Islay 2011 (Whisky & weans)
The kids are off school and we have nothing organised so early on Saturday morning (9th April) I decide, lets go to Islay….
We get on the phone to Margaret at Port Charlotte Holidays to ask if she has any availability for tomorrow until next Saturday, YES she does, we book the Sanigmore house immediately, Calmac next and 3 minutes later we are all booked up and ready for our trip to Islay.
The drive to Kinnacraig on the morning of Sunday 10th was breathtaking; the weather was bright, sunny and calm, perfect. The 13:00 ferry was on time and the kids were extremely excited about going on their holidays, I of course was excited about the Whisky.
The week was full of glorious sunshine, numerous trips to the beautiful beach area in Port Charlotte, swing park tom foolery at Port Mor and scrumptious food at the Port Charlotte Hotel.
Oh and of course a visit to all the Distilleries, we even managed to squeeze in Jura… We received a very warm welcome at Bruichladdich (as always) and also at Bunnahabhain, Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Bowmore.
I must admit tho, there were a few occasions throughout the week that gave us some cause for concern, but thankfully many more that we were pleasantly surprised at.
Firstly… My Concerns:
- The Harbour Inn does not allow kids in the bar even when eating, BUT you cannot eat from the bar menu in the restaurant (BUT I’M NOT ALLOWED IN THE BAR… aahhh) In others words if you have kids then you MUST eat in the restaurant from the restaurant menu.
- The Lochside Hotel requests that kids be out of the RESTAURANT by 8pm – not the bar! the RESTAURANT… what!
- Port Charlotte Hotel could not do enough for families, which created a fantastic environment for everyone, whether eating or just having a dram, oh and the kids menu was fabulous value for money. My kids love fish so they had the salmon fillet twice, massive portions…
- Bowmore Distillery offered myself and Scott a dram in their very modern and comfortable tasting bar and then offered the kids paper and pens to draw and colour in, leaving Scott and I to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and our delicious drams.
- Briuchladdich distillery allowed us plenty of time to browse their magnificent unique shop, chatting with us and the kids. Offering the kids stickers etc.. We were made to feel very welcome.
- Ardbeg Distillery had a wonderful lunchtime menu which included a great kids menu (not a chicken nugget in sight) soups, sandwiches, make you own wrap. Exactly what kids want.
- Amazingly we bumped into the boys from CaskStrength.net on our last night in the Port Charlotte Hotel – they were on a press trip with Morrison Bowmore, hope you had a great night…
In summary we had a FANTASTIC whisky time and we were truely very lucky with the weather. Can’t wait till next time.
PS. the kids have asked if we can move there…