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West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 20th July

Posted by Bertie Badger on Jul 20, 2014 3:52:00 PM

It's been a chaotic whirlwind of ups and downs this week, as the weather failed to make up its mind with the forecast: sending us outside in light clothes with promises of sunshine only to surprise us with a downpour later.

Jellyfish by Eriska Pier

Earlier in the week we had heard reports of potential thunderstorms coming our way, though things are looking to be a bit clearer than initially expected, giving us enough opportunity to get outside and explore.

Today: Cloudy and overcast, with occasional showers in the afternoon.

Monday: Things will remain dry, with sunny intervals throughout the afternoon

Tuesday: Another cloudy day ahead with brief patches of sunshine.

Wednesday: Looks to remain mainly unchanged, though expect some light showers in the evening.

Thursday: Today will start off dry, with frequent burst of sunshine, with rain showers dominating in the afternoon.

Friday: Intermittent sunshine and showers throughout the day.

Saturday: Predicted to be drizzly for the best part of the day.

With enough dry spells to allow for a lengthy trip outdoors -without having the worry of incapacitating heat - we recommend those coming to the area enjoy a nice bike ride along the Oban to Fort William cycle path. With Eriska being only two miles from the path, guests can enjoy the nice scenic route from Benderloch to Port Appin with relative ease and enjoy a bite to eat at the one of the few cafes and bars on route.

Topics: Isle of Eriska Hotel, Scottish Weather, weather, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, Warm West Coast Weather, west highland weather, activities in argyl, cycling near oban, west coast cycling

Eriska's Hilltop Reserves

Posted by Bertie Badger on Jul 6, 2014 3:40:00 PM

Without further ado...Eriska Hilltop Reserve

After what seemed like endless work, we here at the Isle of Eriska are proud to announce the completion of the Island's newest feature: two Hilltop Reserves

From Summer 2013, Eriska has been carefully executing plans to add two new self catering lodges onto the Island to offer guests a new type of escape on our luxurious Scottish Island

Witness our progress over the last year, with our Hilltop scrapbook; documenting the creation of the Hilltop Reserves from start to finish:

Topics: 5 star retreat scotland, Isle of Eriska Hotel, scenery, accomodation, Island, hilltop reserves, self catering, luxury self catering, luxury self catering scotland

West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 11th May

Posted by Bertie Badger on May 11, 2014 8:40:00 AM

The weather of the West Coast of Scotland this week has been a tad unpredictable with continously alternating rain showers and sunny intervals - leaving us all a little frustrated as we find ourselves unprepaired for the day ahead (Though we can't deny it's doing wonders for the Island's flora)

bluebells at Eriska

Though it would seem that this little predicament of ours is likely to continue, with weather reports remaining unhelpfully vague.

Today: Sunshine throughout the morning with frequent showers in the afternoon

Monday: Expect light showers for the best part of the day, with patches of sunshine throughout.

Tuesday: Following a misty morning things are looking to clear up leaving us with lots of sunshine in the morning and afternoon.

Wednesday: Likely to be cloudy for the most of the morning, with rain showers commencing throughout the afternoon.

Thursday: A mixture of light and heavy rain expected to domintate the day.

Friday: Things look to dry up a little, with rain forecast only for the later part of the evening.

Saturday: The weeks forecast ends on a rather vague note with more rain and sunshine predicted throughout.

Clay Pigeon ShootingWith just over twenty days until the first (meteorological) day of summer we certainly hope that the rain subsides to allow our guests the delights of enjoying their lunches and afternoon tea in the sunshine with a nice glass of Pimms at hand.

Though even these tedious drizzles cannot stop us from making full use of the Island's facilties. Clay Pigeon Shooting in particular has proven to be popular amongst Eriska's residents this week and is something we would definately recommend it to those coming to visit us over the coming season.

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Scottish Weather, weather, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, Warm West Coast Weather, west highland weather, activities in argyl, West Coast walks

West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 4th May

Posted by Bertie Badger on May 4, 2014 2:24:00 PM

With forecasts of thick grey cloud and frequent showers, the weather last week left little to be desired to the residents of the West Coast. However, we found ourselves pleasantly surprised more than once when the sun fought through to give us the sunshine that we so desperately crave.

view at connel

With the summer months creeping even closer we're hoping for a few more weeks of beach weather over the coming season, though looking ahead it appears that may be a little too optimistic.

