Our Blog

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.

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The Eriska Garden starts producing!

Posted by Beppo Buchanan-Smith on May 26, 2016 11:55:48 AM

There is that old saying that if you wait for a bus for long enough then suddenly three come along at once and so it seems with the Eriska Garden although unlike bus timetables I suspect nature is even more unpredicatble and fickle. The good news from our side is that providing we get our planning right and the kicthen are kept up to date with all the opportunities then we can simply divert attention from suppliers to our own produce however the balance seems to be between tiem allocatedfor harvesting and sowing for now with a little bit of garden maintenace and weeding in amongst this!

veg_patch-resized-600.jpgSo after a slow start to the season when even those seeds in the greenhouse struggled to survive - the warmth is certainly here and is helping the growing and cultivation and as douggie tried to explain to me teh long days with sunshine can do noting but encorage teh photosynthesis that is essential in a garden. We have gone from a few radish and forced rhubarb to full baskets of herbs, flowers and vegetables arriving on a daily basis.

The juicer is at full capacity mulching down the watercress, wild garlic and other herbs to make oils and potions for use in the winter and the sinks are full of leaves being washed and prepared. Last week we even had the ultimate compliment when one of our foraging suppliers came to the kitchen and offered to swap items so he could refill his van for his next stop- tempting but these are very much our ingredients for use by Paul and his team in the Eriska Restaurants whether in the fine dining Main Diningroom or accross in the more informal Deck Brasserie where we are combining some of the wonderful seafood we have delivered with our natural larder.watering_can.jpeg

Douggies Gardening prowess does not stop in the small kitchen garden but now reaches into the herb gardens by Lilac and most importantly the relatively new garden out by the sports facility. This structure gives it shelter from thr morning frost and warmth from the evening sun- the perfect combination-  and having been full of potatoes last year we hope the soil will be starting to recover from 30 years as a cows pasture field and will start to help us with our vegetables.  This was in fact the original kitchen garden used back in 1900 when the house would have had to produce the majority of the ingredients for the kitchen during the sumer when the island was occupied. 9Just dont tell douggie that there was ateam of 10 working then).

Whilst we are led to beleive that the Victorians ate heartily - evidence does not show that they enjoyed "Five a day" that we are promised although they did grow pears, apples and even pineapples back then but it has to be said that Sir Ian Clark Hutchison, who lived here then,  always admitted that they were "Quite" Sour- maybe photsynthesis was limted then too!!!

 

Topics: Food

Eriska Wine event opens new boundaries

Posted by Robyn Craig on Mar 13, 2016 7:59:05 PM

red_wine-resized-600.jpgWell it was that time of year again; last week we hosted our annual Spring Wine Tasting!  This year the event was hosted by our very own Master Sommelier Edouard with wines matched to the menucreated by head Chef Paul.  The result: a sumptuous dining experience for our guests introducing a range of biodynamic and classic wines.

Eriska’s Master Sommelier

Edouard was brought up in the Loire Valley, France and was introduced into the art of wine making and tasting by his Uncle at an early age. Since then his passion for wine has taken red_wine-resized-600.jpghim across the globe to renowned vineyards and luxury hotels.  In  2011 Edouard achieved the highest honour in the industry joining the oenological elite by becoming a Master Sommelier and in the same year  winning the prestigious Laurent Perrier Cuvee Grand Siecle Cup .

Edouard Oger MS is a wine expert and qualified taster, offering the highest level of proficiency and knowledge regarding wines, spirits and other alcoholic beverages. Who better to introduce classic wines from across the globe that highlight the quality of biodynamic winemaking!

 

Wine Choice - Why Biodynamic and Classic Wines?

Biodynamic farming and wine growing is all about working in harmony with the land to create great produce while ensuring minimal environmental impact:  Something that resonates with us at Eriska!  Added to the mix was a selection of classic wines showing traditional elegance, we hope you agree that again there may be a little crossover here. 

 

The Dinner

For those of you not lucky enough to join us on the evening below is a little taste of the food and wine on show:

The evening began with some surprising fizz over canapes as guests were warmly welcomed by Edouard and, Eriska owner, Beppo Buchanan-Smith.

