Granny's Cornflake Biscuits

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A nostalgic bake from me today. Cornflake biscuits were a staple at my maternal Grandmother's house. There was always a tin of them on the go along with Ministers Slices (yet to be recreated) and Grandma Monearn's Shortbread. They are super simple and cheap to make and when I posted a photo of them on Instagram there was an outpouring of love. Glacé cherries are retro in themselves and I had to scout around the supermarkets to get ones that were actually bright red rather than a more natural colour. I can't imagine that these biscuits or Pineapple Upside Down Cake would look quite so appetising without a bright red cherry on the top. 

Cornflake Biscuits such as these seem to have been made by a lot of Nan's and Gran's over the years but I suspect that many recipes will have been lost along the way. I rediscovered this one in a in a teenage reporters come recipe notebook along with my Mum's New Zealand Biscuits recipe. I've converted it from metric to imperial and also doubled the quantities. I've not come across a requirement for half an egg in a recipe in recent times! I think that the Lard does give them a bit of a special flavour but if that's not your thing feel free to substitute for a white vegetable fat. I also reckon that green glacé cherries would look fab on these. If you manage to track some down please do let me see your creation. I will of course be green with envy. 

Post Script! My lovely friend Janice over at Farmersgirl Kitchen left me a comment to say that her Mum used to make biscuits that looked exactly like these and called them Melting Moments. I had a sudden realisation that this in fact is most probably their proper name, although they will always be Cornflake Biscuits to me. However they definitely melt in the mouth and do only take a moment to make. 

Granny's Cornflake Biscuits

120g Lard (or vegetarian white fat alternative) 
60g Baking Margarine 
120g Caster Sugar
250g Self Raising Flour
1 Free Range Egg, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Glacé Cherries

Remove the lard and margarine from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 180c
Cream together the fats and sugar.
Add the egg, vanilla extract and mix well.
Finally stir through the flour until just combined.
Shape the mixture into small balls and roll each in cornflakes.
Place on a greased/lined baking sheet and flatten slightly.
Top with a piece of glace cherry and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

For further breakfast cereal recipe inspiration take a look at these great ideas from fellow food bloggers and be sure to pin my recipe using the image below. 


BBQ Waffle S'mores - a decadent desert on the barbecue!

Friday, 20 May 2016

When Iceland challenged me to use the #PowerOfFrozen and show how their products can ensure you are BBQ ready as soon as the sun shines I wanted to think outside the box. When it comes to barbecue time deserts often get neglected in a flurry of sausages, burgers, salads, buns, relishes and kebabs. I don't have the sweetest tooth so I'm pretty happy to indulge my savoury side on such occasions but my kids think otherwise and always have room for desert. I'd normally resort to ice cream or lollies however why not use the residual heat on the BBQ to cook up something deliciously decadent?

Since I've been working with Iceland on their Power of Frozen campaign my eyes have really been opened to the quality and variety of frozen food stocked. Yes there are the basics of peas, fish fingers, garlic bread and pizza but I've also discovered speciality meats and fish, convenient fruit and vegetable medleys, rice, grains and superfoods. Oh and plenty of barbecue favourites. As far as British Barbecues are concerned you have to grab the chance when the weather plays ball. This is where studious stocking of your freezer can play a part. Frozen food combined with Sunshine can make for a perfect BBQ. It also avoids a last minute dash to the supermarket when barbecue weather beckons (and the disappointment of finding the supermarket shelves bare as everyone else has had the same idea!) Next time you pop to Iceland for sausages and burgers be sure to grab some waffles, fruit and ice cream. The resulting creation will definitely leave you wanting s'more. 

BBQ Waffle S'Mores

100g Mini Marshmallows
Chocolate Sauce

Defrost the Raspberries (can be done in the microwave if time is short)
Place your frozen waffles on a foil tray or double layer of tinfoil. You don't want them tasting of burgers!
Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until they are beginning to turn brown and crispy.
Place a handful of mini marshmallows into the holes on each waffle and continue barbecuing until they start to brown, melt.and slightly puff up.
Liberally squeeze over lashings of chocolate sauce.
Serve accompanied by the Raspberries and Raspberry Pavlova Ice Cream.

If you've now got the BBQ desert bug, take a look at these other ideas from myself and the UK's most northerly food blogger, Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. 

