Our Blog

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

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

Are you expecting an escape away from the city noise and the pollution ? Forget the daily stress for a two nights break in a private Island in the Scottish countryside... 

Discover our New Package "2 nights Stargazing Escape"

Eriska Island has little light pollution, so 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 the recently retained 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 clicking on this link : http://www.eriska-hotel.co.uk/spa-0/treatments

Between two treatments,there is always time  for coffee or a lunch break, relax in our Deck restaurant located above the Spa, and enjoy a simple but hearty scottish snack overlooking the 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 holes Golf Course, Clay pigeon shooting; archery; water sports; fishing; and endless walks along the islands beach.


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 wee west coastal port and teh main ferry terminal to teh western isles - located in the heart of the  West highlands  of Scotland, it is  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 was created 6 years ago, in 2010, by a group of local merchants who wanted to dynamise the town during a quieter winter, awaiting Christmas Days. A good excuse to congregate and feast in order to better avoid the cold and rainy days of November ! And they did not make mistake because the 1st Edition won a great success and certainly battled agaisnt the elemnets and challenges! 

For the 6th Edition of the Oban Winter Festival this year, the town want to continue developing new activities in order to attract more visitors. The 2016 Programme is comprehensive and varied, with activities for all ages. I will leave you to discover some parts of the 2016 Programme :

  • 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!

Find the comprehensive programme on http://obanwinterfestival.com/  

I hope this whets your appetite and hope to see you in Oban to feast on the growing November Festival together !


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 could 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 to dynamise the sad autumns days-- for thiose who wish to exhaust themselves.

If you speak with Atilla at the Deck he would advise you to join the Craggy Island Triathlon, as a spectator (unfortunatly, 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 !


The adventure happens from Oban, a 30 min 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 !


For more information about Isle of Kerrera, click on this linkto 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 clicking on this link

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


Know that 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 presenton 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


Good source of Protein


Good source of iron and zinc



Lower Omega 6 fatty acids

Higher Omega 3 fatty acids    


  • 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 : 




From 12th August until 10th December



From 12th August until 31st January



From 1st September until 1st February



From 1st September until 31st January



From 1st September until 31st January

Wild Mallard


From 1st September until 31st January



From 1st October until 1st February



From 1st October until 31st January

Roe Deer (Bucks)


From 1st April until 20th October

Red Deer (Stags)


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 ? 


Topics: Food

10 reasons to visit Eriska in Autumn

Posted by Bertie Badger on Aug 28, 2016 9:05:11 AM


With the leaves on the trees already starting to turn and the estate team warming up the rakes, it is clear that the Summer will soon come to an end and give way to Autumn on the Island. One of the natural beauties of living where we are, is that each season is differnt and each has its own traits. The Autumn season is rich in activities and offers beautiful landscape over the loch and the mountains, whilst still offering plenty of daylight to explore and investigate. 

So, if you thought there was nothing to do on the Isle of Eriska during Autumn, I will give you my 10 bests reasons to change your mind and to enjoy this stunning season. Trust me, you will be not disappointed ... 

  • 1. Enjoy the beautiful Eriska landscape with Autumnal colors_I5D9937__Autumn_view_from_grounds.jpg

From the Michelin restaurant conservatory or from the Deck restaurant and its panoramic views, enjoy the beautiful landscape and discover Eriska with orange, reds and yellow shades. Eriska contains a diversity of fauna and flora, that is why each season in Eriska offers something special. Let the magic of the nature do the job, and enjoy it!


  • 2. Practice shooting game with Duaine at the best time of the year

Scotland is very famous for the shooting games practice. On the west coast of Scotland, game season starts on 12th August and carries on through until the end of October. Paul and his team in our Michelin restaurant kitchen, use a great deal of game in the Autumn. Grouse, Phesant, Partridge, Woodcock, Snipe, Mallard and Mountain Hare are among the range of  game you can find on our Michelin menu during this time of the year.

gameshooting.jpgThe kitchen has its own game suppliers in order to be sure to serve the best products available for our guests. Among them, you will find Kennedys Butchers, Braehead Foods ( North of Glasgow) or Glenfinnan Estate (North of Fort William).

If you'd like the opportunity to acclimatize to local customs, do not hesitate to book a Clay Pigeon Shooting session directly at our reception on arrival. Clay Pigeon Shooting is available between 10:30 and 15:00 Monday to Saturday and is located near the pier, a five minute walk from the hotel. We will provide you with cartridges, a 12 bore shot gun and ear defenders. Duaine will meet you at the boat shed just before the pier and help improve your shot!


