They say you wait for ages and then three come along at once. This was the weekend of the Lodge. On Friday I was at an annual Estate meeting learning about the upkeep of Hamara Lodge, the old Country House, now Self Catering Accommodation, in Glendale. Then on Sunday I sauntered over to my neighbours at Hillstone Lodge, a luxury guest house recently designed in the wood and glass which has become the modern vernacular of Skye. I then hopped in the car with owners Patrice and Russell, to have lunch in Edinbane Lodge just 15 miles away.
Edinbane Lodge is by far the oldest, built in 1543. It’s walls are several feet thick made of large hunks of weathered stone. The Lodge reopened this year as a fine dining restaurant by local chef and rising star, Calum Montgomery. I know Calum from his visits to the Glendale Highland Market. Only two years ago, Calum was buying fresh vegetables from the Market, trying them out in the Kitchen at Ullinish Lodge, on the Talisker side of the Island. OK, that’s four Lodges.
Anyway, Sunday was my first visit to Calum’s new restaurant and in fact my first taste of Calum’s cooking. I was so excited, when I arrived I nearly curtsied. My hand was swiftly filled with a glass of prosecco and, embarrassment averted, Patrice, Russell and I plumped ourselves by the fire to choose from the festive lunch menu. A very reasonable £32.
In the restaurant, it was a traditional three courses with, a’hem, perhaps a flourish of compliments of the chef at the beginning and mince pie macaron with our coffee and blueberry gin at the end. The Starter was Scallops dived from Loch Dunvegan, which laps the shore of the Glendale Estate and is overlooked by Hillstone Lodge. We had Turkey from Gartmorn Farm near Edinburgh with brussels sprouts for our main, followed by dark chocolate cremeux polished to the point at which you could see your own reflection. This third dish came with Sea Buckthorn Sorbet. The wild orange berries are sourced locally for Calum by forager Jeff Lawson. Oh, and the blueberries, in the Gin, were from Edinbane and the Gin itself was made for Calum by the Isle of Skye Distillers.
It was a wonderful afternoon. The food was spectacular. Edinbane Lodge has a great vibe and Calum, a local lad, clearly lives and breaths the Island. Patrice, Russell and I ate like Kings. Not from the orient of course. Luckily, we don’t live very far.