Bread & Cheese – where would we be without them!

The yellowhammer has a characteristic song with an “A little bit of bread and no cheese” rhythm. I remain to be convinced however I am certain the world would be a poorer place without bread and cheese!

Errington ploughman’s

We hosted another of our popular Cheese Lovers courses at Scottish Food Studio the other day and had a grand day with lovely people. It so happened the previous weekend there was a Slow Food visit scheduled to the Errington family in Lanarkshire, home of Lanark Blue, Scotland’s Roquefort, and other amazing cheeses, so what better way to top up supplies for the day? It was lovely to be back and Selina produced wonderful ploughman’s platters for lunch. http://www.erringtoncheese.co.uk

We had reason to be in Dumfries and Galloway that week too, so naturally a visit to Loch Arthur at Beeswing beckoned. It was super to catch up with Barry and after a tasty treat in their café (right) we bought an amazing selection of cheeses from across Scotland – and their own superb Farmhouse, Crannog and Killywhan of course, plus an excellent loaf of organic rye bread. https://locharthur.org.uk/creamery/ With a top up at Craigie’s https://craigies.co.uk and a postal delivery from Kedar http://www.kedarcheese.co.uk we were all set and we had a cheese fest like no other! Warm thanks to those who came along and if you wish to join us our next course is on Sat 10thAugust book online here https://www.wendybarrie.co.uk/product-page/cheese-lovers-get-the-knowledge-half-day-course

Luing was also on our SFG travels this week. A beautiful island and birthplace of the Luing fold, robust russet cattle bred to survive highland weather and calf in extreme conditions. A Highland Shorthorn Cross, it was developed back in 1947 by the Cadzow family and was officially recognised as a new breed in 1965. We were on this green isle to visit the Luing Bakery http://www.luingbakery.com where Mary (below) & Nigel, Winners of two Gold Awards in the Scottish Bread Championships, have their neat and sweet village bakery. All I can say is lucky Luing!

Mary

Tasty sourdoughs, plump pizza bases and weekend butteries sold at the Luing Stores where Birgit also sells her delectable home made quiches – spells life quality! Waking up in the morning there were starlings nesting and goldfinches at the feeder as the early sun sparkled on the water. Steeped in history with sweeping views, accessed by a diminutive five minute ferry it is a very special place and I look forward to our return.

Isle of Luing
Knipoch Hotel
Real Food Cafe

En route we popped in to Knipoch http://www.knipochhotel.co.uk as delightfully gracious as ever, to arrange a future visit, and a light bite at the Real Food Café http://www.therealfoodcafe.com where energetic walkers mingle with more leisurely families, all enjoying the freshly cooked fare. Our favourite spot is by the window overlooking the bird tables – of which there are plenty! This time it was bustling with siskins, bluetits and chaffinch.

Back in the capital I had been invited to judge St George’s Lunchtime Challenge, a well established competition where 11-year-olds each cook two course lunches and impress me more each time – indeed this year fellow judge Chef James Ferguson and I awarded two winners as it was impossible to decide between them! Bravo to all the Finalists and the worthy winners.

This week is Gardening Scotland and Scottish Food Guide welcomes Paul Newman from Thyme at Errichel http://www.errichelhouseandrestaurant.co.uk; Sheena of Galloway Chillies http://gallowaychillies.co.uk; Clan Carmichael with their Estate Venison https://www.carmichael.co.uk; Andrew Whitley with Scotland The Bread, on Slow Food Ark of Taste http://scotlandthebread.org; some of the gang from Cairn O Mhor Wines https://www.cairnomohr.com and Nanette with Isle of Skye Sea Salt, also on Ark of Taste https://www.isleofskyeseasalt.co.uk all on our Stand. We are looking forward to a great weekend so do come and visit us.

The following weekend is Ballantrae Food Festival https://www.ballantraefoodfest.com with a host of demonstrations, producers and activities, all listed on the link. In a gorgeous location on the Ayrshire coast it is also the launch of World Gin Day!

More Members’ News…

Ballintaggart Feasts

Enjoy the essence that is Ballintaggart…. http://ballintaggart.com Unique communal dining | Nature’s seasonal bounty | Spectacular locations 22.06.19 Summer Feast at Ballintaggart Farm, five fabulous courses, Team Ballintaggart’s warm hospitality £45/guest BYOB

29.06.19 Ballintaggart Loch side feast at The Paper Boat Loch Tay, five fabulous courses and welcome drink | BYOB| £55 /guest

25.08.19 Ballintaggart Moveable Feast on the Isle of Mull Sensational seafood showcase with foraged cocktail on arrival £75 | guest

Bank Holiday Monday lunch, four courses 26.08.19 £55 Call 01887 447000 or email hello@ballintaggart.com to book

Edinbane Lodge

Edinbane Lodge is delighted to have been awarded 5 Star Gold by the AA for their rooms.There are four rooms available in their lodge and fabulous meals to savour when you are there. Check out Calum at Royal Highland Show Scotland’s Larder Live Cooker Theatre soon. Just awarded Restaurant Newcomer of the Year at CiS Excellence Awards https://www.edinbanelodge.com

Visit 63 Tay Street and leave the choices to Graeme for a fabulous gourmet meal! Check out his website for lots of other delectable options too from this Slow Food Cooks Alliance Member http://www.63taystreet.com 

Craigie’s

Always lots happening at Craigie’s and I love the monthly blackboard they share with us! Also they have an exciting project underway with a planning application for a new “Farm Park” facility so look out for that too.

Connage (from Twitter)

Connage Cheese Pantry is now on its summer opening hours and our congratulation to them for winning Best Scottish Cheese at Artisan Cheese Awards http://www.connage.co.uk

Cranachan & Crowdie had a wonderful evening of gin tasting introducing Jamie Shields of the Summerhall Drinks Lab to their guests. He is running the Juniper Festival on at Summerhall from May 31st– June 2nd. Their 3 main gins for the evening were Kinrara Scottish Highland Dry Gin from Aviemore, Seven Crofts from Ullapool and Kintyre Gin from Torrisdale Castle Estate just across from Arran. There is always so much happening and so many inspired ideas here check on the link to see the latest – or drop in! https://www.cranachanandcrowdie.com

Cranachan & Crowdie

Steak Nights Thursday and lots of other great offers at Deans https://www.letseatperth.co.uk Congratulations to Jamie Deans as Finalist in CiS Excellence Awards as Young Chef of the Year.

The Torridon is always a special place to dine, plus location, location. Location! Many activities and events on their website https://www.thetorridon.com

Macbeths are are preparing for their biggest release yet of this amazing 42 day matured Highland Shorthorn beef from their own farm Edinvale. After a lot of requests, they have also increased the range of what is normally available to include Topside, Silverside and Minute Steak. https://www.macbeths.com

PUT THE YO HO HO BACK INTO YOUR DAD THIS FATHER’S DAY WITH A BOTTLE OF DELICIOUS DEMIJOHN RUM. It’s time to show your Dad the love this Father’s Day (16thJune) with a bottle of handmade artisan Spiced Rum or Chocolate Rum Liqueur from Demijohn, the liquid deli. https://www.demijohn.co.uk

Love Nessie from Walkers – a great gift to take to friends and family https://www.walkersshortbread.com/uk/

For a wonderful waterfront experience enjoy the famous Crinan Hotel – it is a very special year for them! https://www.crinanhotel.com Pub Excellence Award Finalist at CiS Awards last night.