Today: A mixture of heavy and light rain  throughout

Monday: A dry start to the day with rain showers appearing early afternoon and continuing for the duratin of the day

Tuesday: Looks to be mostly dry with sporadic rain showers and some sunny intervals

Wednesday: Heavy rain to dominate most of the morning and afternoon, with things drying up in the evening

Thursday: Following a dry night, rain is predicted to make a reapperance with some more sunny intervals.

Friday: Looks to be mainly unchanged with more showers or rain and periodic bursts of sunshine

Saturday: Rain showers anticipated to calm down and turn into a light drizzle that with continue throughout the best part of the day. Expect some infrequent sunshine.

Eriska's Hilltop ReserveIt doesn't seem the best of news for those working up the hill on the installation of our two new hilltop reserves this week, with an abundance of rain to slow them down.

If you're in the area you may be lucky to witness the progress first hand as you explore the Island (though perhaps grab a pair of wellies and an umbrella from the main house first!) and get your first experience our new self-catering reserves. 

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Scottish Weather, weather, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, Warm West Coast Weather, weather in the west highlands of scotland, west highland weather, West Coast walks

West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 27th April

Posted by Bertie Badger on Apr 27, 2014 7:49:00 AM

It's been another pleasant week here at Scotland's West Coast, with frequent bursts of sunshine, warm temperatures and soft breezes bringing the streets of Oban to full life once again.

sunset at Connel

The days are getting longer and longer, allowing us more time down at the beach before witnessing the delights of a fantastic scottish sunset. With any luck we'll enjoy this weather for weeks to come.

Today: Starting off cloudy, with sunny intervals throughout the morning. Some light showers are expected from mid afternoon and will continue periodically through the evening.

Monday: Thick white cloud will remain for the entirety of the day, though things are expected to remain dry.

Tuesday: Looks to be another dry and cloudy day, with a brief patch of rain in the early evening.

Wednesday: Things predicted to turn a little overcast today causing a bit of an icy chill.

Thursday: More thick cloud to dominate, with moderate winds to accompany

Friday: Expected to remain unchanged

Saturday: The week is expected to end on a bit of a dull note, with periodic showers of rain throughout. Though some bursts of sunshine finally peak through the thick cloud.

Tralee BeachIt seems like the sun is taking a break this coming week, hiding behind an abundance of cloud and putting a hold on trips to the beach. But with the weather looking to remain mostly dry, there are plenty of other activities awaiting.

Visitors to the hotel this week may want to venture out for a spot of croquet on the lawn so you're never too far away if rain does decide to fall.

For those looking to explore all of the Eriska's wonders you may be lucky to catch a glimpse of the instillation of our first Hilltop Reserve which we're hoping to have ready for decorating by the end of next week.

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Scottish Weather, weather, scenery, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, Warm West Coast Weather, weather in the west highlands of scotland, west highland weather, sunglasses, scottish sunset

West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 20th April

Posted by Bertie Badger on Apr 20, 2014 1:46:00 PM

 After what seemed like an eternity of the weather toying with us - teasing us with the occasional day of dryness, and even a spot or two of sunshine - Scotland finally broke through the barrier into suntan-lotioning and sunglass-wearing this week, giving everyone the Easter Weekend we all hoped for! 

Boat at Otter Point

The shores of every beach in Britain is likely to have been bombarded by impromptu trips to top-up tans and here at the West Coast things are livelier than ever! With any luck we'll be enjoying the sun for a while yet, allowing us all to dust the cobwebs off our summer gear and enjoy the great outdoors!

Today: Clear blue skies all day accompanied by a slight breeze

Monday: Sunny intervals throughout, with temperatures climbing to a comfortable 16°C

Tuesday: A cloudy start to the day, clearing up late morning and remaining sunny for a large part of the afternoon.

Wednesday: Looks to be mostly cloudy, with some brief rain showers. Temperatures remaining moderately high.

Thursday: Sporadic rain showers predicted to fall throughout the day, with things drying up in the evening.

Friday: More cloud and mild wind throughout, though things expected to remain dry.

Saturday: Looks to be mainly unchanged, with thick cloud to persist.

lake at golf courseThough we are not completely free of those pesky April showers, the week ahead offers us ample opportunity to enjoy the fresh outdoors!

Those visiting us this week are in for a real treat: the sunlight brings out the vibrant colours of the Island's flora and makes for an unforgetable sight. The Cairn, in particular, will be worth a visit to witness the incredible 360° view of Eriska's surroundings out towards the Isles of Lismore and Mull as well as Loch Creran. 

