Thursday, 30 September 2010

Loch of Lowes

As the mist had started to lift I called in at Loch of Lowes to take a few photos. The Osprey nest lies deserted, they should return in March.

Polney Loch

If you park at the Cally car park just before Dunkeld coming from the Blairgowrie direction. there are lots of footpaths to follow. I had a short walk down to Polney Loch where the mist was slowly burning off. The trees are starting to get their glorious Autumnal colours now and fungi are everywhere in the damp forest.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Dalchonzie Fruit Farm

In my continual search for Perthshire Produce I came upon Dalchonzie Fruit Farm today which is just outside of Comrie. It is in a lovely setting up a small country road. They stock a huge array of home-made Chutneys, Jams, Marmalade's, Jelly's, Syrups and Sauces, infact the selection is quite staggering. They also stock other local produce. So for my guest's breakfast we now have Spicy tomato ketchup, Green tomato chutney and roasted cherry tomato chutney, they will all be delicious with sausages etc. I will certainly be re-visiting. Also, whilst I was in the area I visited Drummond Castle Gardens, have been meaning to go for years but never seemed to get around to it. So check out my photos on Flickr.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Mention in the Blairgowrie Advertiser

There was a wee bit in our local paper today about the recent 'Food Oscars' in which I won the Best Breakfast award, shame they spelt my surname wrong!! Best dinner went to joint winners Cargills Bistro and the Dalmore Inn and best light lunch and customer excellence went to The Wee Coffee Shop.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Plums, Brambles and Apples

Today I picked some wild brambles/blackberries and picked plums from neighbours garden and apples from my own garden. With the brambles and plums I adapted a recipe from BBC Good Food website and made a compote of sorts. A recipe for 4 is:-
100g golden caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
4 ripe plums
300g blackberries
Put sugar in pan and add 250ml cold water, heat gently until sugar dissolved then bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the plums and cook gently for 10 minutes then add the blackberries. Simple and delicious.
With the apples I made an apple cake (excuse the picture, it sort of fell apart!!)
150g soft margarine
2 large eggs
225g golden granulated sugar
225g sifted self-raising flour
1 and half teaspoons baking powder
350g apples, peeled cored and sliced.
Beat together all the ingredients, apart from apples, then place half mixture in greased 20cm loose-bottomed tin. Arrange apples on top of mixture, then place remaining cake mixture on top of apples in blobs. Bake for one and a half hours at 160C. Take care removing from tin!!

Postcard from Madeira

Received a postcard from guests who stayed earlier in the year, from their holiday in Madeira. Lovely thought and they hope to return next year, I hope they do.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Scottish Thistle Awards Finalist Reception

We were invited to attend The Scottish Thistle Awards Finalist's reception in Inverness yesterday. The invite was for a cruise aboard the Jacobite Queen from 1830-2130 for a trip down Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle, before heading back to base. It was an opportunity to meet other finalists and sponsors whilst enjoying champagne and canapes. We left in the afternoon for the 2 hour plus journey to Inverness and had a lovely time on the boat which cruised up the caledonian canal before emerging onto the stunning Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle looked fabulous all lit up. We were all given a whisky miniature before heading back down the road, so a late night and up early again this morning! More pictures here and another video here

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Edible Hedgerow

All the above were in one small space of a hedgerow, not 5 minutes from my house. From the top we have apples, then blackberries followed by rosehips then sloes. I found a recipe on the internet for Rosehip marmalade, so will maybe give it a go.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Best Breakfast East Perthshire 2010

Back in June I blogged about 'Love to Eat 2010' a celebration of food in Blairgowrie and East Perthshire. Well I am pleased to announce I won the best breakfast for East Perthshire. I didn't make it along to the 'awards' last night, but it seemed to be a good night along at the Dalmore Inn for a gala 'game' dinner. The lovely lady who got Love to Eat off the ground Tracey Baxter dropped off my award this evening, a beautiful engraved glass bowl, so if you come to stay you can see it displayed in my dining-room.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A Hidden Gem

