The Mash Tun in Aberlour

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Booking a getaway in January is something that I think everyone should do.

You’ve not long gone back to work after the Christmas break, but let’s face it, it feels like the longest month ever.

Even if you’re not going too far from home, it really helps beat those January blues.

We decided to head to an area that’s only an hour away from home, but somewhere that we’ve not explored enough.

As we pulled into a snow-covered Aberlour, we were immediately relaxed. There’s something very peaceful about the Speyside area. Almost like it’s a completely undiscovered part of the country where the pace of life slows down and the bustles of city life are forgotten.

We parked the car just outside of the beautifully curved front of the Inn and after a few breaths of the bitterly cold fresh air, headed inside to be greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff.

Mash Tun Bar

First impressions

We entered via the main inn entrance which takes you straight into the bar/restaurant area.

The first thing we noticed was the sheer number of whiskies lining cabinets on the walls. I mean, we shouldn’t have been too surprised. This is the heart of Whisky country after all.

We were then checked in and shown up to our room which was the Aberlour Suite.

The room was on the first floor and could cater for a maximum of four people with a double bed and a double pull-out sofa bed.

With walls painted in a lovely rich blue, the room felt very homely and comfortable. You’ll find that this is a theme throughout the stay at the Mash Tun.

The bathroom was a strong contrast with much bolder colours and prints used throughout the room. Giving the whole suite a feeling of traditional paired with modern.

In here was the option of both a bath and a walk-in shower cubicle complete with complimentary Highland Soap company products should you wish to unwind at the end of the evening.

We unpacked our luggage and headed out of the hotel to explore our wintery surroundings.


The hotel is positioned at the end of a lane off the main street of Aberlour and is just a stone’s throw from the River Spey which flows alongside the hotel with a lovely park area between them.

As we were visiting during a wintery snap, it was nice to see children and adults alike with their sledges out enjoying the small slopes.

Spanning the river is the Category A-listed Victoria Bridge, which is a beautiful steel bridge that was built in the early 1900s to connect two parishes.

With Aberlour being such a small place, it doesn’t take long to fully explore the surroundings but you must take a short walk alongside the Aberlour Distillery and up to the Linn Falls.

Linn Falls

After exploring for a few hours, we made our way back to the hotel to find that the outdoor wood-burning sauna had been fired up, ready for us to relax for an hour before our evening meal.

This was such a great feature and one that we wanted to take full advantage of, also being lucky enough to be one of the first people to use it as it was only very recently installed.

It was a lovely contrast to go from the snowy outside with a bitter snap in the air, into a relaxing, cosy outdoor sauna. It was difficult to leave it when it got to the time we needed to start getting ready for our evening meal.

Outdoor Sauna at Mash Tun

Food at the Mash Tun

After readying ourselves for the evening, we headed downstairs to the bar/lounge area and were greeted by the evening staff who were just as welcoming as those we had encountered earlier in the day.

We were one of the first to be seated in the restaurant, but it wasn’t long before nearly every table was filled. Obviously, it’s a popular place.

We placed our orders for food and drink and not too long after ordering, our first courses appeared.

Lauren went for the Scallops, whilst I opted for a Caesar salad which let me tell you, was much more filling than anticipated for a starter. The portions were huge!

Our mains followed not long after, where I went for a burger and Lauren chose the Coq au Vin. Both of these were beautiful and again followed the theme of huge portions. So much so that we just couldn’t finish them and had to ask for a short break before we ordered our desserts.

I don’t think that’s something that I’ve ever done, but there was no chance I could have not taken a short break.

After a brief break to let our food settle, it was time to tackle the desserts.

Lauren chose her all-time favourite of a sticky toffee pudding and I went for the berry crumble.

Following the trend of the previous two courses, these were again very generous helpings.

Somehow we managed to finish these and after finishing our drinks we headed back to our room ready to roll into bed for the night.

Mash Tun Whisky Collection

Our stay

The room was a perfect temperature, not too hot and not too cold, which I often find difficult to balance in older buildings that don’t have air conditioning so that made the sleep incredibly comfortable for us both.

Both of us slept soundly and being in such a remote area, external noise is pretty much non-existent which is fantastic if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep.

The bed was extremely comfortable and the room was nice and dark with very minimal light finding its way in.

We did however find one thing difficult and that was the shower in the morning.

Getting it to stay either hot or warm proved quite difficult and to be honest, it was probably the only thing that we had any sort of issue with on the entirety of our stay.

Breakfast was included in our stay and we just didn’t have the stomach space after the meal the night before to order anything bigger than a fruit compote and yoghurt and a poached egg or two on toast.

Again, in keeping with the food the night before, they were excellent.

Unfortunately not too long after breakfast, our time was up on the visit and we had to check out and make our way back home.

We couldn’t fault The Mash Tun at all and would absolutely return here in the future. It’s somewhere that if you want an escape from reality and a faster-paced life then you should consider.

Perhaps next time, we’ll be able to visit a nearby Whisky distillery, but you better believe that we came back with a much more than required haul of Shortbread from Walkers.

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