When it comes to weekend excursions, Mike and I are well and truly stuck in a rut. We have two favourite restaurants, each a 30 minute drive, one east and one west. We choose one, we eat and then we walk Brodie nearby. So when Mike said he was taking me to a secret location (an announcement which led to my mum asking if he'd proposed...) I was intrigued. My interest only grew when he told me this secret location had a second hand bookshop, vintage clothing and (drum roll) a gin shop. It sounded too good to be true, but it wasn't! This place was Logie Steading, just south of Forres.
At the secondhand bookshop, I picked up Billy Connolly's biography, written by his wife Pamela. My mum always used to say to us, "Be like Billy Connolly! Don't be a victim of your life!" because his childhood was so tragic. He is surely the most beloved person in Scotland and watching him get old and his Parkinson's affect him is so sad. I also got 'the book of strange new things', which I've never heard of before, but there was an excellent review from Philip Pullman on the cover and I trust his judgement!
The 'vintage clothing' shop did have quite a bit of vintage but it was mainly 70s, which isn't an era that suits me very much. They also had a rail of non vintage, passing as vintage which always really annoys me because it's always so overpriced! There was an M&S Per Una skirt for £45! Stop taking the piss!
We went over to the gin and whiskey shop and I came away with a bottle of bathtub gin. I highly recommend two of the gins in my photo above - Caorunn is great if you're not a big gin fan, or don't like gin that's really strong tasting. You pair it with red apple and it's really sweet and delicious! Avva gin is a brand new small batch gin that's local to me and made by the same woman who does the flavoured Gordon Castle gin. It's a stronger juniper flavour and it's navy strength, at 57.2% so maybe put a bit of extra tonic in!
We rounded off the visit by walking Brodie in the woods by the River Findhorn. We ended up off the beaten track a bit, walking much further than we were meant to and I got a bit grumpy by the time we were on our way back to the Steading - sorry Mike!
Hope everyone's had a good weekend!