Canapes

Poiré de Poiriers Anciens Sur Granite Grand Cru 2014  Eric Bordelet

 

Mosel Riesling Kabinett 2013

Willi Schaefer, Graacher Domprobst

Served with Roasted Duck Liver, Rhubarb and Ginger

 The Riesling grape is probably one the best varietal out there to complement Duck Liver as it combains richness and sweetness but it also has a natural acidity which cut through the heavy structure of the Liver.

 

Weinland Grüner Veltliner & Welshriesling 2014

Gut Oggau, Theodora

 Served with Hand Dived Orkney Scallop, Pickled Beach Vegetables

 This particular wine was all about being super mineraly, zesty and a slightly exotic which was fantastic with the Scallop and these citrussy/exotic flavours also matched the crunchy zestiness of the pickled vegetables. 

Marsannay 2013

Domaine Louis Latour

 Served with Crapaudine Beetroot, Sheep’s Yoghurt, Smoked Cods Roe

 That Burgundian Pinot Noir was a very good complement to the beetroot dish, as we were playing around with the same textures and flavours. We also thought that as the Crapaudine was a French varietal, we then therefore should keep it classic with a Pinot from the same country.  

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2013

Emidio Pepe

 Served with Peterhead Landed Brill, Garden Alliums

 It is most likely one the best dry white from Italy! This wine was rich, complex, intense but yet so clean and mineraly. Perfect to complement to meatyness coming from the Brill and Alliums were so refreshing which made this wine even leaner.  

Craggy Range Sophia Merlot & Cabernets 2011

Gimblett Gravels

 Served with Sirloin of Scotch Beef, Sand Carrot, Brassicas

 A super classic combination with the Beef dish. This Bordeaux blend had a very intense nose but the palate was so smooth, elegant and rich but not over extracted in any way. It also had a slight touch of earthiness which was lovely with the sand Carrot and the Brassica Leaves.

  Condrieu 2012

Domaine Vidal-Fleury

 Served with Mull Cheddar, Salt Baked Pear, Digestive

For a change a dry Viognier made in the Rhone Valley was served with the cheese course. Absolutely superb together as the Mull Cheddar was accompanied with some baked Pears which brought an element of freshness, creaminess and sweetness to this dish, flavours and textures that we were also getting in that dry white wine.

 Jurancon 2013

Domaine de Souch, Cuvée de Marie-Kattalin

Served with Lemon Meringue Pie, Eriska’s Wooden Sorrel

 This sweet wine is not considered as being one of the best pudding wine in the world for nothing! It had some much complexity, richness and sweetness but it was also so incredibly clean at the same time. Superb zesty natural acidity which was a great complement to the Lemon Pie as expected.

 Port Late Bottled Vintage 2008

Fonseca

 Served with Caramel Chocolate Parfait, Cocoa Nibs, Salted Caramel

 

Very well crafted LBV Port made by Fonseca which was lovely complement to this dessert course, as we were once again playing with the same structures and flavours. This wine was indeed fruity and also slightly chocolaty, caramel and a hint of coffee and was therefore greatly appreciated with the Parfait

 

 

 If we were to pick a highlight from the evening then the Trebbiano made by Emidio Pepe in Italy would be a stand out contender. Initially some of our guests were a little bit puzzled trying th wine on its own, but they all changed their minds when enjoying it with the Brill and Alliums. It was purely perfect, as both wine and dish really helped each other and created a fabulous experience.

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Come join us for our

Winter Wine Weekend 2016

Enquire Now

 

 

 

 

Topics: Wine Weekend

Easter in Oban - 27th March

Posted by Robyn Craig on Feb 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM

 Easter Offerings

March marks the start of Spring, no other season brings the feeling of new life and rejuvenation on the west coast. There are flowers starting to bloom, lambs beginning to grace the fields and the excitement of summer in the air.

Here at the Isle of Eriska we love Easter time, the school break and we are bdd428a230ce6155fa4cf3f5a5ec2e05.jpgdelighted to welcome back couples and families to the West Coast and our 5 star luxury island retreat. Being on the west coast it is a great time for everyone to get outside to the great outdoors.

