Our Blog

We have done it again!

Posted by Claire Soulsby on Sep 20, 2015 7:51:35 PM

As many of you will have now heard we have manage to keep our Michelin Star for the second year running!

It is a time to congratulation not only Ross Stovold our Head Chef, but his whole team who have worked hard to be able to keep the star.

When hearing this news Ross thanked all our suppliers for their continued hard work, along with his strong team and continual support from Beppo.

How could anyone say no when you see the food they produce?










So if you want to book a table do it now emailing office@eriska-hotel.co.uk or call us on 01631 270 371

Topics: Ross Stovold, michelin star

An Environmental Life

Posted by Claire Soulsby on Jul 20, 2015 10:02:21 AM

Within the Isle of Eriska we try to use only the purest of ingredients and help the environment when we can. We have now been shortlisted in the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Award.

Within our bar we use the freshest products as garnish and ingredients and strive to make sure that everything that reaches your glasses is of the finest quality.

Our Head Chef, Ross Stovold has been working hard to ensure that al his ingredients are sourced either from our own gardens or as locally as possible. That is not only within our Michelin Starred Dining Room but also in our newly refurbished Deck Restaurant.



Topics: 5 star retreat scotland, Ross Stovold

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.


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. 


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

Seaweed: The New Skincare Superfood

Posted by Bertie Badger on Jun 5, 2014 9:47:00 PM

In recent years, the want to replace artificial products from our day to day life has skyrocketed. People, more now than ever, are more health conscious and want to know what products they are washing into their hair, moisturising their face with and consuming in their food.

It’s becoming more and more common to find your conditioners, face creams and soaps filled with coconuts, almonds and aloe vera from the exotic corners of the world. Healthy snacks and drinks too are filled with colourful ingredients, full of vitamins and nutrients that are good for both internal and external health.

It may be a surprise to some that there is a good alternative right on your doorstep. Though not as glamorous, the use of seaweed in skincare products and in the kitchen is starting to show a certain popularity for the tremendous benefits it offers.

Seaweed in Skincare

Ishga Seaweed

Seaweed is also used frequently for many body wraps that are help eliminate toxins and body tension. Though a company based in Scotland, called Ishga, have developed a full range of products using seaweed which is ideal for all skin types.

The seaweed used in Ishga products comes from the Hebridean Islands of Scotland. They contain high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols which help provide protection against environmental damage and leaving your skin looking healthier as a result.

This month, our Spa are offering a special one hour Ishga facial, using seaweed products and light massage to tighten and tone skin as well as stimulate blood and lymph circulation, leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Book your Seaweed Facial Now  

Seaweed in Food.

Though the very idea of eating seaweed may seem repulsive, you may be surprised to know that it is likely you have already eaten regularly in your lifetime. Carragheen gives a gelatinous substance when boiled, which is used in ice cream as well as vegetarian friendly jellies.

Though when we talk of the use of seaweed in food, we really do mean in its pure form! It is commonly used in Japan with Sushi and in miso soup, but with the western world becoming more adventurous with cuisine. Seaweeds such as Kelp are cropping up more and more, dried and powdered into a garnish that can be sprinkled over pizza, or used as a wrap for fish.

But it is the health benefits of eating seaweed that we really like to emphasise: while there are many different forms of seaweed that vary in mineral and vitamin content, all are high in dietary fibre, provides your daily dose of iodine and is almost as high in protein as other vegetables.

Topics: spa treatments scotland, Food, Spa, Ross Stovold, Seaweed, Ishga Seaweed, spa facial, superfood, seaweed in food

National Vegetarian Week: Veggies Don't Have to be Boring!

Posted by Bertie Badger on May 21, 2014 2:52:00 PM

This Monday marked the beginning of National Vegetarian Week – seven full days of living meat free while exploring the vivacious vegetarian lifestyle.

Though to some this may sound like their worst nightmare, Nation Vegetarian Week allows for the discovery of new styles and flavours that will delight your palette, as well as promote the use of vegetarian products and a healthy lifestyle.

