Wednesday, 18 April 2012

This is what a two pound gain looks like...

Want to see some Instagrammed pictures of food? Of course you do! I just wish I could apply an Instagram filter to my life and wander around slightly sepia tinged and out of focus…

So. All good holidays start with lunch. Ours started with lunch in one of our favourite restaurants in the world, J. Baker’s – (D needed sustenance for the seven hour drive the next day). I have waxed lyrical about this place before but I’m astounded that after years of going there to eat we haven’t had a duff course, let alone a duff meal. I just wish I could eat there every day.

Lunch #1
The delicate cauliflower whip with curry oil (pictured above) was followed by a superlative dish of mackerel with a giant couscous salad, then “Blood Balls” with a pork and potato “pie”, an excellent plate of cheese and finally a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry and stout foam. All blissful, although the lightly spiced mackerel just about won the best dish of the day prize and had me frantically scribbling notes on the back of a napkin as to how I could go about recreating it at home.

Lunch the next day was perhaps more rustic, but delicious nonetheless. This is the second year running that we have stopped off at the Clachaig Inn on the drive up to Ardnamurchan and it didn’t disappoint. We ordered a selection of starters (“Scottish tapas!” laughed the barmaid – “Exactly!” said we) of excellent quality produce.

Lunch #2
And here we see smoked salmon, black pudding, haggis and venison pastrami all served with the ubiqutous oatcakes. I do love a nice oatcake, particularly if it is topped with some form of spiced offal.

While for the majority of the week our lunch consisted of picnic sandwiches and possibly the best brownies in the world ever (or slices of a very interesting beetroot cake that my parents had picked up from a Dumfries’ farm shop) we did manage to squeeze in a trip to the very lovely Café Fish on the Isle of Mull. Again, I think that this is a venue I’ve praised before but it is well worth a trip – and the Good Food Guide agrees with me, calling it their fish restaurant of the year 2012!

Lunch #3
The beauty of Café Fish is that it treats the excellent local produce with respect. There’s not a lot of flashy cooking going on here, but really, when you have beautiful ingredients, there doesn’t need to be.

Of course three indulgent lunches alone do not a two pound gain make (at least, I don’t think so) but factor in some whisky and some wine, some excellent Scottish cheese and (whisper it) a homecoming pizza and you begin to see where that pesky 32 ounces might have come from. Still, onwards and downwards eh, comrades?


  1. Oh that food looks delicious! Whisky is a must if you go up north! xxx

    1. Mmmmm love the lovely whisky!! Have been known to mix it with Crabbies which is lethal but delicious!!


  2. Do you stay somewhere lovely when you go to Scotland? We're thinking of going for a short break directly after the wedding. In November...


  3. Hmmm Scotland in November is brave!!

    The last couple of years we've stayed in a remote village called Kilchoan - it's a long way away from anywhere but very lovely. We've always gone self catering and the cottages we've had have been comfy and well equipped ( This last week we noticed a guest house which looked rather nice but can't speak from experience (

    If you don't fancy going up that far, my parents stayed at a place in Dumfries to break up the drive and said it was lovely - gorgeous local food and good walking as well (

    Fantastic part of the world!


  4. This food all sounds/looks amazing, I'll have one of everything please!

  5. Yum yum yum yum!I think the weight gain was travel/altitude related and nothing at all to do with the yummy food and whisky... The beetroot cake sounds awesome!!!

    Lex xxx