29 September 2009
After lunch, we drove through some really heavy rain to The Pierhouse Hotel & Seafood Restaurant in Port Appin where we were greeted with “You must be Mr and Mrs Ruscoe!” and the news that we’d been upgraded to a better room because we were on our honeymoon!
After dropping off our bags in the room, we both had a quiet pint of local beer in the residents-only lounge and were pleasantly surprised with a card from the staff congratulating us on our marriage. We then had a chat with the friendly owner, Nick, before getting ready for dinner.
When we went back downstairs, we were given a complimentary glass of champagne and led to the best table in the house, which had been sprinkled with heart-shaped confetti!
The food here was fantastic, using really good locally supplied ingredients which were perfectly prepared.
Suzy: Cajun Chicken & Crab Fritter with Garlic Mayonnaise Dip
Tony: West Coast Scallops – Seared Plump Local Scallops served with a Caponata of Aubergine, Pine Nuts & Pesto
Both: Pierhouse Platter – Outstanding Seafood Caught from Lismore, Loch Etive, Loch Linnhe, Mull & Inverawe. Langoustines, Scallop, Oyster, Mussels, Fresh & Smoked Salmon, Rollmop and Fresh Bread.
Suzy: [Sorry, can’t remember!]
Tony: Homemade Sorbets – Rosewater, Strawberry and Guava
After dinner, we retreated to the residents’ lounge for a coffee and a Scotch. Since I’m still learning about which whiskies I prefer, Nick recommended one for me based on some others I like, so I now know that I also like Macallan but unfortunately can’t remember which one I had!
For breakfast, we both had porridge made with Scottish oats and then Suzy had poached eggs while I had kippers before catching the small ferry to the Isle of Lismore.
Lismore is a small island with very few signs. After walking down the road for a little while, we gave up trying to find the café and followed a sign to Port Ramsay. After reaching the end of the road there, we turned around and made our way back to the ferry, where we then saw the signs for hiring bikes! (If you ever visit Lismore, I would recommend trying to book some bikes to hire in advance unless you’re seasoned ramblers who don’t mind walking without knowing where you’re going!)
For lunch we went to Castle Stalker View to get a closer look at Castle Stalker. Then we visited Oban Distillery and had a taste of some cask-strength Scotch whisky during the tour before buying a bottle of the normal stuff to bring home. To give the alcohol a chance to work through my system, we took a look around Oban and McCaig’s Tower before heading back to the hotel.
Although we were within walking distance of a couple more hotels and restaurants, we decided to eat at The Pierhouse again since we’d already spotted a few more things on the menu that we wanted to try.
Suzy: Smoked Halibut and Swordfish with Caper Berries and Salad
Tony: Pierhouse Oysters – Chilled and served with Spicy Chorizo, Raspberry & Shallot Vinaigrette
Suzy: Soy, Sesame, Garlic & Chilli Stir Fried Tiger Prawns served with Rice Noodles
Tony: Seaweed, Lemon & Pepper Crusted Fillet of Cod served with Sugar Snap Peas
Shared: Whisky Ice-Cream followed by a Selection of Cheeses
For breakfast, we both had cereal followed by a full Scottish breakfast, then left the friendly staff at the wonderful Pierhouse and jumped in the car to drive to our next destination...