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Oban Winter Festival 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on Nov 24, 2014 3:49:00 PM

It appears that the Christmas spirit has arrived already in Oban as the annual Oban Winter Festival began on Friday 21st November and continues for 10 days celebating not only Christmas but many of the great assets we're fortunate to have readily available on our doorstep here on the west coast of Scotland including Oban whisky (Haven't tried it? Ask our serving staff the next time you visit Eriska's Library Bar), the wealth of history we are surrounded by and great quality, local produce. 

oban_winter_festival_fireworks-1As well as a celebration for local people, the Oban Winter Festival goes to show that even though its winter, there's still a reason to visit the west coast of Scotland. 

Over the weekend, the town centre of Oban came alive with something for all the family to enjoy including the annual reindeer parade, food markets and interactive events, and of course the switching on of Oban's Christmas lights in Station Square. 

Throughout this week, the winter festival celebrations continue, culminating in St Andrews Day celebrations - an event that will be celebrated not only in Oban, but across the whole of Scotland and around the world. 

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Meanwhile here at Eriska, although no official St Andrews Day celebrations planned, we're sure some of ourguests will celebrate with a small dram, as we get ready to close the hotel for a few days before the festivities get into full swing as we welcome our Christmas and New Year guests to Eriska. 

We have just a couple of rooms left for Christmas and a couple of Spa Suites left over New Year, so if you'd like to join us this festive period, please call us on +44 (0)1631 720371 or email office@eriska-hotel.co.uk. 

 

Scottish Weather Forecast - Argyll wc 9th November

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 9, 2014 10:54:16 AM

In case you hadn’t noticed: Christmas is coming!

There isn’t a surer sign of the looming winter than having the festivities of the season stuffed down your throat. With streets and shopping centers lined top-to-bottom with lights and decorations, Christmas jumpers out of retirement and the occasional Christmas song starting to make an appearance on many a sound system, it’s only a matter of time before we’re dropped into below freezing temperatures and left to rely on this Christmas cheer to see us through the worst of it. Bah humbug!

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The upcoming week, though still largely mild, will show a noticeable temperature drop compared to previous weeks with daily highs dropping into single digits for frequently.

Today: Due to remain dry though largely cloudy.

Monday: Another dry day ahead, with some intervals of sunshine in the early afternoon

Tuesday: Light rainfall to begin the day, getting progressively heavier in the afternoon. Though predicted to clear up in the evening.

Wednesday: More rain showers to dominate the day, with some burst of sunshine in the afternoon and moderate gusts from the east.

Thursday: Sporadic showers and bursts of sunshine scattered throughout the day.

Friday: Things seem to remain largely the same, with rain and some intermittent sunny spells.

Saturday: The week ends with little change as the forecast predicts more rainfall.

So it seem that the mild season prevails for another week, easing our minds after scottish weather forecasts warned of Arctic blasts this month! So make sure to wrap up warm and enjoy it while you can - who knows what to expect in coming weeks!

Scottish Weather Forecast - Argyll wc 2nd November

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 2, 2014 1:06:09 PM

The final month of Autumn is upon us. It's that dreaded time of year where the beautiful warm colours of the dying flora lie in soggy heaps on the ground, leaving morbidly jagged trees in their wake; where the temperature just gets a little too cold and most of us go through most of our day seeing little, if any, sunlight.

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But things could be worse. Following the "warmest Halloween on record" temperatures around the country are due to plumet quickly - brought on from cold blast in the arctic region which is predicted to leave us with the coldest winter in a century! So take whatever sunshine and above freezing temperatures you can get, cause it certainly doesn't seem like it will last!

Today: Following a dry morning, rain is expected to breakout mid-afternoon getting heavier as the evening progresses.

Monday: Another dry and sunny morning ahead, with some light rain in the afternoon. The evening due to take a bit of a foggy turn.

Tuesday: Looks to remain dry throughout, with sporadic intervals of sunshine in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Predicted to be a clear day, with plenty of sunshine. Though temperatures due to be as low as 2°C

Thursday: Light rain showers look to dominate the majority of the day, accompanied by some moderate winds.

Friday: Expected to be another rainy day, starting off heavy and getting progressively lighter by night.

Saturday: The week looks to end on a bit of a wet one, with light rain throughout. Though some patches of sunshine are likely to make an appearance periodically through the day.

Though not ideal, the week ahead seems to be quite mild in comparison to previous weeks. Though if you haven't already, it's definitely time to break out the hats, scarves and gloves with near-freezing temperatures on the cards!

Why do we Carve Pumpkins?

