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The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar

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COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more

Ratings and reviews

Travellers' Choice2022
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
US$7 - US$31
CUISINES
Bar, Pub, Scottish, Brew Pub
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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features, about
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Daily temperature and symptom checks for staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
Read more
Updated 22/10/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 22/10/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Reviews (1,592)
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Traveller rating
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67
Show reviews that mention
All reviews burger cullen skink pie fish and chips haggis pudding potatoes cairngorm brewery bothy bar great beer great menu booked a table evening meal lovely meal staff were very friendly beers dog
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Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Fantastic, lovely staff, great beer selection, super tasty food. Excellent burger, really good chips. It’s a big menu but not too big. Will definitely visit again!

Date of visit: January 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks meganb42285 - We pride ourselves on serving quality, local produce, beer and food alike. The Chips are simply YUMMY! See you again sometime.

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Came for a meal this evening with my husband and toddler. Amazing food and reasonably priced, couldn't finish we was so full. Great steak and ale pie, and great kids menu. Good choice of real ales. Great ambiance and very polite staff, would come again...for sureMore

Date of visit: January 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks 660zaram - we get great customers too!! We use the local butchers at NethyBridge for our Steak Pie - makes it extra tasty and tender. And off course we get the best beer and ales from our local brewery - Cairngorm Brewery!

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We were quite a large party of 7 adults and 5 young children. Food and service were really good and it was good value. My only complaint was the choice of wine. We tried the Sauvignon Blanc which wasn’t very nice then tried the Pinot...Grigio which was slightly better - the only other white was a Chardonnay and that seemed to be it - very disappointing.More

Date of visit: January 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi JuliaMC55 - thanks for the great feedback, I will take your points to my review meeting with my manager to suggest further wines. Thanks - See you again sometime.

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Food quality and table service staff were both excellent and genuinely couldn't have been better. There was a bit of a delay from ordering to ‘getting food on the table’ but it was very busy which just added to the positive environment. Only downside was...listening to the Top Gun Maverick soundtrack at least four times whilst we were there - love the film and the music but….lol. Definitely recommend and we hope to visit the Bothy too before we leave.More

Date of visit: January 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi ToshMcIntosh - thanks for the great review. Apologies for the delay - we are a small but effective team, but understandably we get overwhelmed sometimes. And I can only apologise for the soundtrack - I believe that may have been my fault - I...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Ordered starters which were rather cool but we ate them and the main meals came after a lengthy wait 2 haggis and a roast came but they were very cool so sent them back and waited another 20/25 mins the roast came first and lo...and behold it was cool again at this point we decided to cancel as kitchen were obviously not up to mark but front of house staff were very helpful and embarrassed with the situation need to sort kitchen out as we are not alone in this experienceMore

Date of visit: January 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi Susannah C - apologies for the poor experience you had - your are right its not our usual standard. Not to make excuses but we were having problems with our Bain-marie - this has now been fixed and parts replaced - I am so...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Mac n cheese ordered with garlic bread arrived with chips waiter said he would rectify but still haven’t seen garlic bread or waiter again! Mac n cheese was ok but chips tasted reheated. Hubby had fish and chips that were average. No quality check done...and when I raised the issue with staff behind bar when paying they seemed more interested in discussing someone who had lef to join the brewery! Won’t be backMore

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hey Evelyn, thanks for your varied feedback, will pass onto the kitchen. I am sorry you were disappointed with the Fish and Chips, its premium Haddock we get freshly delivered and make our own Cairngorm Brewery Batter for the Fish. We are managed by Cairngorm...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The atmosphere was very welcoming from the minute we walked in the door. Unfortunately we weren't eating here but the food look great. The locals were very friendly and happy to strike up a bit of chat. The bar is a good size so although...it was busy, with a great atmosphere, there were plenty tables to choose from. We loved it and will definitely return next time we're in Aviemore.More

Date of visit: September 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks Inspiration800136 for the great feedback - I will pass this onto the whole team, great to give them all a boost - they are a friendly hospitable lot and great at giving a good highland welcome to our customers. Hopefully next time you will...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stopped in here for a couple of drinks while we plotted our next move on our vacation. The drinks selection is good and we were easily able to find something we wanted. The ambiance has a newer pub feel and the open seating arrangement...allowed us to easily talk to other people we met in the pub while we had our drinks.More

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks Itinerant_Foodies for the great feedback, we have a lovely bunch of staff here at The Winky. Haste ye back!