Not to miss this Easter;

  1. The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban is hosting its annual Easter Fun Day on the 27th of March. It is Oban's biggest Chocolate Easter Egg Hunt and there is a fun assortment of Easter crafts and activities for the whole family to enjoy, as well as talks and feeding displays.
  2. Chocolate work shop for the kids – The award winning Oban Chocolate Co. opens its doors to its factory and under supervision, kids can make their very own Belgian chocolate for their parents (or themselves!)

 Eriska’s Easter offerings;

  • Our Chef Paul Leonard has been out foraging around the Island for wild foods, and alongside our gardener Dougie, they are already in the garden seeding everything in preparation for spring with the greenhouse bursting in anticipation of our seasonal spring menu.
  • The Stables Spa offering ESPA and ISHGA products is well worth a visit. Hotel and local guests to the west coast are welcome to enjoy the comforts of the Spa, a range of treatments are on offer followed by a light lunch.Eriska_food.jpgEriska_Spring_Food.jpg
  • With a range of mouth-watering seasonal dishes, Easter is a delicious time to come and stay at the Isle of Eriska. We cater for everyone in our New Deck restaurant and restaurant offering a seasonal Tasting Menu and Restaurant Menu, children are treated to High Tea and room service is ready available, to ensure that the whole family gets the Easter break they deserve.

Eriska is still offering winter rates Dinner, Bed and Breakfast starting from *£333.00 in March and we hope we can welcome you to the West Coast the for Easter weekend for further information

please do not heistate to contact the reception team at office@eriska-hotel.co.uk.

Book Now

 *subject to terms and conditions

Topics: Spa, accomodation, Fine Dining, easter in scotland, easter in argyll, luxury 5 star hotels, march break, easter

West Coast Self-Catering

Posted by Robyn Craig on Feb 3, 2016 6:25:54 PM

 

Arnott's House

 On The Isle of Eriska

 We wanted to create a true Scottish Self Catering accommodation unit whilst at the same time retain the ease of access to the spa, leisure and dining facilities of the main house and hotel.

Since opening in 201, Arnott's House has become popular for friends and families to enjoy the Oban area and luxury island, offering guests a unique self- catering experience on Eriska - on your own private island on the westcoast of Scotland.

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Throughout the main season it is let on a weekly basis to for up to 6 guests, offering a real retreat and escape.arnotts-house-isle-of-eriska-benderloch-terrace-view.jpg

Arnott’s house was built in 1850 and was named after Arnot the redoubtable butler of the Clark Huchiesons who owned Eriska through the turn of last century. The traditional stone built farm house has been refurbished and offers guests privacy and access to the Isle of Eriska estate.

The spacious 3-bedroom self-catering Arnott’s house is located on the secluded east side of the Island, 50 metres above Loch Creran and enjoys magnificent views toward Ben Cruachan. Inside the house guests are welcomed by a modern living space spread over two floors, three en-suite bedrooms and conservatory face over the beautiful view of Loch Creran. The living area benefits from dual aspect views and a conservatory that catches the light from the east and offers a wonderful bright and airy space overlooking the garden

A fully equipped modern kitchen is situated at the back of the property looking out to the private grounds of the house, perfect for watching for your friends and family returning from their private path down to the tidal stoney beach at loch Creran. Outside of the house, there is a covered boot room and drying area, whilst adjacent to the conservatory lies a large six person outdoor hot tub perfect as you soak up the magnificent views overlooking the surrounding mountains and islands. Eriska itself is a 300 acre paradise for those simply wishing to wander. It is easy to do simply walk till you meet the sea or partcipate in a range of activities, alternatively for those wishing to relax guests are welcome to use the Stables Spa and there 17 meter pool, sauna, steam room and Spa pool or why not treat yourself to a Rasul Mud Treatment.

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Arnott’s house although fully equipped as a self-catering property guests can also experience food from our Michelin Starred Kitchen, we can arrange a simple supper in Arnott’s house, relaxed dining for lunch and/or early dinner in our new Deck restaurant, for a grander affair a reservation at the main hotel restaurant where guests can choose from our seasonal dinner menu or tasting menu. The house is a perfect base.

 

Enquire Now  

 

Call us on 01631 720371 or email office@eriska-hotel.co.uk for further information and to book. 

