Hotel Review: The Old Brewhouse, Arbroath

Even when the weather is cold and rainy, you’re sure of a warm welcome at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland!

The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland - a two-storey cream building featuring a red door and moss-covered roof tiles, under a cloudy sky.

I stayed at The Old Brewhouse as a guest of ScotRail.

The Old Brewhouse is a family-run hotel, restaurant and bar on the seafront in Arbroath, Scotland. The building dates back to the 1600s and looks out towards the Bell Rock lighthouse and the North Sea. If you’re lucky, you may spot dolphins and seals, and you’ll certainly be able to watch the fishing boats as they come and go.

The hotel is only about a 10-minute walk from Arbroath station, but with the cold rain falling almost horizontally, it felt much longer. I clung onto the hood of my coat with one hand and pulled my suitcase behind me, cursing my decision not to call for a taxi!

But soon, I could smell the unmistakable scent of the sea, and I knew that I must be approaching my destination. I walked into the Old Brewhouse to a warm welcome. My soaking coat and suitcase were taken from me, and I was soon sipping a steaming cup of coffee.

Usually, I would check into my room and then explore the facilities and the area straightaway. But I arrived around noon, and my room wouldn’t be available until 2pm. So, as the rain was still falling heavily, I decided to do things in reverse.

A bowl of home-made broccoli and stilton soup garnished with herbs, accompanied by a dinner roll and a small packet of butter, served on a white tablecloth at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland.

A Hearty Lunch

The Old Brewhouse prides itself on serving homemade food that focuses on local produce. You can expect to see a menu featuring Aberdeen Angus steaks, freshly caught haddock and, of course, the local speciality – Arbroath smokie.

Still feeling the chill of the rain, I decided to sample their 2-course lunch special, which included soup of the day followed by a choice of several main courses. The soup on the day of my visit was broccoli and stilton, and it was absolutely delicious. It was really hearty with a good kick of blue cheese.

I could feel my bones finally starting to thaw out…

A dish of homemade lasagne at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland, accompanied by a mixed salad and a slice of garlic bread, served on a white-clothed restaurant table.

For my main course, I had chosen the homemade Lasagne, served with garlic bread and a choice of salad or chips. It was packed with layers of a really meaty ragu, smooth bechamel and the cheesiest topping I’ve ever seen on a lasagne!

Unfortunately, I was too full for pudding after that. But I could have chosen from a range that included cheesecake, chocolate cake, and a traditional homemade Clootie Dumpling, among others.

That evening, I opted to eat fish and chips on the seafront to take advantage of the better weather and sea air. But the Old Brewhouse also serves food in the evening, when you can choose from an expanded version of the lunch menu, including locally caught mussels and venison medallions.

There’s also a Viking Platter, a sharing platter of mussels, Smokies, prawns, and more. Definitely one to try when I return to Arbroath!

A neatly arranged bedroom at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland, with a double bed and white and red bedding. There are two bedside tables with lamps, a large wicker heart above the bed, a wooden bench at the foot of the bed, a small desk with a chair to the left, and a framed picture of a sandy landscape on the wall.

A Room at the Old Brewhouse, Arbroath

After lunch, my room was ready, so I headed up to take a look around. The rooms are accessed through a separate door, meaning you can enter your room without going through the restaurant.

The Old Brewhouse has six bedrooms, including one in a self-contained building. They all have nautical names and have been decorated individually.

A neatly arranged bedroom at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland, with a large bed covered by white linens and a red throw blanket, a wooden bedside drawer. There is a sitting area with grey armchairs, a coffee table, and a wall-mounted television, with a beach-themed picture adorning the wall.

I stayed in the Seagate room, which is very bright and spacious and has a peaceful neutral colour scheme.

Although this room doesn’t have sea views, a skylight ensures it receives plenty of light and feels very fresh. The king-sized bed was covered in high-quality, crisp white bed linen and plenty of plump pillows.

Guests at the Old Brewhouse can take advantage of free WiFi, but I did find that the signal was a little hit and miss.

Five small wooden birdhouse-shaped decorations with blue roofs are mounted on a wall; each house features a single letter that collectively spells out "beach," and each house has a hook at the bottom.

My room had a TV and DVD player, ipod docking station, a hostess tray (with some yummy biscuits!) and a comfy seating area.

There was also a desk/vanity unit and plenty of plug sockets, so I had no problem charging my phone and laptop.

A clean, modern bathroom at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath, Scotland, with a white pedestal sink, bathtub with a glass shower door, toilet, and several neatly hung towels.

The bright, fresh feel of the Seagate room also carries over into the en-suite bathroom. It’s not a huge room, but it was immaculately clean, with a decent-sized bath and an overhead shower. I have to admit that isn’t my preferred arrangement, but at least it gives you the option of a bath or shower in a relatively small room.

There were plenty of soft, fluffy towels warming on a towel heater and a good selection of complimentary toiletries.

A coastal scene with a grassy embankment leading to a sandy beach at Arbroath, Scotland, with choppy sea waters under a partly cloudy sky. The sea wall is visible near the horizon.

Eventually, the rain stopped, which allowed me to go out and explore the town.

With views like this just a few metres from the hotel, I really felt like I’d found a piece of heaven on the East coast of Scotland.

A traditional Arbroath Breakfast

I’m not sure if it was the comfy bed, the sumptuous duvet or the effect of the sea air, but I slept incredibly well at the Old Brewhouse. And when I stepped outside to go down to breakfast, this was the view that greeted me.

A silver car parked by a seaside wall with a view of the blue sea and sky at Arbroath, Scotland.

I love being by the sea; it always improves my mood, and this sight was a great way to start my day.

The breakfast menu included all of the standard options that you might expect. It was very tempting to opt for the full Scottish breakfast as I had developed a real taste for haggis in Scotland!

But you can’t go to Arbroath without trying the local delicacy, the Arbroath Smokie. This locally caught and smoked haddock is a traditional speciality of the town. So, although I really wanted haggis, I decided to have a Smokie and scrambled egg for my breakfast.

Breakfast at The Old Brewhouse in Arbroath. A plate of Arbroath Smokie (smoked fish) served with scrambled eggs and a lemon wedge, accompanied by a cup of coffee, orange juice, and condiments on a restaurant table.

And I didn’t regret my choice.

The Smokie was as good as I had hoped – very tender, with a good smokey flavour. And the scrambled eggs were possibly the finest I’ve ever eaten, managing to be both light and creamy at the same time. I was very tempted to ask for the recipe!

How to Get to The Old Brewhouse, Arbroath

Arbroath itself is a small town in the Angus region of Scotland, around 16 miles from Dundee. It’s easily accessible by road, or you could take the train – the journey from Dundee only takes around 20 minutes. I visited the town on my ‘Spirit of Scotland’ tour with Scotrail, so I arrived by train.

The Old Brewhouse, Arbroath: The Verdict

I really can’t praise the Old Brewhouse highly enough. It combines the service and surroundings of a high-quality hotel with the comfort and welcome you get from a family establishment. My room was beautifully presented and incredibly comfortable, while the food was delicious.

Arbroath is a lovely town, and I would love to spend more time there. If you get a chance to visit, I would definitely recommend staying at the Old Brewhouse.

The Details:

The Old Brewhouse,
1 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1BH

Telephone: 01241 879945  

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