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“A must visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Winking Owl

The Winking Owl
123 Grampian Road, Aviemore PH22 1RH, Scotland
+44 1479 812368
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Ranked #27 of 49 Restaurants in Aviemore
Price range: $9 - $35
Cuisines: Scottish, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Late Night
Description: Food Service: Until 9:30 PM Under new ownership and has just re-opened after a complete refurbishment.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A must visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013 via mobile

This was a recommendation we are glad we took on board. The staff where warm and friendly , the atmosphere is great and always has something on . We enjoyed the table at the window with views of the cairngorm mountains. The choice of food caters for all tastes and excellent value for money. We enjoyed it so much we visited several times during our stay.on one occasion one of our group took unwell and the staff where a great help and boxed there food up to take away with them so helpful will definitely be back .

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWinkingOwl, Manager at The Winking Owl, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Hi,

Thank you very much for your review.

Amy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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219 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    70
    74
    35
    15
    25
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
South Lanarkshire
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

After waiting half an hour after being shown where to sit we left. Food was left out on tables - at least three. Staff could not be distinguished through lack of uniforms, all very unprofessional and unacceptable, ended up going o excellent cafe across the road.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWinkingOwl, Manager at The Winking Owl, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Hello,

I am very sorry that you had such a bad experience here. At the time you came we were extremely short staffed and that bad patch is still affecting us today as it has hurt our reputation.

We have now got a full staff team and hope that you will come back and try us again one day so that you can reconsider.

All I can do right now is apologise.

Thank you,

Amy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good service with great home made food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

After a drive through Aviemore we looked stopped off at the interesting looking Winking Owl, it was the only menu that we read as being vegetarian I can struggle to find good food, the menu here had a good choice. The pub is decked out like a Swiss chalet with ski memorabilia on the walls. As avid skiers that were unable to participate on this trip, it was a welcome atmosphere. We ordered the vegetarian haggis and haggis stuffed chicken. Te service was excellent and the food was all home cooked. The vegetarian haggis was the best I've ever tasted and the accompanying whiskey sauce was fantastic. For a causal good home cooked meal at an excellent price this is a great place to try.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWinkingOwl, Manager at The Winking Owl, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Thank you for your review, it made us all smile!
Amy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice food, shame about the identity crisis!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

The Winking Owl advertises itself boldly from the road as having a selection of real ales, none of which were on tap, as other recent reviews have reported. Inside there is a strange identity crisis going on - with the overall architecture and pine of an Alpine chalet, it's also part typical sportsbar with a hotchpotch of TV screens, video game machine, worn banquettes & cheap tables, and part Scottish pub with the obligatory tartan carpet, and haggis, neeps & tatties on the menu. Having said that, the food - we ate both the veggie 'haggis' and proper haggis were tasty and well cooked, with buttery neeps & carrots, smooth mash and a creamy whisky sauce. There was a bit of a wait, but it was worth it when it arrived, and we polished our plates. The staff, like the establishment itself, were a bit scruffy looking (compared to the brisk professionalism of the Cairngorm Hotel), and on a busy night it wasn't particularly fast, but certainly perfectly friendly. Overall, the food made up for the decor, but a nice local pint would have gone down well.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWinkingOwl, Manager at The Winking Owl, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Hello,

Thank you for leaving such a fair review.

We realise that the pub is getting a bit tired looking and have began refurbishment (it could take a while, but we're getting there!).

Thank you for letting us know that you enjoyed your meals and sorry about the waiting time, it is clearly something we have to work on.

As far as the identity crisis goes, yes we do have 2 TV screens and a fruit machine. This is due to the pub being one of the few pubs (not restaurants) in Aviemore and we have customer demand for things like football games and tennis matches. We have recently opened a small pool / TV room on the ground level of the building so hopefully this will help to separate the eaters from the drinkers and sports fans in order to make everyone more comfortable.

Thank you for your review,
Amy
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cheshire
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“good service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

been a few times when visting the area - thsi time the service was great, we had a small dog with us which was welcomed by the staff . Good food and nice pub.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWinkingOwl, Manager at The Winking Owl, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Thank you very much for your review! :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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