Recently, my family from America came over to Scotland for a visit. They are very into their whisky, so for a lot of their trip they were staying in Speyside which is famous for their whisky, and it is also where I am from. We went for a couple of really nice meals with them – one at The Mash Tun in Aberlour, and one at the Archiestown Hotel which is in a village called Archiestown – they are both about an hours drive away from Inverness and about 45 minutes from Aviemore.
The meal we had at the Archiestown Hotel was at lunch time – the meal I ended up having would have definitely done me for supper, but I managed to finish it anyway! I panicked a bit when I saw the menu, as there were only about five starter options and four main meals – most of which were bread or pasta based. I asked the proprietor about a dish on the menu which – if I’m honest – was the only one of the main meals I thought I would enjoy anyway – it was venison and beef meatballs with mashed potato, red onion gravy, served with parsnip chips. She said that the chef would be able to adapt it to make it gluten free as the gravy would normally be unsuitable but it wouldn’t be a problem to do this. I was so relieved, as there had been one or two things I could have had on the starter menu, but these were either salmon or mushroom centered and I hate both, so I would have hated to look so fussy and have to say there was nothing I could either have or wanted!
When my meal came, it looked really nice, however there was no sign of these parsnip chips that had been mentioned on the menu – that’s actually the bit I was most excited about – and I thought they may have left them off my plate if they weren’t gluten free, however my uncle who had ordered the same dish didn’t get any either. I guess they had just ran out and not thought to tell us when we ordered which was a shame. However, everything that was on my plate was lovely. Usually I find venison a bit strong, but the meatballs were great and the gravy tasted fantastic. The vegetables it came with were basic (only broccoli) but for lunch time, I couldn’t have eaten any more anyway!
If any gluten-free’s are up this way, and wanting somewhere very nice for a meal, I would recommend this place, as although there wasn’t much initially on the menu for non-gluten eaters, it appeared that they were totally accommodating and that the chef could whip something up with short notice.