  • 3. Relax in the Stables Spa between two rides along the Eriska road

EriskaWebUse-16_-_Copy.jpgThere's nothing better than a relaxing stay at the Isle of Eriska to forget all the daily life's stress...Discover our Stables Spa located only 100 meters from the main house which includes a 17 meters inside swimming pool, a hot tub and 5 treatments rooms. Enjoy the spa treatments available throughout the year with our therapists Roxi, Kayleigh and Ailsa. 

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

Our natural products 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. 

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 emotions, click on this link 

  • 4. Practice golf on our 6 hole course overlooking the loch and the mountains 


You can be lucky and witness sunny seasonal autumnal weather and if so, why not discover our 6 golf course available on Eriska, just in front of the Stables Spa?  

Our Golf Course and Driving Range is open to non-residents as well as our residents from 8am until 8pm seven days a week. All ages and abilites are welcome to play the course and use the driving range. 

No need to book in advance, turn up and pay to play! Enjoy stunning views as you make your way around our golf course or if you simply want to check your swing, then why not visit the driving range and practice area. Golf clubs and golf trolleys are available to hire from our Stables Reception. 

To have a better impression about what you expect, discover our golf video click on this link!

  • 5. Discover our indoor sports hall and enjoy a spot of  tennis, badminton, bowls or even football

Sports_Hall_finished.jpgYou may however not be so lucky with the sunshine but that does not mean you can't run for shelter in our indoor sports hall which is open all year round, available for a whole host of activities and functions. Sports equipment can be hired from our Spa Reception at a nominal cost. 

And for your wellness, working out in the gym located on the ground floor of the Stables Spa building and enjoy range of fitness stations (including cross trainer, tread mills, rower and cycle). In addition, there is a free standing multi-purpose weight centre along with fitness balls, to help you maintain your fitness regime whilst away from home. 

  • 6. Explore the Island and discover mushrooms and wild berries along the Eriska road

As mentioned earlier, The Isle of Eriska offers a rich diversity of fauna and flora at all times of the year. Throughout thechanterelle.jpg Autumn you can ride along the main road or go to the forest areas near to Heronry, Sutherlands Grove or Fearnoch, and discover delicious mushroom; ceps, hedgehogs, yellow chanterelles and angels wings. If you find them, do not hesitate to show them to our kitchen team, to be sure they are safe, and the kitchen will be delighted to tell you more about them and can adapt your dinner menu to include them. 

 If you prefer dessert and sweet, discover the wild berries hidden in the Island.  Eriska is producing lots of berries at the minute with brambles, rowan berries, wild raspberries and even wild cherries.



  • 7. Discover the new tasting menu included the best Autumnal products 

0I5D9790_pheasant_dish_wide_Small.jpgIn the Michelin restaurant, the tasting menu changes each month and depends of the products available, taking into account seasonal products and the location in order to offer the best scottish products for our guests.

The ideal main course of the Autumnal tasting menu could include grouse served with garden red cabbage, salted baked celeriac and Island berries. 

To match with this dish, our Sommelier, Eduardo, advises our guests to taste a Classic Rhone which blends and  combines the same flavour profile. They both share richness, intensity of aromas and definitely the important touch of earthiness and gaminess. To other experiences, Bordeaux wines and Italian wines may also match perfectly with other Games! 

Dinner is served from 7:30pm to 9.00 pm in the formal restaurant, the restaurant can become busy at times and we advise our guests to pre-book a preferred dining time as soon as possible by phoning 01631 720371. The attire in the restaurant is Casual Smart. For more information and experiences, click on this link to feel the emotions about the dishes cooked by Chef Paul Leonard and his team!

  • 8. Help collect the autumnal vegeatables in Eriska private garden with our gardener Dougie 

IIsle_of_Eriska_Restaurant_Head_Chef_-_Paul_Leonard-3.jpgn the garden of our Stables Spa, discover the Eriska garden which produces throughout the year local vegetables and herbs, maintained by our Gardener Dougie. All year round, our Michelin restaurant kitchen is directly supplied from the garden. If you are going to the Stables Spa, stop in the garden and discover the autumnal vegeatables: Cabbages and Brassica plants, Carrots, Potatoes, Squashes, Turnips, Sweeds and Parsnips. Do not hesitate to ask Dougie if you have any questions, he will be delighted to introduce his job and offer you a hose to help!.

