When I asked Westhill residents what they thought of the town’s food and drink scene earlier this month, the responses included lots of praise.
In particular, for businesses like Duncano’s, The Garlogie Inn, Ciao Bella, The Feed Baron, The Key, Green Pastures Café, and Low’s Traditional Fish and Chips, to name a few.
According to some respondents, options for a quality Sunday roast are plentiful.
“I’ve not had a bad meal, coffee or snack in all the coffee shops and restaurants in Westhill,” wrote one local.
However, others made it clear that there is always room for improvement. Here’s what they had to say.
James Watt could be the answer to prayers of (some) Westhill residents as BrewDog is in demand
The need for more dog-friendly options was raised several times on my post in the Westhill Winter Resilience Facebook group.
One respondent said: “Is there anywhere in Westhill that is dog friendly?
“Bistro 57 at Kirkton of Skene seems to be my go-to place with the dog as Westhill venues at best allow the dog outside.
Another agreed, writing: “Dog-friendly indeed. [We] need more of these. If your dog is well-behaved sitting beside you [I] can’t see a problem with it.”
As well as Bistro 57, the town’s Starbucks on Commercial Street also allows dogs.
There was demand for a new bartoo . With that, BrewDog – co-founded by Aberdeenshire millionaire James Watt – was mentioned.
BrewDog has locations across the globe, from bars, hotels and pubs to taprooms. This includes its HQ in Ellon.
One comment said: “Would love to see a BrewDog here! At weekends everything closes [at] around 11pm.”
‘The local market doesn’t get the support it deserves’
However, another person was in disagreement with the addition of a chain.
Instead they (and other Westhill locals) want to see a new independent café and/or improved delivery options.
“I love having a great selection right on my doorstep,” says Becky Ferguson, who is the café manager at Green Pastures Café which opened in October 2014.
The 30-year-old, who lives in the town, added: “We have everything from independent coffee shops and restaurants to chain venues.
“There are also more independent businesses running from houses and food trucks that I’m currently learning about and can’t wait to try.
“Personally, I think we’re only lacking in delivery options, but that’s possibly a laziness problem rather than an availability of food options.”
The issue was also raised on my Facebook post.
“More delivery options would be great – we are very limited and don’t have Deliveroo or Uber Eats,” was among the comments.
A special mention was given to the local monthly farmers’ and crafts market too.
“The market doesn’t really get the support that it deserves. It needs the support of the locals to keep it going. It would be a shame to see it stop.”
Broadstraik Inn will be welcomed back by community with open arms after ‘much-needed refurb’
Becky also expressed her delight about the reopening of Broadstraik Inn.
GHN Ltd, the company which owns the Dutch Mill and the Atholl Hotel, both located in Aberdeen, bought the premises this summer.
It has been closed since January, however is due to reopen in the near future after a significant revamp.
“Really looking forward to the reopening of the Broadstraik Inn,” she added.
“It has such potential to be a fantastic local pub again. As a small, local business we love to see others succeed too and wish them all the best!”
Other members of the community are equally as excited about the news.
One person said: “[I] hope the new owners can make it a place with a cozy country pub feel. I hope they are able to use local produce too.”
Another added: “Really looking forward to Broadstraik opening again after a much-needed refurb and TLC to bring it up to its potential.”
Expect ‘diverse and ever-expanding choice of food and drink’ in Westhill
While the reopening will undoubtedly bring more tourists to Westhill, another business that does this is Low’s Traditional Fish and Chips.
It boasts two branches, one in Westhill and another in Berryden. They serve award-winning fish and chips, welcoming around 1,500 customers per week.
Manager David Low, 54, says the Westhill food and drink scene boasts plenty of options.
He said: “There is a diverse and an ever-expanding choice of food and drink in Westhill.
“[However] I love a good steak, so for me maybe a specialist steak restaurant would be nice.”