 Since

Topics: Eriska, Spa, private island, self catering, luxury self catering, michelin star

Scotland's Snow Season

Posted by Robyn Craig on Jan 9, 2016 5:19:00 PM

 

Happy New Year from us all at the Isle of Eriska, we are looking forward to the start of the snow season, Glencoe Ski slope is a perfect day for beginners to experienced skiers, snowboarders and extreme sledging.

 

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Glencoe Mountain Resort originally known as White Corries is Scotland’s original ski centre dating back to 1956. Glencoe extends over 200 hectares and operates on the Meall A’Bhuiridh Massif situated in the south end overlooking Rannoch Moor of the Glencoe valley and is a stunning locations offering fantastic skiing and snowboarding boarding for all levels.

The ski area has seven lifts on Meall a’ Bhuiridh which serve a variety of 19 ski runs. Glencoe is by no means the largest ski centre in Scotland, but it's still a firm favourite with many Scottish skiers and boarders thanks to its unique and exhilarating terrain, and a snow holding record second to none.

 

 

 

So what has Glencoe Ski Slope got to offer?

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Events:  

  • 30th Jan 2016- Glencoe Mountain Rail Jam
  • 19th & 20th March 2016 – Scottish Snow Festival
  • 20th March – Junior Coe Cup
  •  2nd & 3rd April – Coe Cup FreeRide World Tour 1* Qualifier

Runs: Four Green, Five Blue, Six Red and One Black, watch out for "Fly Paper" the Steepest run in Britain

Head down the Main Basin and into the Canyon, you'll pop out under the Cliff Hanger Chair, which usually has a fun gully to air out of. Keep your speed up and ride across the Plateau to the top of the Access Chair. If there's sufficient snow you can ride all the way to the car park – keep to the left of the chair for some of the best open off-piste runs in Scotland”

 Scott McMorris, Oakley snow team manager

The Guardian

Eriska's Snow Season Rates

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Starting from £166.50 per person 

Friday the 29th of January for two nights £166.50 per person, per night perfect for guests who looking for a day on the slopes followed by relaxation in the Spa.

Alternatively why not treat you and your special someone to a night away in Eriska’s Hilltop Reserves, views over the Snow-capped mountains, private hot tub and use of the leisure facilities.

 

 

*full pre-payment required at time of booking

Call us on 01631 720371 or email office@eriska-hotel.co.uk for further information and to book. 

 

Topics: Spa, hilltop reserves, winter

Get ready for Spectre

Posted by Robyn Craig on Oct 22, 2015 8:12:03 PM

 

James Bond’s new film release, featuring Daniel Craig – UK released 26th October, 2015.

We are looking forward to the new Bond movie Spectre and so are Eriska’s guests - our James Bond Box set has never been so popular.

It is now over 3 years since a dinner discussion about the launch of Skyfall that led to our very own creation of a James Bond themed package and in truth we believe it may have simply been a desire of Beppo to take control of an Aston Martin for a weekend and drive i9t like James Bond through Glen Coe. Since then we have kept him on the straight and narrow- or maybe the insurance was too high but many guests have enjoyed the package- although one Australian guys was incredibly disappointed that having paid the money, taken the tour and returned the car, the man sitting next to her was not Daniel Craig!

 

Anyway its launch time again and Scotland’s west coast visitors are getting into the James Bond spirit and firing up their own Aston Martin DB9 ready to power through Glencoe, setting for the dramatic finale of Skyfall, onward to a private Island, fitting for any sinister Spectre organisation so we roll out a relaunch our James Bond Experience which we run in conjunction with McKinlay Kidd based from Glasgow.

 

Day One- So the bones of the escape are - the car – Collect a DB9 from Edinburgh Airport and the hotel – the Five Star Isle of Eriska, Spa and Island- Based on a private 350 acre private island just off the picturesque west coast.

So set off from Edinburgh up though the Trossachs and the Land of Braveheart and Rob Roy and onto the West Highlands of Scotland. Driving through the wonderful barren and unforgiving Rannoch Moor and Glencoe- the set for much of Skyfalls dramatic conclusion and then onto the Isle of Eriska for the first night.

Arrive in time form afternoon tea in front of the roaring hall fire and then some time to explore the island and build up an appetite for dinner by swimming in the 17m Indoor Ozone pool. Then at 7.00pm meet in the Library Bar for a Martini Cocktail Masterclass with our Mixologist- Edward who will explain the history and recipe behind the top tipple of 007. Followed by dinner in the multi award winning restaurant.