  • 9. Enjoy and discover our autumnal cocktails in the Bar near to our fireplace 

Whiskey_Bramble.jpegAfter a long journey or an arduous mountain trek, why not relax in the Isle of Eriska bar, near to the fireplace, and discover our new Autumnal cocktail? The classic Eriska recipes still remain a mystery - preciously held by our Sommelier Eduardo, but expect you to find a combination with Scottish Whisky and bramble, all decorated with wild berries... 



  • 10. Taste the perfect autumnal wines selected by our Sommelier Eduardo in the bar or during your dinner 

Before or during your dinner, choose your favorite wine among our extensive wine list available througout the year. And if the choice is too difficult, our Sommelier Eduardo presents you our Autumnal wine selection: 

  1. Red wine: A supper classic red Crozes-Hermitage from the Rhone Valley which offer a lot read and black fruit flavours, spiciness coming from the Syrah grape variety and a very settled touch of earthy gaminess with complement the dish perfectly.
  • White wine: A rich and oily Chardonnay from either Australia, America or Burgundy. This wine will offer a great creamy texture which will cope with the meatiness. This wine will most likely be quite oaky which will bring an element of spiciness to this wine which would also be a lovely flavour to complement our Autumn mushroom.

These are just a few reasons why I enjoy Eriska during this season, and perhaps some of them will give you inspiration to visit and spend an unique stay in the Isle of Eriska during Autumn. If you need more help planning a visit, please do not hesitate from asking any of our team and we will put on my thinking cap again! 

Topics: Food, Spa, Golf Course West Coast

10 family activities to do from Eriska

Posted by Bertie Badger on Aug 8, 2016 7:20:59 PM

Every year we get requests about Family Activities when staying at Eriska and this always results in lots of research but in truth it is the blind leading the blind as we do not get involved in family activities as such so end up suggesting itineraries that we would like to do and the potential guests does not know the area well so often books activities that are a distance away or not ideal for the age group of children. So this year- just ot show we are learning- we have been monitoring the activities that gain the greatest reports from our visitors and tose taht the rave about whatever the weather. We have tried to take into account the lucky guests with the most sunshine and balance these with the guests who were caught out.


We have not listed them in any particular order and have taken family to mean multi generation party who have a variety of ability and interest but set out to keep the majority happy- no Pokemon Go mentioned!



  • 1. Sealife Centre 

If you want to discover scotish wildlife, we advise to go to the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary, at just 15 minutes driving from the Isle of Eriska hotel.You could meet the adorable seals and hear the touching stories behind their rescues or visit the playful otters and the other species. It is the perfect place to enjoy with family in case of rainning weather while learning about the scottish nature


  • 2. Seafari Adventures 

Seafari Adventures offers exceptional wildlife and nature boat trips to see whales, porpoise, dolphins, basking sharks, otter, golden and white tailed sea eagles and much more in our European Special Area of Conservation - Firth of Lorne. Our tip is dress warmly - they offer waterproofs but this does not keep out the cold at 30 knots! There are differents type of boat trips, for all tastes, all ages, ideal to take a big breath of fresh air with family ! It is located 1hour driving from the hotel, at the south of Oban, hence.


  • 3. Explore Mull 

The Isle of Mull, the most closest island from Oban, is one of the most beautiful island of west highland. It offers variest landscapes and activities for all family. Wildlife, castles, mountain hire bike, walking, each one will find what is he looking for in The Isle of Mull ! If you go to Mull, you absolutely must discover Tobermory village, on the west coast. It is a beautiful fishing village with colored buildings along the main street to the pier. You will find a good variety of shops, hotels and other accomodations. And if you are whisky lovers, we advise to go to the Tobermory distillery, very famous for it tradditional savoir-faire - with moderation of course ! 


It is easy to access Craignure from Oban, with a direct ferry go and return several times per day. Booking is required during busy summermonths on the Oban ferry, however, the other two are not possible to book, and places are normally available when required.

If you prefer, The Isle of Eriska hotel may also arrange a private charter from Eriska to Tobermory (Isle of Mull) and return would be £550.00 for the boat, with our partner Costal Connection. Departure around 10:00am from Eriska and return at 5:00pm so you can spend some time on Mull.

