Saturday, November 11, 2017

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Edinburgh (爱丁堡)/ Isle of Skye (斯凯岛), Scotland (苏格兰) 2017.

One of the four countries under United Kingdom, Scotland is the second largest of the constituent of the United Kingdom. It shares border with England and is blessed with beautiful nature. The capital Edinburgh, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a busy city with a great number of Gothic architectures. It is also known as the first European City of Literature (not a surprise for us since JK Rowling penned down Harry Potter in this city). The public transport is good with buses and trams linking most key areas of the city but if you have plans to explore the country side of Scotland (especially the highlands), renting a car is possibly a wiser choice. Do note that finding a car park in city center is a great challenge and the rates can be quite expensive so do plan your trip wisely. As part of the United Kingdom, the official currency for Scotland is Great British Pound (GBP/ £). We flew from London to Edinburgh and rented a car to explore the city (for half a day) then off for a road trip to the northern Highlands. 



City of Edinburgh

Spoon Edinburgh
Address: 6A, Nicolson Street, eh8 9dh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm on Mondays to Saturdays, 12 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.
Contact Number: +44 0131 623 1752
Website: https://spoonedinburgh.co.uk/
Prices are nett


Steak and Fries (£10)


Turkey Escalope (£10)


Meatball with Couscous (£8)


Stout Cake (£3)

Spoon sits on a location where JK Rowling penned down Harry Potter and perhaps, that is one of the reasons why this place is famous, particularly appealing to Harry Potter fans. Though strategically located at the bustling Nicolson Street, heart of Edinburgh; the inconspicuous signage makes it challenging to locate the exact place. The cafe-bistro is located on the second floor so Google Map or any navigation app will come in handy especially for those who are not familiar with the area. The menu is not extensive but good enough for a quick fix. We had the Steak & Fries (too hard to the bite and lack of seasoning), Turkey Escalope and Meatball Couscous; unfortunately, none of them managed to wow us. We thought the food was nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing we like about this place was the cozy and relaxed atmosphere. 


Isle of Skye
Approximately 6 hours drive from Edinburgh, Isle of Skye is place for you to adore the beauty of mother nature and to experience the country side of Scotland. It is best to travel using car (rental cars) but be prepared for windy and bumpy roads. If you are someone who gets car-sick easily, make sure you are well-prepared. For those of us who are used to smooth and straight drive, road insurance is very crucial. If you need to make a stop halfway, Fort William is a great choice. The town has got everything you need and the accommodation is much cheaper than those near Isle of Skye.


Creag Mhor Lodge @ Fort William


The Oyster Shed
Address: Carbost, Isle of Skye, IV 47 8SE, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Business Hours: 11 am to 5:30 pm. Opens Daily.
Website: www.theoysterman.co.uk
Prices are nett


Fresh Oysters (£1.25 each/ half a dozen for £7)


1/2 Lobster and Chips (£17.50)


Langoustine (£8.50)


Smoked Salmon Fillet (£7.50)


Daily Seafood Platter (£9.50)


Being an island, Isle of Skye is of course famed for its Sea produces. For the freshest catch in town, make your way to Carbost, particularly The Oyster Shed, a short 5 minute drive away from Talisker Distillery (make sure you arrange your itinerary next to each other); offers an array of Seafood- Lobsters, Salmon Fillet, Langoustine or even Oysters... with the latter one being shucked freshly on the spot. Place your order inside, wait for your turn to collect and you will have to enjoy your food outside. While we appreciate the fact that we get to enjoy breath-taking view to complement our lunch, the unbearable chilly breeze had us rushed for our meal (our hands were literally freezing). 

It was indeed one of the most memorable meals we had for the entire trip, the Seafood was top-notch but we struggled to enjoy the meal due to the breeze (and the lack of washrooms). The Lobster was beyond amazing, the flesh was succulent and pleasingly firm. We could clearly taste the seafood sweetness lies within the crustacean and the Fries were beautifully cooked either. The other dishes were equally great too and none of them disappoint! We strongly recommend this place if you are visiting the Isle of Skye or Talisker Distillery. 


Talisker Distillery
Address: Carbost, Isle of Skye, IV 47 8SE, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Opening Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Website: https://www.malts.com/en-row/distilleries/talisker/
Entrance Ticket: £10 per adult (additional £0.20 if purchased online)


Talisker Storm


Scotch Whiskies need no further introduction, the name is in fact, known to the world as one of the best whiskies available in the world. The nation's love for whiskies is also unchallengeable. Talisker, one of the oldest distilleries on Isle of Skye, the products from Talisker are often sold as premium whiskies. Connoisseur or not, if you happened to be at Isle of Skye, spare some time to visit the distillery not only to learn more about Scotch Whiskies but also the brand Talisker. After a brief visit on the facilities and the distillation process, visitors will be given a sip on the premium Taliser Storm... an intense whisky that provides bold, peppery flavors. Discount vouchers will also be given to visitors whom joined the tour. Expect the tour to be around 1 hour. 

Fairy Pools
Address: Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, IV47 8TA, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day. Opens Daily. *best to visit during day time*
Entrance: Free Admission


Fairy Pools... sounds angelic but it is in fact, a charming place to adore the beauty of mother nature. The place is known to have crystal clear waters complemented by the basalt rocks; the beauty of the place has lured many visitors from all over the world... particularly outdoor adventurers and photographers. Beware on the slippery path but this is definitely one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of mother nature.

The Old Man of Storr
Address: Trotternish, Portree, IV51 9HX, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day. Available daily.
Entrance: Free Admission


An iconic place of Scotland, the Old Man of Storr known for its large pinnacle of Rock and resembles a face of an old man. The walking path to the rock can be very steep so please be prepared in appropriate attire and shoes. The walk takes approximately 1.5 hours and the drive to the place is not an easy one. It takes some navigation skills to locate this, most suitable for outdoor adventurers (though I personally found it nothing to shout about).

Dulse & Brose @ The Bosville
Address: Bosville Terrace, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51, 9DG Scotland, United Kingdom.
Business Hours:12 pm to 2:30 pm on Mondays to Saturdays, 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm on Sundays; 6 pm to 8:15 pm every Monday to Sunday.
Contact Number: +44 (0) 1478 612846
Email: reservations@bosvillehotel.co.uk
Prices are nett


Lochaber Beef Burger (£10.95) + Chips (£3.50)


Pan Fried Seabass served with Nicoisse Salad (£12.95)


Smoked Salmon & Rillettes in a toasted Bagel (£11.25)

We were delighted to find a Michelin award winning restaurant during our brief stop at Portree (after The Old Man of Storr) but we were told that the restaurant closes for lunch and only the bistro will be opened with light lunches served. We decided to try our luck anyway but it was clearly a poor decision made. We had high hopes on this award-winning place; except for the Lochaber Beef Burger and Seabass which were okay... the other dishes did not meet our expectation. The service was less-friendly either, when we walked in, no one bothered to serve us until we had to ask one of the servers (whether lunch was available). It was quite a disappointing experience. 


Eilean Donan Castle
Address: Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh IV40 8DX, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm. Opens Daily.
Website: http://www.eileandonancastle.com/
Entrance: £7.50 per adult


On your way back from Isle of Skye to Edinburgh, make it a point to drop by Eilean Donan Castle... one of the famous castles of Scotland that sits on a point where 3 great sea lochs meet and breath-taking scenery. We had a brief stop here for some photography, we decided not to enter the castle due to time constraint.


Highland Cattle

 

City of Portree, Isle of Skye

Have Fun Exploring Scotland!

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