Steve and I spent last weekend in Aberdeen, celebrating the wedding of our friends Helen and Sean. I'd never been to Aberdeen and to be perfectly honest it was never on my list of must visit destinations. But, being a big fan of Scotland I was excited to visit a new city.
We left London early on Saturday morning, catching a BA flight from Heathrow T5. Steve recently discovered that Wagamama does breakfast so we arrived at the airport earlier than usual to make sure we had time to sample some food. The breakfast wasn't half bad. I had a sausage katsu concoction whilst Steve had the kedgeree. Afterwards we shared some deliciously fluffy, American style pancakes and fruit.
After a quick flight to Aberdeen we hoped on the airport bus to the city centre. The bus cost under a tenner for a 2 person return ticket, not bad. From there it was a 15 minute walk to our apartment. Our Airbnb was absolutely charming and incredibly spacious. We didn't want to stay in the wedding hotel because it was quite expensive, we're off to Japan next week after all, so this apartment was a wonderful, budget alternative.
Our first stop was Melt where we met Lauren and Mike to try a macaroni cheese toasted sandwiche. The sandwich was delicious. The macaroni was incredible creamy and now I'm jealous you can't find anything as good in London. Melt actually took their inspiration from Deeny's in London which does a haggis and cheese toastie.
We wandered around town whilst Lauren pointed out her old haunts. We stopped at Marischal College, the second largest granite building in the world, for a few photos. As you can see Aberdeen is quite a grey city thanks to the majority of buildings being built from granite. Fortunately we had great weather the weekend we visited otherwise I could imagine the city could look quite bleak against an overcast sky.
We popped into the Aberdeen Maritime Museum which was very impressive. Situated next to the harbour, the museum recounts the story of the city's relationship with the North Sea and oil industry. The museum spans a number of floors with galleries dedicated to nautical paintings. Entry is free and you would definitely spend a couple of hours here taking everything in.
After we said goodbye to Lauren, Steve and I hopped on a bus (£4 for a day pass) to check out Aberdeen beach. By 6pm the sun had started to set so the beach had a gloomy vibe to it. The strip is full of amusement arcades and typical beach side cafes. In the summer there's an amusement park with rides. We spent a few minutes in one of the arcades, playing on the 2p machine and not winning anything. It was nice to feel the sea breeze against our skin but there wasn't really that much going on so we hopped on the bus back to the city centre to grab some dinner and drinks.
I wanted to have a Scottish meal for dinner so I booked a table at Cafe 52. Unfortunately the food was more Mediterranean more than Scottish and whilst it tasted nice enough it wasn't exactly what I'd been hoping for. Disappointments aside, the restaurant had a lovely atmosphere.
Despite feeling absolutely exhausted I wanted to check out a few local bars as the following evening we would be at the wedding. We visited the original Brew Dog which is very similar to every other Brew Dog I've been to but it was nice to visit the very first one. I had a dodgy tasting cherry beer from Berlin. I'm not much of a beer drinker but I've been trying to teach myself to drink more, right now it's still baby steps as I discover what I like and what I don't. Around the corner is Six°North, a small chain of Scottish craft beer pubs. They brew their own beer and it's a lot cheaper than Brew Dog but unfortunately both the beers we had were pretty vile, perhaps that's because we ordered wrong.
Sunday was wedding day but the ceremony didn't kick off until 2pm so we headed into town for some pre-wedding grub. We visited Rye and Soda, an Anglo-American brunch cafe. Of course Steve went for the full Scottish fry whilst I opted for something a little more unusual. The huevos rancheros consisted of tacos with tomato, red pepper, chopped egg and avocado. As you can see, the avocado is missing but they did bring me some after I pointed this out. Brunch was great and most definitely kept us going until we ate later in the afternoon.
Dress and bag from ASOS
Sunglasses from Celine (a birthday present Steve picked up at the airport, lucky me)
The wedding ceremony was held at David Welch Winter Gardens which are absolutely stunning. Think Kew Gardens, but in Aberdeen. Unfortunately I failed to take many pictures and I didn't even get a good picture of me and Steve. We had a lovely day celebrating with our friends and didn't get home until after 2am. Good times indeed!
With slight fuzzy heads, we packed up our bags and headed into town one last time. We popped into Foodstory, a vegetarian focused cafe, for some food. We arrived too late for breakfast (boo, no avocado on toast) so we ordered salad and wraps from the lunch menu. The food was lovely but to be perfectly honest a salad wasn't exactly my first choice in my hungover state.
Before catching the bus back to the airport we managed to visit a record store. Cavern is a basement treasure trove of vinyl, ranging from new released to second hand gems. We didn't buy anything but it was nice to check out a somewhat local music scene.
I enjoyed our time in Aberdeen. One day was enough time to see the city and whilst I don't think I'll be back to visit any time soon, it was nice to see a Scottish city other than Edinburgh and Glasgow. As Scotland goes, Aberdeen is quite expensive, probably due to the oil industry. The food and drink certainly weren't budget prices but the restaurants and bars we visited were nice. If you're visiting and need a budget accommodation option then I definitely recommend the apartment we stayed in.