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Fuzzy Duck

21Jul

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Originated in Glasgow this is one of my favourite classics which I have added my own modern twist to make my own. The drink began as a way to use up old stock that carried little purpose on the shelf and has now become a very popular cocktail.

Being called Duck it was an obvious choice for me when designing a cocktail menu for Ducks Hotel. The Fuzzy comes from the classic mix of Gin and its cocktail sister Cointreau whuch gives an orange twist, Advocaat an old classic of its day gives it a unique taste and appearance. The colour off musty yellow means this is not the most eye catching of drinks but a wedge of orange soon changes that and emphasises the orange taste already in the drink, a twist of lime juice upon shaking takes the edge of the taste and makes the cocktail more appealing to a larger audience.

Ducks has taken this signature cocktail very well and in fact like it so much it features on their cocktail evening poster for July.

Feel free to make your own Fuzzy Duck:

  • 25ml Gin
  • 25ml Cointreau
  • 25ml Advocaat
  • 15ml Fresh Lime Juice

Shake all ingredients in an iced shaker and pour into glass before garnishing with an orange wedge.

If all this seems to much work then pop along to Ducks Aberlady and allow me to make and discuss the drink although I cant promise you wont leave feeling a little fuzzy….

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North Berwick Gin

NB Gin

21Jul

North Berwick Gin

NB Gin is a new local Gin on the market just under 12 months now and comes from North Berwick, East Lothian so less than 10 miles from Ducks in Aberlady. This amazing drink was created by Steve and Viv Muir who aimed to make a quality prouduct to the area which they have done not just locally but already nationally.

The Gin itself is designed with a bespoke and traditional style with the aim of creating a truly great Gin with no compromise given. Even their custom built still adds to their aim for tradition and being unique.  The still itself was actually installed in North Berwick by the oldest installation company in the world.

Since its arrival at Ducks its become a major talking point between both locals and tourists alike. Personally I think its a great Gin to both drink and as a cocktail Gin due to its quality taste as well as not being over infused or perfumed like many others on the market currently.

Served simply over ice with a small splash of tonic is the ideal serve for this but traditionalists can add lime without losing its edge and the more modern may enjoy adding Rose Lemonade! All these serves are available at Ducks as well as NB Gin being my house Gin on the current Cocktail Menu.

So the only question is simply when are you coming to see me at Ducks to enjoy and discuss further?

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New Cocktail Menu at Ducks

17Jul

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Cocktails @ Ducks

The aim of the menu is to bring together traditional classics along with some of our own modern twists and creations. so for lovers of the vodka classics we have a cosmo and french martini to die for and gin lovers have local gin NB infused White Lady or Gin Sin and for those with more imagination why not come and try our Fuzzy Duck or even a Dirty Secret.

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Love-a-Duck
Hazelnut, strawberry, cranberry, vodka, lime
£5.50

Mojito
Bacardi, lime, mint, soda, garnish
£8.50

Whiskey Sour
Bourbon, lemon, garnish
£7.50

Disaronno Sour
Disaronno, lemon, bitters, garnish
£7.50

French Martini
Vodka, chambord, pineapple
£8.50

Cosmopolitan
Vodka, Cointreau, lime, cranberry, garnish
£8.50

Espresso Martini
Vodka, Kahlua, Espresso, garnish
£8.50

Margarita
Tequilla, lime, garnish
£7.50

Mint Julep
Whisky, mint, lime
£7.50

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Fuzzy Duck
Gin, cointreau, advocaat, lime,
£8.50

White Lady
Gin, cointreau, lemon
£8.50

Dirty Secret
Amaretto, Midori, Cranberry
£8.50

Strawberry & Kiwi Crush
Vodka, strawberry, kiwi
£7.50

Electric Blue
Gin, archers, blue bols, lemonade
£8.50

Mafia Martini
Rum, chambord, apple
£8.50

Banoffi Martini
Vanilla vodka, banana, butterscotch, cream, £8.50

G & Tea
Gin, lemon, cranberry, tea, raspberry
£7.50

Gin Smash
Gin, elderflower, lime, mint
£8.50

Watermelon & Rose Petal Martini
Vodka, watermelon, lime, garnish
£8.50

 

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Drinks

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Ducks Bellini
Fizz, archers, puree
£8.50

Pimms Original
glass £4.75 jug £17.75

Pimms Blackcurrant
glass £4.75 jug £17.75

Kir Royale
Fizz, chambord, garnish
£8.50

[/one_half]

[one_half_last]

Berry Fizz
Fizz, mixed berries, garnish
£8.50

Prosecco
glass £6.25 bottle £26

Prosecco Rose
glass £6.95 bottle £29.90

Champagne
£9.50

Champagne Rose
£9.50

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Eggs are used in the making of some cocktails

01875 870 682

kilspindie@ducks.co.uk

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cocktailnight

Cocktail Menu Launch Event

16Jul

cocktailnight

The Ducks Team invite customers New & Old to come on down and sample our new and comprehensive Cocktail list, brought to you by our newly built cocktail team. As part of our launch night we will be offering the full new menu with every cocktail available at only £5 each. Mocktail’s (non alcoholic) will also be available so even the drivers can enjoy, we really do have something for everyone.

