The Fiddichside Inn has been run by Dorothy and Joe, and before that by Dorothy’s mother, for over 70 years. The total size of the bar is what you see here, when there are 6 customers the place is full.
There’s always a warm fire (in December at least) that Dorothy keeps going with buckets of coal. Oscar and Brian (see below) drop by with their dogs each evening and chat.
We visited there on our honeymoon and then went back last month. It was wonderful to see that things were still exactly the same. Dorothy chatted with Cory about her time overseas in WWII, Joe had a secret stash of treats for the dogs, and beer was bought in rounds, a community as well as a pub.
Dorothy and Joe live in the Inn, and if you’re the first to arrive each evening, they’ll hear you come in and leave their living room adjoining the bar and come to serve you. The TV is on in the next room, often Joe’s football, and it can feel rather awkward to drag them out to stand on their feet to help us, since they’re over 80 and should be entitled to evenings off. But you get the feeling that they do love this place & the people that live there. They travelled around the world during the war, but came home to a place that’s easy to fall in love with.
In our two nights in Craigellachie on this past trip, we were struggling with our decision to move to Aberdeen or to stay in Canada. We’d just found out that I’d been offered the job, and were so overwhelmed that deciding if we wanted it seemed impossible. In a pub like this, everyone weighed in with opinions. One opinion was that if we weren’t 100% sure, we’d end up staying in Canada, and that evening, tired and confused, we tended to believe it. However, it turned out Joe was right, he simply stated “you’ll be back”, and we’re looking forward to being there this year.
It will be lovely this spring to sit down by the River Fiddich on the patio and enjoy the quiet views. We’re looking forward to telling Joe that he was right, and we did opt for adventure. In such a timeless place it seems like nothing will ever change, but of course it does. I’m just hoping that Fiddichside wont change too much.
(Congrats to Cory’s cousin & her husband on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy on the 7th. We’re thrilled and looking forward to meeting the newest member of Cory’s extended family, especially since his parents, Lindsay and Michael, are two of our favourite people.)