If you remember, we left off at Dunnottar Castle: running through ruins hanging high over the North Sea. We’d had a full morning, and it was high time for lunch.
In fact, some people in the car that day might have been there solely for the promise fish and chips in Stonehaven. I’m not naming any names, as I’m a pretty huge fan of fried food of any sort. So I understand.
It’s worth remembering here that the Chino family – every member – thoroughly enjoys food. Alison and Taido are both fantastic cooks, and their children have grown up eating everything from homemade bread to curries to sushi. They consume lentils on a regular basis. They love salad.
Scotland has proved a challenge on this point, in everything from the culture of food there, to the expense, to the comic tinyness of the ovens. They’ve adjusted well, as I would have expected them too, but there is a distinct lack of enthusiasm for Scottish cuisine.
But this was different. For days, fish and chips on Saturday! had been popping up in the conversation like a refrain. A chorus to the national hymn of Scotland, perhaps. With verses on whisky, bagpipes, and unicorns. By the time we rolled down the hill from Dunnottar and into the charming harbor town of Stonehaven, the excitement was at a fever pitch.
We walked through the streets, and they were storybook in the best kind of way, like someone had dropped us right into the middle of Tomie dePaola’s imagination. After a few blocks we reached Carron Fish Bar and ordered boxes and boxes of hot fried fish. The place smelled divine, and had a sign on the wall advertising their “World Famous Deep Fried Mars Bars.”
We opted out of that culinary adventure, and instead took our boxes to the beach, where the fish did not disappoint. Light, crunchy, delicious. This picture is not great, but it was the only one I had time to snap before we ate it all up, trying not burn our mouths from going too fast. Mmmmmm.
We walked back down to the harbor to look at the boats, and the people sitting outside the pubs & small hotels eating and drinking. Adorable setting to stay in, I thought, but I hate to tell you that you’ve missed the best meal here.
If you’d like to see more pictures from this day you can find them here.
In June of 2014, my daughter Elizabeth and I went on an absolutely incredible trip together visiting the Chinos in Aberdeen, Scotland, staying in Paris, France for a couple of days, and doing mission work in Migori, Kenya. I took a bazillion pictures and am writing about it all and you can read more posts from the trip here, if you’d like.