Food from land, sea and Skye
I love being near the sea. Looking out to the horizon with no end in sight makes me just think everything’s going to be ok. I also like to scoff the sea’s contents. Well the good bits anyway. One of the best things about being on an island has got to be the fresh seafood. I LOVE fish, mussels, lobster, razor-clams, if it’s got fins or pincers or a shell I’ll give it a stab. Skye did not disappoint in this respect. Here are just a few of my top Skye culinary experiences, mainly from the North of the island close to where we were staying in the remote wee village of Stein. If you know any other hotspots then feel free to add them to the list!
The Three Chimneys
Lets start with the obvious. People travel from all over the world to visit this famous wee spot. It’s widely thought of as one of the best restaurants in Scotland and apparently it was recently named as one of the top five restaurants in the world by the New York Times. Stonking. I was embarrassingly excited about sampling the cuisine for myself and enjoying a party in my mouth. Sadly, when we got there for lunch, even though our baby was fast asleep in a car seat and not due to wake any time soon, it turns out they accept no children, night or day, under any circumstances. The stinkers. Looked great though and in a beautiful spot. Next time we go to Skye we’ll have to take a baby-sitter with us! www.threechimneys.co.uk
Red Roof Cafe Gallery
Recommended to us by the charming chap who had to turn us away from The Three Chimneys, this lovely spot is found a couple of miles down the road and gets much of its delicious and fresh sea food from the same suppliers. The Red Roof Gallery features art work by Skye’s finest and serves yummy platters of delicious local grub in a much more informal setting. Their ethos is ethical and inspiring and the atmosphere is wonderfully calming – we whiled away hours in there. Great for lunch or tea and cakes and kids as welcome as anyone else. Up our street. And yes, it does have a red roof. www.redroofskye.co.uk
Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant
This beautiful little place is situated in the very village we were staying in, Stein, and looks straight out over Loch Bay with amazing views of the Outer Hebrides on a clear day. The food is amazing. It isn’t cheap but it really is a foodie treat for anyone visiting the area and is well worth travelling to if you’re not. David and Alison have been running the spot for ten years with David manning the stove and Alison serving the punters. It is unique yet wonderfully simple and it works. Well. I had possibly the most delicious prawns I have ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of prawns. Five stars. That’s right, I’m giving it stars. www.lochbay-seafood-restaurant.co.uk
The best of the rest
Isle of Skye Coffee Roastery – The only coffee roasted on Skye and it tastes delicious to boot. We found this passionate roaster at a crafters market in a village hall. Not a place we were expecting to find a good flat white. Got to love Skye. www.facebook.com/isleofskyecoffeeroastery
Jann’s Cakes is a tiny café in the village of Dunvegan with a BIG selection of flamboyant and fantatstic home baked cakes and chocolates. All made from organic produce in amazing flavours, she even rustles up the odd alcoholic number. That’s my kind of cake. They don’t come cheap – but can you put a price on the joy of good cake?
The Stein Inn is the oldest pub on Skye and, just a couple of doors down from Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant, is the perfect spot to slug down a dram at the end of the day on the edge of the water in front of a roaring fire. Think, Local Hero. If you haven’t seen the movie, watch it and all will become clear. steininn.co.uk
There was even a local fisherman’s phone number pinned to the wall of the cottage we stayed at who could drop by and deliver ‘the catch of the day’ should we wish. Well it doesn’t get fresher than that. Go to the Isle of Skye and eat well.