SATURDAYS IN THE COUNTRY

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll know that at the start of each season I always make a to-do-list. This is usually a list of weather-related things I want to see and do that act as a reminder when I’m stuck for plans but also a little inspiration to get me seeing more of the area where we live.

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Boden Leonie Skirt, Boden Flora Jumper, Boden Stanhope Coat

Autumn is most definitely one of my favourite times of year to make a seasonal to-do-list. It always feels such a contrast from the summer months and I can never wait to layer up my jumpers and make a list of everything cosy and autumnal. From pumpkin and apple picking to Sunday lunches in some of my favourite country houses, the list is usually quite extensive.

One thing that is always at the top of my autumn to-do-list is a visit to Royal Deeside. Living in Aberdeen we are less than 30 minutes from Banchory which sits at the edge of this beautiful region. As much as I love summer months in this area of the countryside nothing quite beats a visit at the turn of autumn.

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The dramatic scenery of Royal Deeside accompanied with the many cosy cafes and restaurants which are available to visit make it the ideal place for many weekend trips.

For the first weekend of October I made a point of making some autumnal plans and Royal Deeside was the first thing that came to mind.

If you’re from or live in the North East of Scotland you’ll know this but tucked away at the other side of Banchory is a tiny and picturesque place called Finzean. This small village is home to many great walks but also a farm shop and café which I’ve loved for years.

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Finzean Farm Shop, which is part of an estate, is the ideal place to meet friends for a coffee or lunch, or even afternoon tea, in the countryside. And with a traditional farm shop selling seasonal produce plus a local store offering small brand books, beauty products and gifts there’s a place to browse afterwards.

A friend and I headed out from the rainy city and 40 minutes later we were in the sunny countryside. It was a typical October day – cold and a little damp – so we ordered soup plus a fish platter complete with fresh Scottish salmon to share. Booking is definitely recommend but you can also just pitch up and if a table isn’t ready have a browse of the store until one is.

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That evening it was due to be just me for dinner so I picked up some organic and local vegetables to make a veggie bake – a dish that I love but Cameron hates so often doesn’t make its way onto our weekly meal plan.

Full from lunch we headed to one of my favourite spots in Aberdeenshire during autumn – Falls of Feugh. Here, the leaves of the trees seem to transform before anywhere else in the country and looking out over the cascades of water is always a picture perfect scene, even on a rainy day.

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Heading back to the city we almost stopped at Park – a tiny but amazing eatery between Banchory and Aberdeen. We didn’t pullover this time but having been before I highly recommend here as a place to stop for a coffee or hot chocolate to take on a walk and a slice of amazing homemade cake.