It’s the most wonderful time of the year in my book but before you roll your eyes thinking I’m going to harp on about Christmas, I’m talking about Aberdeen Restaurant Week which makes a welcomed return on Monday.
Always marked and bolded in red on my calendar, Aberdeen Restaurant Week (ARW) is an event that I pretty much countdown the days to – however I did wonder whether I’d have to wait until 2021 to see it again (cheers Corona). But just like Tyson Fury, ARW has bounced back fighting and ready to regroup eateries across the city to celebrate mighty fine food.
I’m back as an ARW ambassador for its autumn run and I can’t wait to tuck in (I may have my eatlist planned already) so expect reviews, updates and one too many foodie pics as I devour my way through Aberdeen. If you’re new to the blog and not too sure what I’m on about, make your way through my 11 reasons why you can’t miss the autumn run of ARW.
FYI: This post has not been asked for as part of the brand collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired.
1. It’s been extended
This year ARW runs from Monday 2 to Sunday 15 November bringing us an additional week to explore the culinary delights homed in Aberdeen. Talk about an early Christmas gift!
2. ARW has grown city wide
Not only has ARW expanded to two weeks but has also extended across the city to include more eateries out with its previous city centre remit creating more dining opportunities by taking diners to the edge of Aberdeen to experience the newly refurbished Coast and Keg in Altens and over to The Pinehurst Lodge Hotel in Dyce.
3. An event for all tastes
With the ARW door wide open for all eateries in Aberdeen to join in, there’s plenty to tuck into including a few debuts (including The Sushi Box, Koi Thai and Corner Tree Cafe) to the ARW ranks too. With over 35 restaurants signed up (and potentially more to come) diners can taste their way around the world with a medley of Scottish, Mediterranean, Indian and Japanese cuisines all on offer. Check out the full list.
4. An absolute steal of a deal
I’m always on for a bargain which is why I love ARW so much. Two course lunches for £10 and three course dinners for £20 – what’s not to love!? Money has undoubtedly been tight for us all this year, but it’s been even tighter for the hospitality industry so hopefully at least one dine out won’t break the bank for you.
5. It’s not just lunch and dinner
In addition to the lunch and dinner offer, some of the participating restaurants are offering tasting menus and afternoon tea options to add another element to the food-filled fortnight. Five courses of fine Scottish produce reimagined with French culinary flair and paired wines awaits at Cafe Boheme with its tasting menu which sounds phenomenal much like its afternoon tea that’s on offer too (check out my previous review post). There’s also an eclectic tasting menu over at The Tippling House which I’ll definitely be delving into along with one too many whisky based cocktails…
6. Get supporting local
It’s safe to say that since March, it’s been one colossal kick in the teeth for the hospitality industry with endless restrictions truly hemorrhaging big plans for 2020. The pandemic highlights just how important it is for us all to support local to help rebuild and give a sigh of relief to our local superstars.
7. Explore and experiment
I don’t know about you, but when I try somewhere new the fear of paying for a lack luster meal goes through the roof – I call it bill-xiety. But if you too experience bill-xiety, ARW has your back with a bargain menu offering that creates the ideal opportunity to taste test all those places you’ve been thinking of dining at for a fraction of the cost. With the bumper catalogue of eateries involved this year, I’m certain you’ll be left far from disappointed.
8. Lap up the extras
What you experience doesn’t end at what’s printed on the special ARW menus, some restaurants may have extras on their existing menus to add to your order. So whether it’s cocktails, sides or an extra starter, bulk up your order and inject some extra cash into our local eats.
9. Gotta catch’em all
I’ve always got an ever growing eatlist in Aberdeen (and beyond) and ARW poses a great excuse to get out and tick my way through my list. The special offer gives a taste of each restaurant’s wider menu allowing you to taste highlight dishes that may convert you into a regular customer – think of it as the world’s best style of interview!
10. Take a well earned break from slaving over the stove
The height of lockdown was long for everyone and I know that it wouldn’t of just been me that missed dining out. So treat this autumn’s ARW as your catch-up period to make up for all the dining out you missed during those long three months of no cafes, bars and restaurants.
11. Give COVID-19 the middle finger
We’re allowed to go out and eat (in groups of no more than six people from two households), Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire has been given the green light for tier two extending the 6pm curfew to 8pm – so all that’s left is to get booking, eating and enjoying good company and give COVID-19 one big smug wave.
That’s all from me just now but I’ll be of course heading out to dine and will be sharing a few reviews and highlights from ARW, so keep your peepers peeled.
Stay safe and eat well.