If you're in the area why not go on one of the boat tours that leave periodically from Oban and Port Appin: try your luck at spotting the infamous white-tailed sea eagle, witness the wonders of the numberous ancient castles that line the shores and bask in the beauty of the surroundings from the sea.

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, History, weather, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, Warm West Coast Weather, weather in the west highlands of scotland, west highland weather, sunglasses, activities in argyl, activities, Island

West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 6th April

Posted by Bertie Badger on Apr 6, 2014 2:28:00 PM

After our brief period of dry, near-warm weather the entirety of Scotland seems to be frequented by bothersome April Showers leaving us all pining for more sunshine.

Eriska Pier

Though the forecast does very little to lift our spirits, and things are looking to remain somewhat dull, the large collection of spring flowers shooting up around the Island have been enough to keep our sunny disposition.

Today: Sporadic heavy rain throughout the day with patches of dry and some sunny intervals in the early evening.

Monday: A dry start to the day with more heavy downpours in the afternoon and moderate winds.

Tuesday: Sunny intervals forecast for the duration, with brief light showers in the late morning. Though strong eastward winds persist.

Wednesday: Looks to be a dull and wet day, with heavy rain dominating for the entirety.

Thursday: More showers predicted with some sunny intervals in the afternoon

Friday: Things expected to remain overcast for a large part of the day, with heavy rain in the evening.

Saturday: The week due to end on a wet note with continuous rain forecast for most of the day.
pink flowers at Eriska

Things are certainly looking dreich with large quantities of rain throughout the week, meaning we'll have to put our plans for barbecues and visits to the beach aside for the moment.

Though for those coming to visit the West Coast this week there is plenty still to enjoy in rain or shine. With Spring close to full bloom the selection of public gardens in Argyll and Bute are coming into their prime and would definately be worth a visit!

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Scottish Weather, weather, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, weather in the west highlands of scotland, west highland weather

Activities in Argyll: Planning the Perfect Escape

Posted by Bertie Badger on Apr 4, 2014 7:08:00 PM

Isle of EriskaIt’s come to that time of year when the weather is starting to pick up, the schools are finishing up for the summer and tourists are flooding into cities all around the world.

Short summer breaks are just what you need to escape the monotony of every-day life. For those planning on joining us at the West Coast this summer, here's some activities on and around Eriska to help plan the perfect getaway itinerary:

Thing to do on the Island

  • Walks

The main house is set in the centre of the island and is surrounded by an abundance of flora and wildlife wherein lies a selection of nature paths for our guests to explore. From all points of the island there are amazing views to be witnessed, and with each walk varying in length both casual walkers and experienced hikers have the chance to behold the wonders of the Island.

  • Leisure Facilities

For those wishing to really take advantage of the Island experience, we offer a wide range of activities so that there’s always something for everyone: relax and regenerate at our stables spa, complete with swimming pool, sauna and hot tub for an escape of pure luxury; test your skill on our 9-hole golf course and driving range, or build up a sweat in our indoor sport facility with a spot of tennis, badminton, football and more.

  • Wildlife Spotting

Our 300 acre island is home to more than just the estate; many birds and animals reside in the depths of the vegetation that are unlikely to be spotted in a metropolitan setting. Many a guest have the enjoyment of waking up in the morning to the harmonies of several species of birds chirping in the distance and often spot deer, otters, badgers and seals while exploring the islands depths. For the keen birdwatchers, we have over 100 species of birds on and around the island including the rare white-tailed sea eagle which has been said to make an appearance by our golf course

  • Clay Pigeon Shooting

For those looking for something a little unusual, we offer the fast-paced heart-pounding experience of clay pigeon shooting. Test your skill with a rifle as the clays are sent soaring through the air, along with our experienced instructor.

Activities and Places to Visit near Eriska

  • Sea Life CentreScottish Sea Life Centre

Located only a mile from Benderloch, you don't have to go too far to have a fun afternoon.The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary homes a variety of different and interesting fish and aquatic animals, offering frequent talks, feedings and displays each day to help you get better acquainted with your favourites

  • Tralee Segway Centre
Segway at Eriska

Our neighbours down at Tralee Bay offer a great variety of quirky activities to try. Explore their vast hilly terrain and fantastic open views as you guide your segway through some of Scotland's most scenic countryside or attempt to walk on water in one of the huge 2 meter water walkers. With activities for all ages, it truly is a great family day out!