Posted by Bertie Badger on Nov 1, 2014 5:15:00 PM

Isle_of_Eriska-1This week the team at Eriska decided to get festive and hold a friendly pumpkin-carving contest  - much to the delight of our guests who enjoy them as they pass the entrance of the hotel.

Though Halloween is over for another year, the practice of carving jack-o-lanterns was initially done on the 1st of November (many many years ago of course!). The tradition originated in Ireland, when they would place candles in hollowed out turnips to ward off spirits during Samhain (pronounced sah-win) - which is an ancient Celtic festival, celebrated on 1st November, from which many parts of Halloween is derived.

Samhain marks the end of harvesting season and beginning of winter and on this day the ancient Celts believed that spirits could walk the earth, often resulting in the use of masks as not to be recognised as human.

Tell us what pumpkin is your favourite:

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Scottish Weather Forecast - Argyll wc 26th October

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 26, 2014 8:00:00 AM

It’s been a week of turmoil in the Scottish West Highlands as we’ve been beaten down by thunderous storms, excessive rain and tenacious winds from Hurricane Gonzalo bringing new meaning to the cliché “When it rains, it pours.”

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Oban, and its surrounding areas, has been engulfed in darkness as the days get shorter and Halloween approaches. Though this may seem more than fitting due to its roots of the medieval Celtic celebration of “Samhain”, which once-upon-a-time marked the end of the brighter half of the year,  a feeling of pure despondence has weaved into the hearts of the residents as they prepare for the “coldest British winter in a century”.

Today: Heavy rain forecast, with severe weather warnings published for the Argyll and Bute area.

Monday: Very little predicted to change, as more weather warnings of potential flooding due to heavy rain is declared.

Tuesday: Predicted to brighten up a little bit, with some sunny intervals in the morning and only light rain throughout.

Wednesday: Things looking to dry up, with an unremarkably cloudy day expected.

Thursday:  The rain is due to make a comeback today, with forecasts of heavy showers during the day.

Friday: Another wet day ahead, with moderate winds likely to add a bit of a chill

Saturday: The week seems to end with another wet day, though some intermittent sunshine expected to creep through the clouds.

The Scottish weather forecast often leaves little to be desired, and this week is no different. As the rain beats down onto the windows, take comfort in the warmth of the outdoors with your feet up by the fire and a nice hot whisky in hand!

Scottish Weather Forecast - Argyll wc 19th October

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 19, 2014 9:38:15 AM

Following the thunder storm last night, many of us were left horribly surprised by the sudden turn in Argyll’s weather forecast as the clear blue autumn skies were pulled from our grasp within hours, leaving behind the dark and wet nights that foreshadow the winter ahead.

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Now is the time to become a realist and ditch the remnants of your summer wardrobe; adopting instead a more practical look complete with welly boots, scarf and a nice thick rain coat.

Today: Heavy rain throughout the day, though expect to see some patches of sunshine in the afternoon.

Monday:  Light rain to start, getting progressively heavier as the day continues.

Tuesday:  Following another stormy night, more rain expected to consume the day.

Wednesday: Things look to remain unchanged with another gloomy rain-filled day.

Thursday: Predicted to lighten up a little, with some patches of overcast in the afternoon and only light rain throughout.

Friday: Another driech, wet day ahead. Though things may clear up in the evening.

Saturday: The week looks to end with a peak of optimism, forecasting only light rain showers and patches of sunshine.

With a wild week ahead, we advise all to wrap up warm - especially those brave enough to venture into the outdoors. And for those who don't fancy facing the harsh weather, don't worry, we have a souring fire going all day!

See the Halley's Comet Meteor Shower This October!

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 18, 2014 6:21:30 PM

Orionid_Meteors_1200pxOver the last few months, the night sky has been a profusion of activity featuring some of the most jaw-dropping sights the earth has to offer. Those peering to the north may have witnessed the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, which were visible for two consecutive nights last mm]onth,  while those peering outside last week may have spotted the total lunar eclipse (or Blood Moon for those situated in the North Americas).

Later this month, those on both the northern and southern hemisphere have the opportunity to witness another cosmic wonder. Around the 20th – 21st October debris from the infamous Halley’s Comet (which is currently circulating the sun and won’t be viewable again until 2061) will break through the Earth’s atmosphere and create a literal cosmic firework display, with an estimate of about 20 shooting stars an hour from about midnight during its peak.

The meteor shower is also known as the Orionid Meteor Shower, named due to its apparent radiation around the Orion Constellation. They normally occur annually, around the month of October and is one of two showers caused by debris from Halley’s Comet.

