After 18 months of behind the scenes work we unveiled our new look dining room. A more relaxed feel designed to focus attention on the food and service and help to dissipate too much formality which ‘fine dining ‘ has acquired over the years but is becoming more passé. As ardent admirers of local craftsmen Don and Wendy chose Robertson and Bailey for the furniture and Highland Pottery for the tableware.
Having been bereft of full time help in the garden this month due to Amanda finding she needed to spread her wings in search of a teaching post, I am well and truly reconnected with the garden on a daily basis. A cathartic process in some ways enabling me to take back control over the daily running of the garden. The design business has meant that past few years I had been overseeing and planning now I am well and truly stretching and bending limbs and tendons!
The factors that interest most about wine are region and vintage. I find it incredible and challenging that a grape varietal once made in to a delicious wine can taste different depending on the geographical location in which the grapes is grown. This difference is not only limited to country and region as wines made from the same grapes by the same producer can often taste different depending on where they are planted within the vineyard. There are of course other contributing factors that influence the final flavour but location is a very important one.
With Spring finally upon us and Summer just around the corner I wanted to bring some exciting new seasonal wines to everyone’s attention. The quieter winter months are a great time to meet with our enthusiastic suppliers and attend wine tastings, this winter has been extremely productive and we have many fantastic new listings.
The older I become, the more I appreciate the advent of Spring. Perhaps it is some form of “one foot in the grave” syndrome, but where as in the past I merely noticed (or not) that new life was stirring in the grounds, I now actively look for it.
Having spent a minute or two researching the history of Mothers Day I find it fascinating (especially being one myself!) that this tradition is still going strong. (more…)
Georgian Houses are beautiful to look at, and a pleasure to live in. They are however a complete nightmare to heat. Despite 3 foot thick walls and knee deep roof insulation there seems to be little one can do with large sash windows. It is clear how much heat is lost through the windows when opening shutters which have been closed overnight, its just like opening a fridge door as a wall of cold air enters the room. (more…)
Having only just cleared the last of the damage to our trees caused by the gale we suffered here on Christmas Eve, we watch with horror the devastation being caused further South. Although we lost three tree and had major branch damage we seem to have got off lightly so far. We have seen no snow here on the coast this year to date, and only a couple of slight frosts. (more…)
All of apples have now been picked and juiced. Normally this labour of love falls to Wendy and I, but this year Charlie and his crew plus Ian our Groundsman achieved in an afternoon what normally takes us two or three days. We had an enormous crop this year (although plums and pears were not so good) so lots of lovely apple juice. How difficult is it to make cider?? (more…)
Watching the national evening news tonight. Tube strikes, massive rail fare rises, appalling state of inner city schools etc which caused me to reflect on how lucky we are up here in the Highlands of Scotland. (more…)