I was sat sipping on a glass of wine, atop a boat sauntering down the Danube, my tour guide headphones discarded as they’d kept changing to Spanish, when I realised our decision to make the trip to Hungary was the right one. The clouds that had been lingering cruelly since we landed had finally parted and played their part in creating one of those sunsets you see on Pinterest or Tumblr, but a lot more real, and a lot less photoshopped. By this time we’d already feasted on a disgustingly cheap but hearty meal in the courtyard at Mazel Tov (Shakshukah Mergeuz for me, Falafel Wrap for her) and meandered around the Jewish District, where our stylish AirBnB was located. The first night of a 4 day trip to Hungary’s capital wound to a close with a few drinks in one of the cities many ruin bars before having an early night (and some chilli cheese bites from Burger King because hey, I’m on holiday) so we could get up early the next day.
So in September 2014 I went to Chicago. I blogged about how I almost missed it after sleeping through my alarm, and promised further updates. Unfortunately, due to the move down to London almost instantly afterwards, I ran out of time. I did however, keep a diary for the majority of the trip, which I can dip into when I want. There will be more to come over the next few days, and possibly some food talk.
It’s time for the second half of my Mull post. The Monday through to the Tuesday of the week.
After the more quiet day of the Sunday after the driving up, I’d planned in a more hectic itinerary for the Monday. Including waterfalls, a walk, beach, distillery, Café Fish and sunset chasing. This meant that we needed an early start (about 9.30). So, rolling out of the gate at about 10.45 while the rain was still coming down, we drove out around the loch towards Ulva. Just past the Ulva school you reach Eas Fors. A breathtaking set of waterfalls that run under the road, culminating in a 100ft fall into the sea. With the amount of rainfall the island had endured over recent days the falls were completely bursting.
I may have slipped a couple of times, because I thought “hey, I don’t need to wear my walking boots just to see a waterfall”. Vans, don’t wear them in rain. But it’s ok, I’m still alive.
From here I’d planned for us to jump back in the minibus and up to Treshnish point, where we’d do (part of) the walk that heads out around the end around the headland, getting views out towards the Treshnish isles. We were exceedingly fortunate and as we started walking the sun poked its head out and stay all the way through for the rest of the walk. We walked out for about an hour, took up camp on the end of the headland for lunch and walked back again. A few of the people in the group aren’t strong walkers for one reason or another so we decided to keep it short. It also meant we could fit more in.
After this we drove a little further around the coast to Calgary beach. Which is one of the island’s famous white beaches. Being summer it was a bit busier than I’m used to (I’m usually up out of season), so we didn’t stick around for long before heading to Tobermory, where we managed to get to the Distillery bang on 4pm for a whiskey tasting. A potter around Tobermory (I grabbed myself a candle from the Isle of Mull Soap Company and a few others got some odds and ends from the Isle of Mull Chocolate shop).
I grabbed an ice cream from Isle of Mull ice cream and a couple of friends got Deep Fried Haggis from the fish and chip van by the pier. Eventually it was time for Café Fish. Which I’d been going on about for most of the holiday. I was desperate for it to not disappoint. The review is in the next post.
We Are The Mulligang: Pt. 1
Well, what an eventful couple of weeks. Last week I wasn’t home for longer than a couple of sleeping hours each day. I played football, went to a gig, my sister’s husband’s stag do, their practise meal and then their wedding. It was all fairly hectic, especially as I had work in between. I’ll do a proper post about their wedding at a later date, when I have photos etc to share with you all. Needless to say, it was fun and my sister looked incredible. Congratulations to the both of them and I wish their continued happiness well into the future.
Anyway, that turned into a longer ramble than I intended. The morning after their wedding, I had to force myself up early once again. This was, however, so that I could get picked up by the Derby lot to head north to my parent’s holiday let on the Isle of Mull (the one I’ve mentioned a lot). I finally had a chance to show my friends why I loved this place. So they could live what I’d talked at them about far too much over the last few years. The drive was long, Leeds to Oban on a good day being 5-7 hours. We did of course, hit traffic and as soon as we got near Glasgow, the rain began. And I don’t just mean rain. I mean torrential downpour. It held up all the way from Glasgow to Oban. Making for a, shall we say, atmospheric drive.
As much as the scenery was still beautiful in the rain, it did fill me with a slight sense of dread. What if I finally got to show these places to my friends, and all they saw was grey and miserable?
The weather ended up causing our ferry to be delayed. However while we were waiting the rain subsided. We had a mad dash around Oban Tesco for supplies before queuing for the delayed ferry. The crossing was nowhere near as bad as expected. Once we reached the other side the sun had started going well and truly down. Meaning that by the time we reached Loch Na Keal (the sea loch which the cottage is on) it was a bit on the dingey side, especially combined with the grey/cloud/rain. It mean that they didn’t get to see the glorious view I’d been hoping for.
Then when we woke up the next day, everything had changed. I will let these photographs tell the tale themselves. It did mean, however, that the darkness/bad weather had worked in our advantage. It meant they had never suspected that the views would be quite so stunning, or to quite that scale.
We started the day slowly, mainly due to the large amounts of travelling the day before. Then decided to visit Duart Castle, a place I’ve only been once before when I was much, much younger. It’s one of the island’s main tourist traps, and usually I’d not have paid in (and have just pottered about outside) but they had some Scottish marching bands and dancers performing so it made slightly more sense to do so this time around, and hey, who doesn’t love a castle?
That evening we decided to BBQ, so picked up some last minute supplies from the Spar in Salen, and bumped into one of the Hairy Bikers. Yup, really. He was driving a campervan. The second part of my post will follow soon.
There are more of these photos on my flickr. Have you ever been to Scotland? Tell me about your Scottish adventures below.
Well hello, and a Happy New Year to everyone. This is my first post of 2014. I hope everyone had a super awesome Christmas and New Year. Mine was a mixed bag all in all. Christmas itself was great, we went to spend it on Mull at my parent’s cottage, which is available for rental now coughHINTcough. It was great to get to the middle of nowhere and also to get some walking in. Also baked several times while I was there, as well as helping cook.
We were very fortunate however, as the storm that went through the UK hit that area fairly badly. My mother and sister only just managed to get to the island on the last ferry that ran before Christmas.
I baked a Cheese, onion and mustard loaf.
A cranberry and orange loaf.
And a chocolate Loaf, which was a bit of a disaster (the tin I used was too small) but still tasted pretty awesome.
And guess what?! My mum got me this amazing “Bearded Bakery” apron.
Unfortunately, what made the period less good was breaking up with my Girlfriend, which happened the night I got back, which got me down. I won’t go in to it, because you don’t want to hear it; you’re here for food, not my life story, afterall.
If you want any recipes for the above things, just drop me an email or leave a comment. I’m sure I’ll get around to them eventually! This post actually started off as being about Brioche Buns, which were my first bake of the year. But I’ll just have to do that one tomorrow!
OH YEAH. I almost forgot. I also made some Reindeer pretzl cookies for a party just before Christmas.
Hope everyone has a great year, all the best.
(ps, This blog is 1 soon. How exciting?)