The Skye’s the limit: This famous Scottish island is bursting with innovative restaurants in glorious settings
- Jonathan Brocklebank notes that Skye has three world-renowned restaurants
- He tries the ‘Kitchen Table Experience’ at one of them – The Three Chimneys
- READ MORE: Stunning locations from Bond movies showcased in new book
A restaurant telling you where they source their seafood is nothing unusual. But here at The Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye, they’ll tell you the name of the actual fisherman who landed your langoustines.
It’s all part of the Kitchen Table Experience — a four-hour culinary extravaganza where everything in the dizzying array of dishes is caught, farmed or grown locally.
This premium option at one of Scotland’s foremost restaurants sits up to eight guests at a big table in the kitchen alongside head chef Scott Davies and his talented team.
Scott is a mild-mannered chap, so there’s no Ramsay-esque tongue-lashings for staff tonight and, nine courses later, we wonder if we would even have noticed.
From the opening Loch Dunvegan crab, through trout caviar, double hand-dived scallops and on to shoulder of lamb from the farm down the road, we’re too wrapped up in what’s happening on our plates.
Jonathan Brocklebank enjoys a ‘weekend of discovery’ on the Scottish isle of Skye. Above are the island’s Cuillin Hills, which ‘exert a huge pull on walkers and climbers’
A fish dish at The Three Chimneys, one of three world-renowned restaurants on the island
The session, with wines for each course and convivial chat with other guests — strangers at 7pm, pals by 11pm — is the high point in a weekend of discovery on Skye.
With The Three Chimneys, Loch Bay and Kinloch Lodge, this island of just 13,000 residents has three world-renowned restaurants.
In Talisker, it has a standout single malt. Its Cuillin Hills — one minute brooding under low cloud, the next bathed in shafts of sublime sunlight — exert a huge pull on walkers and climbers. And, of course, the island has a bridge. Basing ourselves at The House Over-By, The Three Chimneys’ comfy rooms just yards from the restaurant in Colbost overlooking Loch Dunvegan, we strike south-east towards Carbost, home of the Talisker Distillery since 1830.
We’re joined on the tour by a French couple, Canadians, Americans, even New Zealanders. As a Glaswegian, a mere six-hour drive from home, I’m the ‘local’. The Talisker tasting involves more senses than we imagine. ‘You can smell it and taste it but put the glass to your ear. Can you hear the sea?’ says our guide. Several among us swear they could.
Kinloch Lodge is one of the renowned restaurants on the island, Jonathan reveals. He says that Skye is a ‘revelation’ for foodies
Above is the Fairy Pools waterfall, which Jonathan says is a ‘must-see’ for Skye visitors
Jonathan explores Dunvegan Castle (above), which is the ‘seat of Clan MacLeod, whose history dates back to the 13th century when a man simply called Leod owned much of Skye’
Doubles at The House Over-By from £305 per night B&B, between October 23 and March 24. Four-course menu at the restaurant is £95 pp. Kitchen Table Experience is £120. See: isleofskye.com.
A few miles away is the Fairy Pools car park — a hotspot in the middle of nowhere. People come here for the 20-minute yomp to see the vivid aqua blues cascading off Black Cuillin. Virtually ignored until a decade ago, this has become a must-see since someone dreamed up the name.
But the skies are darkening so we head for Dunvegan Castle, seat of Clan MacLeod, whose history dates back to the 13th century when a man simply called Leod owned much of Skye. Flora MacDonald, who famously helped a fleeing Bonnie Prince Charlie over the sea to Skye, once lived here and the wealth of Jacobite relics on display are a marvel.
Back at The House Over-By, the bleat of a sheep outside our windows provides a morning alarm. It is alder-smoked trout and scrambled egg for breakfast in the restaurant next door.
Skye is restitution for the soul — and for foodies it’s a revelation.
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