Our Blog

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day!

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 23, 2016 4:27:34 PM

Tomorrow, on Thursday the 24th November 2016, Americans all over the world will come together to celebrate one of the most important days of the year - Thanksgiving Day!

On the otherside of the Atlantic Ocean, in Scotland, there are not many who regularly celebrate this day, unless we are in the company of Americans. However at Eriska, with many of our guests visiting throughout the year from the Untited States, we like to ensure that we celebrate with them here in the comfortable surroundings at Eriska.

  • First of all, a little recap on what Thanksgiving is all about (a bit of History never hurt anyone...) 

Thanksgiving Day is a famous celebration for those across the pond, that takes place on the second Monday of October in Canada, and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

In fact, more people in the US celebrate Thanksgiving than they do Christmas. Thanksgiving Day is a secular holiday in a country that officially separates church and state.

Thanksgiving Day can be traced back to the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the religious refugees from England known popularly as the Pilgrims invited the local Native Americans to a harvest feast after a particularly successful growing season.

  • Classic Thanksgiving dishes

          Turkey: and/or ham, goose and duck or turducken (a spatchcocked combo of three whole birds!)

         Stuffing (also known as dressing): a mix of bread cubes, chopped celery, carrots, onions and sage stuffed inside          the turkey for roasting. Chestnuts, chopped bacon or sausage, and raisins or apples are also sometimes included            in the stuffing.

          Pies: pumpkin pies are most common, but pecan, apple, sweet potato and mincemeat pies are also quite                       popular.

 

  • For dessert, and to whet your appetite, our Head Chef, Paul Leonard, suggests you try his "special recipes" of the popular Pumpkin Pie : 

The Eriska Pumpkin Pie Recipe 

 

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Trying this recipe for yourself?

We'd love to hear how you get on - leaf us a comment below!

Topics: Food, Festive

Winter is coming!

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 17, 2016 6:05:44 PM

When I arrived to my office yesterday, passing by the Deck Restaurant as usual, I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the incredible sunrise from our restaurant terrace. It snowed during the night, and I discovered the snowy mountains, mixed with a pure blue sky, and the bright green from our Eriska Golf. At this moment, I thought it proved exactly why I loved Scotland. Scotland is full of secrets and every day I discover something new. I could spend all my day overlooking the landscapes, listening to the sound of waves and feeling the breeze on my face... 

Winter is coming in Scotland and as a result, I've discovered another part of Scottish Beauty... The snow creates a nostalgic, exciting feeling as it announces the arrival of the Festive Days and all the magic of Christmas...

If, like me, you decide to discover Scotland this winter, stop by The Isle of Eriska one weekend and enjoy a relaxing getaway closer to the nature. Visit our Deck Restaurant located above the Spa, for a relaxing moment overlooking the incredible view out towards the snowy mountains. The Deck Restaurant is the ideal place for coffee, lunch and early dinner, offering good, Scottish cuisine with fresh produce coming from the local area. Click to discover our sample menu.

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Deck restaurant
Winter Opening Times
12.30pm - 6.30pm
Closing at 4pm on Mondays
Closed all day Tuesdays
 
For all reservation, please contact the reception on 01631 720 371 or by email at office@eriska-hotel.co.uk.
 
We look forward to welcoming you to the Isle of Eriska for your relaxing stay, and you never know, a snowball battle might await! 

Topics: Food, winter, snow, view

Winter Garden: a morning with Dougie

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 10, 2016 10:05:53 AM


 

Yesteday, I had the chance to have a private visit of Eriska's garden with Dougie our Gardener. He has just started to plant new vegeatables for this winter, for example winter raddish, winter lettuce, miners lettuce, or Pakchoi that you will find in our Michelin restaurant's tasting menu.

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Our Chef, Paul Leonard, is keen to work with Eriska's home grown vegetables in all its forms and textures, whist striving to maintain the original flavour of each product.  

A favourite amongst out team has to be the new Pink Fir Apple potatoes - lovely and precious small, pink potatoes (see photo on the right), with strange forms which prove that Eriska have an appetence for natural products. 

To whet your appetite, discover our Autumn Tasting Menu and find our garden vegetables hidden in the recipes... 

To reserve your table in our retained starred Michelin restaurant, please book directly with our recpetion team at 01631 720 371. We look forward to welcome you for a culinary experience...

