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Much-loved Speyside pub The Fiddichside Inn to reopen next month following lockdown

The popular pub in Speyside is gearing up to open its beer garden, after being closed during lockdown.

Published: June 30, 2020
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The Fiddichside Inn announced that it'll reopen its beer garden daily from 6 July, subject to health guidelines.

Posting on their social media, the team said: "Delighted to announce our beer garden will be open daily from 6th July subject to current health guidelines - and the weather! Opening times 12 noon to 10.30pm. Look forward to seeing everyone again!"

The Inn, which sits on the bank of the River Spey, is famous for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere and was built in 1840 as a meeting house for the men working on the nearby railwayline.

In 2017 the Inn sadly lost its landlord, Joe Brandie, who had been serving drinks and entertaining guests with his stories for almost 60 years.

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Considered to be one of the area’s most famous traditional pubs, tourists and residents alike flocked to the Fiddichside to be served by Mr Brandie and to hear his stories of his previous jobs as a cooper and a ghillie on the Spey, as well as to receive some of his renowned hospitality.

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The Fiddichside Inn closed for more than two years following Mr Brandie's death but was reopened by new owners Ali Hunter and her son Guy earlier this year.

Speaking to the Press and Journal at the time of reopening, Miss Hunter said: "We’re not going to change anything, apart from having central heating. There will still be the same rules about no music and no phones.

“We want to carry on the legacy of the place and keep it as Joe had it, but not turn it into a shrine for him.”

She added: “It’s unbelievable how well known it is. The first Christmas card we got was from Japan. We’ve had people knocking on the door from France and Germany asking if we’re reopening.

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“It’s a local’s local but with an international reputation. It’s really amazing. Everybody in the village has been so supportive too.”

The Inn is a popular destination any time, but is on the list of must-visit pubs during the annual Spirit of Speyside festival.

When can pubs reopen in Scotland?

Thousands of pubs and restaurants across Scotland were hoping for the green light to reopen in June after the Scottish Government’s “route map” out of lockdown, published in May, suggested beer gardens would be allowed to reopen in Phase 2.

First minister, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on 24 June that outdoor hospitality, including beer gardens, would be allowed to reopen from 6 July.

It’s expected that Scotland will move into phase three of the lockdown route map on 9 July, after which more rules will be changed.

From 15 July, Ms Sturgeon confirmed that pubs and restaurants would be able to open their indoor spaces on a “limited basis”. She added that detailed guidance would be provided to hospitality businesses “as soon as possible”.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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