Hogmanay 2014, blowing a hoolie, pouring rain, milder than of late but The Misty Isle… Eilean a Cheo…Skye …..had come into her own!
Waterfalls appeared, streams were bursting over the ditches and onto the road and the Cuillins had disappeared from view behind the mist and rain.
We were on our way to the Ancestral home of Lord and Lady MacDonald for afternoon tea , and were very much looking forward to it. Lady Claire has now handed over the reigns to her daughter Isabella and no longer cooks at the lodge, except for some cooking demonstrations and classes each year. Marcello Tully is now the resident chef and holder of a Michelin star. Next time we visit we will go for lunch or dinner!
Snaking down the single track road to the head of Loch na Dal on the Sound of Sleat, Kinloch Lodge doesn’t disappoint, the views are amazing even on this dark, grey December day.
Once inside, you smell wood smoke from the roaring log fires in the cosy sitting rooms. Both have views over the loch, but we opted for the smaller and quieter whisky bar snug.
Kinloch Lodge offers 3 (flexible) options for afternoon tea. Full afternoon tea at £18.99, Full Afternoon Tea with a glass of Kinloch Fizz for £23.99 or with a specially matched Kinloch Wine Flight 2 x 70mls glasses – Ice Cuvee Rose, Peller Estates, Canada N.V and Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royal Demi-Sec N.V.
For Afternoon tea we enjoyed.
A selection of cucumber with cream cheese sandwiches and Aultbea smoked salmon sandwiches
Homemade Scones with Kinloch raspberry jam and whipped cream. The scones were lovely and light with just the right amount of crisp on the outside, whilst the whipped cream had hints of vanilla through it.
A Sticky, moist fruit cake blending the best attributes of Christmas cake and sticky toffee pudding together. We also had banana cake with hints of toffee. If you like banana you will love this cake. I’m not really a cooked banana person, but Raymond enjoyed it.
On the top tier of our stand were beautiful Raspberry Mille-feuille and Gateaux like Opera cakes. The raspberries tasted so so fresh – a delicious treat on a dark December day.
On the bottom tray sat about 6 rounds of homemade shortbread. We were absolutely stuffed by this point and still had 2 scones, 4 cakes and 6 rounds of shortbread to go. We are so glad that we managed to squeeze a wee bit of shortbread in. We taste lots and lots of shortbread, but this was one of the nicest we have ever tasted.
The staff at Kinloch were lovely and offered us a doggie bag to take the cakes away to enjoy later.
The menu said that a selection of teas were available but didn’t elaborate. When we arrived we were offered tea or coffee and we opted for tea. To make afternoon tea at Kinloch House even more special we would recommend having a tea menu with all the teas available, to allow guests to read about each tea and make a decision. Quite a bit of the afternoon tea experience is about the ceremony of the tea.
As we were leaving, anticipation was starting to build for the Hogmanay celebrations. It seems Kinloch Lodge benefits from lots of repeat guests, especially at New Year. Marcello’s Hogmanay tasting menu looked like a complete feast for the lucky residents to indulge in. Add in a Bagpiper, roaring fires, fireworks and bacon rolls at midnight and it looked like it was going to be a memorable evening!
If you find yourself on Skye – Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner or all three plus an overnight stay at Kinloch would be a lovely experience. You really do feel like you are in someone’s home; so be spoilt, relax and enjoy. It’s not many places as remote or as small as the Isle of Skye that boast 2 world class establishments, each so highly acclaimed and both with a Michelin Star. The Three Chimney’s closes in January but Kinloch Lodge is open all year.
Isle of Skye
Tel: 01471 833333