 

Topics: Food, vegetables, garden, nature

Oban Winter Festival : Celebrating November

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 9, 2016 9:03:09 AM

Oban is an attractive, west coastal port and the main ferry terminal to the western isles -  only a 30 minute drive from Eriska. The town offers a wide range of tourist activities and it tries to improve its interest every year, in November, during the Oban Winter Festival. This year the 6th Edition of Oban Winter Festival takes place from the 18th of November to 27th of November. So, be ready for a Festive Scottish Week!

The Oban Winter Festival came to fruition for the first time 6 years ago, in 2010, by a group of local merchants who wanted to dynamise the town during a quieter winter, awaiting Christmas Day. A good excuse to congregate and feast in order to better avoid the cold and rainy days of November! And they did well - the 1st Edition was a great success and certainly battled against the elements and challenges that the winter can bring! 

For the 6th Edition of the Oban Winter Festival this year, the town wanted to continue developing new activities in order to attract more visitors. The 2016 Programme is comprehensive and varied, with activities for all ages. Some of the 2016 programme include: 

  • Whisky tasting
  • Charity fashion show 
  • Ballet West Winter Wonderland
  • Reinder Parade 
  • Victorian Market 
  • Fireworks
  • Christmas lights preparing Christmas 

In addition there will be music concerts, pubs and restaurants all especially set up for the Festival!

Click here to view the whole programme.  

We hope this whets your appetite and you might consider Obvan for your November getaway - perhaps even joining in some of the festivities! 

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If you plan to go to the Oban Winter Festival, and if you looking for a place to sleep away from the noise and the crowds, book a room with our reservation team at office@eriska-hotel.co.uk or by phone at 01631 720 371. 

Topics: Food, Oban Games

Are You Game?

Posted by Bertie Badger on Sep 11, 2016 5:27:53 PM

As I highlighted in my previous blog post, the shooting season has already started and therefore we offer our visitors a wide variety on our daily changing Michelin Starred Restaurant menu.  If you are still not convinced to visit Eriska in October or if you are reluctant to taste Scottish Game, I will have final mattempt to persuade you of  all the benefits of games and try to change your mind ! 


Our Chef Paul Leonard and his team work with Breadfood Foods located in the North of Glasgow. They offer a large variety of Game, respecting each shooting season, in order to provide the best product ever ! 

  • 1. What is game ? 
Game meat is any meat which comes from animals that are not typically raised on farms and that are hunted for as food- The flesh of any wild animal or bird- tehr is no pretty way of saying this. Game is usually classified according to three categories:

           - Small birds, such as the pigeon and quail

           - Game Proper, a category that can be subdivided into

  •  Winged Game, such as the goose, duck, woodcock, grouse or partridge, and pheasant 
  • Ground Game, such as the Squirrel, Hare, Deer and Rabbit 

          - Big game, predominantly venison, roebuck, deer, elk, moose, caribou or boar 

  • 2. Games Benefits

The meat comes from wild animals which means they forage for their food making it richer in flavour and also much leaner than animals such as cows and chickens. It is low in fat and high in Protien

Eat games offer several advantages and preserve your healh :

Low in fat

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Good source of Protein

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Good source of iron and zinc

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Lower Omega 6 fatty acids

Higher Omega 3 fatty acids    

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  • 3. Game shooting season 

To know exactly the shooting game season in order to expect what type of game you could find in your dish for one dinner in our Michelin restaurant, please find below the respective dates : 

      

Grouse 

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From 12th August until 10th December

Snipe

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From 12th August until 31st January

Partridge

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From 1st September until 1st February

Teal

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From 1st September until 31st January

Widgeon

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From 1st September until 31st January

Wild Mallard

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From 1st September until 31st January

Pheasant

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From 1st October until 1st February

 Woodcock

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From 1st October until 31st January

Roe Deer (Bucks)

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From 1st April until 20th October

Red Deer (Stags)

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From 1st July until 20th October

You also may enjoy games available througouht the year as Wood Pigeon, Rabbit or Har         

  1. 4. Discover Game in our Michelin Starred Restaurant 

Taste new flavours discovering our A la carte menu seasonal supplement :

Grouse Salt baked Celeriac,

Garden Cabbage, foraged Yelloc Chanterelles, Island berries 

 

I cannot deliver more details, the recipe is a secret known only by our Chef Paul Leonard, all his team and anyone who asks him, but trust me, you can expect  a flavour explosion ! To give you a better idea, please discover our video related the grouse preparation ... 

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So now, Game is not secret for you anymore. So when will you visit the  Eriska and test Pauls Recipes ? 

