Robin McKelvie een fervent reiziger en schrijver van blogs, schreef onderstaand verslag 7 Foody CalMac Ferry Trips by Robin McKelvie en het water loopt je in de mond alleen al bij het lezen van het artikel.
There are few things, to me, more Scottish than sitting on a CalMac ferry sailing out to one of the isles tucking into their famous Mac ‘n’ Cheese (made with super creamy and tasty Lockerbie Cheddar) as I enjoy a bottle of local ale. And the good news for us all is that you can enjoy a real smorgasbord of local produce on CalMac, whether it’s in their cafes – where a real effort is made to cook things fresh – or foodie goodies from their well stocked shops to enjoy later. Read on now as I conjure up a tastebud tingling menu from my favourite seven foodie isles, with a rich larder of top produce for you to enjoy en route.
Doon the Watter
We kick off in the Firth of Clyde with one of my favourite foodie escapes in the world. If you enjoy good food you must head doon the watter to Arran. Onboard you will find a wealth of island produce culled from the rich soils and bountiful local waters of this bijou island. If you are really lucky you will be on one of the CalMac services where Taste of Arran serve little samples as the hulk of the Arran Hills loom towards you.
Then of course you can enjoy a wee dram from the island’s famous distillery in Lochranza (or buy a bottle as a special present), sup the fine ales from the Arran Brewery (you’ll find them at the bar, on sale in the shop and even making their way into the steak pies in the cafe!). And don’t forget the island’s legendary cheese, milk from Arran Dairies, Arran Tablet and Wooleys of Arran. The latter conjure up those deliciously different wee ‘oatie’ oatcakes.
Out into the Hebrides
Steering west out into the Hebrides is one of my favourite places on the planet, Islay. I’d love Islay for its epic scenery and super friendly locals even without the whisky. But what whisky it offers! There are no fewer than eight distilleries dotted around this island charmer.
Pick from Bowmore or Bruichladdich, sneak off to farm-style Kilchoman, or head for the Sound of Islay to enjoy the delights of Caol Ila or Bunnahabhain. Then there are the fiery southern trio of Ardbeg, Lagavulinand Laphroaig that you can see to starboard if you cruise here from Kennacraig. I recommend a wee Islay dram on your first sight of the isle, a perfect Islay welcome! Then, of course, you can pick up a bottle as a souvenir on you cruise back home. Don’t forget CalMac stock Islay tablet and Islay ales too.
Just to the north Mull, as well as boasting the only island Munro mountain outside Skye and myriad wildlife watching opportunities, is also home to a flurry of foodie treats. The fruits of the labours of the island’s landmark Tobermory Distillery can be enjoyed at the onboard bar, or as a wee souvenir bottle. It doesn’t stop there, however, and those with a sweet tooth can enjoy Mull shortbread or Mull biscuits on the ferry, with Mull cheese (including its world famous cheddar) on hand for lovers of more savoury delights.
Across the Minch
Heading across the Minch our foodie ferry odyssey takes us to the sinewy island archipelago of the Outer Hebrides. If you love seafood Barra – for me a sort of scenic ‘Outer Hebrides in Miniature’ – is the place to head. Onboard CalMac you can get very well acquainted with the fishy delights that the local waters dish up in such abundance. You will find Barra landed hake, haddock and cod served in the CalMac cafes.
Sneaking a little further north up this epic archipelago we come to North Uist. Here preserves are among the foodie highlights, and we don’t just mean a bag of the sea salt the Hebrides are now renowned for. We are talking jams, chutneys and preserves, which come to you onboard CalMac from Lochmaddy.
We finish off our foodie odyssey with the most northerly sailing on the CalMac network as we cruise towards the Isle of Lewis. The island capital of Stornoway is a serious homecoming for fans of black pudding. If you have a penchant for boudin noir then a visit to the world famous Charles MacLeod butcher is essential. Stornoway’s finest is superb, best enjoyed with Hebridean king scallops or in a cooked breakfast. Lewis is not just about this rich meaty treat. To temper it you can savour a wee ale from Stornoway’s Hebridean Brewing Company. One of their award winning Clansman ales is the perfect end to our foodie CalMac ferry trip. We’ve tickled your tastebuds, so what are you waiting for? Hop aboard!
Meedoen aan een wedstrijd om waardebonnen ter waarde van £200.00 te winnen? Stel dat u die zou winnen en ook van die heerlijke tochtjes kunt maken en kunt genieten van al het lekkers dat aan boord te koop is? Wie niet waagt wie niet wint!
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** COMPETITION TIME **
To celebrate our #Scotfood week we’ve teamed up with CalMac to offer a whopping £200 in CalMac vouchers. You can venture out on their routes, or if you are already booked you’ll have plenty of money to spend on enjoying the fine local produce on board. ENTER HERE.
Met dank aan Robin McKelvie die o.a. blogt voor Welcome to Scotland en Caledonian McBrayne (CalMac)
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