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Guest Blog - The Best Leisure Activities to Do With Your Partner While on Holiday

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on Aug 9, 2017 4:25:41 PM

web_Beautiful-sunset-from-the-viewpoint-Isle-of-Eriska-1MB.jpgGoing on a holiday with your partner is one of the best ways to spend some quality time together. Instead of heading to an urban destination, idyllic locations such as the Isle of Eriska can provide a unique holiday experience for couples in need of some rest and relaxation. Moreover, staying at a hotel that provides opportunities for leisure activities can keep you and your partner energised and healthy. Not only will participating in leisure activities make your bond stronger, but you also keep fit while you’re on vacation. According to research of more than 3,000 couples, people who exercised with their partner were more likely to succeed if their significant other made the same efforts, compared to couples who didn't workout together.  

Benefits of doing leisure activities with your partner

Apart from meeting fitness goals, couples who workout or do leisure activities together have more fun. Most couples also believe that socialising, eating, taking the time to do something new, and exercising as a couple can strengthen a relationship. In a poll involving thousands of couples across the UK, two-thirds believe that making time to have fun and spend quality time together results in a healthier and happier relationship.

If you’re staying at a place that offers leisure activities such as the Isle of Eriska Hotel, you and your partner should try doing one or two each day during the length of your stay. Not only will the new experiences bring you closer, but you’ll also get to discover fun things that you can do together for years to come. Here are the best leisure activities to do with your partner while you’re on holiday.

Play a round of golf

Playing a round of golf with your partner lets you burn the calories while perfecting your swing. A study has shown that you can burn up to 1,500 calories while playing a round of golf. You also get to enjoy the outdoors with your significant other while playing this sport. If you don’t have the necessary equipment, don’t worry - you can always hire golf clubs and trolleys from the hotel.

Go mountain biking

Take your partner on a mountain biking date over the weekend. If you’ve never done it before, you can hire mountain bikes for you and your partner and make sure that both of you have the right gear and clothing to suit the weather condition. There’s nothing like exploring the wooded grounds and trails of Eriska on a mountain bike, and you can burn as much as 1,374 calories if you cycle at 25 miles per hour.

Go kayaking

Kayaking is a low impact activity that can improve your strength and flexibility. It can also help to build muscle, give you a stronger core, and burn calories all at the same time. Choose a double kayak so you and your partner can learn to work together while having fun on the water.

Play croquet

A casual game of croquet is a nice way to spend the afternoon with your significant other, and the good thing about it is that you don’t need brute strength to play it; whether you’re 15 or 90, if you can hit a ball with a mallet, then you can play it. Croquet is also a good activity for a small group, so you and your partner can invite other couples to join in.

If you’re feeling peckish after doing your chosen leisure activity for the day in Eriska, invite your partner to have a nice afternoon tea at the hotel.  It’s the perfect way to end an exhilarating day with the special person in your life. 

Topics: activities

A New Gastronomic Era at Eriska

Posted by Gordon Cartwright on Jul 21, 2017 1:44:37 PM

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We're delighted to announce that Conor Toomey has been appointed head chef of our Michelin-starred restaurant.

Conor replaces Paul Leonard, who recently joined the Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa in Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire, as head chef of its three-AA-rosette Burlington restaurant.Paul spent a fabulous 2 years at Eriska and his culinary legacy provides a solid foundation on which Conor can plan for the future.

Conor, originally from South Africa, joins our island from Amberley Castle in Sussex where he was head chef. He previously worked as Michael Wignall’s right hand man at the Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, which held two Michelin stars for six years, and as head chef at Storrs Hall hotel in Windermere, Cumbria.

Conor said: “I am thrilled to join a hotel with such an outstanding reputation for its food and the opportunity to use fresh island produce. Foraging will continue to be a big part of what we do as well as using the kitchen gardens and greenhouses to create seasonal dishes. I look forward to continuing where Paul left off.”

Gordon Cartwright, executive general manager, added: “It’s an exciting time for Conor to be joining the Isle of Eriska, especially following the investment in the hotel and future plans. The recent refurbishment of the lounge areas and the completion of four new self-catering properties continue to see the island develop.”

Look out for our new and exciting gourmet packages autumn 2017.

Topics: GAstronomy at Eriska

Highland Games around the West Coast of Scotland near Eriska this Summer

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on Jul 20, 2017 2:56:27 PM

Highland Games are a pretty big deal in Scotland, especially in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, as it is a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture.

The games are held at various times throughout spring and summer each year all over Scotland. Certain characteristics of the games have become emblematic of Scotland such as the kilt, bagpipes and events such as the caber toss.

