A mild Monday heralded a free day, so once a gentle turn had been taken around the city centre, my mother, Anne, and I headed towards the Queen’s Arms, for some restorative soup. I’d heard good things about their Cullen skink, so was minded to try it.
The interior of the bar, just below ground level on Frederick Street, is in the traditional pub style, but with excellent attention to detail. There’s a chandelier of wine glasses, booth seats with little swing doors, and a general feel of warmth and welcome.
The friendly bar man brought us menus, as we sat down at one of the free-standing tables. We quickly settled upon the parsnip soup and aforementioned skink. I took a cheeky half of Ossian ale, while my mother stuck to water.
Our dishes were soon with us, and in a rather unusual development I found myself, perhaps for the first time in history, having soup envy. The generous bowl across from me looked more what I was after than my dainty assembly of fish and potatoes in what looked like a cream sauce rather than a profuse amount of soup.
The dish was good, but it was just way too polite for my tastes. The parsnip soup was entirely better, and served with good sourdough. As my mother proclaimed it excellent, I was left to smile sweetly and rue my choice.
So overall, I really liked the Queen’s Arms, but was disappointed by their interpretation of a favourite dish of mine. The kitchen clearly knows what it’s doing, though, so I’d happily come back and would be pleased to recommend you do the same.
Blythe scores the Queen’s Arms
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s questers were: Anne, Blythe
We ate: parsnip soup; Cullen skink
We drank: Ossian ale; water
We wore: tartan coat, brown shoes
Total bill: £11.55