Just back from a lovely weekend trip to the west coast with some of the lab bods. We set off on Friday afternoon and met up with Peter in Inverness for a tesco stop and pizza hut session before continuing all the way up to Stoer on the noth-west coast. It's just north of Lochinver, more or less directly opposite where Stornoway faces the mainland from the Hebrides. It was quite an exciting drive down all the twisty country roads in the dark, not knowing what kind of scenery we'd be waking up to in the morning, and the final few miles of hilly single track through the rocks was especially fun. I'll add a link on the side panel to more photos once I've put together a good collection.
We had a fairly leisurely start on Saturday, then went for a walk from Lochinver to Kirkaig falls for lunch. There was time for a quick kite flying outing on the beach just down the road from Kirsty's parents house in Stoer when we got back, then off out again for dinner at the Lochinver Larder. And very excellent it was too! They are famous for their pies, which were also being sold for takeaway - their website has a mail order form which I think we might be making use of at some point.
I decided to have some non-veggie stuff since we could practically see where the fish had been landed just a few meters down the road in the harbour, and they were only selling locally caught fish with availability depending on what was landed that day. I was pleased with all this blurb on the menu, so decided to go for creel-caught langoustines with chilli jam, and then a smoked haddock pie. They were both really really tasty, as was the huge portion of home made baked cheesecake that very nearly defeated me. We all rolled back up the hill groaning and very full indeed.
Yesterday we began to head back in the direction of home, but not without a quick stop at the Lochinver Larder again to stock up on pies for tea. We had a nice lunchstop in a layby overlooking Ardvrick Castle which is on a little island in Loch Assynt, and then scrambled up the a bit of a hill to get a higher viewpoint. Our final stop was in Aviemore where we got some chips to go with our pies, and scoffed them whilst listening to a rock gig played out the back of a lorry to a bunch of Harley Davidson bikers at a get together in the next-door hotel carpark - very bizarre! This time I had a cheese, leek and potato one which was also very tasty, but probably would have been even better after being warmed up in the oven. Whilst writing this I've just polished off my final pie for lunch today - apple and blackcurrant.
So from one end of the country to another - the top L arrow is pointing to Stoer where we were yesterday, the middle R one is Dundee, where I'm spending a few days in limbo and trying to pack again, then on Sunday it's River Cottage time and I'll be on the move again all the way down to near Lyme Regis right at the other end of the country. Very excited! I'm going to be camping at Hook Farm which looks very nice, fingers crossed for dry weather to pitch the tent in. And I've got a long train journey to get plenty of knitting done too.