At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Not of Boutique Farm Bothies, we’d been before. But this time we were going with mum-in-law and the hound dog.
Meaning this time wasn’t going to be naked sushi and strip scrabble. This time was going to be family time by the fire, like a cute little post office Christmas card. And from the word go, Scott was stressed. Stressed with driving, stressed with breathing, stressed that mum-in-law and I were going to fall out. That hasn’t happened yet but we are only half way through our trip. I’m actually sitting on the toilet writing this blog because mum-in-law and Aye 2.0 think I’m out of office for two days to prevent stress-induced panic attacks. I had alot of double cream last night following meringue-gate, which means I’ve actually been “in the office” for a good while now.
Isn’t it funny how the more techy the world gets, the more we crave; sanctuary, no electricity, and food cooked via fire?! This is amplified to 11 when you work in a digital dungeon. I need to stop referring to our loving home as a digital dungeon.
Anyway, ‘‘twas a week before Christmas and all through the hoose, all structure stood stable, aside from the hoose. Due to Storm Deidre arsing us up good and proper before Bothy-gate. Have you ever been to our house? We have rain inside sometimes. It’s something special and I love it.
I’ve been getting a lot of this recently. Situations where I can’t do stuff justice with words. And it’s happening all over again with the Barley Bothy at Boutique Farm Bothies. Because what do you even say? “Oh, it’s a shack in a field with a wood-fired hot tub and built-in box beds. It also has a bath and a fire and a fire-powered range cooker and cheeky wee pheasants who wake you up in the morning with their sweet pheasantry melody.”
Like, that didn’t really do FA to show it off. So imma just talk a wee bit about my trip and hopefully, that’ll plant your pears till June.
AyeScotTalent: The Local Edition
Before we even got to the farm (yes, a farm, too cute) we went to pick up some local produce from Lower Thorneybank Farm Shop. All the cuteness. Let me get right to the point. This is totally new to me. I grew up in a city, living off pasta, chicken dippers and smiley faces. And I’ve never quite recovered. It’s only been over the last few years that I’ve tried things that aren’t beige. But oh my days, I love local stuff. There’s something epically epic about catching some scran from a nearby field. Thorneybank Farm Shop is around 3 miles outside of Rothienorman and it’s basically a shop-sized vending machine filled with tatties and home baking. Nae gonna lie, I was loving strutting out of there with a box full of vegetables I had never seen before along with old favourites such as onions and tatties. And fudge to balance things out. Obv.
What a way to start a bothy trip though huh? Local veg, local baking, local bothy. But something was still missing. The booze. It is The Aye Life after all. Thankfully we had a couple of pals who were down at the Huntly Farmer’s Market (it’s all feckin’ happening in Huntly just now) who just happen to produce one of Scotland’s best gins. Pals in aye places my dears! So we picked up a lovely bottle of The Teasmith Gin to keep us warm in yon’ super shack.
But that wasn’t all. We also had December’s Tipple Box, which included the ingredients for 3 cocktails and a shot. So although this wasn’t a hot tub romping trip, it was certainly a “drink cocktails and shots in the company of mum-in-law whilst she criticises Aye 2.0s haircut” trip. Wild.
Fuzzy Feelings Felt During BFB Trip
Whilst I lay in my box bed, reading a book and just daring the spider on the skylight to drop even an inch, I thought to myself, “ I’m literally spending my life online, creating content and being a marketing queen (shameless pitch) so I can spend time in a box reading a book with my phone on flight mode.” And I wouldn’t ever want to cancel either lifestyle out. But visiting the Barley Bothy reminds you that a bit of balance won’t kill you.
The wood burning stove in the Barley Bothy fairly warms the place up. Pretty sure Aye 2.0 packed 17 t-shirts for two nights. We didn’t need any extras. It’s bikini madness in the BB. It gets SO cosy. I’ve been writing this blog at various points during our trip. Right now I’m sitting by the fire and the wind is out there smacking the shack around like a witch. And me? I’m cosy AF.
But that’s nae bother. Because we took a heap of stove-friendly munch with us. Jane at Boutique Farm Bothies can sort you out with a local butcher’s pack of meat and fresh veg. When Scott and I came here before (for romancin’), we ordered a pack and it was affa fine. This time, we reduced ourselves to Tesco fare and a heap of fabulous home-baking, arranged by Jane at BFB. Meringues with fresh fruit. Carrot cake. Shortbread. Fudge. Truffles. Combined with our baking goodies from Thorneybank Farm Shop, we had a spread to put bake-off to shame.
What to do at Boutique Farm Bothies
Nothing. Not that there’s nothing to do, but I’m hesitant to recommend anything to do around the Boutique Farm Bothies because the best thing to do when you’re there is absolutely nothing. Stop by Thorneybank Farm Shop for some scran. Grab some local booze from the Huntly Farmers Market. Read a book. Have a bath. Enjoy the wood-fired hot tub. Lie on your back and count the stars from your wonderful skylight. Play board games, there are plenty there. Listen to the radio. Cook on the stove. Step away from your day to day hecticism and chill the duck out.
When in Doubt, Chill Out
As far as bothies in Aberdeenshire, or even in Scotland go, the Barley Bothy at Boutique Farm Bothies is a serious contender. There is also another bothy of sorts at BFB; The Sheep Shed. We haven’t stayed in that one yet but plan to in the New Year. If you want to plan the perfect relaxing trip at Boutique Farm Bothies, check out their website here.