Aulay's is a bit of a strange bar. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice wee place. The reason I say it is a bit strange is that there are two halfs to it. On one side, there is the public bar, which is where some of the older population tend to drink - a great place if you want to hear tales of old Oban, the odd bit of history. On the other side there is the lounge bar, which is where all the younger ones drink. This side tends to be full of half of the teachers of Oban High School, the odd hen night and all the youngsters. The two sides are linked by a central bar, which means that the same staff can serve both bars.
When I first moved back to Oban, I popped into Aulays during the day and decided to have a bar lunch. I have to admit that the food was fantastic - a great size helping and relatively cheap. I hope that they still have the same chef! I would definitely recommend popping in here for a drink, and maybe even a bite to eat!
O'Donnells: An old haunt
Well, O'Donnells has changed since I was a youngster. Or has it? - I popped in for a wee drink not long after moving to Oban. I thought to myself, 'good grief, they're all kids'! Then I remembered - I was a kid when I used to drink here! Maybe it hasn't changed that much after all!
O'Donnells is very popular with younger people. There is different entertainment most nights, sometimes live music, sometimes a DJ. Every Friday night, look out for the DJ, he was my karate instructor, and is an old friend.
Generally and 'end of the night' bar, but can be worth heading in for a dance, especially on a Saturday night, where you can see half of the Oban girls rugby team, plus half of the men's, playing drinking games. Just don't join in!! You will lose... I know from experience!
The Lorne: My Sort of Bar!
Again, this has changed since I came back from Glasgow. I remember this bar being an old man's bar - a spit and sawdust type. At least that was what I was told, I never went in there. Then a couple of years ago, some friends of mine came home for Xmas and went there for a drink - and said it was great!
I believe that within the last couple of years it has undergone major changes. It now has a nice interior with comfy chairs and a huge oval bar. It also has a beer garden, which has become the smoker's den since the smoking ban in Scotland was introduced.
Every week, there is live music in the Lorne, and from what I can remember, during Tennants Yachting week, there is music on every night. On Wednesday nights they have a 'session' night, where several local musicians come along with their instruments and play mainly traditional scottish music (and they are always happy for newcomers to join in!)
Coasters: After-work beers?
A great spot for an after-work beer, Coasters is situated on the Esplanade. Although a relatively small bar, it is in a great spot, with views out over Oban Bay and over to Kererra.
Although it can get quite busy on a Friday and Saturday, Coasters is a relatively modern family bar. With background music which is quiet enough to have a good chat with friends, but loud enough to cover up awkward first-date silences, it is one of those bars which seems to be just right for every age group.
The bar staff are friendly, the food is good and the atmosphere is great - I would definitely recommend popping in for a swift one!
The Hydro Bar: Not yet decided on this one!
This is another place that opened while I was away in Glasgow. Decided to pop in one night coz some people I knew were going.
I hadn't heard much about this place - I only knew it existed because my second cousin and his band sometimes played there (I really must go see them play sometime!).
It is much like any other club. When I went, there was live music - a single guy on the stage (which is about 2 inches high!) and he wasn't too bad. It is pretty small and all decked out in chrome. I am pretty sure that from what I can remember (?) it was mostly kids there, along with a few old alcoholics mixed in. I did not specifically enjoy the experience, but it may have been a slow night, or different from usual, so I may have to go again before I form a fixed opinion.
I have since been back to the Hydro. The Hydro is part of the Woodside bar, and you can actually move between the two sections. I have to admit that I do prefer the bar side, although it is very small. Again, when I was there it was relatively quiet. I am beginning to wonder if it is always so? Apparantly though, the best night to go in here is a Friday night as that is when they have karaoke!
Oban Highland Theatre: A bit of star-gazing!?
Oban Highland Theatre is actually the cinema in Oban. It has two screens, a large main screen where the most popular movies are shown, and a second smaller screen. The reason that I have mentioned the Theatre is largely due to this second smaller screen. I would highly recommend going to see a movie in Oban, and make sure that you pick the film which is shown in Screen 2. This has got to be one of the smallest cinema's in the world. I think there are maybe 20 seats, and it has the feeling of sitting in someones living room who has a really big TV! Sometimes, if it is really busy, they will bring in a few extra chairs to sit in the aisle. Definately worth going along!
Stonefield Castle Restaurant: Check your camera setting
OOPS Decided to take a picture during dinner of the night sky = Woops. The restaurant has lovely views from the wrap around windows but unfortunately I didn't set the camera properly & didn't take into consideration the reflecting lighting.. Never fear just imagine a near black sky with mackerel clouds a partial moon & lots of stars!
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Loch Linnhe: Sit back & enjoy a sunset
There is nothing more rewarding than catching a sunset. This is Castle Stalker in Argyle. The Cares of the day melt away just dreaming what the next day may hold = ah bliss.
Dress Code: What ever you like but please remember this is Scotland = can be chilly in any season!!
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