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Topics: Food

10 reasons to visit Eriska in Autumn

Posted by Bertie Badger on Aug 28, 2016 9:05:11 AM

 

With the leaves on the trees already starting to turn and the estate team warming up the rakes, it is clear that the Summer will soon come to an end and give way to Autumn on the Island. One of the natural beauties of living where we are, is that each season is differnt and each has its own traits. The Autumn season is rich in activities and offers beautiful landscape over the loch and the mountains, whilst still offering plenty of daylight to explore and investigate. 

So, if you thought there was nothing to do on the Isle of Eriska during Autumn, I will give you my 10 bests reasons to change your mind and to enjoy this stunning season. Trust me, you will be not disappointed ... 


  • 1. Enjoy the beautiful Eriska landscape with Autumnal colors_I5D9937__Autumn_view_from_grounds.jpg

From the Michelin restaurant conservatory or from the Deck restaurant and its panoramic views, enjoy the beautiful landscape and discover Eriska with orange, reds and yellow shades. Eriska contains a diversity of fauna and flora, that is why each season in Eriska offers something special. Let the magic of the nature do the job, and enjoy it!

 

  • 2. Practice shooting game with Duaine at the best time of the year

Scotland is very famous for the shooting games practice. On the west coast of Scotland, game season starts on 12th August and carries on through until the end of October. Paul and his team in our Michelin restaurant kitchen, use a great deal of game in the Autumn. Grouse, Phesant, Partridge, Woodcock, Snipe, Mallard and Mountain Hare are among the range of  game you can find on our Michelin menu during this time of the year.

gameshooting.jpgThe kitchen has its own game suppliers in order to be sure to serve the best products available for our guests. Among them, you will find Kennedys Butchers, Braehead Foods ( North of Glasgow) or Glenfinnan Estate (North of Fort William).

If you'd like the opportunity to acclimatize to local customs, do not hesitate to book a Clay Pigeon Shooting session directly at our reception on arrival. Clay Pigeon Shooting is available between 10:30 and 15:00 Monday to Saturday and is located near the pier, a five minute walk from the hotel. We will provide you with cartridges, a 12 bore shot gun and ear defenders. Duaine will meet you at the boat shed just before the pier and help improve your shot!

 

  • 3. Relax in the Stables Spa between two rides along the Eriska road

EriskaWebUse-16_-_Copy.jpgThere's nothing better than a relaxing stay at the Isle of Eriska to forget all the daily life's stress...Discover our Stables Spa located only 100 meters from the main house which includes a 17 meters inside swimming pool, a hot tub and 5 treatments rooms. Enjoy the spa treatments available throughout the year with our therapists Roxi, Kayleigh and Ailsa. 

We harvest ingredients from the flourishing island and capture the nutrients of the sea to nourish your body, mind and soul. Delivering unique Scottish experiences the Stables Spa provides you with a setting to refresh, regenerate and release your inner wellbeing.

Our natural products Ishga and ESPA have been chosen to create refreshing treatments, to infuse the mind, allowing your body to be cleansed with every breath harmonising you with the island. 

Our Spa is open daily for Treatments and Spa Day Packages from 10.30am until 5pm. Please contact the spa on  +44 (0) 1631 720802 or email spa@eriska-hotel.co.uk to book your appointments. And to feel the Stables Spa emotions, click on this link 

  • 4. Practice golf on our 6 hole course overlooking the loch and the mountains 

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You can be lucky and witness sunny seasonal autumnal weather and if so, why not discover our 6 golf course available on Eriska, just in front of the Stables Spa?  

Our Golf Course and Driving Range is open to non-residents as well as our residents from 8am until 8pm seven days a week. All ages and abilites are welcome to play the course and use the driving range. 

No need to book in advance, turn up and pay to play! Enjoy stunning views as you make your way around our golf course or if you simply want to check your swing, then why not visit the driving range and practice area. Golf clubs and golf trolleys are available to hire from our Stables Reception. 

To have a better impression about what you expect, discover our golf video click on this link!

  • 5. Discover our indoor sports hall and enjoy a spot of  tennis, badminton, bowls or even football

Sports_Hall_finished.jpgYou may however not be so lucky with the sunshine but that does not mean you can't run for shelter in our indoor sports hall which is open all year round, available for a whole host of activities and functions. Sports equipment can be hired from our Spa Reception at a nominal cost. 

And for your wellness, working out in the gym located on the ground floor of the Stables Spa building and enjoy range of fitness stations (including cross trainer, tread mills, rower and cycle). In addition, there is a free standing multi-purpose weight centre along with fitness balls, to help you maintain your fitness regime whilst away from home. 

