It's been a year or so since we last visited Inshriach Bothy: home of Inshriach Gin. It's a magical place, hidden away in the forest near Aviemore - and of all the places we've stayed in Scotland, it's one of the most amazing.
Designed by the Bothy Project, it's the perfect balance of basic and luxurious. You cook on a wood burning stove, there's no running water and what little power there is supplied by solar panels. But unlike a typical bothy, this one has a soft mattress, a leather armchair and - get this - an outdoor toilet. It's a haven from the world outside.
The Bothy itself is a work of art - but then so is everything else on the estate. Walter, who owns the land, has a flair for the unusual. Just a 10-minute walk from the cabin, across the courtyard from his home is his 'shed'. I call it a shed (perhaps because it won 'Shed of the Year' a few years ago) but really, it's much better than that. It's a bar.
A gin bar, to be specific. Home of Inshriach Gin.
It's not open to the public most of the time, but Walter kindly opened the doors for us and poured us a long glass of G&T, with a dash of his mum's homemade apple cordial to sweeten the deal. Music blared from behind the bar and fairy-lights twinkled into the night as we sat by the fire on a bench outside for a six o'clock sundown.
The walk back to the cabin was littered with intrigue too. A yurt, an old shepherds hut and a vintage Commer truck sit parked by the river - each its own self-contained accommodation for the more adventurous weekend away.
The rest of our weekend was spent soaking up the sunshine, lying around in hammocks and living life by the pace of the fire. It was exactly what time in the outdoors should be - relaxing and restorative, with a hint of the unexpected.