Friday, 2 September 2016

Day 7: Islay/Oban - interlude

The town of Oban chiefly consists of a road lined with shops and bars that hugs itself around the curl of a bay. Above, a great, round tower looms and, at the far end, sits the ferry port. The constant sight and sound of the ferries going back and forth make Oban feel very much like a place to go through rather than to. Which is why, this year, we decided to make it a destination in itself and spend an evening. I will report back shortly as to whether or not this was a wise decision. Perhaps some places are better off as thoroughfares.

We have already completed the Oban distillery tour, our sixth in four days, and have declared ourselves officially "whiskied out". Tonight, there will be seafood and then tomorrow, we set sail for our beloved Mull. I am looking forward to being in self catering accomodation with my own, albeit basic, kitchen. Eating out for every meal becomes tedious very quickly, especially when (food snob alert!) so many places out there serve such remarkably average food.

I am always wont to leap to the defence of British food culture which, at its best is one of the most exciting and varied and lovely in the world. In the middle of the market, though, we Brits do need to take a couple of things on board. One: seasoning is not a dirty word. A pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, even a squeeze of citrus, can bring a dish to life. And two: for the love of the Teapot do we HAVE to cook everything to the point of cremation? Professional chefs - and, it follows, diners - need to get a wee bit braver.

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