  • 6. Explore the Island and discover mushrooms and wild berries along the Eriska road

As mentioned earlier, The Isle of Eriska offers a rich diversity of fauna and flora at all times of the year. Throughout thechanterelle.jpg Autumn you can ride along the main road or go to the forest areas near to Heronry, Sutherlands Grove or Fearnoch, and discover delicious mushroom; ceps, hedgehogs, yellow chanterelles and angels wings. If you find them, do not hesitate to show them to our kitchen team, to be sure they are safe, and the kitchen will be delighted to tell you more about them and can adapt your dinner menu to include them. 

 If you prefer dessert and sweet, discover the wild berries hidden in the Island.  Eriska is producing lots of berries at the minute with brambles, rowan berries, wild raspberries and even wild cherries.

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  • 7. Discover the new tasting menu included the best Autumnal products 

0I5D9790_pheasant_dish_wide_Small.jpgIn the Michelin restaurant, the tasting menu changes each month and depends of the products available, taking into account seasonal products and the location in order to offer the best scottish products for our guests.

The ideal main course of the Autumnal tasting menu could include grouse served with garden red cabbage, salted baked celeriac and Island berries. 

To match with this dish, our Sommelier, Eduardo, advises our guests to taste a Classic Rhone which blends and  combines the same flavour profile. They both share richness, intensity of aromas and definitely the important touch of earthiness and gaminess. To other experiences, Bordeaux wines and Italian wines may also match perfectly with other Games! 

Dinner is served from 7:30pm to 9.00 pm in the formal restaurant, the restaurant can become busy at times and we advise our guests to pre-book a preferred dining time as soon as possible by phoning 01631 720371. The attire in the restaurant is Casual Smart. For more information and experiences, click on this link to feel the emotions about the dishes cooked by Chef Paul Leonard and his team!

  • 8. Help collect the autumnal vegeatables in Eriska private garden with our gardener Dougie 

IIsle_of_Eriska_Restaurant_Head_Chef_-_Paul_Leonard-3.jpgn the garden of our Stables Spa, discover the Eriska garden which produces throughout the year local vegetables and herbs, maintained by our Gardener Dougie. All year round, our Michelin restaurant kitchen is directly supplied from the garden. If you are going to the Stables Spa, stop in the garden and discover the autumnal vegeatables: Cabbages and Brassica plants, Carrots, Potatoes, Squashes, Turnips, Sweeds and Parsnips. Do not hesitate to ask Dougie if you have any questions, he will be delighted to introduce his job and offer you a hose to help!.

  • 9. Enjoy and discover our autumnal cocktails in the Bar near to our fireplace 

Whiskey_Bramble.jpegAfter a long journey or an arduous mountain trek, why not relax in the Isle of Eriska bar, near to the fireplace, and discover our new Autumnal cocktail? The classic Eriska recipes still remain a mystery - preciously held by our Sommelier Eduardo, but expect you to find a combination with Scottish Whisky and bramble, all decorated with wild berries... 

 

 

  • 10. Taste the perfect autumnal wines selected by our Sommelier Eduardo in the bar or during your dinner 

Before or during your dinner, choose your favorite wine among our extensive wine list available througout the year. And if the choice is too difficult, our Sommelier Eduardo presents you our Autumnal wine selection: 

  1. Red wine: A supper classic red Crozes-Hermitage from the Rhone Valley which offer a lot read and black fruit flavours, spiciness coming from the Syrah grape variety and a very settled touch of earthy gaminess with complement the dish perfectly.
  • White wine: A rich and oily Chardonnay from either Australia, America or Burgundy. This wine will offer a great creamy texture which will cope with the meatiness. This wine will most likely be quite oaky which will bring an element of spiciness to this wine which would also be a lovely flavour to complement our Autumn mushroom.

These are just a few reasons why I enjoy Eriska during this season, and perhaps some of them will give you inspiration to visit and spend an unique stay in the Isle of Eriska during Autumn. If you need more help planning a visit, please do not hesitate from asking any of our team and we will put on my thinking cap again! 

Topics: Food, Spa, Golf Course West Coast

The Eriska Garden starts producing!

