I’m off for a couple of days which gave a great opportunity to meet my brother for lunch. He’s recently started working for Woodend Barn, a local arts and music venue. Last year it completed an extension to the main building which includes a small restaurant called Buchanan’s.
The room is bright, sometimes a little too bright should you sit by the large glass windows on a sunny summer’s day. However the views over the fields towards Crathes are worth that little discomfort. It feels very comfortable with a relaxed atmosphere and a varied range of tables. They’ve also added a long table in the centre with newspapers and books for their more casual visitors.
I had lunch there just after it opened and thought it was excellent but the staff said they were still working on the menu so I was looking forward to seeing what their lunches looked like now.
They have a few soups as starters, the lightly spiced parsnip was tempting. All served with freshly baked bread. Then further down the page there are a number of main courses (plate fillers they call them) – a risotto sounded good as did the Aberdeenshire beef casserole. In between those was a selection of boards and it was these that really caught our eye.
There were two cheese boards (one normal, one sheeps cheese I think – really should have taken a picture of the menu), a fish board containing smoked fish, smoked mussels and pickled herring. All the boards were priced individually or to share and we both had our eye on the meat board with a selection of cured game, chutney and breads.
The meats were amazing. Strong, full flavoured and rich just as you’d hope from cured game. The chorizo and salami were nice and tender, with no awkward chewy bits and the mini tartlets were gone in seconds. The chutney, cornichons and sundried tomatoes gave a pleasing accompaniment to the rockstar meats on the table and were scooped up onto the crisp bread slices (soft, fresh bread was also served alongside the board).
Portion size was perfect for lunch. I’m sure we could have eaten more but then I would have spent the afternoon snoozing in front of the TV instead of managing to keep our new kitten entertained.
The bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as offering a selection of cakes and fresh coffee if you just want to pop in for a relaxing snack. Booking is recommended for dinners on nights when the barn has a show on. This is an excellent, relaxed room with some fantastic food. I can’t wait to come back and try their evening menu sometime soon.