A late-spring ramble through Scotchland

I had the pleasure of traveling to Scotland (aka Scotchland) last week with the Anchor Distilling/Berry Bros. & Rudd group, which was positively lovely. We spent most of our time in the Speyside area of Aberlour, specifically the little village of Rothes, which is home to the Glenrothes distillery (literally, the glen — or long, deep valley — cutting through Rothes).

The whisky was delicious, but I fell for the early Victorian manor where they put up our little group.

My room is that top right window, which meant I had a view of this:


This snapshot was taken from the front lawn round about 11pm, by the way. In fact, there were only a handful of hours that there wasn’t some kind of light. Summertime way up north = mind-blowing.

As was the garden at this place. I mean…

Each morning, our small group would take turns cutting flowers for our breakfast table.




The violets were growing like crazy, & check out the columbine in the lower-left corner.


The above greenhouse is where we ate most of our meals. It really doesn’t get much better…until you add unlimited single-malt Glenrothes scotch.

Speaking of, here’s the gate to the secret garden path located toward the rear of the property, which leads through the woods down a little hill to the Glenrothes distillery.


If only all yards came with a secret-garden trail leading to a scotch distillery!

We had a few days of rambling around the Speyside area, visiting the water source for the whisky & such. I took a few snapshots just outside the grounds of the Benriach distillery, a little drive up the road from Rothes. I couldn’t get over the random, wild poppies & hollyhock in these massive fields.poppy-field

hollyhockBefore we flew home, we stopped off in London to tour the Berry Bros. & Rudd shop & cellars, aka the oldest liquor store in all the land. 1698, represent! It is an absolutely magical place full of priceless wines & whisky (including the very first bottle of Cutty Sark!). I took a lot of snapshots of centuries-old booze bottles…and, again, other peoples’ gardens. In the BBR’s little courtyard called Pickering Place (which, btw, is the tiniest public square in London; the last-known public duel took place there!), this very simple arrangement of potted flowers struck my eye.



If you look closely, you’ll see that there’s no fancy hardware goin’ on — just straight-up wire holding these basic terracotta pots along the wrought-iron fence. So simple, yet so pretty.


Your homework: book a trip to Scotchland. Then book a trip to London to visit BBR. Tell them I sent you.