Our chef, Ross Stovold, is known for his fondness of fresh local produce and having recently aided in the reintroduction of use of the garden, Eriska is now growing a selection of vegetables and herbs that are used daily in our fine-dining restaurant.

collage veg resized 600

Vegetarian dishes can be found on our menu each evening and are always a popular choice with our guests. Though their great taste and impressive presentation would suggest otherwise, the dishes are quite simple to make! Why not try to cook one of our favourite of Ross's Veggie dishes for yourself?

Potato Mousse
Poached Duck Egg, Braised Leek, Hazelnut and Goats Curd

Ingredients (serves 4)

Potato Mousse resized 600

4 Large Maris Piper Potatoes

125ml Double Cream

30ml Good Quality Rapeseed Oil

4 Duck Eggs

2 Large Leeks

100g Unsalted Butter

50g While Hazelnut

1 Tub Goat’s Curd or good quality Goat's Cheese


1. Bake the potatoes at 200°C for 1.5 hours until tender in the middle.

2. Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and pass through a potato ricer into a clean pan over medium heat. Stir continuously, gradually adding the cream and rapeseed oil until fully mixed. Season to taste and allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Toast the hazelnuts at 170°C for 10 minutes. Roughly chop leaving pieces of varying size for a nice texture.

4. Slice the leeks into 1cm rounds and wash

5. In a flat pan, bring 150ml water and 100g butter to a boil. Lightly season and add sliced leeks. Braise for 8 minutes or until tender.

6. Strain the leeks, keeping half the cooking liquor


1. Poach the duck eggs for 4 minutes.

2. Warm up the potato mousse, stirring occasionally

3. Warm up the leeks in retained cooking liquor

4. Spoon the mousse into the middle of the plates and arrange the leeks on top of the mousse.

5. Sprinkle hazelnut over the top before adding the duck egg in the middle

6. Spoon the goat's curd evenly around the dish and serve!

Chef's Tip: Wild Garlic will compliment this dish perfectly if you're lucky enough to find some. Simply chop in roughly and fold through the potato mousse.

Topics: Ross Stovold, vegetables, cooking masterclass, national vegetarian week

Seafood in Scotland's West Coast

Posted by Bertie Badger on May 7, 2014 3:53:00 PM

As well as the picturesque setting and rich historic significance, the West Coast of Scotland has always been a popular location for its Seafood.

Being mostly comprised of small fishing towns that border with the Atlantic, it has established itself as a worldwide supplier of great quality fish and shellfish and many would, therefore, pinpoint it as one of the best seafood locations in the UK.

With the privilege of having such an immense selection at our doorstep, our Head Chef Ross works closely with many local suppliers to bring the same level of freshness and quality through to our Fine Dining Restaurant.

Book a Table at Our Restaurant


Eriska Scallop

The Isle of Mull is the second largest of the Scottish Isles on the West Coast of Scotland and in recent years it has become well established for wildlife spotting with many rare birds and animals (such as the white-tailed sea eagle) visiting their shores.

As well as their famous Isle of Mull Cheddar – which is a favourite choice from our Farm house Cheese Trolley – Ross also chooses Scallops from a company based near Tobermory, which was established as a fishing town in the 18th Century and labeled Scotland’s most “attractive harbor” due to its row of brightly painted buildings on the sea front. 

South Shian

South Shian is located about 1 mile from Eriska and is home to a branch of one of Scotland's leading aquaculture companies. Scottish Sea Farms have supplied Eriska with the finest quality salmon, farmed in nearby loch’s including Loch Creran which engulfs Eriska’s Eastern Coast and where we also happen to get our supply of Oysters.


Eriska LangoustineKnown by many as the destination of the Jacobite Train (or Hogwarts Express) from Fort William over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct and through some of the most scenic parts of the Highlands, Mallaig is a well-defined fishing-town on Scotland’s West Coast.

For years Eriska have chosen the finest and freshest fish, crustaceans and clams from Mallaig’s docks and to this day still favour their local fisheries to supply the kitchen with most of their seafood including halibut, mussels and langoustine.

Topics: Food, Ross Stovold, Fine Dining, Seafood, West Coast Seafood

The Eriska Farm: Going Back to Our Roots

Posted by Bertie Badger on Apr 16, 2014 6:48:00 PM

Eriska QuailsOne of the largests appeals of Eriska to our guests is it's unique setting. A private escape from the worries of reality where civilisation doesn't have to exist outside our 300 acres if you don't want it to, and our team are always trying to find ways to add to that experience.

