Deeside ~ the Potarch
Potarch cafe and restaurant - so good we went twice in one day!
Ballogie Estate, Aberdeenshire
After a ten-mile hike along the Deeside Way, and a fabulous wild swim, my friend Sara and I needed a cup of tea! Helpfully, our swimming spot was below the Potarch Bridge, which is just a short walk to the Potarch - a cafe and restaurant on the Ballogie Estate.
The Potarch Bridge was recommended to us as a suitable place to swim by a local we met in Kincardine O’Neil. It was worth the long walk to get there and you can read about that walk and the swim in my post on the Deeside Way.
Once we’d spent an hour or so in the water, enjoying the currents in the soft peaty water and making the most of the warm sunshine, we dried off, changed in the trees and headed up and onto Potarch Bridge. Crossing onto Ballogie Estate, we then walked the short distance to Potarch cafe/restaurant.
We arrived late in the afternoon and the inside of the cafe/restaurant was quiet but there were some groups sitting outside. Potarch’s interior is fresh, simple, neutral and inviting, with comfortable chairs and scrubbed pine tables decorated with posies of fresh wild flowers. We chose to sit at a Chesterfield sofa tucked into the corner next to a multi-fuel stove. The stove was lit with fairy lights on this summer’s day but it was still very cheering, as were the pots of tea served up with fresh-baked scones and cake.
Whilst we relaxed and leafed through the papers and magazines, we took note of the menu and the specials board for that day and quickly made the decision to return in the evening for a meal. It was a good decision!
In the evening, Potarch takes on a different ambiance, thanks to dimmed lighting and votives on each table. There was a reasonable number of patrons in - mostly couples - and a welcoming, unfussy vibe which made for a chatty, animated meal.
The staff were attentive and friendly and the food was seasonal and local, with a good choice of fish and meat. We chose options from the specials board and paired them with a lovely house wine before enjoying a really good cheese board and a glass of port.
Potarch’s prices were reasonable and the quality of the service and the food made for a great evening, as we reminisced about our successful day on the Deeside Way, I’d highly recommend it.
Where would you recommend, local to you, for a post-walk meal? Somewhere you can just relax and enjoy the food and atmosphere whilst you relive the highlights of your day… (For me, locally-speaking, I’d say the Dreel Tavern in Anstruther: fab food and drink, friendly service and a log fire throughout autumn and winter. )
The Tripographer’s notes
Unslumping level? 10/10
Would I go again? Yes
Best time to go? Evening - the ambiance is lovely and the seasonal menu is well worth taking your time over.
Best for? Locally sourced meat and fish.
Top tip? Book a table to avoid being turned away - this place gets busy! And book a taxi so you can enjoy the wines, ports and whiskies.