Photo: An Nead
Eating out is an important part of many folks holiday and Scotland has no shortage of top class restaurants and fashionable, family friendly, eateries. Indulgence on holiday should not however be restricted to the evening, so take your time, let yourself go and relax. Instead of a hurried bowl of cereal and an instant coffee, spend a moment to appreciate your surroundings and have a leisurely start to the day with some local produce and a walk to the beach instead of a commute. Spoil yourself with these suggestions for perfect breakfasts, after all, it is the most important meal of the holiday.
One of the joys of staying at An Nead is the ability to walk out onto the deck in the morning and take in the views across Eddrachillis Bay and Quinag. The seclusion and the elevated position make this a stunning place to appreciate your surroundings as you sip your morning coffee. It may be controversial to some but for my ultimate breakfast treat, to set me up for some hiking, I would have something from the nearby Lochinver Larder. One of their enormous fresh, pies would be enough to keep most people going till dinner-time. For a more traditional start to the day, then some hot smoked salmon from the Isle of Ewe Smokehouse, just down the coast would make a special treat.
Hearing the noise of the outside world is often the cue to wake from slumber. When the only sound you can hear in the morning is the lapping of the waves on the shoreline outside then the world is telling you its ok to stay in bed that little bit longer. The Old Salmon Bothy as the name might suggest, is one such place. A romantic getaway for couples, it also has an outside deck where you could spot dolphins as breakfast is prepared. Fancy your luck as a fisherman? What better way to impress your other half than to catch your breakfast just outside. You won’t get any fresher.
If there is one thing they love in the Hebrides for breakfast it’s black pudding. Contemporary chefs have utilised this most traditional of foods it in ever inventive ways; in curries or fajitas for example, but on the islands it is still mainly served up unadulterated. Fried simply in butter with some potato scones or as part of a classic Scottish fry up, featuring square sausage and white pudding, it can’t be beat. Stornoway is rightly famous for its black puddings, with the most highly prized coming from Charles Macleod which is made to a recipe unchanged for over 50 years. Taigh Eilidh is less than an hour drive away and commands enviable views over Ness beach and harbour. From the comfort of the dining table you can see through the huge glass windows to the enticing white sandy beach below. It takes a certain degree of restraint not to gulp down your breakfast super quick so you can run outside and take it all in as soon as possible.
Breakfast at Beinn Alligin is about more than just mountain views. If ever there was an excuse for breakfast in bed then it is the fact that you can take in the peaks of Torridon without actually getting up. The owner provides complimentary, rare breed, free range eggs so, once you have decided whose turn it is to cook and who’s to lie in, then you can enjoy something like freshly baked scones to go with your mountain tops. Served with some coffee, slowly prepared on the wood burning stove it’s the perfect antidote to busy city living.
You could get woken up in the morning by the sun or the sound of cattle in the fields but my personal all-time favourite way to be roused is by the smell of freshly baked bread. There is something about staying in a farmhouse that just seems to go hand in hand with making your own bread and Clashindeugle is no exception. Smoked bacon and a fresh sourdough loaf with farmhouse butter will set you up perfectly for a day of shooting or hillwalking around the surrounding mountains.