For further #PowerOfFrozen alfresco BBQ and Picnic inspiration check out the following recipes and go forth and fill your freezer so you are ready at the drop of a hat when the sun does put in an appearance.

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Iceland. All views expressed are my own.


Norfolk Treacle Tart

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

I'm not ashamed to admit that pretty much all my holidays are based around food. Surely I'm not alone in that? As a foodie I find that self catering offers me the the freedom to dine out and sample local restaurants combined with the facilities to cook for myself with goodies bought from local farm shops and producers. It really is the best of both worlds. Part of the fun of holiday planning for me is checking out what the local foodie specialty of the area I'm visiting is, researching restaurants and tea rooms to visit and mapping out local Farmers markets and specialty food shops. I fear that my family sometimes despair of my foodie traveler obsessiveness! 

For a long time I've loved the idea of holidaying in the Norfolk Broads. A week in a cottage and a week on a boat would suit me just fine. I blame Rosie and Jim for my narrowboat fixation. We have managed a short stay on Blue Hue, a houseboat moored on the outskirts of Edinburgh. We're heading to Orlando in October this year so over the summer we shall be staycationing. I've been looking at the options on and have fallen in love with the gorgeous thatched Captain's Cottage in Winterton-on-Sea which is absolutely picture postcard perfect! Foodie Loon was pleased to note that there is a pub just across the road! I wasn't aware of any particular foodie specialty of the area but apparently the local bake is a Norfolk Treacle Tart.

I've always been a wee bit confused by the whole concept of a treacle tart. First off they contain no treacle. What's that all about?! Do Trading Standards know? Apparently a Norfolk Treacle Tart is different from more traditional recipes as it does not contain breadcrumbs (nor does it contain treacle... just saying!) Still on the trail of the missing treacle I turned to Google which firstly told me that Golden Syrup is also known as light treacle. Hmmm. Not convinced. However Nigel Slater tells me that the word treacle actually refers to all forms of syrups made during sugar refining, from golden syrup through to black molasses. Still think its a misnomer but I won't argue with the lovely Nigel. 

Treacle tart is usually served hot with a dollop of clotted cream. You could also serve it with whipped or single cream, custard or ice cream and its' also good cold. It's a favourite desert of Harry Potter who likes it so much that he smells it when he is in the presence of love potion. Alas I don't have the recipe as used by the House Elves at Hogwarts but hopefully you'll think my one is pretty magical. 


175g Shortcrust Pastry
125g Unsalted Butter
8 Tbsp golden syrup
3 Free Range Eggs
4 Tbsp Double Cream
1 lemon, zest finely grated

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c
Line a shallow 23 cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry.
Prick the base all over with a fork. 
Line the tart tin with baking parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans or dried pulses.
Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans and cook for about 5 minutes more.
Gently warm the butter and syrup together in a pan - just enough for the butter to melt but not letting the mixture get too hot. 
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool a little.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and lemon zest together. 
Gradually whisk in the warm butter and syrup mixture, then pour the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case.
Place the tart on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the centre is set and lightly brown.

For further foodie holiday inspiration checkout the following recipes from my food blogging colleagues along with their recommendations for Dorset and the Peak District

Dorset Apple Cake - Fuss Free Flavours
Bakewell Pudding - Farmersgirl Kitchen
Singing Hinnies - Recipes from a Pantry
Snowdon Pudding - The Hedgecombers

Disclosure : This is a commissioned post for All views expressed are my own.

Casa Costello

Orzo Risotto with Mint and British Asparagus

Monday, 16 May 2016
A quick and easy Vegetarian recipe showcasing seasonal British Asparagus. Orzo pasta simplifies the whole risotto making process while mint, lemon and black pepper enchance the flavour. The dish is finished off to perfection with Parmesan cheese and Griddled Asparagus.

At long last Spring appears to have sprung. A sure sign of this is the appearance in the shops of British Asparagus. The official season is from April 23rd (St George's Day) to June 21st but you may find it earlier of later. Do make sure to read the label carefully when you are out shopping to make sure it really is British that you are buying. In the quick and simple recipe I'm sharing today the Asparagus is showcased so that its flavour really shines. Using Orzo rather than arborio rice simplifys the whole risotto making process. I've used a mix of the larger Asparagus through the orzotto and some of the finer tips griddled and served on top. The mint, lemon and black pepper only serve to enhance the superb Asparagus flavours.

