Tuesday 9th June 2015
This bar is to be found in an alleyway at the side of the Albert Hotel in centre of Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital. In fact it is under the same management as the hotel. However there are two separate entrances. The Bothy Bar is a proper pub rather than a hotel bar. It suffered a serious fire a few years ago and was rebuilt using some of the original materials.
Entering the pub we noticed that it was quite a large room with the bar being directly opposite. The floor was laid with stone and there were a few small tables with low stools at the right end of the room.
There is a heavy wooden beam running along the ceiling for the length of the room and a “mock tudor” effect arrangement of dark-painted wooden strips on the ceiling and upper parts of the walls.
I was with Linda and we settled near to the door. Looking to the left of the L-shaped bar counter I noticed an inset area that had been created by dividing the room with fixed wooden screens. On the wall in this area are a number of framed black and white photographs of farming life on the islands. All around the pub there is panelling to waist height.
At the far end of the room is a nice fireplace with a huge stone lintel over it. It contains a cast iron stove. This is another area that is a alcove. To the right is a sort of “snug” with fitted bench-type seating around the walls that has green leatherette cushioning. There are also some small loose tables with low stools here. All around the pub there are shelves with old plates, old jugs and other ephemera.
The cask beer selection was Swannay a.k.a. Highland (Elvie, Orkney) Brewery Scapa Special (4.2%) and Island Hopping (3.9%). There was a third choice in the form of Orkney Brewery (Quoyloo, Orkney) Red McGregor (4.0%).
There is a full menu offered. The pub was CAMRA Northern Isles Pub of the Year 2012.
The Bothy Bar (Albert Hotel), Mounthoolie Lane, Kirkwall. KW15 1JZ. Tel: 01856 876000
Hours: Monday-Friday 11.00-24.00; Saturday 11.00-01.00; Sunday 12.30-24.00
At one end of Mounthoolie Lane is Albert Street which is Kirkwall’s main street.
The pub is about 200 metres from the bus station.
It’s about a mile and half from the Aberdeen/Lerwick ferry terminal.