Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Today we met up with relatives in Fort Augustus. Meeting place: The Lovat Arms.
When we arrived, the manager told us that a coach party would be disembarking later. Not to make us feel unwelcome, but to make sure that we were o.k. about it. She then set up a private area for us so that we wouldn't be disturbed. Throughout the meal, she was terrific.
The bar menu was basic and traditional, but with emphasis on where the produce came from. There wasn't a vegetarian option for the girl (we don't order off of the children's menu in restaurant, no one wants veggie nuggets and chips do they? I highly recommend ordering starters as kid's main meals. It makes them feel part of the party and you know that it isn't processed nasty stuff) The manager was able to tell us of three options that weren't on the menu and the Girl was very happy.
I ordered the beer battered Mallaig haddock with chips, peas and salad. Nothing fancy, it was only lunch after all. All the food arrived at the same good time and it all looked terrific. The fish was the best I've had in a very long time. The batter was light and crispy with a lovely taste of beer. The oil that it was fried in was obviously fresh, so many places do not change their oil often enough. The chips were bought in, but of good quality and the salad was a good mix of leaves and peppers and dressed lightly in a basic vinaigrette. Everyone was pleased with their food. I highly recommend the place. Click on title to see their website.
Later, back at home, straight to the garden to pick young leeks, kale and a small cauliflower for a light supper. Lightly sauteed and steamed and served up with potatoes. Butter, salt and pepper. Really nice.
I realised this morning that with the sourdough starter I was not so concerned about it being authentically wild yeast, as much as I was looking for a good flavoured bread. The mix was brewing nicely, but I decided to feed it with a bit of quick yeast along with more flour and water. So tonight it was ready to make the first loaves. It smells really nice, slight tinge of apples and beer. I'll bake them up later and we'll have cheese sandwiches for the train tomorrow. We are going to stay with a friend tomorrow night and pick my parents up at the airport early Thursday morning. Straight back on the train so that they can see the Highlands and I don't have to drive so that we can have proper chats and 'quality time'.