Posted by Beppo Buchanan-Smith on May 26, 2016 11:55:48 AM

There is that old saying that if you wait for a bus for long enough then suddenly three come along at once and so it seems with the Eriska Garden although unlike bus timetables I suspect nature is even more unpredicatble and fickle. The good news from our side is that providing we get our planning right and the kicthen are kept up to date with all the opportunities then we can simply divert attention from suppliers to our own produce however the balance seems to be between tiem allocatedfor harvesting and sowing for now with a little bit of garden maintenace and weeding in amongst this!

veg_patch-resized-600.jpgSo after a slow start to the season when even those seeds in the greenhouse struggled to survive - the warmth is certainly here and is helping the growing and cultivation and as douggie tried to explain to me teh long days with sunshine can do noting but encorage teh photosynthesis that is essential in a garden. We have gone from a few radish and forced rhubarb to full baskets of herbs, flowers and vegetables arriving on a daily basis.

The juicer is at full capacity mulching down the watercress, wild garlic and other herbs to make oils and potions for use in the winter and the sinks are full of leaves being washed and prepared. Last week we even had the ultimate compliment when one of our foraging suppliers came to the kitchen and offered to swap items so he could refill his van for his next stop- tempting but these are very much our ingredients for use by Paul and his team in the Eriska Restaurants whether in the fine dining Main Diningroom or accross in the more informal Deck Brasserie where we are combining some of the wonderful seafood we have delivered with our natural larder.watering_can.jpeg

Douggies Gardening prowess does not stop in the small kitchen garden but now reaches into the herb gardens by Lilac and most importantly the relatively new garden out by the sports facility. This structure gives it shelter from thr morning frost and warmth from the evening sun- the perfect combination-  and having been full of potatoes last year we hope the soil will be starting to recover from 30 years as a cows pasture field and will start to help us with our vegetables.  This was in fact the original kitchen garden used back in 1900 when the house would have had to produce the majority of the ingredients for the kitchen during the sumer when the island was occupied. 9Just dont tell douggie that there was ateam of 10 working then).

Whilst we are led to beleive that the Victorians ate heartily - evidence does not show that they enjoyed "Five a day" that we are promised although they did grow pears, apples and even pineapples back then but it has to be said that Sir Ian Clark Hutchison, who lived here then,  always admitted that they were "Quite" Sour- maybe photsynthesis was limted then too!!!

 

Topics: Food

As Autumn Arrives

Posted by Claire Soulsby on Aug 30, 2015 6:00:00 PM

As the 'summer' draws to a close our days begin to get shorter and our moods tend to sway. The way to get out of this? A weekend break at Eriska!

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Why Eriska of all places? Well, where else can you escape to the peace and quiet of an Island with the only distraction being our Stables Spa, Michelin Starred food and wildlife?

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Eriska is a family run hotel that has been in operation for over 40 years. So why not come with your family to create memories at a traditional Scottish hotel located in one of the most scenic areas of the world!

We look forward to welcoming you to Eriska!

 

For further information either call us on 01631 720 371 or email us on office@eriska-hotel.co.uk

Topics: Eriska, Food, scenery, Spa

The Glorious Twelfth

Posted by Claire Soulsby on Aug 2, 2015 4:14:19 PM

At Eriska we are all about the traditional, from our rooms to our service. Traditionally within Scotland the 12th of August signifies the first day of Red Grouse Shooting.

Within Scotland this is seen as a great day for fresh food and new ways for chefs to create incredible menus. 

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Our Head Chef, Ross Stovold is just as excited as the rest of us about Grouse coming onto the menus at Eriska.

So why not make an experience out of this special occassion by staying with us for the night and enjoying our Michelin Starred food. Rates start from £202.50 per person per night for dinner, bed and breakfast!

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For any enquiries please call 01631 720 371 or email office@eriska-hotel.co.uk

We hope to welcome you to Eriska soon.

Topics: Food, scotland hotels

The Newest Member

Posted by Claire Soulsby on May 31, 2015 1:16:00 PM

Within the Isle of Eriska we are changing with the times, we have expanded the Stables Spa and we have also opened a new restaurant.

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The 'Deck Restaurant' is located inside the spa and is open to the public, as well as residents. With a menu holding the freshest options, along with local beers and beverages. It is due to be sunshine on our Deck, so we invite you to join us! This is the perfect opportunity to take your children, mother, father or grandparents out for a extrodinary lunch, dinner or tea and coffee. 

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Why not choose to stay in one of our luxurious rooms whilst enjoying the Deck Restaurant or our Michelin Starred Restaurant. Stays start from just £157.50 per person! To check availability either call 01631 720 371 or email us on office@eriska-hotel.co.uk

Topics: Food, Ross Stovold, Deck Restaurant