This year marks the 40th year since Eriska opened it's doors to the world and to celebrate the occassion we've brought a new lease of life to the Island by the revival of Eriska's Farm.

Having fallen into disuse for some years, our Garden Manager, Kenny, has revolutionised the gardens since joining us last month, sowing a large selection of vegetables, plants and herbs for both culinary and asthetic use and bringing the Island back to life.

The Quails

Meet the newest addition to the Eriska family. Over the last month a dozen of these minute birds joined our ranks to provide our guests with fresh eggs for their meals.

Having only been with us for a couple of weeks, our feathery-friends have already begun to lay eggs, causing much excitments amoungst the Kitchen team.

The Vegetable Patch

Eriska Vegetable Patch

Ross in the kitchen is a strong believer in the use of fresh local produce in his dishes, and where could be more local than on our own doorstep? Guests to Eriska can now see their food grow in the gardens before they are harvested for use at night.

Of course it will be a while yet before you'll be seeing these legumes on your plate, but the introduction of fast-maturing crops such as radish and lettuce will see the use of our homegrown vegetables in the kitchen within the next few weeks.

We asked Kenny his plans for the coming seasons and he explained "I've started some earlier crops for the kitchen such as radish and lettuce which will continue to be sown periodically for a continuous harvest. Most crops require a longer growing period and these have been started off too; such as aubergine, cabbage and french beans."

These are not the only vegetables Kenny's been sowing since joining the team; we also have beetroot, peas, onions, potatoes, courgette, leeks, turnips, swede and kolhrabi growing under the soil as well as many herbs like fennel, garlic, dill, parsley, corriander and sage.

The Flower Gardens

Wildflowers and shrubs grow all around Eriska, giving the Island a natural beauty that often leaves visitors in awe. There is also the Rose bushes and a flower patch by the stables that have provided us flowers to adorn in the main house for years.

However, Kenny has brought another dimension to the asthetics of the gardens, preparing the addition of some multi-purpose plants such as mariglods, nasturtiums and borage that will provide both a floral display and can also be used within the kitchens. He explains, "The petals are the only part of marigolds which are edible and can be used in many dishes, generally as a garnish but can also be a substitue for saffron. The young peppery leaves of nasturtiums will often be found in salads or used as a garnish. Borage is a personal favourite; the flowers are commonly blue and are used to garnish drinks such as pimms and can also be found in various desserts"

We're very excited about the coming progress of our little farm and will be watching eagerly for sproutings over the next month or two - some more impatiently than others! With unbeatable freshness in our Island-grown produce, a whole new layer of taste will be added to dining in our restaurant and will help create a true Eriska experience.

Topics: Food, Ross Stovold, Healthy Eating, vegetables, Eriska Farm, Quails, Scottish Farm, Grow Your Own

Oban Bay Brewery Beer Bread

Posted by Bertie Badger on Mar 28, 2014 1:07:00 PM

beer bread resized 600 Eriska prides itself in the use of the very best local produce to provide our guests with fresh, high quality food and ensure the best dining experience possible. Ross works closely with neighbouring businesses, where possible, and has recently added the Oban Bay Brewery to his list of suppliers – ordering in some of their fine ales to use in our homemade Beer Bread (or so he tells managment!)

The use of the ales from Oban Bay Brewery was a natural choice for Ross who believes that it’s “important to use as local as possible”. With the Brewery located only 12 miles from the hotel it’s transport in better for the environment and boosts local economy.

Why Beer?

We asked the team in the kitchen about the use of beer in the bread. They explained to us that beer can be used to enhance the flavour of bread, giving it a richer taste. The alcohol is burned off in the baking process and leaves behind the flavours of the malts, which can make such an enjoyable difference.

Here on the Island bread is used every night as an accompaniment with dinner. We believe good bread and butter is an essential part to a good dining experience and should stand out as a key feature to any meal. Ross has devised a recipe which involves adding beer to a sourdough starter as well as oats to add to both flavour and texture.

Oban Bay Brewery

Oban Bay Brewery resized 600Obay Bay Brewery branched from the Mull Brewery, based in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, in 2009. They are committed to designing the best quality and tasting ales using 100% natural ingredients.

