LT had always planned this to be a day in the cottage as the weather forecast wasn't the best. I supervised while LT sewed some bee blocks, and uttered some words at one of them that I shall not repeat in polite company! We were saving ourselves all day to go out to dinner though.
LT, Col, Pete and I went out to the Three Chimneys, a very highly rated restaurant not just within Scotland, but within the UK. The head chef was on the latest series of The Great British Menu (getting all the way to the final week), and we were really looking forward to it. We decided to go for the Taste Of Skye menu, a mere 7 courses (or 8 if you were greedy like us and did cheese as well as dessert ;o) - LT)
To start with, we got some amuse bouche of mini cheese scones, accompanied by freshly churned butter. This was just my size:
Next was another amuse bouche of Jerusalem artichoke soup topped with a Jerusalem artichoke crisp:
I had a little sherry before we got our first course, with some water and white wine lined up in the background for later...
Here's our first proper course, Loch Dunvegan langoustines with tattie scones and Glendale organic mesculun. Inside the head (which had been cleaned out - LT) there was a mango salsa too. Please note that LT was on the diet coke too, as she was driving:
This is our second course, Colbost crab risotto with shellfish essence and a cheese wafer:
For our third course, we have a selection of west coast cold and hot smoked fish - salmon, trout and I think haddock, a Brunigill farm quail egg, some beetroot, a nasturtium leaf and a melba toast. LT is usually not a fish fan, but she actually liked this (although I'll not be rushing out to the fish counter at Tesco any time soon... - LT)
The next course was our very favourite, Sconser king scallop with hazelnut crust, split pea and ham hough puree, pickled winkles and claret jus. We could have eaten an entire meal of this:
Round 5 was three Loch Harport oysters, with cucumber and mint jelly, home made creme fraiche and herring roe. This was our least favourite, as the over-riding taste was of cucumber, and that's not our favourite thing. It was quite funny when we came to eat them though, as we discovered that none of us had ever eaten one before, so we weren't quite sure how it was meant to go:
Sometimes, you never know the minute, someone steals your camera and demands that you smile in return for getting it back again:
Here I am showing how to 'down in one' an oyster:
For this course we acquired some beer to go along with it:
It was at this point that we made some new friends. First, the American lady at the next table asked LT why she wasn't using the flash on her camera. She replied that she was being polite and not flashing people by cranking up the ISO. Next thing we knew, the lady from the table in the corner came over and asked if LT would take her photo. She and her partner were staying there to celebrate her 50th Birthday, and he had been trying, unsuccessfully, to take her photo with her iPhone. Pete leapt into action, rearranged the tables behind LT (now thankfully empty - LT), roped in the American guy from the next table and between them they covered some of the halogen downlights so that Melanie and Mark were lit mainly by candle light (Col took a photo of the entire farce on Pete's compact - LT)
After that little break, we got course number 6, a beautifully cooked Lochalsh beef fillet on a bed of shredded shin of beef with pearl barley and Totaig vegetable broth, and topped with a little horseradish cream:
It was at this point that we had the terribly hard decision of whether to have the cheese course, the dessert course or both. We decided that we were 'in for a penny' and went for both (I didn't have breakfast the next day I was that full - LT)
Here we have the cheese course with, from left to right, 4 home made oatcakes, a quenelle of crowdie (a type of Scottish cream cheese - LT), a wedge of Isle of Mull Cheddar, a piece of damson jelly, a piece of brie that LT can't remember the provenance of, a glass of red grapes, and a wedge of Dunsyre Blue, which immediately got donated to Pete and Col:
And for our final course, a hot marmalade pudding souffle with Drambuie syrup and mealie ice cream (vanilla ice cream with oats - LT) The girl that was serving came round with a wee spoon and attacked the souffles as they were served, and then explained it was to pour the syrup into. We had been a little concerned that we weren't going to get to eat the whole thing, so it was a relief to find out that was all it was for:
I may have been a little cheeky at this point, so Col put me in a time out:
Now, did you think we were finished eating? Ha! Next up were the petit fours - 6 each! Mini meringues with hazelnut cream and strawberries, mini apple and caramel tarts, dark chocolate and fruit fudge, tablet, white truffles with a coconut ice like centre, and a bit of shortbread with a cream and apricot top that LT missed the proper description of (after all that food it was surprising I remembered to take you home, never mind miniscule details! - LT)
Of course we had to have some whisky to wash it all down:
It was rather good, I didn't want to waste a drop:
Please sir, I want some more:
We arrived at the restaurant at 7:15, and we finally rolled out again at 11:30, by far the last ones there, and the staff were nice enough not to comment about the mad photo taking, and even offered us a menu to take away. Alas, there was no food to take away... Still, we've decided to make this an annual jaunt - wonder what will be on the menu next year!