Highland photo journal, part 4- Applecross (a foodporn installation)
I promised foodporn…. but I also have to share my journey here and the provide a bit of background on the place that makes me happiest in all the world.
We skipped across Sleat and off over the bridge.
It may seem a long way round to sail to Skye, drive through it, then off again over the bridge, but it was much quicker than driving up over the mainland.
On arrival at Applecross we set up camp and made a spot of lunch using the local hot smoked salmon.
Yes, it was pretty amazing.
We then headed straight for the Potting Shed in the Walled Garden for carrot and walnut cake and a glass of wine. The garden was looking beautiful, even in the light of the slightly greyed skies.
The last time we were here was in March when everything was suffering after the harsh winter. It’s hard to believe the garden could have recovered, so it was nice to see how lush and colourful it was. It looked like a scene from a fairytale.
Once we scoffed our cake and completed a lap of the bay on our bikes, we retired to the campsite where barbecued some mean steaks topped with blue cheese from the West Highland Dairy . This was quite possibly the tastiest bit of steak I have ever had.
This was washed down with guerilla cocktails- daquiris made using the water bottle from my bike as a cocktail shaker!
Of course no campsite barbecue would be complete without toasted marshmallows at sunset…
We woke to find the clouds were high giving great visibility.
A great day for a cycle into the estate. It was tough at first but our legs soon got used to the steady gradual uphill ascent over the rocky path.
It was exhausting but well worth the effort and, giving the appetite built up, we felt fully justified in treating ourselves to a lunch of whole Applecross bay prawns from the Applecross Inn.
At this point I feel I should mention Judy Fish, landlady and local living legend. Judy bought the Applecross Inn over 20 years ago, before there was a ‘proper’ road (not that you can yet call the Bealach Na Ba a proper road), and not long after electricity was first introduced to the peninsula. Somehow she saw the potential in the area and, despite some opposition from strict religious locals over the sale of alcohol, she went about setting up the Applecross Inn. Over the years it has accrued a fabulous reputation for hospitality and amazing food, especially the famous Applecross bay prawns. But, most importantly, where many remote communities in Scotland face an uncertain future, a thriving community has sprung up around the Inn providing employment, attracting new residents and businesses, and enticing holiday makers from all over the globe to see this beautiful place and to sample the wonderful food, not just from the inn, but the Potting Shed and the Flower Tunnel. Seriously, the abundance of fabulous food in such a small remote area is unbelievable. I genuinely believe without Judy Applecross would be a very different place and I have so much admiration for her. Judy Fish- I salute you! 🙂
Anyway, enough gushing about the wonderful Judy, other people I would like to take my hat off to are John, Elaine and their team at the Applecross Walled Garden. Why? Let me show you…
Seriously, seriously incredible local food (mostly from within a few hundred yards of the estate) in beautiful surroundings, all masterminded and managed by the humble but very talented John and Elaine. Everybody should make the journey to Applecross, if for no other reason than to eat here, what I believe to be the best kept secret in Scotland. I actually have no words for how brilliant this place is. I think the pictures say more than I possibly could.
This, for me, is heaven.
It was lucky then, as an anniversary gift from John, I got to take little bit of heaven away with me. Two of my very own bags of freshly caught, cooked and shelled squat lobsters! My favourite! 🙂 This made me very smiley.
This provided many a happy snack over the next few days- Photo’s to follow!
We had another wonderful time in Applecross finalised by a late night stroll round the walled garden before a sound sleep with our bellies full of scrumptious food.
The next morning it was time to pack away our camp and head for the hills once more, so we drove the Bealach Na Ba leaving behind the blues skies of the Wester Ross coast and headed back again over the bridge to Skye.
Next stop, Isle Ornsey, the garden of Skye.
Posted on June 29, 2011, in Eat, Photography, Scotland, Travel and tagged Applecross, Applecross walled garden, barbeque, Boar, Cake, Camping, Cheese, Cocktails, Cycling, Daiquiri, Food, Foodporn, Gardens, Highlands, Isle Ornsey, Knoydart, Mallaig, Prawns, Scotland, Seafood, Skye, Sleat, Squat lobster, Steak, Wester Ross. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.