Highland Cow Scotland.jpgThe history of the Highland games is said to be down to King Malcolm III of Scotland as back in the 11th century, in order to appoint a royal messenger, he created a foot race to find the fastest runner in the land. He summoned the contestants to race to the summit of Craig Choinnich, overlooking Braemar. Historians see this event to be the origin of today’s modern Highland games.

The games are centred around competitions in highland dancing, piping and drumming as well as heavy Scottish athletics such as stone put, Scottish hammer throw, caber toss and the weight throw, to name a few. As well as the various competitions that take place at the games, there are also various types of dancing for spectators to enjoy. The games feature dancing such as the Highland Fling, the Sean Triubhas, the Hullachan, the Sailor’s Hornpipe and the Irish Jig. They also hold exhibitions and have heritage tents related to other aspects of the Scottish and Gaelic culture.

Upcoming Highland Games include:

Mull Highland Games - Thursday 20th July 2017

The games in Mull have a picture perfect backdrop that overlooks The Sound of Mull, Ardnamurchan and Morvern. Those attending will get to witness exciting games such as caber toss, hammer throw and even a tug o’ war! Join them from 10am-4:30pm and continue the party into the night in Tobermory!

The Cowal Games - Thursday 24th-Saturday 26th August 2017

Held in Dunoon every August and is the largest Highland games in the world! It attracts around 3,500 competitors and an average of 23,000 spectators every year from all over the globe!

The Oban Games - Thursday 24th August 2017

The games in Oban take place on the fourth Thursday in August every year. Families and friends from all over Argyll join together in Mossfield Park to celebrate, socialise and have a great time watching the various events! The Oban Games are one of Scotland’s premier Highland Games which brings world class challengers from all over the world to Oban to compete in various from the stone put to athletics.

We hope you can make it along to experience one of the Highland Games in Scotland! If you you happen to be staying with us during one of these dates, make sure to head along for a great time!

If the beauty of the West Coast of Scotland is not enough, we’re sure our Summer Indulgence Package will be

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on Jun 24, 2017 6:06:03 PM

Whilst Scotland can often be associated with wind and rain, here on the Isle of Eriska, that’s not always true - we promise!

Eriska Bridge and loch.jpgThe island of Eriska is fortunate enough to be located on the Gulf Stream, which means that we can be welcoming the sun and milder weather, meanwhile other areas in Scotland are suffering from colder and less pleasant weather.

It’s not just the milder weather brought by the Gulf Stream that entices visitors to the west coast of Scotland over the summer months, we’re also very fortunate to have a wealth of intriguing wildlife, incredible scenery and great hiking and walking trails to name a few.

On and around Eriska itself, we’re home to otters, seals and even a family of badgers! If you haven’t yet met our resident family of badgers, ask our team the next time you visit. A little further afield (and if you’re lucky you might spot them on Eriska too) look out for Roe and Red Deer, pheasant, sea eagles and golden eagles. Around the inner hebrides, expect to see dolphins and whales and you can even get up close (and personal) with basking sharks courtesy of Basking Shark Scotlandbased in Oban.

 

For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on land, Eriska has some lovely nature trails of varying degrees of difficulty for easy to medium walkers. We’re also privileged to have some of the best and well known Munros within an hour or so drive from the island. At just 308 metres high, Beinn Lora is located just a few minutes drive from Eriska and offers further magnificent views from its summit. For those looking for more of a challenge, Scotland’s Highest Mountain - Beinn Nevis, is approximately 1.5 hours drive from Eriska and if dressed and geared appropriately, makes for an enjoyable day hiking before a well earned relaxing dinner in our fine dining restaurant.

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Most importantly, though your Eriska summer experience is not complete without our team taking care of you and your loved one during your visit. We’ve put together a special Summer Indulgence Package to help make your summer experience even more special this year. Our Summer Indulgence Package includes:

  • 2 nights in a beautifully appointed room or suite
  • Champagne afternoon tea on arrival
  • 7 Course Tasting menu on the 1st evening with paired wines
  • Choice of one hour treatments in our ESPA Spa
  • Breakfast each morning in our fine dining restaurant
  • Afternoon tea served in our drawing room each day
  • A La Carte Dinner on the 2nd evening
  • Access to leisure & golf facilities on the island

Close your eyes, imagine you are already here and enjoying the benefits of our Summer Indulgence Package here at the Isle of Eriska.

 

Check availability via our online booking system, call our reservations team on 01631 720371 or email us via office@eriska-hotel.co.uk.

