer, I can’t comment on the quality of the beers, but I’m sure they’ll find a health conscious public for their product.
I can comment though on the Buffalo Burger I ate. The burger was really nice, with an unexpected combination of organic beef, mozzarella, tomato confit, basil and rucola pesto. I quite enjoyed it. With the burger came some very thinly slice potatoes, which were really to salty for me. The waitress recommended we order some extra fries with our burgers, but I actually had enough with the burger alone. A big eater would really need those fries, though.
I got the impression staff wasn’t trained well enough. The girl (who was friendly) didn’t know the wines on the menu. So Brasserie 28 can improve on that part. I would definitely come back here for a drink with friends though, because the wine was nice and not expensive at all.
Brasserie 28 by Caulier Brussels Central Station
Boulevard de l’impératrice 3
+32 2 511 05 31
Visited June 2017. You can find my review about Brasserie 28 Caulier also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 5/5, service 3/5, food 4/5.
The Bluebell café can get rather busy. When we wanted to have lunch there we had to wait in line for about ten minutes. When the wait was over our waitress brought us to a nice table at the window.
Expectations are high when so many people visit a place, sadly those weren’t met. The jacked potato with prawn Marie Rose I ordered was mediocre at best, the shrimps were drowned in so much sauce they were hardly visible. The little salad with dressing was nice though. The ham and cheese toast and the burger my companions ordered were nothing special either.
Very plain food, to be honest. And the service wasn’t as friendly as we’ve gotten used to in Scotland.
Cafe Bluebell, 6 Hall Street, Campbeltown PA28 6BU, Scotland
+44 1586 552800
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Cafe Bluebell also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 4/5, service 3/5, food 3/5.
Very beautiful falls you shouldn’t miss when on Arran. The walk to the falls takes about 2 hours when you walk slowly. The path is easy and takes you through a beautiful forrest. There is a lookout post from which you have the best views on the falls. Highly recommended on an sunny day!
Isle of Arran KA27 8PZ
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Glenashdale Falls also on TripAdvisor.
Gatsu Gatsu is a Asian style restaurant which tries to emulate Asian street food. The interior really evokes the atmosphere of a traditional food alley in an Asian city. The concept is simple: you choose the ingredients for your wok (rice or noodles, meat, fish or tofu, vegetables) and the food is made while you wait. It is very nice that you can see the cooks do their magic.
If the weather is nice you can eat outside on the terrace with wooden tables and red plastic stools. When I went to Gatsu Gatsu, not long after they opened, I got the feeling that the staff was not yet used to the concept and they needed to streamline their process a little more.
The wok I had was very nice though. Love the fact that they offer udon noodles!
Rue du marché aux herbes 99
+32 2 514 15 95
Visited June 2017. You can find my review about Gatsu Gatsu – Wok Alley also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 5/5, service 2/5, food 4/5.
Great place to enjoy cocktails in the sun. The terrace is really lovely and in summer you’ll have a hard time finding a free seat on the terrace. The cocktail menu is extensive and the cocktails are reasonably priced (lots of cocktails at about 9 euro).
I enjoyed met daiquiri with basil and honey very much. A special touch to a classic drink. Since the weather was gorgeous my friend and I enjoyed our drinks outside (the cava was also very nice), but the interior of Skylab is also really gorgeous, witch nice sofa’s and a lovely bar. A classy place to enjoy a cocktail or two.
Skylab, Quai au Bois a Bruler 9 métro Sainte Catherine, Brussels 1000, Belgium
+32 2 203 03 50
Visited June 2017. You can find my review about Skylab also on TripAdvisor.
Intermezzo is a traditional Italian restaurant which serves great food. The place is always packed at lunch time, so that speaks for itself. A colleague and I had lunch on the terrace on a very hot spring day. The interior of the place is very nice, with a beautiful wooden floor and ceiling with a real authentic feel to it.
it was a bit of hassle to order, because the menu was written on a chalk board inside, so we had to go inside to see what our options was. After we decided on our order, the waiter returned after a few moments to tell us they run out of the dish my colleague ordered. Defeats the purpose of a chalk board, if you asked me, but she changed her order.
We didn’t had to wait long for our pasta, which was perfectly cooked. I really enjoyed my spaghetti cozze with large mussels. The combination with the tomato sauce was just perfect.
Rue des Princes 16
+32 2 218 03 11
Visited June 2017. You can find my review about Intermezzo also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 5/5, service 3/5, food 5/5.
Café Bota is the restaurant in the same building as the popular music venue ‘Botanique’. The place has a beautiful terrace overlooking the gorgeous Botanical Garden of Brussels. Sadly when I went there for lunch with some colleagues, it was just way to hot to sit outside on the terrace in the sun. It was a pity that staff didn’t open more parasols to provide their customers some shade.
Luckily we found a table on the inside of the restaurant where it was nice and cool. When we wanted to order there were already lots of plates sold out. A bit of a shame, since it was only 12.30h. But no worries, we found a dish to suit everyone. The wait was kind of long for a quick lunch (more than half an hour), but the pasta really was excellent. My pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the sauce with white truffles and cherry tomatoes was really perfect. The home made lemonade was also excellent.
Staff should work on their hospitality and friendliness though.
Cafe Bota, Rue Royale 236, Brussels 1210, Belgium
+32 2 226 12 28
Visited June 2017. You can find my review about Cafe Bota also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 4/5, service 2/5, food 4/5.