The evening would be an ideal way to celebrate a Birthday or simply a girly night out without costing a fortune.

Cocktail evening poster

Click image for larger printable version

We have also teamed up with our amazing kitchen team to bring you complementary petit fours and other nibbles for those who book in advance just quote #cocktailevening.
Want to make an evening of it, why not also consider booking to dine with us in Donalds bistro?

For those who are new to ducks we are on the main bus route between Edinburgh and North Berwick as well as having our very own 8 seater bus or for those in smaller groups we can recommend many reliable taxi firms.

To book for this amazing night simply –
Call 01875 870 682
or
Email kilspindie@ducks.co.uk
and don’t forget to quote #cocktailnight

We look forward to seeing you all.

Cocktails will also be £5 on Wednesday and Thursday of that week, normal menu price otherwise stated.

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cocktailheader1

New Menu for Ducks!!!

16Jul

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Having only just arrived at Ducks it didn’t take me long to notice there was something missing from this amazing country almost quirky but boutique style hotel…amazing host, amazing layout, great facilities, very talented kitchen however Cocktails were very limited  and almost unheard off!!

However i quickly decided a revamp was required and soon set about reigniting the passion with talk of old style classics as well as adding my own modern twist to them and others. So with staff and management all on board with the concept the planning begun. Classics versus Modern is always a challenge i face at these times however basic principles need to be followed Who, Where and When??? Who will drink them, Where will they come from and when do they plan to come???

So firstly i considered the ultimate classics so Cosmopolitan, French Martini and Mojito instantly were scribbled at the top, other classics will be done upon request but my 3 page menu needs to be different to most so only the favorites made the print. Secondly you need a ‘signature’ something that symbolizes the venue..so the Fuzzy Duck was born out of an old Classic..a bit like Malcolm for those on 1st name terms with the hotel owner!!

For those following up my previous competition success the check out my version of the ‘Disaronno Sourz’ or my own creations ‘Dirty Secret’ and ‘Mafia Martini’ All in all i have plumped for a 25 drink selection for the 1st edition of Cocktails at Ducks so feel free to pop down and check out my delights and hopefully we can find 1 you love….keep following my personal blog as soon i will be telling off my future plans, cocktail evenings, local produce in my Cocktails as well as coming soon Cocktail Masterclasses with myself

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specialheader

July Special Offer at Ducks

02Jul

specialheader

photo 3Ducks in Aberlady in East Lothian is renowned for its exquisite food and internationally recognised wine list, but did you know that as a Restaurant with rooms, we also offer 23 well appointed and comfortable bedrooms?

Throughout July, we are offering our bedrooms at half-price to all diners when you book accommodation at the same time as your table reservation, and this fantastic offer applies to both Donalds Bistro and the intimate two AA rosette Ducks Restaurant.  This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy our beautifully prepared fresh local produce, expertly presented by Head Chef David Toward and his talented Kitchen team.  You could even make the trip longer than just one evening and have a true culinary break and try both dining experiences over a couple of nights.

This exclusive offer is only available when you book direct with us, so call 01875 870682 or email kilspindie@ducks.co.uk to make your reservation. Please note that all rooms are subject to availability.

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Golf

Duck’s at Kilspindie House : review

19Jun

Thank you very much to Vohn Vittles for a most interesting and detailed review of Ducks at Kilspindie, we look forward Vohn’s review of Donald’s Bistro.  If you quote ‘Vohn Vittles’ when you book a room or table in Ducks or Donald’s we will give you a we glass o wine on the house!

 

Duck’s at Kilspindie House : review
BY VOHN ON JUNE 15, 2014

Hello dear reader,

Mr Vohn and I were recently invited to stay at Duck’s at Kilspindie House in Aberlady, a delightful coastal village just to the East of Edinburgh. Kilspindie House was originally built in 1638 and, although modernised throughout, still retains some period features and that feeling of having stepped back in time.
Ducks

Ducks2

 

 

There are several pretty outdoor sitting areas: a large area in front of the hotel, a small area at the back and a lovely central courtyard, all suitable for al-fresco dining or drinks, surrounded by flowerbeds which are starting to look beautiful with their summer perennials. We sat out in the courtyard after dinner and were even offered blankets for our knees, such is the warmth and thoughtfulness of the service at Duck’s. One of the owners joined us for a chat and I discovered the origins of the name of the hotel – Duck’s seemed such a strange name to choose. It turns out that owners Fiona and Malcolm are actually Mr and Mrs Duck  – aha – it all makes sense now – Duck is their surname!
They are The Duck’s at Kilspindie House!

