Tuesday, 22 October 2013

I've just come back from the Isle of Skye

What a fantastic weekend in Skye we've just had. The highlight of the trip undoubtedly being staying and eating at The Three Chimneys encompassing The House Over By, 7 Courses of Skye and The Kitchen Table. But that deserves a whole upcoming blog post of its own so this one just covers everything else that lies over the sea to Skye.
We were heading to the west from The Black Isle having left boy and girl behind with their grandparents. Our first stop enroute was in Plockton considered by many to be the jewel in the Highlands. Its a quaint village with seaside cottages, palm trees, fishing boats and plenty of charm.
Throughout our whole trip there was an abundance of "Eggs for Sale" signs complete with honesty boxes at the roadside. The one at Rowan Barn in Plockton in particular caught my eye with the promise of duck, quail and goose in addition to hens eggs. A veritable farmers market of preserves and veggies lay behind the red door but alas no duck or goose eggs but we did get the last of the quail.
A whistlestop tour of Kyle of Lochalsh before crossing over the sea to Skye. In real life Boy is called Kyle so there were some photo opportunities to be had to keep him happy. 
In anticipation of our evening meal encompassing Seven Courses of Skye we opted for a picnic lunch looking out over the Skye Bridge. Crab Sandwiches and Cullen Skink from the busy wee Buth Bheag Seafood Bar and Deli hit the spot perfectly.
It was Foodie Loon's first visit to Skye and I haven't been for many a year with any previous occassions by ferry. So it was a first trip over the Skye Brdge for us both. First stop was at Talisker Distillery. Neither of us are actually Whisky fans but it felt rude to at least not pop in past and see Skye's only distillery.
Big jump in timescale now to avoid our Three Chimneys experience and continue on our road trip. In our room over by were some beautiful cushions made by Skye Weavers so we wanted to seek them out. Totally worth a visit to the weaving shed to see the bicycle powered loom. I even got to have a go. The whole process was fascinating as was Rodger the weaver. Unfortunately their shop was somewhat bare as his wife was at a wool and textile fair in Inverness with the majority of their stock. I shall need to make a return visit for a cushion.
A Three Chimneys influence also led us to our next stop at Coral Beach. The scallop course the previous evening was served in a shell on top of "sand" from this fascinating beach. The beach is formed of dried calcified sea weed and tiny shells. I will confess to taking a handful home in my pocket.
Skye Skyns was a recommendation from fellow guests at the kitchen table and it didn't disappoint  An interesting insight into the workings of a Tannery downstairs with a tempting showroom of sheepskin goodies upstairs. The huge mosaic rugs were beautiful but a wee bit outwith our budget. We did however purchase a gorgeous single blackface lambskin.
Stein Inn is the oldest on Skye and was our stopping off point for a late lunch of Crab Sandwiches and Haggis & Beer toasties washed down with some local beer.
Our second night on Skye was spent at the Larchside B&B overlooking Portree. Our hosts Craig and Kasia couldn't have been more hospitable from a hot water bottle in the drawer, homemade shortbread, a list of suggested places to visit complete with maps and a wealth of local information.
We hadn't booked anywhere to eat that night but Craig suggested The Granary and managed to squeeze us in a last minute reservation. We both had mussels to start with followed by Game Casserole with Venison, Hare and Pheasant and Isle of Skye Lamb Shank.
Fantastic views from our breakfast room the following morning with a full Scottish breakfast to match. We shared our table with a family of four and a couple from Australia on a backpacking world tour.
Alas no shops were open in Portree on the Sabbath but we had an enjoyable walk round the Harbour taking in the sights and sounds. 
Last stop before heading back to the mainland was the Fairy Pools. These comprise of a string of waterfalls interlinked with the most amazingly clear and still pools. I can well believe the aqua pools could be the home of fairy's. Truly a magical spot.
Time to head back to the mainland with lots of fantastic memories from our trip and a few souvenirs. Still so many places that we didn't have time to visit so there will definitely be a return trip. Claire MacDonald's Kinloch Lodge is next on my bucket list. The sign we encountered at Talisker Distillery summarised our Skye experience perfectly.
To live on Skye you need to be...
Resilient
Inventive
Humourous
Tough
Self-Sufficient
Waterproof
Patient
Lucky

5 comments :

  1. WOW! Looks absolutely amazing! Can't quite believe that Loon had never been to Skye before! Even Kyle & Iona have made it across the sea before (thanks to a little help from Auntie :-)) A patchwork mosaic sheepskin rug for me for Christmas please!

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  2. Beautiful! Have bookmarked lots of your recommendations!

    Sx

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  3. Love Skye for many of the reasons you mentioned; if you get back there in the summer or at Christmas/New Year, dont miss Lochbay Seafood restaurant a few doors along from the Stein Inn, it's great too :-)

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  4. A Crab Sandwich picnic from the wee Buth Bheag Seafood Deli sounds incredible..!

    The Isle of Skye is now on the to-do list of one or two people here at PicnicShop HQ.

    Thanks!

    The PicnicShop Team
    www.picnicshop.co.uk

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  5. It looks like heaven and I'm very jealous - I have always wanted to visit the Three Chimneys.

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