The Isle of Arran
In July Jamie and I visited the amazing and beautiful Isle of Arran. This unspoilt untouristy destination in the height of summer is a real foodie gem. We have never eaten seafood like it in the UK.
Our foodie quest began for lunch at Cafe Tyme, in Mackerie on the west of the Island. A Turkish theme, with large wood fired ovens and a scottish smile we tasted the pide (a Turkish style pizza) with the shepherds salad and “grannys chips”. They tasted just that and perfectly fried,,,, A friendly interesting quirky waiter topped off the fantastic experience.
Another lunch was enjoyed at Cafe Mara, in Corrie. A takeaway seafood cafe, which you can also enjoy in served in sustainable eco friendly dishes. Fish tacos and smoked mackerel macaroni cheese were just delightful with the fish arriving that morning from over the water from Skipness on Kintyre. Cara Mara also offers a wonderful coffee and sour dough bread from the local Arran bakery which we grabbed to the home with us.
We were impressed enough just with those two delicious lunch venues and then we discovered The Stag at Lochranza. Unfortunately you can’t just rock up here you have book weeks ahead (maybe months) which we did and it was worth it. The Italian chef and his wife Val have captured the special dinner out on their homely wooden hut venue just off the golf course. The local seafood on offer was mouthwatering and hard to make a choice with so many delicious options. We enjoyed local crab, and authentic lasagne with a just amazing gluten dairy free brownie with Arran ice cream (thats another story) for which Val kindly supplied her secret.
The Ice Cream! OMG the ice cream is delectable. We have never tasted ice cream like it. The shop in Brodick displays their full flavours but a trip to any of The Islands shops allows you to buy a punnet or two. The Mango Ripple is beautiful, white (just the way we like it), creamy and not too sweet. Probably the best ice cream we have tasted.
Our final foodie trip saw us at The Bakehouse in Blackwaterfoot at the South of The Island where restaurants are supplied with their wonders. Its baked and once its gone it gone, so get there early if you can! The Nordic bakery theme with sourdough and garlic and courgette focaccia and cinnamon buns had us at the door and we enjoyed all of it before even returning to base.
We first noticed the Island’s surprising lack of traffic in the heigh of season. Travelling form the South East it was a noticeable breath of fresh air to not be queuing or fighting with the tourists for spaces as in some of the more popular destinations. THIs island is beautiful with much more beyond food. Continue the foodie theme with the Islands two distilleries, most noticeably the new distillery at Laag, walk the rugged hills and mountains, swim in the burns and most of all relax in some of Scotlands most beautiful scenery.
Glamping is available on the island at Runach Arrain.,,,