Monday, June 6, 2016

UK - Leg 1: Bedford/London. Whisky, friends, food and more whisky!

It was supposed to be our last trip to Scotland for a little while as we had decided we wanted to see other countries as well as distilleries around the world. June 2015: Glasgow airport and I'm choking back a few tears as we fly over Islay. Graham hands me a tissue: "We are coming back again next year, aren't we?" I squeeze his hand: "Thank you". 

And so the planning immediately began. Three weeks in the UK from April 21 - May 15th. The trip would take me all over Scotland yet again. Another thing that is very important when I'm away I also try to spend time with the people I've gotten to know over the last few years. Dave Worthington is one of those people. We've become more than just friends since those early twitter days. He's very much the older brother I never had. If you don't know Dave, he writes a blog with his daughter Kat Presley and they live in Bedford which is about an hour outside of London. It's the perfect way to start or end my trips over to Scotland.

Dave's wife Kiat is from Thailand and as soon as we walked through the door on April 21st, the whole house was permeated with the smell of her cooking. (She has ruined me for life when it comes to Thai food). That first night was spent eating very well, catching up, lots of laughing and then Dave and I retreated to the living room where the whisky madness always begins. Total we tried 9 whiskies (all new to me).

Those that really had the wow factor that night: Cadenhead's Lowland 1990, Cadenhead's Mortlach 26 year old, Douglas Laing Director's Cut Highland Park 21 year old and the Yamazaki Pure Malt 15 year old. Needless to say I can blame the long sleep that ensued on a bit of jet lag but mostly a satisfied whisky soul too. 

The next few days were spent being tourists. We explored Bedford, ate at some of the local haunts but also made our way into London to visit the British Museum, Chinatown London Market and meet some #whiskyfabric friends at SMWS. Highlight of our Saturday was getting to visit a great place I would highly recommend called: Salt Whisky Bar & Dining Room. Food was incredible and the whisky selection vast and affordable.

It was a short couple of days but beyond the best way to start my UK trip. By the time Kat and I left for Cumbria early that Sunday morning I had logged 58km of walking and placed 22 new whisky discoveries on my spreadsheet. The trip had certainly started on the right foot!

Dave, thank you for your friendship, brotherhood, whiskies and everything else we appreciate about each other. May you always be a ray of sunshine on my face and a kick in the pants when I need it. Huzzah my whisky brother ;)

Next stop: Lakes Distillery!


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