 

  • Coastal Connection

Charter your own boat to take you around the Isles from Eriska's own Pier. Coastal Connection offer a selection of different Island tours ideal for couples and large groups, allowing you to witness the beauty of the west coast from a whole different perspective.

  • Stramash

For those looking to go on a bit of an adventure, Stramash offer a plethora of outdoor activities for a wide range of skill sets. Archery, Coastering, Sailing and Kayaking are just a few of the things you can try in many of the local stunning settings around the Argyll area

Stramash Activities

Eriska offers the perfect getaway; it’s location in the West Coast of Scotland places it right in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, offering beautiful picturesque scenery and tranquility and with the vast range of activities both on and around the Island our guests will never lack something to do.

Our popular three-night breaks offers the perfect amount of time to explore and indulge, with rates starting at just £585.00 per person. And with our pay before you stay option, you can save a further 10% on top of this.

 

Topics: isle of eriska, ESPA spa, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Eriska, wildlife, scottish spring break, spring package, spring special offer, scenery, Otters, Family Holiday, activities in argyl, activities, Sailing, Island, summer break

Eriska's Spring Wine Event

Posted by Bertie Badger on Mar 24, 2014 7:52:00 AM

Last week Eriska hosted it's annual Spring Wine Weekend with guest Wine Connoisseur Philippe Larue of L'art du Vin. The event showcased a selection of French wines by 'Second Generation Winemakers' hand-picked by Philippe, who worked closely with Ross in the kitchen to pair the wines with appropriate dishes.

Wine Choice - Why Second Generation Wine?red wine

When asked about his choice of Second Generation Winemakers, Philippe explained to us that it may have been possible to accuse the French winemakers of the 70s and 80s of complacency; their wines were selling well around the world because of their reputation. With the advent of a number of excellent New World wine styles (such as the Cabernet Sauvignons of the Napa Valley in California, or Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand) there was the need to return focus to quality in order to compete internationally!

With this in mind, Philippe selected some wines where there has been a marked improvement or development of style with the introduction of a winemaker from the next generation who understands the pressure of international competition.  

The Wines

  • Thienot Champagne

Thienot was set up 25 years ago and is run by the youngest MD in Champagne, Stanislas, the son of the original Founder. The company (who also own Canard Duchene) originally sold 70% of their wine in France and exported 30% to the UK, but under Stanislas have added a further 25 countries to their export market. The brand is recieving excellent reviews and are well on the way to competing with the more famous 'Grande Marques'. We used their wonderful Vintage Brut as an aperitif with canapes of our own Smoked Salmon, and Salt Cod with Chicken Skin. 

Run by the Pabiot family, son Jerome started with only 3 hectares, which he recieved as a birthday present. His first step was to convert the vineyard to be totally organic and biodynamic, and over the subsequent years has continued to espouse this philosophy to much critical acclaim. We paired his top Cuvee with hand-dived Scallops and Pork Belly so that the fresh acidity could counter the richness of the Pork, and the herbaceous and mineral character pair beautifully with the lightly cooked Scallop.

  • Chartron

For the fish course we prepared some fresh Halibut from Mallaig with braised Leeks and a Toast Puree. Philippe had selected a beautiful Puligny Montrachet from Jean Chartron so the hints of bread and brioche from its Oak-Ageing would reinforce the flavour of the Toast Puree, and its lean mineral acidity would keep the palate refreshed without overpowering the fresh fish. Now run by the youngest member of the Chartron Family, the estate is maintaining its reputation as being among the finest producers in the Puligny-Montrachet appellation. In fact it was the Great Grandfather of Jean Chartron who campaigned for the hugely reputable suffix 'Montrachet' to be added to the Village name of Puligny, which had the effect of doubling the sale prices of the wines from the area almost overnight!

  • Chateau le Grand Verdus

The current managing director of Chateau le Grand Verdus, Thomas, took over from his father in 2008 after working as a wine consultant in France and Spain. With a degree in agricultural engineering and experience from apprenticeships in Malborough, New Zealand, he introduced a low yield philosophy focusing on the usage of carefully selected grapes and high quality oak for ageing to produce excellent modern Bordeaux. We paired the rich Grande Reserve Wine with Oven Roasted Beef Sirloin, which had been covered with Kohlrabi Ash before being roasted and carved into steaks. The smoky notes of the Bordeaux beautifully complemented the char on the outside of the meat, while the velvety texture and ripe plum flavours served to enhance the richness of the Onion Gravy and Kohlrabi accompaniments.

