Knight in Shining Fife Arm-our
If you haven’t seen me obsessing over the Highland Cattle Roast beef, where ya been? “I went to The Fife Arms and all I got was the beef of dreams.” I’m so obsessed. But there is way more to The Fife Arms than just scran of gods. The intensely Scottish hotel has been absolutely everywhere over the last 6 months. The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller and now, The Aye Life. I’ve been itching to get down for a nosy so when work finally permitted me a day out in Royal Deeside, it was my moment. It was my perfect moment.
We left Faberdonia at the crack of dawn, on a Sunday which in itself is an achievement. We were bound for Balmoral Castle followed by lunch at The Flying Stag, the pub/restaurant in The Fife Arms. The windows were down, the sun was beating in through the slightly filthy windscreen and the Scottish folk playlist was decking the car with bows of jolly. I was so excited!
Armed with Glamour
Once we had left behind the beauty of Balmoral Estate, we took the 15-minute drive over to Braemar, one of Scotland’s most beautiful villages. Set against the rolling Scottish hills of the Cairngorms National Park, The Fife Arms is a sight to behold before you even step inside.
Before we snuck into The Flying Stag for lunch, I wandered around the hallways and reception area like a little creep, taking in all of the extravagance. So much glamour; artwork, grand fireplaces boasting intricate carvings, a grand piano, chandeliers, splashes of tartan, plush furnishings. Completely magnificent. And that was just the reception area. I would give my right knee to spend 10 minutes with the interior designer. Also, I could have sworn I seen Bonnie Tyler having afternoon tea there but I don’t think she’s a permanent fixture.
The Flying Stag
We were sat at two grand chesterfield chairs by the window in the upper part of the restaurant.
The King did the man thing and stuck his face in the menu whilst I ogled at the taxidermy and tartan wallpaper. It wasn’t even paper, it was fabric because only in The Fife Arms.
First course for me was soup. But this wasn’t soup. It was thick green soup with lentil and sorrel. And creme fraiche. And warm bread. With butter melting over hot stones. Because again, only in The Fife Arms. Flippin’ fabulous.
I love fresh bread and butter so even before the soup I was in my element. Himself had beef carpaccio because he loves (and is) cold meat.
The main course for Aye 2.0 was the beef and bone marrow burger. But this wasn’t your run of the mill burger, this was a serious beef burger. It tasted like it was borrowed from the cow first thing in the morning and on his plate by 2pm. Everything tasted so fresh and was very “we got this from farmer John round the corner” and I just love those local vibes.
My main… Offft… The Highland Cattle Roast Beef. It takes the accolade for the best Sunday lunch I have ever had, shortly followed by Malmaison’s sharing chicken. A girl never forgets a good roast… The beef on this roast was without a doubt, the best beef I have ever had. Smoky, salty and packed-with-flavour on the outside and outrageously tender in the middle. I didn’t want it to end and whilst I made my way through the goose-fatty roast tatties and the bone marrow gravy, I kept the smallest bit of beef on the side of my plate, saving it for the end so I could cherish that flavour for the rest of my life. So ready to get back to The Flying Stag for round 2.
Sweet and Punchy
The King’s pudding was beyond glorious. A lemon posset with lavender shortbread. We love a posset here at Aye HQ. Possets for the win. But we also stubbornly will never order the same plate as each other during a meal. So I ordered profiteroles packed with Drambuie cream and a chocolate sauce. This was extremely rich, like me… Ha.
We highly recommend a visit to The Fife Arms during a trip to Royal Deeside. If you’re looking for things to do in Deeside, you won’t be short for choices. Deeside is packed with history and outstanding scenery and is one of my favourite parts of Scotland.
Thanks to the team at The Flying Stag for hosting us as their guest for Sunday lunch, we had such a lovely time (and I finally got to tickle my Fife Arms fancy). As always, all opinions are our own.