  • 4. The Jacobite's Train 

Fan of Harry Potter and of all it sorcery ? We have the perfect activity for your family ! Take the famous Jacobite train from Fort William (1 hour driving from the hotel) - which inspired the Harry Potter movies - and travel through the amazing landscapes,  until Mallaig village. 3 hours of pure happiness, and you will come back with full stars in your eyes. Find all the thrills of Harry Potter's movie, an activity to do from 7 to 77 years...


  • 5. Ice Factory 

Only  1hours drive from the hotel, you can discover the Ice Factory with a wide range of indoor & outdoor activities to ensure that you are entertained whatever the weather. No experience necessary, making for the perfect family day out. Rock climbing, ice climbing, ready for a sporting day with family ? Feel the adrenaline as if you were in natural environnement  !


  • 6. Sea Kayak 

For many one of the attractions is the sea and therefroe a desire "to get out on the water" and what better way to do this and potentially closest way without getting wet than in a kayak. This is an activity which can be adjusted to suit all ages and ability and depending on the weather can offer a challenge or stress free activity.  Guests of all ability and ages can take part and they will come to Eriska to allow you to set off and return with dignity! Sea kayak company is an excellent partner situated in Oban. Wetsuits and footwear are provided. 


  • 7. Mountain biking  

Why do not try Isle of Eriska's bikes to explore the island in family by a sunny day ? Isle of Eriska is an ideal place from which to enjoy tours into the majestic highland landscapes 

You can hire our mountain bikes to cycle on the island, exploring the surrounding area or load them up on the car for   a day trip.

You can pre-book and borrow mountain bikes and necessary equipment from our Spa Reception. And if you plan a day trip, The Isle of Eriska may arrange a picnic for all the family, for more information, please contact directly the reception team. 


  • 8. Archery

Would you like try a sport combining strengh and cleverness ? Try this ancient and noble sport using the traditional longbow of the Scottish Highlands. Learn the basics of this challenging weapon and test your martial skill under the guidance of former 'longbow World Champion of the Wand' 2006, Sean O'Byrne. Archery is taken part 4.5 miles from the hotel, in Artdorna - please contact 07867 785524 for further information. 


  • 9. Golf 
Why do not enjoy of the leisure facilities offered by The Isle of Eriska hotel during your stay ? Our Golf Course and Driving Range is open to Non-residents as well as our Residents from 8am until 8pm seven days a week. All ages and abilites are welcome to play the course and use the driving range.

No need to book in advance, turn up and pay to play! Enjoy stunning views as you make your way around our golf course for only £15.00 (adults) and £7.50 (children) a day and  £6.00 for our Driving Range. Golf clubs and golf trolleys are available to hire from our Stables Reception. Make a day of it an enjoy a golfers lunch in our Veranda Restaurant from 12.30pm until 2pm.


  • 10. Fishing 

Only 30 minutes drive from The Isle of Eriska hotel, relax in family at Inverrawe Smokehouse learning fishing along the River Awe, in the beautiful park of Inverawe. Afterwards- or as a break-  enjoy the smokery exhibition and taste the finished product with smoked salmon based in their nice coffee shop. Alternatively for tye more adventurous try Sea Fishing on the west coast with Blue Fin Chrters based out of Dunstaffanage Marina they have had some very successful seasons and trips in local water and  boats can be arranged to track down deep sea fish.


As you see it, West Highland is full of funny activities to do with family, at just few miles from The Isle of Eriska hotel. Whether sporting, educational, creative or  gourmet ?  What activity will you choose ? Make your choice and enjoy Scoltand ! 

Topics: sports

The Waverley Comes to Oban - June 2016

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on Jun 3, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Each year, either late May or beginning of June, Oban plays host to the World’s Last Seagoing Paddle Steamer - The Waverley.

Unfortunately our pontoon, isn’t quite big enough to welcome the Waverley, however many of our guests make the Floating_Pontoon.jpgjourney into Oban to take a brief look at her, and some even make a day or an evening of it and head on board for one of the sailings.

Some of you might be familiar with Sir Walter Scott’s first novel - which the PS Waverley was named after. Since its maiden voyage in 1947, through the end of her working life in 1975, and to date, many people of all ages are still fascinated and book to experience a trip on the Waverley each year - a popular draw for our guests is to explore the western isles during the summer months.

If you’d like to experience a trip on the Waverley, view all scheduled sailings and click here to book.

We’re hoping the weather will stay with us and catch some great sunset images of the Waverley in Oban!