Day two -  sees the main event and after breakfast at 10am a transfer to the pier of the island where a fast speed boat will transfer you across Loch Linnhe taking in the sights of Duart Castle, Lismore and Oban with seals, otters, basking sharks and Golden Eagles sightings all possible before returning

Then return to Eriska in time for lunch and a chance to explore more of the island, a game of golf on the gem of an environmentally sustainable 9 hole course and even a game of tennis on the indoor court relax the muscles after the morning on the water. Follow this with another sumptuous dinner.

Day Three - Then after another night in your suite it is time to wind your way back to reality with a drive down to Crinan and the scene s from “From Russia with Love” and the film location of the sea chase through the Bosphorus and then onto Faslane and the scenes from “the Spy who Loved me” before heading back to Edinburgh to return the car.

  

McKinlay Kidd is offering this elite luxury package in Scotland, why not take a look and become James Bond for the weekend:

http://www.seescotlanddifferently.co.uk/luxury-aston-martin-weekend/

 

Topics: Isle of Eriska Hotel, Eriska, James Bond Package

October Eriska's Top Six

Posted by Robyn Craig on Oct 1, 2015 2:29:00 PM

          Autumn Sunrise

West Coast in October 

As we welcome October to Eriska, we're fortunate to have had the sun following us this week with some incredible sunsets our guests have loved. Our thoughts now draw to autumn's cooling weather with bracken yellowing, misty hills and wood smoke over the moors and glens.

The autumn season on the West Coast of Scotland is a buzz of activity and visitors are treated the to the weather and wildlife unfolding along the island shores.

   

Eriska's Top 6 West Coast October tips:

 1. Incredible dark skies  - As the nights creep in, the skies come alive on the west coast offering incredible dark skies especially on the Islands - perfect for starting the stargazing seasons.

2. The Battle begins – The Deer rutting season begins fierce battles for breeding rights. Listen out and you ight be lucky enough to hear the roaring and clash of antlers can be heard across the land.
 
3. October Adrenaline – Isle of Mull Car Rally - Mull becomes a hive of activity         for an adrenaline packed weekend where drivers from all over Britain compete in seven stages and several courses.
4. Thermal warmers – Eriska Steam room and Sauna is perfect for warming the   body and soul after brisk walks under the golden canopies and cooling shores around the island.
 
5. Relax, Restore and Revive – Designed to induce a sense of peace and tranquillity, our relaxation room encourages your mind to drift over the shores while immersing your body in the Spa warmth.
 
6. Organic treats – Using natural products is a must, Eriska spa products from Ishga and ESPA harvest the finest natural products to rejuvenate the skin.

 

There’s something suitable for the ladies, gentlemen and couples throughout the year and we welcome all our guests to enjoy everything the West Coast of Scotland has to offer this October.

  

The Stables Spa I Michelin Starred Restaurant I Eriska Hotel

 

 

 

Topics: Spa

We have done it again!

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

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

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

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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Topics: Ross Stovold, michelin star

As Time Flies

Posted by Claire Soulsby on Sep 16, 2015 3:32:17 PM

It feels like just yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year, here at Eriska so much has changed within that time. We have refurbished our Stables Spa and welcomed many new families to us.

With Winter dawning on us it begins to get chilly, and the days become shorter. 

It is well known that during these harsh Winter months that depression sets in quite often. It is proven that by doing regular excercise you are less likely to experience the downs of Winter. 

At Eriska we have a wide range of outdoor activities including fishing, clay pigeon shooting, sailing, wildlife boat trips and many more!



If you are shying away from being in the brisk Scottish breeze we also have space indoors for tennis, badminton, basketball and many more sports.

After exerting yourself at the sport that suits you, why not come and relax in one of our luxuirous king size beds before enjoying Afternoon Tea by the fire. Followed by our Michelin Starred food, where better to relax and enjoy that one time you can switch off from work and life duties.

Being at Eriska you can switch off completly from the world, there is no better place to relax, forget and rejuvinate. 

For more information either call 01631 720 371 or email office@eriska-hotel.co.uk

Topics: Eriska