Three Chimneys and Verdant Works

Three Chimneys Book



Found this absolutely brilliant site that has a Chef Masterclass video by Executive Chef Michael Smith from the renown Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye.  He is making a Shellfish Risotto and not only does he show you how to make the risotto but all the recipes needed are included in the article.  So if you’ve ever wanted to tackle Hake and Shellfish Risotto, Mussel and Syboe (spring onion) Pakora with Spiced Shellfish Oil, here is everything you need.



Shellfish Risotto
Shellfish Risotto
Michael Smith
Michael Smith















Doreen Meek is a self-taught artist who uses texture and color in her artwork. Oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic ink and collage are methods she uses to express herself in her paintings.

Verdant Works Gallery in Dundee is showcasing Doreen’s work until April 7th. Admission is free and you could also check out the Jute Museum while you are there.

Skye Weavers


6th of December …. open house with mulled wine, minced pies and German ginger bread.  That’s how we’ll start off here.  I was so excited to find Skye Weavers with their beautiful scarves, wraps and other assorted textiles. Absolutely gorgeous work on the Isle of Skye.



Their loom is bicycle pedal-powered and they produce woollen products as well as tweed lengths and garments such as cushion covers, bags and accessories.  Roger and Andrea, who own and operate Skye Weavers, are ”passionate about the need to preserve the knowledge and quality associated with Scottish tweeds and garments”.  All the products are hand-woven and sewn on the Isle of Skye and they endeavour to use UK materials and packaging as much as possible.

In February 2012, Roger and Andrea moved from the Isle of Mull to Skye, where they set up their business in an old family croft house in Glendale.  Both of them were inspired to begin the weaving company from previous working experience on an organic farm and weaving mill on Mull.

Three important components to Skye Weavers are a bicycle pedalled loom, brought from the Isle of Lewis and previously used to make tweed; secondly, a hand-operated warping mill, built from the wheels of a Massey-Harris tractor rake and thirdly, a sewing room.



Skye Weaver’s new scarf series is inspired by the different colors of bird’s plumage and are woven from 100% pure new lambswool at a generous length of 6 feet.












Andrea says, “When we first heard of pedal looms being used on the Outer Isles to weave Harris Tweed, we were immediately intrigued.  What a great way to produce fabric: carbon neutral, clean, quiet, potentially pretty fast, and a good workout, as many people have pointed out to us.”

I haven’t seen the products first-hand but I am impressed by the quality in the photos and by their website in general.  I like that they are conscious of the environment and of preserving Scottish weaving traditions.  All the information and pictures here are from the Skye Weaver’s website.  Please drop by their site and check out all their fine products or better yet, drop by on December 6th for some mulled wine and have a look at their weaving workshop.



80-year-old crofter on Skye

Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire; the Herald

An article in the Herald today writes:

“Iain Macdonald is thought to be the last person in Scotland to move his animals this way.

His 19 cows took around 15 minutes to swim approximately 100 metres (328ft) from Skye to nearby Staffin island, where they will graze for three months.

Mr Macdonald, 80, first swam the cows over to the island in 1950, and used to swim with them himself. However the crofter, who lives on Skye, now accompanies them by boat.

He said: ‘It could not have gone better today. It takes about 15 minutes for them to swim and we have a boat on either side to keep them together.’

‘We save a lot of money by grazing them on the island, and they will be in good condition when they come off.’ ”

Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire; the Herald

(I kind of feel I need to make a comment here as this is not my usual sort of post about taking trains and eating cheese.  I just think it’s amazing that this man who is in his 80th year is still doing this the old-school way.  My hat’s off to him and I think it’s great that there have been a few people writing about him.  I am sure if I was a bit more proficient and had a bit more time I could probably find some great history on this way of moving cows from one place to another. Maybe some of you can help me out and give me some info on this.  Cheers!)

Balmacara Mains

Located in Wester Ross, near the Isle of Skye, Balmacara is a beautiful setting for a get-away.

Eight gorgeous and luxurious rooms to choose from.

Here’s the video that says it all ~


If you are interested in the breakfast menu, it is as follows:

Selection of fresh fruit and cereals, local berries and west highland dairy yoghurt

Golspie Mill pin-head oatmeal porridge with brown sugar and single cream / banana and maple syrup
or as you like it (v)

Balmacara Mains Breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, Stornoway black pudding & potato scone all combinations.

Isle of Skye smoked haddock and free range poached eggs

Scrambled eggs with Isle of Skye smoked salmon

French toast with bacon and maple syrup (v)

Balmacara Mains Kedgeree

Fruit juice selection
Freshly prepared coffee & hot chocolate
Herbal teas

For more information, check out their website.

The Three Chimneys

In keeping with the location of Skye, where my last post ended on a bike and in reference to a previous blog I wrote,  I came across a book written from this beautiful restaurant.

The book, full of lovely recipes and scenic photographs from The Three Chimneys, was recommended in a fellow blogger’s post  

(the book is available from Amazon in the U.K., Canada and the U.S.) 

The Three Chimneys Restaurant is situated in an original crofter’s cottage, built around 100 years ago, on the Isle of Skye.  With three smaller dining areas on the ground floor, it provides a cozy atmosphere whereas the spacious bedroom suites in The House Over-By were built only nine years ago.



 If you want to see more pictures and a write-up, check out my previous blog