Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Luib - a rose by any other name . . .

Today we plan to do v-e-r-y little!
it is wet and heavy. The cloud moves in and then out, down and then up. The peaks of the Cuilin Range are visible one moment and then hidden behind a veil that moves like some hand hidden way above is waving it. As the day progresses there are a number of waterfalls that appear in the narrow little valleys and the larger crevases that strike the landscape of the Cuilin hills. I guess that gives you some indication of how heavy and persistent the rain is today.

The rain has set in and when Michael goes outside for a smoke he tells me that it is cold as well as wet. Sitting inside behind the picture windows, it is cozy and warm. And today, well the cold and wet are not an appealing combination for doing anything outside!

Michael cooks a nice big brunch and we do a second load of washing. At least all our regular clothes are now fresh again - I can tell you that we get sick of washing in hotel tubs. The television is on and I get a chance to catch up on the various cooking programs and Grand Designs. Stop rolling your eyes - you can watch them whenever you want! I can't!!

While we were eating we watch the seagulls catching whelks and mussells, dropping them from a height onto the rocks to break the shells. It is amazing to watch nature work. We see a boat battling the waves that are being whipped up on the Loch to go to the salmon farm that is out in the bay opposite the house. It eventually reaches its target. Feeling oh so lazy I grab the book The Alhambra by Washington Irving and head for bed. Ha ha - don't last long but do have a lovely afternoon sleep.

Tonight we have booked to have dinner at The Creelers Restaurant run by David and Ann. When we get there at 7:30 pm they are almost full to capacity. We are shown to a table reserved for us by the front window - that is nice. The menu was extensive for a restaurant this size. Additional to the menu there is a specials board with a further four choices for entrees and mains. We toss around the choices and as Michael considers ordering gumbo, our waiter suggests that he tries it before ordering as it is very spicy. While he loves the gumbo, he knows that a full portion will be too spicy for his stomach. So we select as follows:
Pan browned King Scallop (yes, singular) on Ardeche sausage with a Green Bean Fume and Caviar (Michael)
Local hand-dived Queen Scallops (yes, plural) in the half shell, served with a creamy sauce Provencal and dressed leaves (Maria)
Double fillet of Mediterranean Sea Bass on the bone, pan roasted with a grilled flavour and texture. Served with potatoes, seasonal vegetables and fresh salad (Michael)
Local Squat Lobster tails pan sauteed in a dry sherry etouffe. Served with seasonal vegetables and leaf salad (Maria)
Creelers Chocolate Mousse made with 70% cocoa-butter chocolate and served with a hot orange sauce (Michael)
Creme Brulee (Ann's classic!) made to a traditional French recipe.
We again finish with coffee and I have a dram of Talisker Whisky. This is from the only distillery on the Isle of Skye. Nice, but not my favourite to date.

The food was sublime. The ingedients are very fresh and the sauces complemented without masking the natural flavours. David is very talented chef and obviously loves to experiment with flavours from many cultures. There are fabulous options that include French and Cajun influences that you might not expect to find in a restaurant in a small town on a small island! But these are the discoveries that really are the joy of our trip.

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