I don't know about you but over the years goodness knows how many packets of cut herbs and pots of growing herbs I've ended up buying and binning. What usually happens is that half a pack gets used and the remainder goes slimy in the bottom of my fridge. If I try to economise by buying a potted herb I then end up killing it by over or under watering. Cole and Mason asked me if I'd like to try out a Self-Watering Single Potted Herb Keeper from their new range. It promised to give longer life to fresh herbs and I've been seriously impressed with its performance. Not only has my mint flourished like a triffid it also looks much more stylish in my kitchen than a black plastic pot sat on a chipped saucer. No need to re-pot, simply sit your round or square potted herb in the Herb Keeper, fill the base section with water via the spout and a hydro felt pad draws up exactly the amount of water that your herb needs to absorb. It works a treat and there's also a version for Fresh Cut Herbs. I've also been using a set of their Precision Mills which have an easily adjustable courseness level. There are three settings for the salt and five for pepper so you get the perfect grind for you needs to take you from hob to table. Herbs, Spices and Asparagus ready - time to get cooking!

Orzo Risotto with Mint & British Asparagus

1 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
1 Echalion Shallot, finely chopped
300g Orzo 
750ml Vegatable Stock
250g British Asparagus
75g Frozen Petit Pois
100g British Asparagus Fine Tips
2 Tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped
50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative) grated, plus extra to serve
Freshly ground Salt & Pepper
1/2 Lemon, juice and zest

Fry the finely chopped shallot in a large satue/frying pan along with the rapeseed oil until translucent.
Add the orzo and vegetable stock, bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer for 7 minutes.
Check and stir regularly to ensure it doesn't stick and add more boiling water from the kettle if required. 
Meanwhile chop the stalks of the larger Asparagus into discs, leaving the tips whole. Prepare the mint, Parmesan and and lemon and set aside.
Add the frozen peas and the chopped Asparagus to the Orzo and cook for a further 7 minutes until the pasta is soft and starchy, all the water absorbed but there is still a bite to the asparagus.
Meanwhile brush the fine Asparagus Tips with some rapeseed oil and cook on a griddle pan until lighly charred.
Add the chopped mint, grated Parmesan, lemon juice and rind to the Orzo. Mix well and season with freshly ground salt and black pepper. 
Serve topped with the griddled Asparagus tips and extra Parmesan and Black Pepper. 

For further British Asparagus inspiration check out the fab recipes below from some of my food blogging colleagues A quick and easy Vegetarian recipe showcasing seasonal British Asparagus. Orzo pasta simplifies the whole risotto making process while mint, lemon and black pepper enchance the flavour. The dish is finished off to perfection with Parmesan cheese and Griddled Asparagus.

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Cole & Mason. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to only ever bring you the cream of the crop.

Review - Optimum 600 Cold Press Juicer - The Ultimate Slow Juicer

Saturday, 14 May 2016
I've got a new kitchen gadget. The Optimum 600 Cold Press Juicer. It's actually my third juicer in as many years. The first one was borrowed from my Mum and was a tiny wee thing from the 90's that you had to cut up the fruit/veg into minuscule pieces to feed into the tube. Cleaning it was a nightmare. I upgraded to one of my own which had a much larger feeding tube and could take a whole apple. This was a revelation and for as long as it lasted I was actually pretty happy with it. However towards the end of last year it died a death and I asked some of my food blogging colleagues what they would suggest as a replacement. The answer was a resounding recommendation for an Optimum Cold Press Juicer. A quick google to find out more and I was initially put off by the price tag. However when I watched the videos I was mesmerised by the auger which totally smashes up the fruit in a hypnotic manner. Watch for yourself and you'll see what I mean.

The Optimum 600 Juicer is a a cold press juicer as opposed to a traditional centrifugal juicer. Its low speed and squashing (masticating) action grinds your fruit and veg so that you get maximum juice and nutrients. 

