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The inside has been tastefully re-decorated and updated, but it's still familiar as the Winky.
The walls are graced by some colourful Ann Vastano landscape paintings featuring local scenes, but the star attraction is the revamped bar itself – all light woods, lights, whisky and spirits.
There is still some refurbishment to be done – the stairwell has remained unchanged for the past 30 years at least, but the toilets they lead to have been brought right up to date.
I am even led to believe that the funky urinals are a sight to behold!
The nearby award-winning Cairngorm Brewery has been expanding its horizons – and has another winner on its hands by the looks of it with their first bar and restaurant enterprise (and another to follow in Inverness).
The doors reopened two months ago with a soft launch after they secured the premises on a long lease with Blue Star.
The southern wing of the Winky is likely to have been an original outbuilding constructed well over a century ago to serve the main house.
I opted to try a dish spanning two continents, spicy haggis pakora with Ola chilli jam (£4.95). The overwhelming flavour was of the haggis, which was lovely but it did overpower the Ola chilli jam and any other spices.The staff were very friendly, and we were warmly welcomed and shown to our table.Drinks orders were taken and we were left to peruse the menu, which includes a wee selection of "light bites" such as olives and feta (£3.25) and "day time mugs" (noon till 6pm) with the likes of macaroni cheese (£5.95) or soup of the day (£3.95) amongst others, all served with crusty bread.Blas is the Gaelic word for 'taste' and the 2011 festival promises an authentic flavour of the Highland culture.Across the Highlands01463 783447Prices vary Braemar Gathering Experience a real Highland event at the Braemar Gathering.