Topics: summer break

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 celebrates Guy Fawkes Night

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 5, 2016 7:49:30 PM

Today, Saturday 5th of November, all the United Kingdom celebrate the Guy Fawkes Night -  to commemorate the anniversary of the Gundpowder Plot of 5th of November 1605. Each city prepares special celebrations to make this day unique and festive : Fireworks, Guy Fawkes effigies prepared by children in the school, cakes...  People have full imagination and creativity to celebrate the Bonfire Night, as it also called. 

Now having heard the background it is with a little chuckle that we remember the Great Fireworks Display on Guy Fawkes night 2011- planned to last 20 minutes and start off the Oban Winter Festival with a bang -something went wrong and in 60 seconds it was over. Everybody stood aghast some smiled but cue- Huge media coverage , a free display at New Year as compensation and one of the most memorable fireworks dispalys in Obans history set it on the map and left it in many peoples memories! 

So what for 2016?

Oban will again celebrate the Guy Fawkes Night this evening. From 4.00pm, enjoy the last sunlight's rays strolling through the Charity stall Market organised for the event. And when the sunsets over the North Pier, discover the "Annual Fireworks Spectaculat " commencing at 7.30pm.

For a break, a drink, or a earlier dinner, stop in one of the numerous good restaurants and coffee shop offered by the city, with a large choice of seafood. 

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Even if The Guy Fawkes Night is mostly appreciated by children, enjoy this end to the wonderful sunny day and fingers crossed it lasts a bit longer than 2011 ! 

Topics: Oban, Fireworks

National Spa Week: From 31st of October to 4th of November 2016

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 4, 2016 9:38:45 AM

Attracted by a getaway, a relaxing day or new experiences? 

There's nothing better than a relaxing day at the Isle of Eriska to forget all of daily life's stress...
Discover our Stables Spa during the "National Spa Week" from the 31st of October to the 4th of November.  

National Spa Week is an annual event where UK Spas and Salons open their doors to customers and offer exciting events, offers and the opportunities to discover the great benefits of visiting a Spa. 

Set in the former stables building and accessed by a path through the Spa Garden, the Stables Spa offers five treatment Rooms, 17 meter Pool, Sauna, Steam Room, Spa Pool and a Rasul Chamber. Our three therapists Roxi, Michelle, and Jennifer will be available to answer your requests, give you health and beauty advice, and to relax you with the best massages.

Join us for the National Spa Week and discover our Philosophy 

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, our Stables Spa provides you with a setting to refresh, regenerate and release your inner wellbeing.

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.

  • Ishga: Sustainably hand harvest the seaweed to produce a 100% organic, anti-oxidant products with anti-ageing properties which help protect the skin.
  • ESPA: Which was born form the deep-rooted belief that in order to progress with pace, you need to stop, recharge and reconsider. As the modern life keeps accelerating, ESPA products and philosophy are more salient than ever before.

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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 experience, click here!

Topics: Spa, events, getaway

November in Eriska - What's not to love?

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 31, 2016 5:50:13 PM

Everyone has a favourite time of year, however one of the beautiful aspects of living here on Eriska, is the everchanging seasons - each with its own benefits and traits. For me, November is a singular and incomparable month in Scotland. November takes place between the end of Autumn season and the begining of the Winter season, encompassing two climates. 

The weather changes, the days become more cold and shorter, and our thoughts turn towards Christmas, or at least holidays and Hogmanay do!

Enjoy the longest nights of the year 

Even if November is one of the most rainy months in Scotland - according to statistics (remember these are not always correct!) - it comes with advantages. In November, sunrise is from around 8.30 am and sunset from 4.00pm...Said like that it seems sad, but it means that you have more time to enjoy the magical Scottish evenings!

  • Long nights mean, a greater chance to see the Eriska wild Badgers 
Badgers are a strange and curious animal that you can see on Eriska, and if you are lucky, you can see them from the comfort of our library bar without venturing outside. It is an unmistakable animal; large and grey, with a short fluffy tail, black belly and paws and the familiar black and white-striped face.They live in large families underground in setts and follow noctural habits.

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At Eriska we take care of the Badgers and try to feed them each evening at our lirbrary bar steps in order to save you getting cold and wet searching them. Each evening, our team prepares a plate of peanuts with bread and milk and leaves this out at dusk to allow them to enjoy. We can't guarantee that you'll definitely see when when you visit, but head down to the library and take a loom for yourself. 

  •  Long nights mean that there is more chance to admire the stars, the constellations and shooting stars. 

After a fine dinner in our Michelin starred restaurant, explore the Island for a night time stroll, enjoy the starry sky, and have fun looking for the constellation. You might even be lucky enjoy to see a shooting star!

 

Although we've only mentioned a couple of aspects, there's so much more you can explore throughout ovember here at Eriska. Our team look forward to welcoming you and are happy to answer any questions that you may have. 

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Topics: badgers, night, star