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 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

"Stargazing Escape" : 2 nights with your head in the stars ...

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 17, 2016 10:44:07 AM

Are you looking for an escape away from the city noise and pollution? Let us help you forget about the daily stress, and enjoy a two night break away to a private Island in the Scottish countryside... 

Discover our New Package - "2 nights Stargazing Escape"

Eriska Island has very little light pollution, therefore guests can easily see the stars, planets and the occasional satellite passing on a clear night. On Eriska, guests can enjoy stargazing in one of the few places left with true dark skies. 

The stargazing break at Eriska is available from £400 per person and includes:

  • Two nights stay Bed & Breakfast
  • Dinner served in our Michelin-starred restaurant both nights
  • A hot flask of tea of coffee and a star map to help the guests to locate the constellations at night.
  • Morning coffee, afternoon tea, the use of leisure facilities and VAT.

During your stay, take the time to relax discovering our Stables Spa with a variety of Ishga and ESPA treatments, 5 treatment rooms, 17 meters Pool, Sauna, Steam Room, Spa Pool and a Rasul Chamber. Discover our Spa treatments available.

Between treatments, there is always time for coffee or a lunch break, so we invite you to relax in our Deck restaurant located on the 2nd floor of our Spa building, and enjoy a simple but hearty scottish snack overlooking Loch Creran, the mountains and the Golf Course.

And for a sporting and relaxing break, enjoy our other activities available through the year, including our 6 hole Golf Course, Clay pigeon shooting; archery; water sports; fishing; and endless walks along the island's beach.

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The Autumnal season seems to have started very well. The weather has been dry and sunny for nearly 3 weeks and the orange shades highlight the beauty of the Island day after day. But when sun sets, the dry days give way to a beautiful and incredible dark starry sky. 

Escape by moonlight, enjoy the quiet night with a night stroll, and discover the constellations legends...

Topics: astronomy

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

Craggy Island Triathlon - Follow the adventure !

Posted by Bertie Badger on Sep 17, 2016 9:39:51 AM


Who said that October is a quiet month in Scotland with not enough events thatcould attract people to visit this beautiful country ? 

Certainly, in October, days start to get shorter, the sun disappears in late afternoon, and the weather is not always with you. However, there are a lot of activities and events available through October with something to offer everyone. 

If you speak with Atilla at the Deck he would advise you to join the Craggy Island Triathlon, as a spectator (unfortunately, all the entries are sold out to participate at the 2016 edition), for the week end, on Saturday the 8th of October and on Sunday the 9th of October, 2016!

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The adventure happens from Oban, a 30 minute drive from Eriska, and continues on the Isle of Kerrera, the closest island from Oban. 

The race is composed as below : 

  • 550m Open Water Swim from Gallanach on the Mainland to the Isle of Kerrera. 
  • 14km Off-Road Mountain Bike on the Isle of Kerrera. 
  • 8km Off-Road Run on the Isle of Kerrera, with the most incredible views of the island, the Forth of Lorne, and the Isle of Mull, the ruined Gylen Castle before returning to the finish at the ferry slip. 

To encourage the athletes during this hard competition, take up your starting position on the mainland at Gallanach beyond the Calmac ferry terminal, in Oban. And for the most assidous, cross over to the Isle of Kerrera, it is only 5 minutes ferry ride away from Oban, and enjoy this time to discover this wild and beautiful island!

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For more information about Isle of Kerrera, click here to visit the Isle of Kerrera website. 

And if you do not want to go to the Isle of Kerrera by swimming, check the ferries timetable over here

Please find below the Craggy Island Schedule

  • Craggy Island Tri Day 1 (550m Swim, 14km MTB, 8km Hill Run)  - Saturday 8th October 2016. Start Time approx. 12:30pm
  • Craggy Island Tri Day 2 (550m Swim, 14km MTB, 8km Hill Run)  - Sunday 9th October 2016.Start Time approx. 2pm
  • Craggy Kids race (approx. 150m Swim, 4.5km MTB, 1.9km Run - Sunday 9th October 2016. TriStars 2/3 & Youth for ages 11-16. Start Time approx. 3pm

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The Craggy Island Triathlon is a fundraiser for the Oban Mountain Rescue Team so its not simply about winning but also taking part or simply watching and considering for 2017!

After watching an event like that, I am pretty sure you will wish to book your entries for the next edition in 2017 ! In this case, Isle of Eriska hotel will be present on the start line to encourage you! 

Topics: sports

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 ... 

*****

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