What do you do when your husband has been working away for the best part of a couple of months and you’ve barely seen him? Well, I start looking at where we can go for a date night away once things calm down. And I’m big on researching so I can easily make that into an event itself! After scouring hotels within two hours of Inverness and making a shortlist I still didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing so I took to social media for advice. Many hotels were shut for the winter months or open but the restaurant was shut or closed on the quieter Sunday night that we were looking at. Then Edinbane Lodge in Skye was recommended. Skye is about two hours away then up to Edinbane was adding an extra hour but I thought I would take a look. And as soon as I did I knew that I was onto something special. A quiet confidence struck me for somewhere that the current owners had for a little over a year. Then I looked at reviews and everyone loved it. It seemed to tick all of the boxes – food of a high standard, lovely rooms, local produce, not a chain, romantic setting. An enticing winter offer of a half price room if you dine with them sealed the deal.
Truth be told I havent been to Skye for about 7 or 8 years because it is packed with tourists in the summer months now. So I really enjoyed going back off season when the roads are quieter and you can explore at a gentle pace.
On arrival at Edinbane Lodge we were warmly greeted and shown to our room upstairs. The room was gorgeous with dark wood and blue tones that gave a relaxing sumptuous feel. Straight away I noticed the local artwork that I had read about on their social media, the Edinbane Pottery cups and the lovely big bed.
The high standard continued into the bathroom with the roll top bath, separate big shower, anti-steam bluetooth mirror and Highland Soap Co toiletries. This was the room that we wanted and more.
We had been invited down for a welcome drink so went back downstairs to peruse the bar list. The local theme was not lost in this area with as much coming from Skye & Highland brewers and distillers as from anywhere else. It was only right for me to try a G&T with their own gin made by Isle of Skye Distillers using the lodges own botanicals & Mr S had an Isle of Skye beer. The gin was served in a proper balloon glass & tasted lovely.
Back in the room the coffee machine had Nespresso pods so we had a coffee (after figuring the machine out!) and what I think was homemade shortbread.
We got ready and I made use of that lovely rolltop bath. The only thing that would have made it better was a nice bubble bath to put in it but the body wash gave a nice aroma.
We went down early enough for a cocktail before dinner. They don’t have a full cocktail menu but the friendly barman had told us earlier that he can make anything suited to our tastes. Mr S went for an Old Fashioned & I had a gin cocktail with homemade blackberry jam, egg white, elderflower and lemon juice. Both were made expertly, we ranked them up with the best. Our canapes came with them and I was reassured and excited at the same time because the canapes were so bloody good! The popped pork crackling was like eating a really well seasoned, slightly spicy rib with the texture of a prawn cracker. We liked them so much that we asked if we could buy some for later on in the night. Alongside these was a spoon of artichoke puree with some roasted artichoke and a crumbed ball of smooth potato encompassing rich mince- their take on mince & tatties.
Mr S had a revised menu to accommodate his nut allergy but mine is below-
On receiving the menu the Celeriac creme brulee was not something that I was excited about but it was really fantastic. The caramelized top was barbequed and it came with little nuggets of popped grains to provide crunch with the silky bottom layer. The Australian chardonnay cut through the creaminess while still complementing the flavours.
The bread arrived shortly after – three kinds with three butters. The corn bread was my favourite with the plain butter.
Salty, flavoursome mutton broth with soft lamb that melted in your mouth…another course that was hitting the mark. I was questioning the Gewurztraminer on the wine flight so early in the meal before trying it but I did like it with the meaty dish.
I’ve never baked mussels before – I’d be scared to overcook them – but the next course has given me inspiration to try. They were cooked precisely with almost crunchy crab on top, surrounded in butter & with a tasty accompanying wine. I never tried the pepper dulce after the review over the table of his but that was excess to the dish as it had everything it needed to shine.
The mallard and squash was another rich dish that I loved. My favourite element in the dish has to be the choux farci because I didn’t know what it was. In fact it is (usually meat) stuffed cabbage so far more interesting than the cabbage ball that first presented itself.
Last of the savoury courses was cheese. I’m the only one in my family that’s not a fan of Minger cheese but I wanted to try it again as it has been a few years. Mr S likes it but I’m still not swayed. I enjoyed the accompaniments though.
Now onto the two dessert courses. Yes two! This was certainly noted when I first saw their menu before booking.
My cherry and almond pre dessert had the most delicious cherry sorbet and the mock cherry was filled with a mousse. The nuts introduced some texture to the smooth elements and crunched through the sweetness. Perfect match with the amaretto.
By now I’d forgotten to take photos – maybe I was enjoying myself too much or maybe it was the wine flight! But the malted barley mousse, skye ale, butterbeer ice cream was a clever way to end the meal without being overly sweet. The Tawny accompanying it was great and I’m a big fan of tawny port.
I’m not forgetting the petit fours served with coffee as the macaroon rivalled Laduree in Paris.
The dining room is understated and I felt very comfortable and relaxed in there. On a side note, the toilets gave me interiors envy with their charming basins.
Lastly, the service was first rate. We wanted for nothing and our waiter was professional but down to earth.
We retreated to our room with a couple of drinks and that popped pork crackling.
After a peaceful sleep we were looking forward to breakfast. Tea and freshly squeezed orange juice readied my stomach for the good stuff as we were skipping the porridge.
After asking the manager what to have he said you can mix it up so I had Vatten beef sausage, duck eggs, Aultbea white pudding with spicy ketchup. Mr S had similar but with the Edinbane estate venison steak in place of the white pudding. Well it makes a big difference having a breakfast with such high quality items, it was delicious.
We left feeling refreshed and happy. I couldn’t have picked a better place for a night away & would love to go back.