What Comes In The Box?
  • 2 x 1.2 Ltr Juicing bowls/jugs
  • Juice tap and anti-drip cap
  • Spinning basket
  • GE Ultem Strainer and Screw Auger
  • Ice cream attachment
  • Base containing the 240W AC Brushless Motor
  • Recipe book and manual
  • Cleaning brush
I've had my juicer for over 4 months now so reckon I've given it a pretty thorough testing. By far the most noticeable thing about it is the sheer quantity of juice that it makes. It really does extract every last drop and more juice means more vitamins. The pulp is much drier that I was used to which means less waste and is a further visible sign of how much goodness is being extracted. There is particularly good extraction from leafy greens in comparison with what I'd had with the other machines. Celery and Pineapple can still be tricky because of their fibrous nature but chopping them up seems to help. Overripe pears need to be avoided as its not good in dealing with mush but that's pretty much the only thing I've had any clogging issues with. I've even completed one of Jason Vale's 5 Day Juice Fasts using the Optimum 600. Something that I couldn't have done with either of my previous juicers as I would have lost the will to live! It's actually a real pleasure to use.

The bugbare with pretty much all juicers is of course cleaning. The trick is to do it immediately after you've made your juice. If I'm going to be having another later on in the day I rinse it through with water which really helps. Otherwise hot soapy water and rubber gloves and it literally takes only a couple of minutes to wash. There's only really one tricky area which is at the waste outlet and for that you get a little brush with a handy hook on the end. Final piece of advice on the cleaning issue. Don't be stupid enough to go away for the weekend and leave it dirty. That would be a seriously foolish thing to do.

  • So. Much. Juice.
  • Fascinating to watch!
  • Easy to assemble - simply line up the red dots
  • Quieter than traditional centrifugal juicers
  • No need to worry about what order to juice the ingredients in
  • Very little preparation/chopping of produce required due to large chute with internal knife
  • Less foam and less separation
  • Anti drip cap - no sticky worktop
  • Sturdy yet stylish design
  • Vertical machine means it takes up less room on your work surface
  • Can be used to make ice cream, nut butters/milks, smoothies and baby food (I fully admit that I haven't tried making any of these yet!)
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Including Return Postage
  • 10 Years Warranty On Motor & 2 Years Warranty On Parts
  • Cost. But well worth it in my humble opinion if you already know that juicing is for you. 
  • The spouts on the jugs only work if you are right handed (as pointed out by my leftie son!) 
  • The height of the machine (48.3cm) means it can't sit on my worktop underneath a cupboard, so do measure if that may be an issue for you 
  • I still have to clean it... 

Suffice to say I absolutely love my Optimum 600 Cold Press Juicer. If it was self cleaning it would be absolutely perfect. If anyone ever manages to invent a juicer that can do that they'll be a millionaire for sure! Tempted to get one for yourself? You can find out more and order one with a 30 day no quibble guarantee on the Froothie Website.

I am an Ambassador for Froothie and the links in this article are affiliate links which means that if you buy a juicer through them I will earn a small commission
I've not been paid to write this post but I did receive an Optimum 600 Cold Press Juicer for review purposes.
All opinions expressed, as always, are honest and my own. You can't fake enthusiasm so I only work with brands I really love and that I think my readers will too. 


Avocado, Egg, Bacon and Butter Bean in Garlic Mayo - Salad/Sandwich

Monday, 9 May 2016

There appears to be a designated day or week for every food product under the sun these days, with some being more worthy of such an accolade than others. Surely there can be no denying however that the nation's love of Sandwiches truly deserves a week long celebration. As such we are currently in the throws of none other than British Sandwich Week which runs from Sunday 8th until Saturday 14th May 2016. The Wall Street Journal has described the Sandwich as Britain's "biggest contribution to gastronomy". It was named after an 18th century English aristocrat John Montagu who held the title of 4th Earl of Sandwich. Apparently he ordered his servants to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread because it allowed him to continue to play cards and eat without using a fork or getting his cribbage cards greasy. Others began to order "the same as Sandwich", the name stuck and the rest, as they say, is history.

In association with Warburtons the sandwich filling recipe I'm sharing today is one that appeared on the lunchtime menu of Aberdeen's Lemon Tree Arts Centre when I used to work there back in the noughties. You could have it as a baguette or baked potato filling and it was also available in a vegetarian version sans bacon. It's something that I've often recreated myself in the intervening years and it also works well on its own as a salad. I always use free range eggs, mine were from a local farm shop honesty box and had amazingly brightly coloured yolks. My bacon came from the Farmers Market and crisped up perfectly with none of that horrible white water. Chives from my garden and a nice firm Avocado. I favour the ripe and ready ones. Finish off with your favourite Warburtons bread product for the perfect sandwich.