Ducks3

Our room is an en-suite double and is a decent size. It required a bit of airing when we first walked in but once the window had been open for a few minutes, it was fine. Airing the rooms perhaps needs to be added to someone’s list of morning tasks.
bed1

The bed is a good size – wider than a double but does look suspiciously lumpy. Concerned, I sit on it but am delighted to find a firmish and very comfortable mattress. It turns out that the lumpy-look is the down-filled duvet which is actually as light as a feather!
bed2 bed3

 

 

The decor is fresh and clean with lovely reproduction furniture in keeping with the history of the house.
It is wonderful to have a proper dressing table…

Dressing-table

…and nice to have a full-length mirror in addition to the dressing table’s half-length mirror!

Full-length-mirror

Mr Vohn is delighted to find that the flatscreen TV has more channels than we do at home, so makes us cuppas and settles down to watch. Saucers or coasters for tea and coffee would be a good addition as I worry about leaving a stain.
I test out the free wi-fi whilst enjoying my cuppa and find it is a surprisingly decent speed.

side-table

The bathroom is quite basic and old-fashioned but is perfectly adequate.

Bathroom1

I am delighted to find a bath and a shower, as so many en-suites have one or the oth

Bathroom2 Bathroom3

I immediately fill up the bath with wonderfully hot water and take a long soak.  The toiletries provided are very pleasant and, I am amazed to find, suitable for very sensitive skin like mine. This is most unusual as I normally have to avoid such things in hotels. It is a thoughtful touch! Many more toiletry items are available from reception should you want them.

The soft massive king-sized bath sheets are wonderful and I wrap myself up and snooze on the very comfortable bed.

bathroom4

I’m sad that there’s no rubber duck in the bathroom to fit in with the duck theme from the hotel’s name. However this is more than made up for throughout the rest of the hotel which is a treasure trove of ducks hiding all over the place. I’m struck by what a fun treasure hunt it would be to find them all & when I mention this to one of the owners, it turns out previous guests have already had lots of fun doing this. Here’s a selection of a few of the duckies I found…

Ducks-collage

I happened to remark upon one particular duck in the hotel bar, as I love carved wood and this one looked so tall and elegant for a duck…
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It turned out to not only be a beautiful duck but a game too! It is the putting duck and, if you get yourself to the hotel bar for last orders, you may get to have a go yourself! I don’t want to give the game away but ladies, don’t wear your heels – you’ll need to stand on a bar stool!

putting-duck

Speaking of putting, the other theme to be found throughout the hotel is golf. This coastline in East Lothian is known as “Scotland’s Golf Coast” and there are an amazing 19 golf courses, many of them championship courses, within 15 minutes of the hotel! The nearby town of Musselburgh has one of the oldest courses in the world, where golf has been played since 1672!

Golf-mad owner Malcolm has even designed special golfing packages at the hotel and can make all the arrangements for you including caddies, green fees and equipment. He has his own special guide to all the local courses, including information on all the latest tournaments and local golfing news – check it out on the Duck’s website.
Golf

If golfing is not your thing, fear not – there are a million and one other things to do in the local area. The UK’s oldest nature reserve is here along with Sites of Special Scientific Interest for geology, ornithology and botany. Scotland’s National Museum of Flight is nearby and very proud to have Concorde on display, not to mention an amazing collection of fighter jets. There are also sandy beaches, historic castles and historic towns with lovely shopping areas. The hotel itself is also packed full of games and books to while away a few hours.
Of course, one of the most important things to do here is to dine – Duck’s is after all called “a restaurant with rooms” – so it is the restaurant that is highlighted as outstanding.
The restaurant is unfortunately closed whilst we are visiting but I am granted the honour of being allowed a sneak preview, as it is all set up ready for its grand re-opening later in the week. It is an intimate dining room with space for ten tables and a traditional open fire-place. The restaurant was previously awarded 2 AA rosettes, and the plan is that the new restaurant will be of a much higher level of dining, so you can expect great things from the newly designed menu.

restaurant1 restaurant2

The side plates, by the fabulous Emma Bridgewater, are such a lovely touch, staying on-trend with the duck-theme!

Emma-bridgewater

As the restaurant was closed, we were invited to dine in Donald’s bistro – more on that in a later article. If the bistro menu is anything to go by, the new restaurant menu is going to be spectacular!