How to view the Orionids

  • Go to the countryside, away from the light pollution of the cities and larger towns.
  • Bring a blanket or chair to stay warm and comfortable while you wait
  • During its peak, the shower should be viewable with the naked eye, and therefore no special equipment is necessary

Backcare Awareness Week: 4 Ways to Relieve Back Pain

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 8, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Eriska_SpaMonday 6th October marked the beginning of Backcare Awareness Week, an entire week dedicated to “put the spot light on prevention of back and neck pain.” With this year focusing specifically on the office worker.

According to backcare.org.uk: “About 7.6 million working days were lost due to work-related back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders from 2010 to 2011 according to an NHS study.

Back pain is a common universal problem, with injury (both muscular and spinal) resulting from things such as poor posture and strain from heavy lifting and over-exertion. However there are many ways to assist in preventing upper and lower back pain which are all relatively simple:

  • Stretching

 Stretching is a useful method for loosening tight and tense muscles. It’s always recommended to stretch your muscles before taking on any form of physical excretion to encourage the blood flow to all the right places and provide a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to prepare for strenuous activity. Stretching is also useful for improving mobility and warming up your muscles, meaning they’re less likely to tear.

  • Massage

A back massage can be a very relaxing method for avoiding pain. As with stretching, massage increases circulation around the body, helping deliver oxygen and nutrients through the muscles and organs which in turn helps with the recovery of weakened muscles. Particular types of massage are notably more effective for back pain relief; aromatherapy massages use specific oils that target back pain whereas Deep Tissue Massages focuses on helping break down adhesions in muscles, tendons and ligaments.

  • Warm Bath

With the bonus of the relaxing feel-good factor that comes with a nice bubble bath, baths are actually a great way to stimulate circulation and clear the lymph system. The addition of bath oils for additional reliefs, such as the ESPA Fitness Oil which is particularly helpful pre or post exercise. This oil contains spices which warm the muscles and can relief symptoms of arthritis, menstrual discomfort and general aches and pains.

  • Posture

Maintaining a good posture is essential to reduce the risk of back injuries. As soon as you centre of gravity goes out of alignment, unnecessary strain is put on your body which causes tension and can result in awkward movement and pain. Back support is especially important for those who spend large periods of time sitting at a desk as doing so without the proper support can do a lot of damage over time.  By being more aware of your posture, corrections can be made whenever you catch yourself slouched over!

Scottish Weather Forecast - Argyll wc 5th October

Posted by Bertie Badger on Oct 5, 2014 3:07:40 PM

Autumn is upon us! It seems like just last week that we were retiring our winter wear in preparation for the summer, yet somehow October has crept up on us bringing with it the cold air and bitter rain that the pessimists among us like to consider the beginning of winter.

leaves

The flora all over is withering into variations of yellow, amber and red as they fall off the trees and gather in a soggy heap on the ground. Though, looking ahead, it seems we'll have enough dry weather to squeeze in some last minute activities before we're forced to hibernate in our own homes.

Today: Expected to remain dry during the afternoon, with some light showers in the evening

Monday: Severe weather warnings issued due to weather forecasts of strong winds and heavy rain throughout many parts of Scotland. Though sunny intervals likely to make an appearance as things calm down later in the afternoon.

Tuesday: Following on from a stormy day, things look to remain pleasantly dry for the entirety of the day.

Wednesday: White cloud with sporadic rain showers all day. Though some brief patches of sunshine might make an appearance mid-afternoon.

Thursday: Light rain showers to dominate a large part of the day with intermittent sunny intervals in the early afternoon.

Friday: Things looking mostly unchanged, with more sunny intervals and frequent rain showers.

Saturday: The week seems likely to end with more rain though is predicted to dry up in the evening.

For those in the area looking for something to do while avoiding the worst of the rain, we recommend a trip to the nearby Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary. Though in a natural, woodland setting, the sea life sanctuary is largely based indoors, making it easy to avoid any unexpected showers. Though maybe grab an umbrella before heading out the door!

Isle of Eriska Restaurant Awarded Michelin Star

Posted by Bertie Badger on Sep 25, 2014 8:42:18 PM

0I5D9763_scallops_dish_small-resized-600A big congratulations to our team and to chef, Ross Stovold, for being awarded a Michelin Star at the Isle of Eriska Restaurant.

On hearing the exciting news, Ross told us, "We are delighted to have been awarded our first Michelin Star today. The Isle of Eriska deserves to stand next to the best establishments in the industry and we have spent the last year striving to create a food identity that matches our wonderful natural environment.

"I would like to personally thank the team at Eriska; our suppliers for producing world class ingredients and Beppo for his continued support."

The whole team are thrilled with the news and will continue to work hard to combine Ross's outstanding food with the hotels impeccable service.