Scotland | Ben Rinnes and Dinner at the Copper Dog, Craigellachie

When we have a free weekend, I love to get out and explore our bonnie Scotland's great outdoors together - and eat. Always eat. Lately we've discovered a couple of great walks with epic restaurants nearby, and it might be my new favourite excuse to fill my face. Hey I just hiked for 3 hours, I deserve this feast in this beautiful pub! 

Beef burger in a toasted bun at the Copper Dog

If you haven't checked out the Fife Arms in Braemar yet, you really should - there's an abundance of routes to work up an appetite around there, but the Balmoral Cairns is a must. Most people are not so familiar with the hill walks of Moray though, which is a shame as Ben Rinnes is a beauty, and the Copper Dog is outstanding!

View of Ben Rinnes summit against blue skies
Harley at Ben Rinnes trig point

At 2759ft Ben Rinnes is classed as a Corbett but it's really not far off being a munro! In the 20 degree Spring heatwave it bloody felt like one too. Note to self - always pack sun cream! Reaching the summit we were rewarded with views across Moray and the Cairngorms, with a trig point highlighting the surrounding Speyside distilleries.

Gordon flying the drone from the summit of Ben Rinnes
Harley the black lab on Ben Rinnes

It was an enjoyable three hour hike but a little too much for an old pup, who sprinted up but limped around the house for a few days afterwards. Next time he'll stay at home. Luckily our final stop of the day was also dog friendly but far less strenuous...

Entrance to the Copper Dog
Gordon in the Copper Dog dining room
Tom Hanks cocktail at the Copper Dog

Based in the Craigellachie Hotel overlooking the River Spey, the Copper Dog offers incredible grub in a rustic, homely Scottish setting. It reminded me of my in laws' converted bothy sitting room. Only with delicious, fruity, Tom Hanks themed cocktails. And the best stocked whisky bar in the country.

Beef burger with fries and slaw
Sun filtering over a table in the Craigellachie restaurant
Braised pork belly dish with kale

I had the most amazing piece of succulent, braised pork belly you could dream of. It came with crispy kale and boulangere potatoes layered with celeriac, with just a slight sweet hint from apple jus. Gordon's beef burger was constructed to perfection and complimented with seasoned fries and a classic slaw.

Vanilla cheesecake with pistachio glass
Table setting in the Copper Dog
Sticky toffee pudding with whisky ice cream

Dessert was irresistible with his typical sticky toffee order accompanied, naturally, with a whisky ice cream. I could hardly decided and panic ordered the vanilla cheesecake topped with pistachio glass and a side of lemon sorbet - thankfully it was a hit! 

Walking over the Craigellachie bridge
Drone shot of the 3 of us on Craigellachie Bridge

Now if climbing Ben Rinnes didn't work up that appetite enough, take a post dinner stroll over to the picturesque Craigellachie Bridge. That'll surely earn you a dram as well!

Where would you recommend for a country walk and a decent feed?

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  1. Climbed Ben Rinnes a few times before, tough on the legs the next day! Will need to look out for the Copper Dog next time I'm up that way.

    1. It was much bigger than I'd expected! Definitely worth scoping out the Copper Dog :)