We recently went glamping in Forres, and based ourselves at a picturesque sight because it seemed like a good base to explore.
All this adventuring made for hungry bellies and we decided to go out for food on our final night, there’s only so many campfire delicacies I can stomach.
Our only must was dog-friendly as we had our 10-year-old Jack Russell with us, so we set off to Captain’s Table in Findhorn which is dog-friendly throughout.
Found at the very edge of the beautiful village, we bumped down the marina track and feared we had taken a wrong turn to the boat yard.
Nope, this wee gem is based at Findhorn Marina; how else can you get unbeatable views across the bay?
We rounded the corner and gasped, for Captain’s Table is right at the water’s edge.
There was numerous outdoor seating options, and our five-year-old immediately set off to explore the beach.
It’s a great spot if you have kids who get bored easily, and we were able to sit back and watch him pottering about.
Casual is very much the vibe, but don’t mistake the laid back atmosphere for complacency.
Dinner is served from 5pm until 7:45pm, and we were really impressed with the menu.
Home-made and simple
It was varied and very wholesome with a focus on home cooked simple food.
Think mac and cheese, scampi, a separate pizza menu and sides which included brisket fries.
There was also a little captain’s menu for the five-year-old, which included an offering of ‘fancy fish fingers’.
Eager to continue in his game of getting wet having promised he wouldn’t, the youngest member settled on pizza.
My husband went for Buckie haddock and I settled for a Southern fried chicken burger.
There was a great selection of cocktails but as designated driver, I stuck to a soft drink so my other half could smugly sip on a pint of Innes & Gunn.
Sweet tooth appeal
If you’re after something a bit more fancy, you can visit The Captain’s Parlour.
The latest addition to the marina, this is where you’ll find milkshakes, bubble tea and crepes.
We decided to wait and see how we got on with the mains, but it was nice knowing the option was there for something sweeter.
Having ventured inside to order at the bar, the interior is quite unlike anything I’ve seen before and entirely befitting of the location.
It’s stripped back with driftwood on the wall, general sailing memorabilia and long picture style windows in the bar to make the most of the view.
Captain’s Table is the kind of place where you could rock up from the beach, wetsuit on and a sandy dog at your side – and no one would bat an eye.
It’s authentic and that’s the pull.
Our scruffy Jack Russell fitted right in, and I spied numerous dogs lolling under tables, their tails poking out in relaxed abandon.
Our food arrived swiftly, and we took an executive decision to dash inside as it started to rain heavily.
Scottish summer, what a joy.
We found a seat no problem despite the fact it was busy, and quickly got stuck in.
The Buckie fish was a sight to behold, in fact I’d go as far to say it was beautiful.
Golden light batter perched atop chips, fresh salad, tarte sauce and of course a slice of lemon.
I managed to steal a few mouthfuls and oh my word, thank you Buckie!
The fish melted in the mouth, pure joy on a plate.
My son’s pizza was served on a cute wooden board, and everything about it was home-made right down to the dough.
The tomato and basil base was topped with creamy mozzarella, and it was served with a side portion of chips.
The wee pizza cutter was a particular highlight, and my son polished the lot off before asking why the pizza he has at home isn’t as good.
I think there’s a slight difference between home-made and Aldi’s finest on a Monday night, but there we are.
My Southern fried chicken burger was sandwiched inside a toasted seeded bun with lettuce, salad tomato and cheese – complete with creamy coleslaw and chips on the side.
It was delicious and I considered asking for more coleslaw, purely because it was so good.
I also ordered garlic mushrooms on the side, and oh my word did not regret it.
Battered and served with garlic mayo, they were very moreish and the portion was on the generous side.
There was a chalkboard with the dessert offering up on the bar, and I was mighty intrigued by toffee cake.
But having eaten more mushrooms than is probably good for you, I bowed out.
At heart of the community
We were content to sip our drinks and people watch, partly because there was such a lovely atmosphere.
From locals to tourists and right across the generations, kids were running in and out from the rain and there was laughter coming from the arcade area which is separate to where you dine.
A quick glance at social media, and we realised there was many a tremendous gig held on the stage, we were only sorry to be returning to Aberdeen.
Captain’s Table is clearly at the heart of the coastal community, and also moves with the times
From gluten free fish and chips to providing a platform for local talent, we can’t wait to make a return visit next summer.
A: The Captain’s Table, Findhorn Boat Yard, Forres IV36 3YE
T: 01309 690663
Price: £54.75 for two mains, one children’s meal, one side, two softs drinks and one alcoholic.