Reviewed 23 December 2022 via mobile

Was a walk in and got sorted straight away .family of 4 we had chicken burger which was very both daughters had the Mac and cheese which was unreal along with cheesy garlic bread which was also amazing and also the roast which was turkey...massive portion this was . food was brilliant so we decided to come back again the following day again .more Mac and cheese beer battered onion rings and also the rump steak .well fed and Into a food coma afterwards you won't be disappointed in here..More

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hey Scott R - thank you for the fabulous review - this makes everything we do so much more worthwhile - Great you enjoyed both experiences - tell all your friends! Haste ye back anytime Scott and co xx

Reviewed 16 December 2022 via mobile

We came for tea one day as a family of 3 with 2 dogs. We were pleased to see they welcomed dogs into the restaurant. Food was great. I had the cajun chicken burger, my partner had a beef burger and daughter had the macaroni....All meals were fantastic. Came back 2 days later for lunch and again all meals were faultless. The dogs were offered a roast dinner with veg and this was free. They loved it. We felt that as much as dogs were welcome they made them feel welcome and not just tolerated to get the owners in like alot of places. Will definately be backMore

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

We love the dogs! (They don't talk back!) We feel they are very much part of the family and in general most people are happy/not bothered by them being here. The doggie roast dinners is something we love doing...and often fight over who gets to...More

Reviewed 2 December 2022

Turned up with no booking but they accommodated us. Had a drink in the Bothy Bar downstairs, great ales (caingorm brewery) and atmosphere. Had hearty home cooked food. Best mac and cheese ever. Thanks for accommodating us with no booking. Great atmosphere and service. Also...dog friendlyMore

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Best customer ever rubyvizla! Thanks for the great review - Haste ye back anytime and your dog!

Reviewed 28 November 2022 via mobile

Booked weeks in advance by email and by phone. They called us to confirm but no evidence of booking when we turned up. Limited menu and still could not serve either dish we ordered. Roast beef ordered. 10 minutes later could only do chicken. Simple...burger ordered. 10 minutes later only chicken burger available. Place was 10% occupied. No atmosphere. More or less same happened last year. Cairngorm beers was the only positive. This place used to be so good. The whole operation is so disappointing. What has gone so wrong? Many previous visits but won't be back.😟😟😟More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Sorry we didn't get things right for you Catriona. It seems like we got everything possible wrong for your group, this is not our usual standard and with so many positive recent reviews I think its easy to see that - not trying to make...More

Reviewed 8 November 2022

We arrived at the Winking Owl bar to be told that the restaurant was serving food upstairs and they now let dogs in, great news. The restaurant is lovely and as it was near Halloween, the staff were all dressed up which was great. We...had soup and Calamari to start which was lovely and then both if us has the Chicken Roast with all the trimmings. I loved mine but my wife said her chicken was a wee bit tough but not enough to return it. Lovely meal, would highly recommend it and more importantly, it now lets dogs in...More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks for the great feedback iandV7892UB - will pass on note to kitchen, Haste ye back xx

Reviewed 6 November 2022

To be fair, the only positive thing was the quick service, which in reality was due to being served another tables order. 2 of 3 meals were wrong, chicken burger instead of bean burger, roast chicken instead of fish, both changed and reserved, to correct...order, catch of the day was more batter than fish, and roast chicken was very tough, requested a steak knife to cut it, still unable to chew through it, would have served a better purpose as the sole to my hiking boot, staff did ask if I would like anything else, which I declined, given that we had already been given wrong orders, table behind us did get complimentary drinks due to their long wait for food, we were probably given their order instead of our order. Poor dining experience to the tune of £60. Off now for a takeaway.More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi Z2411YJjacquelinec - thanks for the feedback, I am deeply sorry we got this wrong for you, unfortunately things do go wrong and seems so in this case, I am glad Team offered an alternative. We were going through an extremely difficult patch at that...More

Reviewed 25 October 2022 via mobile

I booked a table for me and my daughter, to be safe, but wasn't too busy on a Sunday night. Just ordered main courses, portions are big. Kids portions were almost the same as the adults. The food tasted great and I would highly recommend...it!More

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Karen R, General Manager at The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks debbiew855 for the great review - will pass on your comments to the team which helps to lift the moral - its a hard working stressful environment in Hospitality - only made more challenging since Covid, Brexit and not the Cost of living crisis...More

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Questions & Answers
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Eileen S
23 August 2021|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from AllyRobb | Reviewed this property |
We sat outside with our dog. Not sure about inside though.
0
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Jayne314
18 March 2021|
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Response from Paradise40842674711 | Reviewed this property |
Yes inside as well
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JALH
14 October 2019|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from lauramB9434WV | Reviewed this property |
I don’t think so, no but you can phone and reserve
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The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar, Aviemore - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar

Yes, The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

The Winking Owl, Craft Ale Pub & Bar is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5