The beer used in beer bread makes a difference to the flavour; light ales will yield a lighter flavour than the darker varieties. With this in mind, Ross has picked the Oban Bay’s “Skelpt Lug” which he believes will produce the tastiest bread for our guests.

Skelpt Lug is the darkest ale available from Oban Bay. It has a reddish-brown tone and complex taste stemming from the use of both coloured and wheat malts which produces a refreshing, fruity flavour with a ‘hoppy’ finish.

Our beer bread is just one of many things that Ross has introduced to the kitchen since he joined us in the summer. With his passion  for food and creativite mind we don't doubt he'll be adding new recipes to his repetoire in the future. So next time you're with us why not give our beer bread a try and let us know what you think!!



Topics: isle of eriska, Ross Stovold, Fine Dining, Oban Bay Brewery, beer bread, Skelpt Lug Beer

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

Eriska New Year Resolution: 6 Steps to a Healthier You

Posted by Bertie Badger on Jan 5, 2014 5:00:00 PM

Ross StovoldHaving finally settled after a busy new year and adjusted to dating everything "2014" we're finally ready to get back to business and prepare for the months ahead.

2013 saw big changes for Eriska with our new head chef, Ross Stovold, taking over the kitchen and promoting the use of the best of the local produce to create healthy and delicious dishes for our fine-dining restaurant.

With his passion for food and healthy living, we thought we'd take this opportunity to pick his brain for those of you who are making the change for a healthier 2014! 


1. Buy a Juicer

Fruit and vegetable juices are a great way of getting vitamins into your body. Removing the pulp allows your cells to absorb the nutrients in fruit more readily and provide you with a quick energy boost.

It also provides you with a fun way to experiement with new flavours,  by allowing you to be creative and inventive in mixing your own juice blends.

2. Choose Wholegrain Over the White Alternative.

Wholegrain bread, pasta and rice are higher in dietary fibre than the white counterparts. Fibre is important in a balanced diet and can help prevent heart disease, diabeties and can help improve digestive health.

Furthermore, fibre can help prevent weight gain as it is not broken down in your digestive system and keeps you feeling full for longer. 

3. Snack on Raw Vegetables

Unhealthy snacking can be the kill-all end-all of any new diet. Though tasty, an abundance of crisps, chocolate and other sugary goodies are not good for you and can be costly!

Carrots, cucumber, bell pepers, celery, asparagus and cauliflower are just some of the vegetables that can be enjoyed raw, either on their own or with a nice low-fat dip.

4. If You Need Chocolate, Choose Dark Over Milk.

Starving yourself of your favourite treats makes diets incredibly difficult to maintain. If you feel you need a little chocolate on occassion, Ross recommends eating a small square of rich dark chocolate over a bar of milk. Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa which is high in an antioxidant compound called flavonoids, this is believed to help prevent heart disease.

An alternative to satisfying your sweet-tooth with chocolate would be picking foods with natural sugars. Fruit is a quick and tasty way to treat yourself without feeling too guilty and can be enjoyed raw, lightly cooked or as a sorbet!

5. Avoid All Pre-Packaged and Take-Away Foods

It may seem like we're stating the obvious now, but even the so-called "healthy, low-fat"

Healthy Eating, Vegetarian ready meals are no substitute for the real thing. Devoid of most natural nutrients, these pre-packaged 5-mintute meals are filled with synthetic vitamins that are harder for your body to break down.

We understand that it's dark, cold, you've just had a long day at work and the last thing you want to think about it arranging a meal for the family. But if we take a practical look at it: in the 25 minutes it takes to place your order and await your deep-fried and greasy food to be delivered to your door, you could have already prepared a fresh and simple dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.


6. Use Walnut Oil Instead of Butter

Though butter is not bad for you in moderation, using it frequently throughout the day may run the risk of high cholesterol. The replacement of butter with walnut oil on your toast and sandwiches provides a nice nutty alternative and a good source of Omega-3.

Walnut oil also makes a nice salad dressing and good accompaniment for many meats and fish.


So there you have it; six small and subtle changes to make to your diet, which along with the general guidelines to nutritional health will have you feeling great in no time!

Topics: Eriska, Ross Stovold, New Year Resolution, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss