Showing posts with label Scotland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scotland. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

"Is it older than the Victorians?"

As we were walking over the bridge to Eilean Donan Castle we were chatting about how old it was.

"Is it older than the second world war?" asked T age 8
"Is it older than the Victorians?"  asked M age 8

We reassured them that of course it was a lot older than those two studied-at-school times.
However, all was not as it seemed, despite the castle being originally built in the mid 13th century, the castle as it stands, as you see it today, was restored between 1912 & 1932. That makes most of it newer than the Victorians and older than the second world war and even more surprisingly newer than our Victorian terraced house.

LT.-Col. John Mac Rae-Gilstrap took a 13th century ruin and turned it into a family home. You can read more about it on their website here. They've got some great before and after shots.

A particular hit with our family was the Victorian/1930's style kitchen, complete with plenty of 'stuffed' hanging game, ready to be used in the next meal. A mouse in a mousetrap, with a cat ready to pounce, under the kitchen table. A pile of clean dishes on the draining board just starting to topple over, being caught by a flustered maid. Beautiful vintage mixing bowls. All "cool!".

In one of the bedrooms there was unexpectedly, a huge beautiful painting of dignitaries leaving St Paul's Cathedral at Churchill's funeral, and next to it a small outline drawing to let you know who each person was. Great for people spotting.

There were plenty of nooks and crannies to explore both inside and out, and keep three generations of our family happy on our visit, but we could have stayed...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Three simple ingredients...

...malted barley, yeast and spring water from fourteen underground springs near Talisker Bay. When we visited Talisker Distillery last week, all was quiet, machines switched off, no water as the springs above the distillery were empty due to dry weather.

The whisky pictured above has been maturing for the last thirty-three years and half of each barrel will have evaporated by now, the "angels' share", making for happy angels above Talisker Bay. Perhaps to keep the angels happy, we were rewarded with rain on our following days on Skye.

Visit Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye. Each adult entry ticket comes with a wee dram to sample for yourself. You might be tempted in the gift-shop. We were!


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