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Islay Malt & Music Festival 2009 – Day 7

Here we are, our last full day on the Island of our dreams. Today is Bunnahabhain Distillery Open day – one of our favourites. As it was our intention to go to Bunnahabhain around noon, we used the early morning after breakfast to pack away most of our bags for our return trip tomorrow.

The weather was not quite as kind, dry and bright, but a little bit breezy. We drove up to the distillery, passing Persabus Pottery – of which had been closed during this visit – great disappointment as we have never left the Island without buying a piece or two direct from the potter. So around the winding roads we drove and down to Bunnahabhain, managed to get a great parking spot – amazing as the Distillery was busy.

We had a wander around the selection of stalls set up in one of the stores off the main square and purchased the odd item, something relating to Puffins (cant tell you who for – but he will know !!). So once all stalls exhausted for shopping opportunities off we set to the Distillery shop which is up a narrow flight of external stairs – quite quaint. The shop is small, but the staff exceptional friendly and allowed us to taste the newly bottled Festival Whisky – “what a great wee dram” Jim said.

Our next port of call was the mini Highland Games held on the grass in front of the cottages – where we once again bumped into our delightful Canadian friends. We all had a try at Wellie Hurling (of which were were all pants), tried Horse Shoe Tossing (of which we were equally pants at). With all this athletic activity, of Olympic standard, we started to get the munchies. We started with an alfresco Bunna Burger (with all trimmings), followed by several oysters with a spray of Bunnahabhain 12 year old and to finish off with some Islay scallops cooked in Black Bottle Whisky and butter – yum yum.

While we were grazing, Tours and Tastings carried on throughout the day. On finishing our scallops we heard Skerryvore tuning up in the main square and were drawn to them like magnets (gorgeous boys !!). We stood for quite a while listening to their music and humorous chat and would recommend anyone who gets a chance to see them live, to jump at it.

The finish off our holiday, a table had been booked in the Port Charlotte Hotel restaurant for 8.00 p.m. – off home to get scrubbed up and glad rags on (we had to pretend we were posh at some point in the holiday – even if only for one night). So dressed and looking good Jim with a dram in hand and Jacqueline with a glass of Champagne in hand we had a toast before heading for the restaurant, we counted our blessings and and acknowledged another excellent malt and music festival. As has always been the case – the meal was exceptional. We cannot let the world out there know enough about how good the local produce is from this Island. All meat is organic, expensive, but fabulous – the best I have ever tasted in the world. I always come home with meat from the local butcher. Our fillet steaks were dreamy.

Stuffed, content, full and wee bit weary we head back to our exceptional accommodation for our last nightcap of this trip.

All that is left now is to have breakfast, tidy up, load the car, pick up preordered meat and head for the ferry, but prior to all that we took one last wee drive to Portnahaven.

On saying goodbye to Jennifer (housekeeper) she took the opportunity to show us around the other sister accommodation, all as equally grand, but varying in the number of people each apartment can accommodate.

So here endeth another trip to Islay. With each trip we always come across something very eccentric and this trip was no different We found an advertisement for Port Ellen Post office offering a list of their services including:

* Motor Vehicle Licencing
* Passport Checking
* Travel Insurance
* Cash Withdrawal
* Bureau de Change catering for Euros, dollars, travellers checks
* AND TURKISH LIRA ON DEMAND – no need to order

What is this all about ? Why would anyone on Islay want to demand Turkish Lira. To my knowledge there is not a Turk on Islay, in fact it would be interesting to know how much Turkish lira is demanded each year. So if anyone out there can tell me the story about the Turkish lira, please get in touch with us.

Farewell Islay, we will be back soon, cannae wait !!

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