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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Knoydart - It’s Lace-making week again!

I can’t believe how the time is rushing by!  A week ago yesterday I picked up Norma in Roslin and we drove up to Mallaig at the end of the Road to the Isles to meet the boat for Doune in Knoydart.  It was time for our annual lacemaking week again – much earlier this year, and very much looked forward to.

gripper at mallaig Graham the boatman was there to meet us – most of the usual crowd - with Gripper II, the green boat in the foreground of the picture on the left

views up loch nevis 

and once we were all gathered we set off northwards across the entrance to Loch Nevis with great views of the mountains to the east eigg rum

and south west to the islands of Eigg and Rum. 

The crossing from Mallaig takes about 40 minutes and today the sea was flat calm, so it wasn’t long till we had rounded the headland and there in front of us was the settlement of Doune – home for the next week.doune bay the lodge bay 

It’s always an exciting moment,  as we all love the place so much.  Liz, our hostess, was at the pier to meet us, and as Graham, Martin and Matt unloaded our luggage - to be transported to the lodge by dumper truck - we walked with Liz along the path between the houses and the shore.path from pier   Once round the corner by that large rock we were in sight of the stone cottages, the first one being where we eat and work, while the second one provides three fabulous ensuite guest bedrooms.the path 

The welcoming committee was waiting for us at the shed at the corner.welcoming committee

These girls and their colleagues provide the best eggs – ever! 

  Round another small headland is the excellent wooden lodge where most of us stay  (Joan likes to have a room in the stone cottage).

Along the path we caught sight of some early wild flowers, bright sun-like celandines, tiny dog violets, and pale primroses – my favourite!  They were growing in profusion over the grassy banks.celandine


dog violets wild pimroses

Coming in by boat I had spotted what looked like an amazing display of primroses behind the headland, and had already made plans for a short expedition to see them – more of that later…..

We got ourselves settled in at the lodge, familiarising ourselves with the place once more, and spying the new sofas and armchairs in the lounge!new furniture in the lodge 

Beyond the lounge is the “hall” where a large dining table and chairs are set out for those guests who wish to self cater!  You can’t see the kitchen area from this angle, but why anyone would want to do their own cooking here when the Doune hosts make the most wonderful meals in the stone lodge kitchen, I really couldn’t say!!!  We headed back along the rocky path for three courses of heavenly dinner, each evening at 7,30.  Soups to die for, blinis with cream cheese and smoked salmon, are just two of the delicious starters we had during the week, followed by such main courses as pork in cider, chicken in tarragon sauce, venison casserole…… all accompanied by mostly home grown veggies.  Then the desserts!!!!  Pavlova with seasonal fruits and lots of cream, fruit crumble, gateaux, chocolate pots…..  How we can still move after dinner is a mystery…... and how we can manage to eat the full cooked breakfasts in the morning is anybody’s guess, but devour them we do! 

As we head back to the wooden lodge it is not quite dark, but there are a thin sliver of a new moon and the planet Jupiter shining from a clear deep blue sky.  The sea is gently washing the rocky shore, and an occasional seabird is calling.  Pure bliss!

Talk again soon.


Katrina said...

I thought - surely it hasn't been a year since you were last there, so was glad to find out you were there earlier than usual. It looks amazingly clear, fab photos as ever!

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Thanks Katrina. Yes, very early this year so probably a very long wait for next year's visit!