Avocado, Egg, Bacon & Butterbean in Garlic Mayo

This makes enough for 3 or 4 sandwiches depending on how generous you like your filling. It also works well as a salad or baked potato topping.

2 Free Range Eggs, hard boiled
6 Rashers of Streaky Bacon
210g Tin of Butter Beans, drained
1 Avocado
3 Tbsp of Mayonnaise
1-2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
Salt & Pepper
Warburtons Seeded Batch Loaf or your favourite Warburtons Bread

Hard boil your eggs then cool and roughly chop them.
Fry or grill the bacon until nice and crispy. Drain on kitchen roll then cut into small pieces.
Peel, de-stone and chop the avocado flesh.
Drain the butter beans and tip them into a bowl. Add the egg, bacon and avocado and combine with approximately 3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise until the consistency is to your liking.
Season with crushed garlic, chopped chives and freshly ground salt and pepper.
Spread on a slice of Warburtons Seeded Batch Loaf or on your favourite Warburtons Bread.
Top with a second slice of bread and voila, you have a sandwich! 

Throughout British Sandwich Week 7 bloggers are taking part in the challenge of creating an ultimate sandwich filling recipe in conjunction with Warburtons. Eileen kicked off the week yesterday with a fab idea using Warburtons Toastie and I'll link up all the others as my fellow bloggers share their creations over the week.
Happy sandwich making!

Sunday - ET Speaks from Home - Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich
Tuesday - Recipes From A Pantry - Radish, Avocado and Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich
Thursday - Mad House Family Reviews - Bagel Heaven
Friday - Eats Amazing
Saturday - Dadventurer

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Warburtons. All views expressed are my own. 

Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup

BBQ Sardines with Wild Garlic Salsa Verde

Sunday, 8 May 2016
The perfect addition to any barbecued meat, fish or vegetables. This seasonal Salsa Verde is made with Wild Garlic and in this recipe I've served it with Sardines and Couscous Salad. Well worth heading out to the woods and doing some foraging.

As far as British Barbecues are concerned you have to grab the chance when the weather plays ball. This is where studious stocking of your freezer can play a part. The Power of Frozen combined with Sunshine can make for a perfect BBQ. Iceland Foods challenged me to come up with a dish to show off the many benefits of frozen food choosing from the categories of Value for Money, Convenience, Quality and Choice. Whilst the one I opted to base my dish around is 'choice' I actually reckon that it fits pretty well with them all. When I went for a wander round my local Iceland store at Aberdeen's Beach Boulevard Retail Park both the Whole Cornish Sardines and the Couscous with Vegetables most certainly fitted into the category of "I didn't expect to find that at Iceland". I have been increasingly impressed with their range of speciality fish and also picked up Crispy Whitebait. I simply cannot resit it when I spot it on a menu and up until now I've never seen it on sale anywhere. They were amazing served with lemon and tartare sauce and I can't recommend them enough! Apparently these are limited stock. I shall be filling my freezer. 

But back to the Cornish Sardines. These are cooked from frozen which means no requirement for a last minute dash to the supermarket when barbecue weather beckons. I've used the salsa verde, which essentially translates as green sauce, to give a lift in flavours to both the fish and the couscous. If you can't get hold of wild garlic you can substitute regular garlic cloves. The quantity made will be more than you require for this particular recipe but it can subsequently be used in numerous ways and works really well with seafood, steak, pasta and potatoes. I was really impressed with the frozen couscous and also picked up a bag of their Zesty Bean Quinoa which I've yet to try. Both can be microwaved or stir fried and served hot or cold. Loads of flavour and so much better than dried couscous packets. I'll definitely buy it again. 

The sun is out, the BBQ is lit and the heavens open. Fear not you can still make my recipe below on the grill but let's hope that the promised May heatwave does put in an appearance. I'd advise optimism and stocking up your freezer!

BBQ Sardines with Wild Garlic Salsa Verde and Couscous Salad

Iceland Couscous with Vegetables 500g
Iceland Whole Cornish Sardines 350g

Wild Garlic Salsa Verde 
35g Parsley 
1 Tbsp Capers 
6 Anchovies plus the oil from the can 
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar 
3 Tbsp Olive Oil 
20g Wild Garlic (or 2 garlic cloves) 
Black Pepper 

Cook the Iceland Couscous with Vegetables from frozen according to the pack instructions, allow to cool then refrigerate until cold. It contains a fantastic mixture of giant and regular couscous with peas, chickpeas, carrot, spinach, red onion, red & yellow pepper with a Moroccan style spice mix. 
Blitz together all the wild garlic salsa verde ingredients in a mini food processor or with a stick blender. Taste and adjust seasoning and consistency if required. 
Brush the sardines with some of the wild garlic salsa verde and barbecue (or grill) for 15 minutes turning once. 
Stir a tablespoon of the wild garlic salsa verde through the couscous and serve the Cornish Sardines on the top. 