Whilst out on one of my 'fungi forays' today I took some pictures of this long forgotten little gem. I have visited many times but never taken any photos. It is completely hidden from view nestled in the trees and undergrowth beside a very old disused railway line and it must have looked amazing in it's time. There are some stunning features slowly deteriorating away, proceed with caution under the roof!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

AA Breakfast Award and Report

A couple of weeks ago I had a surprise overnight visit from the AA. It was a genuine surprise as the inspector only booked the afternoon before his stay, in general I have found Inspectors generally book a few weeks ahead. I received my report this morning and I was also awarded an AA Breakfast Award.

"Gilmore House continues to offer comfortable accommodation with three well appointed rooms. Great care and thought has gone into the rooms with the best use of space noted. Beds are well dressed with good co-ordination of decor and soft furnishings throughout the three rooms. The bed in Room 3 provided a comfortable nights sleep. Fresh milk, a very good range of beverages, biscuits etc further enhance. Bathrooms are also finished to a high standard with no maintenance issues noted during inspection. A comprehensive range of toiletries exceed expectation at this level. Housekeeping showed a constant and diligent approach; all areas were free from dust and out of sight areas kept in good order. The two public lounges are kept neat and tidy offering additional comfortable space for guests to relax. Items at breakfast were accurately cooked and of a good range. Homemade cakes and jams with high quality local produce exceeds expectation at this level and the AA breakfast award is gained following this visit"

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games

Today the annual Blairgowrie and Rattray Highland Games were held in Bogles Field, and it turned out to be a nice dry day after last year's games were cancelled because the field was completely waterlogged. These are just a few random images from the day taken by my husband who attended with the children and my younger brother and sister-in-law. Next year's Highland Games are on Sunday 4th September 2011.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Scottish Thistle Awards 2010

On the 1st September I was absolutely thrilled to receive a letter from The Scottish Thistle Awards informing me that I had reached the final shortlist for the Extra Mile - small business category. This category seeks to reward businesses that exceed customer's expectations, making a stay or visit more memorable with main objectives being excellence in service, hospitality and customer care.
The three finalists in each category go forward to a final round with the winners being announced at an awards ceremony in October.
Having built the business up steadily for over 13 years now with continuous improvements and more still to do, it is lovely to reach this step. And of course without all the lovely guests I have coming through my door with their positive feedback none of this would have been possible.
Thank you
Jill x

Friday, 3 September 2010

Pine Cone Viewpoint

Another opportunity for a walk today!! I headed back over to Dunkeld again as I was wanting to walk up to the Pine Cone Viewpoint in Craigvinean Forest, didn't have time yesterday. Upon leaving Dunkeld head up the A9 for a very short distance and take the left turning into The Hermitage. Instead of parking in the small hermitage car park there is a dirt track to the right where there is another car park, but follow the dirt track for a few minutes and you will come to the Quarry car park. Once parked you go through the gate and follow the red route markers which will take you up to the Pine Cone. It is a very good track and is also suitable for wheelchair users. The views are glorious from the top and if you are lucky you can spot red squirrels. There are also a lot of geocaches in the area and I found three today. When coming back down you will also glimpse the Torryvald Folly which I blogged about on 20 May 2009, so that is worth a look as well.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Walking to Craigvinean Forest

If you carry on up the road from Rumbling Bridge you will come to a footpath which will take you along to Ossian's Hall and the Hermitage. There are stunning open views until you descend into the forest and the quaint little Craigvinean cottage nestling in the woods.

Rumbling Bridge

As it was such a lovely day and I had some spare time I took a drive over to look at the waterfalls at Rumbling Bridge. It is approx. a half hour drive away on the A822 Amulree, Crieff back road and the falls are further up the River Braan than the Hermitage. It was very easy to get out on the rocks as it has been really quite dry, but the water was still rushing down. There is a huge gorge which can be viewed from the bridge itself or from a viewpoint in the woods. The river Braan walk also links up with the Hermitage.