I had a fantastic nights sleep. The bed was exceptionally comfortable and it was a luxurious treat to sleep under a down-filled duvet, warm and soft but so light and gentle on my aching joints.

So to breakfast. Breakfast is served just off the courtyard in a lovely area full of natural light – such a great way to start the day.  This is where they also serve teas and coffees throughout the day. The usual offering of cereal, toast and fruit juice is available. It is also lovely to see a full and varied fruit bowl, which we are invited to help ourselves to.

breakfast

The breakfast menu is fantastic with a wide variety to chose from, including continental meats and cheeses, granola, yoghurts, fruit salad, porridge and pancakes. You can have your eggs scrambled with smoked salmon or as Eggs Benedict, Royale or Florentine. I dither over my decision and Mr Vohn laughs at me, knowing that I will end up ordering the traditional Scottish cooked breakfast which, of course, I do! Even here there are options and additional offerings and we can have our choice of eggs and the option of black pudding or haggis. The toast arrives and it is exceptional and we end up ordering a second rack! The coffee is good and I manage to drink nearly two pots of it by myself!

Breakfast arrives and it looks stunning. So sorry – I was too busy munching to remember to take a photo – imagine a fabulous array of grilled and fried items! The dish is given height with a strategically placed potato rosti and, although nice for a change, both Mr Vohn and I end up lamenting that a potato scone would have been better! I guess we are just very traditional at heart when it comes to breakfasting! It was all delicious and Mr Vohn was particularly impressed by the haggis and black pudding – yes, he was kindly offered both and jumped at the chance! I particularly liked the sausages, which is unusual for me as I’m more of a bacon-girl.  They were so good I asked about the suppliers and it turns out they come from one of the great estates of Scotland, the Buccleuch Estate. This is food-sourcing of the highest quality!

On the front on the breakfast menu is a photo of Malcolm’s dad – check out his first name – yes he was the original Donald Duck! There is even a birth certificate in the hotel bar to prove it!

Donald-Duck

Malcolm and Fiona have been at Ducks for ten years this week and are loving the challenge of developing it whilst still retaining the traditional character.  They have transformed Kilspindie House into a joyful place to stay filled with charm, character and warmth. There are many more plans and ideas on the way. Happy anniversary Malcolm & Fiona – keep up the great work!

Here’s a little slide-show video of some of the ducks at Ducks at Kilspindie House.
Vohn
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Vohn & Mr Vohn stayed as guests of Duck’s at Kilspindie House for dinner, bed and breakfast.
All opinions are our own and honest and Vohn was not asked to write a positive review.

Duck’s at Kilspindie House
Aberlady, East Lothian
 http://ducks.co.uk

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Father’s Day Menu

10Jun

Father’s Day Menu

3 courses £24.95

Starters

Salmon Gravadlax
orange & mustard glaze, watercress & moolie salad

Smoked Venison Cappachio
lemongrass syrup, chilli & mango salsa

Slow Cooked Duck Egg
grilled asparagus, parmesan & balsamic

Mains

Pan Seared Halibut
tomato sauce, brown shrimp glaze

Guineafowl
savoy cabbage, prunes, pickled cucumber , pomegranate & feta

Traditional Roast Sirloin of Buccleuch Beef
Yorkshire pudding, panache of vegetables

Desserts

Seasonal Berry Pavlova

Warm Apple Crumble
crème Anglais, apple sorbet

Chef’s Cheese Board with home-made oatcakes

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jones

Highway Jones

08Apr

218131_192995034079206_3188139_nSaturday 19th April 9pm brings the brilliant Classic Rock covers band Highway Jones from Edinburgh, who will entertain us with fantastic live music from the likes of Foo Fighters, Guns ‘n Roses, Bryan Adams, Thin Lizzy, Queen, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, T Rex and many more.

Tickets available at just £5 by calling Ducks on 01875 870682 or online athttp://www.wegottickets.com/event/269464 or on the night itself.

Fabulous fresh food will be available as normal, as will our ever popular bar with Real Ales, Cocktails, Tennents, Belhaven Best and over 200 wines and 70+ Malt Whiskies!

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chaff

Top guide for bird watchers in East Lothian

07Apr

The aim of this guide is to provide birdwatchers, whether locals, new arrivals or visitors with some basic information on where to birdwatch in Lothian Region. Most sections are written by someone familiar with the site, except for a few for which I have provided a few notes! ‘The Birds of the Lothians’ and the Lothian Bird Reports give some idea of where most people go birdwatching, but this guide provides useful information not only on where to go, but also details of site access (supplemented with maps) and also the species likely to be seen during the year. The best known sites are mainly coastal and are covered in some detail, but a variety of inland sites complete the whole range of habitats from which Lothian benefits.

http://www.andrewsi.freeserve.co.uk/lothian-sites.htm.

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