On a sunny day off I set off with a friend for lunch to Mains of Drum, the garden centre set in glorious grounds next door to Drum Castle. It’s handy for the city, located in Drumoak.
As well as a good selection of well-cared for plants and a gift shop which is great for browsing around, Mains of Drum is also home to a great informal café restaurant.
Heading upstairs to the light and airy restaurant space, we were struck by the happy buzz of contented chatter coming from customers. It’s popular with families and friends, partly due to the extensive menu that means there’s always something to appeal, no matter the time of day or how peckish you are. There’s everything from sandwiches and light bites to steaks and daily specials.
I chose to start with a hearty bowl of Cullen Skink, brimming silkily with fish, leeks and tatties and served with delicious bread freshly baked on the premises.
I followed up with a handmade and deliciously herby cheese and bacon burger with a generous helping of chips and salad. My friend chose the daily special, a liberal serving of stovies served with beetroot and skirlie and a pile of oatcakes. This proved to be well balanced and flavoursome, with a great consistency and just the right amount of beef. Certainly no need for the usual game of hunt the meat.
Service was swift and the staff are all friendly and courteous and seem to enjoy their work. Everything is locally sourced where possible, with the menu listing the suppliers. We discovered this while deciding on dessert, which we didn’t really need. Still, the homemade rice pudding with two spoons went down
a treat. Light but comforting, and spotted with sultanas, I’m afraid it was even better than my mum’s.
Drumoak, AB31 5AN Tel: 01330 811000 www.mainsofdrum.co.uk