♥ Pin me for later... The perfect addition to any barbecued meat, fish or vegetables. This seasonal Salsa Verde is made with Wild Garlic and in this recipe I've served it with Sardines and Couscous Salad. Well worth heading out to the woods and doing some foraging.

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Iceland Foods. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.


Barley Bothy - A Boutique Bolthole in Aberdeenshire

Friday, 6 May 2016

May Holiday weekend and we were supposed to be camping but the Scottish Spring put paid to that idea. We were also celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary and I didn't relish the thought of waking up freezing cold in a tent in the snow. A last minute panic to find an alternative led me to Barley Bothy where there had been a serendipitous late cancellation.
It would seem that I'm following in the footsteps of TV Architect George Clarke at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I visited Inshriach Distillery which won the 2015 Amazing Spaces Shed of The Year and now I've stayed at a boutique bolthole as featured in Episode 4 Series 4 of Amazing Spaces (13:19 mins in)

Regular readers will know that as a family we enjoy staying in unusual places. So far these have included...
Treehouse, Fernie Castle, St Andrews
Lighthouse, Buchan Ness, Boddam, Aberdeenshire
Hobbit House, Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire
Houseboat, Blue Hue, Ratho, Edinburgh
Hobbit House revisited 
Gypsy Caravan, Stirling
Glamping Dome, Loch Tay

The story of Barley Bothy is well worth watching on Ch4 OD. It was made by owner Jane's Dad in the West Country before being broken into two parts and transported 600 miles to their sheep and barley farm near Huntly in Aberdeenshire. At the moment a second smaller bothy is being manufactured which will be known as the Sheep Shed and will sleep two. It should be in situ by late Summer and can thankfully be transported in one piece.

Seriously photo heavy post as that's really the best way to share the experience but suffice to say that we absolutely loved our short stay. Enroute we stopped off at Lower Thorneybank Farm Shop. I love an honesty box and eggs, tatties and veggies were purchased. At Barley Bothy we were welcomed with crusty bread, homemade strawberry jam, porridge oats, sticky toffee pudding fudge and a lovely additional touch of a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge to celebrate our Wedding Aniversary. The bothy was very well kitted out in terms of cooking equipment, basic supplies and extras such as hot water bottles, glamping colouring-in book, board games and a picnic hamper. We settled in really quickly and tried out the traditional Scottish box beds which are basically king sized mattresses enclosed in cupboards. These were so cosy and comfortable but are a bit of a clamber to get into. Fear not step stools are provided. Storage is in large drawers which slide out underneath. Fantastic use of limited space and wonderful stargazing windows above each bed.

Plenty of firewood was provided which is a good thing as that's how you'll keep warm and cook your food. There's a wee wood burning stove in the lounge area which can also be used to boil a kettle and in the kitchenette there's a small wood fired range cooker. I've cooked on an AGA and on an open fire but this was my first foray into a combination of both. Thankfully my boy scout son agreed to take charge of the fire which needs approximately 45 minutes to get up to full heat and must be regularly stoked. Our anniversary feast consisted of Ribeye Steak, Peppercorn Sauce, Hassleback Jersey Royals, Mixed Greens and Fried Onions & Mushrooms. All washed down with Prosecco and finished off with Coffee and Fudge.

A full cooked Scottish breakfast was the order of the day on the holiday Monday following a visit to the farm to see the lambs that had been born overnight. The forecast snow had failed to materialise but bothy life was still preferable to camping and a step up from glamping. We loved all the bright colours wee quirky touches in the bothy and I particularly enjoyed my luxurious candlelit bubblebath with prosecco. The views were fantastic and we enjoyed sitting on the veranda (henceforth know as the Miranda) reading books and playing cards. Spending quality time with loved ones is what a stay at Barley Bothy is all about. I wonder where our next trip will take us? If yours leads to be sure to tell them I sent you.

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