We have come to the end of our first season and have met wonderful guests from all around the world- nineteen different nationalities! We have felt enriched by the experience and learned so much from everyone. We have written a brief synopsis of some of the highlights of our year – some guests may recognise themselves……
We started in January with some amazing gales including 100 mph winds which resulted in no electricity or water. Amongst all this we had our first ever bed and breakfast guests – an amazing young couple who didn’t even turn a hair at the lack of amenities!
The tidal conditions right in front of Seadrift have meant a constant changing in the wildlife (and some quite surprising). Hawk eyed guests are often the first to spot something on the water/in the air and whilst guests often come with their own binoculars (highly recommended) the pairs we have paced in the guest dining room are frequently in use. The otter is always top of the wishlist and I apologise that “Eric” as he/she has become known is not always so keen to perform for guest paparazzi, however plenty of you have been honoured by his presence! The golden eagle sightings were very special not least because when first spotted we had a raptor expert staying with us – the insight he provided was second to none.
Seabird life has included dippers, curlew, oyster catchers, heron, greylag, red breasted merganser, goosander to name but a few!
We have also witnessed large fish jumping out of the water in front of us ( little wonder the otter visits with an excellent food source).
In addition to the wild birds, we have also had the odd RAF tornado practising their manoeuvres right over head and along the loch.
Being so close to Eilean Donan Castle has given us the opportunity to host many wedding guests – it has been an honour to be able to contribute to the overall stay at these happy occasions. Particularly memorable was the entire groom’s family staying with us using every bed in both the B and B and our holiday cottage. We have also welcomed honeymooners, newly engaged, and about to become engaged!
Stop press….the first newly weds right at the beginning of the season have just sent us a photo of their little baby – we hope to greet the enlarged family in the future!
It wasn’t the best weather this summer (apparently the wettest and coldest for 30 years!), and we have utilised our large airing cupboard on a frequent basis as a drying cupboard for boots, waterproofs, not so waterproofs, trousers and more! Some advice has been needed with some of our guests – “I do not advise climbing the Cuillins in deck shoes, shorts and a light sweatshirt.”
Our autumn however was stunning – beautiful clear skies and warm to boot.
Walking and Climbing…..
We have had serious walkers and climbers stay with us at all times of the year and I am pleased to say they have all been suitably equipped. We have gradually learned from them about good walking for different standards of ability, and there have been serious Munro Baggers amongst them who have achieved a number of their targets. I fancy walking the Five Sisters of Kintail and Beinn Alligin (in good weather and even better fitness).
Thank you to all for your lovely comments about our breakfasts. After prompting from a lovely guest early in the season, porridge is now a standard in addition to the all the other buffet options. We have had some interesting requests – scrambled egg whites did not inspire me, but hit the spot with the guest! The most unusual plateful was bacon, eggs served with a large dollop of raspberry jam!
We now have 17 free range hens who reliably provide our eggs – wonderful golden yolks! (it is now a bit of a challenge for us as they are still laying a plentiful supply and don’t seem to have realised that the tourist season has come to an end….!).
– The impromptu international evening knitting circle
– Guests leading me astray with whisky tasting
– Making a medal for a guest who managed full Scottish breakfast followed by an extra slice of homemade fruitcake
– RNLI training exercise outside our window
– Respect for the numerous cyclists (those hills!!!)
– Being presented with a bottle of tonic wine for being the best B and B the guests had stayed in!
– The enthusiastic chorus of “ nespresso nespresso” by two separate lots of Italian guests as they saw the machines in the bedrooms
– A brave Dutch guest who despite the cold swam across the bay here one evening
– Photos of the otter in the bay being sent by numerous guests
– Discovering one of your guest’s works in one of the foremost hotels in Edinburgh – scary!
We thank all our guests for their friendship, feedback and contribution to our first year as B and B ers!
And just to finish…..we even had Father Christmas join us for a short break before the start of his busiest part of his year…..