Planning to experience trips on the Waverley this year? We’d love to see your photos - comment below! We’ll do our best to provide some over on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Our Head Chef and Oban's Festival of the Seas - May 2016

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on Jun 2, 2016 7:00:00 PM

Eriska_Head_Chef_-_Oban_Festival_of_the_Seas.jpgLate last month, our Head Chef, Paul Leonard, took part in Oban’s Festival of the Seas in conjunction with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS).

The Festival of the Seas has been running for a number of years, bringing together marine science experts, food experts and the general public to explore and appreciate what we have on our doorstep.

The festival set out a number of key objectives including:

  • Raising awareness of the Oban area as a destination for marine research and education, seafood and marine tourism
  • To promote healthy living options provided by seafood and marine sports
  • To increase awareness of the importance of healthy seas for human well-being

On Sunday 29th May, Paul had the weather on his side as he demonstrated, Oban_Festival_of_the_Seas_2016.jpgoutside in the centre of Oban, the variety of different ways to prepare, and of course enjoy, oysters.

Paul certainly had a great audience, and even a slightly unusual member of the crowd…

We have to agree that the best bit, is definitely trying out ourselves!

Watch this space for further cooking demonstrations and events our kitchen team will be involved in throughout the year!

First cuckoo of the year marks start of 42nd year!

Posted by Professor Verona Gayle on May 31, 2016 6:31:18 PM

Sumer is icumen in lhude sing cuccu

Last evening as I walked towards the hotel from Lymphoy I heard my first cuckoo call of 2016. I remember the first lines of the poem ‘Summer is a coming in, loud sing cuckoo’. The more literary readers will be able to correct me but I think it is the first poem in the Oxford Book of English Verse.

Chrysococcyx_maculatus_-_Khao_Yai.jpgHistorically the call of the cuckoo has been considered to herald the start of summer. St Tiburtius Day the 14th April was the famed day when we would hear the first cuckoo. The earliest report of a cuckoo this year was in the Gower in South Wales on the 12th January. It was far too early for cuckoos to have returned as they had not yet started their long journey from Africa. It is most likely to have been the call of a collared dove which can sound very similar to a cuckoo particularly if the sound is unfamiliar.

Summer might have come in, and the last few days have been perfect. Warm sun and clear blue skies have been complemented with a slightly cooling wind that provides a good defence against the midges! The forecast for the next five days is similarly good. The cloud-free skies should provide excellent star gazing tonight even with the naked eye. Jupiter will be the first heavenly body to appear this evening. Looking south from the hotel it will be possible to see the two bright diamonds Vega and Arcturus. If we can stay up late enough we will see Deneb and Altair. Along with Vega they make up the ‘summer triangle’.

A couple of the ultra-long-range forecasts for the summer look especially promising, but we probably all remember the ‘barbecue summer’ predictions. People used to say “never cast a clout till May be out.” I thought that meant never cast aside warm clothing until the month of May is over. But a while ago I was informed that the saying might refer to the flowering of the May tree (which we know more commonly as the Hawthorn). Shakespeare reminds us that rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and that we should book our hotel accommodation early because summer's lease hath all too short a date. Perhaps the two real signs of summer were having lunch on The Deck and pre-dinner drinks outside.

Codicil: Mrs B reminded me that today is the 42nd anniversary of the hotel opening!

Coral Reefs near the Isle of Eriska

Posted by Elizabeth Todd on May 30, 2016 6:30:00 PM

Some of our readers may have recently read the recent news that 35% of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef is now dead following mass bleaching - one of the worst to have hit a world heritage site.

With this in mind, and the recent Festival of the Seas that took place in and around Oban over the last few days in image_preview.jpgconjunction with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS), we did further research into the coral reef on our doorstep!

Many guests and visitors to the area, are not aware that Loch Creran, just where we are situated, is home to the most notable site in Europe for serpulid reefs.

Loch Creran is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is protected under the European Habitats Directive as it contains habitats that are rare, vulnerable or endangered in the European Community.

Where can you find these reefs?

The reefs in Loch Creran, can be found around the edge of the loch in depths of around 6 - 13 metres. First reporting of these reefs date as far back as 1882 and to date, have been calculated to cover around 108 hectares!

What can you expect to find in these reefs?

Expect to find hermit crabs, squat lobsters, feather stars, starfish, whelks, crabs, fish, prawns and sponges. Plus much more!

We’re looking forward to working closely with SAMs and other conservation bodies, to ensure that the reef in Loch Creran is protected and continues to prosper for many years to come - as we do our best to protect our island and surrounding area.