  • Domaine Mann

With 50% of vineyards in Alsace being owned by Cooperative producers, the wines outside of the top long-established producers can sometimes be a little disappointing. At Domaine Mann however, brothers Maurice and Jacky Barthelmé - sons-in-law to Albert Mann, are gaining quite a reputation. They were awarded winemakers of the year in 2012, and best Pinot Noir in Alsace 2013. We chose to serve their single vineyard Pinot with our cheese course of Isle of Mull cheddar on Sourdough with plum Ketchup. Here the intention was to have the acid profile of the wine counteracting the rich protein of the cheese, while the rich fruit and minimal tannin add another layer of complementary flavour.

The Sweet Wine to end the evening was also from Domaine Mann. We showed the Vendanges Tardives ('late harvest') Pinot Gris along with Slow-Grilled Pear and White Chocolate Curd. The Pinot Gris is a comparatively fresh and light style of sweet wine, and so the flavours are more in the spectrum of ripe pear and citrus purity than the rich and complex honey styles of Sauternes or Tokaji. The Pear dessert was a natural choice to accentuate this character, and the fact that Ross in the kitchen grilled the fruit slowly meant that the natural sugars caramelised and softened the flesh all the way through without introducing any 'burned' flavours.  

collage resized 600

Food and Wine Considerations

Matching wines to food can seem intimidating for those of little knowledge. When matching wines with food there can be said to be two very broad approaches-

  • Traditional

The traditional approach to wine matching is picking wines and food from the same region. Matching food with wine from the same geographical location is a good fundamental rule because often the food and wines have evolved alongside one another and have a natural affinity. Goat's cheese from Chavignol in the Loire Valley with Loire Sauvignon Blancs such as Sancerre or Pouilly Fume is an excellent example of this, or fine Barolo with the truffle and oil-covered pasta of Piedmont in Northern Italy.

  • 'Scientific'

An alternative approach to wine matching is to look at the variety of factors that can affect flavour and trying to find qualities in both food and wine that might complement each other. Things to take into particular consideration would be the levels of acidity in the wine, intensity of flavour, fats and proteins and sauces and dressings, flavour profiles etc.

The fundamentals of this approach can be about reinforcing flavours - for example matching 'heavy' food with 'heavy' wines - or contrasting flavours - using acidic wines with cream or butter sauces to 'cut through' the richness and refresh the palate.

It is also definitely worth pointing out that there are no hard-and-fast rules to the practice of combining wine with food, and the whole thing should be a fun experiment. If you enjoy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc alongside your Roast Sunday Dinner then you shouldn't let anyone tell you it's wrong!

 

Co-written with F&B Manager Glen Montgomery

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Food, Ross Stovold, Wine, Fine Dining, Wine Weekend

West Coast Weather - Week Commencing 16th March

Posted by Bertie Badger on Mar 16, 2014 8:45:00 AM

Following our brief glimpse of sunshine last week, a wave of optimism has hit Scotland.

No longer do we feel doomed to suffer through days where darkness dominates the sky and strong cold winds hit our faces. The frost and ice that remains hidden in the shade has begun to thaw leaving the fresh beauty of Spring in it's wake. 

Sunset from Bridge

But it's a long way yet before our battle with the rain comes to an end with the forecast this coming week leaving little to be admired

Today: Things are anticipated to stay quite dull, with dark clouds consuming the sky and showers of light rain throughout.

Monday: Another cloudy day ahead. Things expected to remain mostly dry throughout the later morning and afternoon.

Tuesday: Heavy rain showers projected to fall for the best part of the morning, with some brief intervals of sunshine

Wednesday: Looks to be another wet day, with more heavy rain and moderate winds

Thursday: Predominately wet, with a mixture of light and heavy rain.

Friday: More rain continues to fall, though we may see some patches of sunshine in the afternoon.

Saturday: Projected to remain unchanged, ending this week on a dreich note.

spring flower

 

Though it may seem there is no end in sight to the dour Scottish weather, we implore you to remain hopeful. With summer looming ever nearer, it's only a matter of time before the sun becomes a more dominant feature to our days.

In the meantimes, for those coming to stay with us in the coming weeks, we encourage you to explore all that the area has to offer. With local businesses and visitor attractions coming out of hibernation our guests have more activities at their disposal than ever, and our team would be happy to advise on the perfect ones to fit the interests of each individual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: isle of eriska, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Scottish Weather, weather, scenery, weather forecast, Argyll Weather, West Coast Weather, Warm West Coast Weather, weather in the west highlands of scotland, west highland weather