Showing posts from 2015

It's Startin To Look A Lot Like Christmas

First mince pies of the season.

If you're staying with us over the holidays there will be a treat of some of these waiting for you in your room.

Well... it is Christmas.

Winter Has Arrived

The first good falls of snow on the Red Hills, the hills apposite Dores on the other side of Loch Ness has fallen today.

Lots of snow showers running up the Great Glen but non of it settling here at the moment.

New Breakfast Tea Selection

We've had a lovely presentation box of "English Garden" teas in the breakfast room for some years now, however the last time we tried to order we found they've added a £150 minimum order limit on their website. That much tea would probably last us about 10 years, so that's no good.

Unfortunately other peoples tea bags don't fit in this box either.

So now we have a nice new presentation box with Twinning's teas. It's a bigger box so there's a larger selection for you to enjoy at breakfast, including Ceylon, Apple Crunch, Jasmine Green and Red Bush.

Fresh Flowers In The House

We love fresh flowers in the house, so I grow many for cutting on my allotment down the other end of the village for this exact purpose.

We're just coming into the peak for this crop now, it's a little later than usual due to the cool May and June we had this year.

Gladioli are a particular favourite of mine, they look so impressive in a vase.

Fruit Time

It's soft fruit time in the Highlands again. Went to Tollie Fruit farm last week and picked a load of strawberries.

Here's the strawberry jam all ready for breakfast (and a few for sale).

Today I went on my allotment and picked 5kg of blackcurrants, so there's more jam to come.

Sweet Williams In The Garden And House

We always have fresh flowers in the guest rooms, on the breakfast tables and in the hallway, for much of the year they're home grown.

Last year we grew Sweet Williams on our allotment from seed, they were then transported to the garden in the autumn.

And now they are looking their best, and they make great cut flowers too.

Fairy Glen - The Black isle

Most people who stay at Pottery House go to the Black Isle to see the dolphins at Chanonry Point, but just up the road from there is an RSPB reserve called Fairy Glen. It's definitely worth a visit.

It's a beautiful walk through mature woodlands, following a stream to two beautiful waterfalls.

We went last week and it was just coming into it's best time of year, Spring.

New Furniture In The Large room

Ever since we swapped the beds around and the super king bed went in to the largest room there's always been an issue that the furniture doesn't quite suit. 
It's ok when the bed is a super king but when it's split into two singles it's all a bit squashed in.
So yesterday we ordered brand new furniture for this room. New bed side tables, new dressing table and new chest of draws.
The main benefit apart from looking much nicer and being of a much higher quality than the old is that we plan to place the chest of draws on the other side of the room, the courtesy tray will then go on here. This means more space to make tea and coffee plus it's higher so easier to reach.
And because the old unit the courtesy tray was on can go this gives more space to spread out the bed, bed side units and dressing table. 
There'll be more draws for guests to store belonging, easier access and more space for tea/coffee making, more space at the dressing table, better quality furnitur…

Easter Themed Cup Cakes

We like to put cup cakes in the guest rooms as a welcome for new arrivals. And it being Easter weekend, of course the cup cakes are Easter themed.

Recipe Wholemeal & Polenta Rolls

Someone recently asked me for my recipe for wholemeal & polenta rolls, so here it is for all. They're a favourite with guests at the Pottery House B&B, the polenta gives the rolls a slightly crunchy texture.

This makes six rolls as shown in the photo.

225ml water
40g polenta
40g white bread flour
300g wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp bread yeast

Most bread recipes use butter, I prefer to use olive oil as it gives a softer texture to the final bread.  

To make the dough I use a bread machine, put the water in the pan, followed by all the other ingredients, with the yeast in last (away form the salt). Put on dough setting, after it's formed a ball during the mixing process check the water content. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch but the pan should be clean. If the pan paddle is smearing the dough around the pan add a little flour, if the ball is dry to the touch or hard add a little water. 

If you don't have a bread machi…

A Beautiful Spring Day On Loch Ness

What a beautiful day again today, chilly breeze but clear blue skies.

A few days ago you couldn't even get onto the beach by Pottery House, the water level was so high the waves were breaking half was up the bank to the road, now look at it this afternoon.

Horrible UHT Milk

UHT Cartons of milk!!! Very popular in hotels and guest houses, we hate them. They are messy, they make tea taste weird and all that plastic has to be bad for the environment.

Even worse, many hotels seem to ration them, two per guest, so if you want more than 1 drink in your room (as it normally takes two to make a descent drink) you have to ask for more.

That's why all the Pottery House guest rooms have a mini-fridge with your own bottle of fresh milk for tea and coffee.