Menotouring; Showing off The Bonny Land #4

We pressed on along the high road to reach Ullapool before mid-afternoon of the Thursday.

The West coast of the Bonny Land, and much of the inner regions of the Highlands, are sparsely populated. There are a few 'main toons'. After Oban, it is Fort William. After FW it is Ullapool. After that you have to look to the East coast. There are very many wee places dotted throughout; fishing hamlets and crofts (small-holdings). It is the territory of the truly community-minded but, equally, self-sufficient personalities. One must absolutely know how to live by oneself and actually like one's own company, but also be able to pull together with others around in times of need. It can be bleak, but there is a beauty in the harshness which cannot be matched. Then there are the sentinel towns such as Ullapool. Havens for sailors and crofters alike.

Now they are major centres of the key industry called tourism. We stayed right at the waterfront.
























The best part of the Ferry Boat Inn (FBI!!!) is its exterior. There was no warm welcome - we had to search for the attendant and when found, she had the audacity to check the clock to make sure we were not ahead of check-in time. The stair was steeper, creekier and no bannister for the weak-legged. It was dark and dingy. Until we got into the room. It was bright and warm. Stuck in the 1980s, but it did afford a view of the water. Just. The bed was tolerable. It had to be, as there was no floor space to speak of.

With the bags up and sunset watched, we took a stroll along Shore Street to the Seaforth Inn to sit out our evening and enjoy the rather warmer welcome, the ambiance and the food. This was a great place with happy staff and held the surprise of an old encyclopedia... Kay will write about that when she get rounds to it.
























Mine was the macaroni cheese - d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s! Proper home-cooked yumminess and not a hint of 'out of packet' or defrosted. We had to wait the fifteen minutes for it to be cooked, but golly it was worth it.

Kay's was the scampi and she was, I think, a little taken aback at it coming fried. In UK, scampi is always wrapped in breadcrumbs and deep fried. That's just the way its done here... and in OZ, come to think of it. Whilst the term scampi is most correctly applied to the species of shrimp generally used, its preparation in these countries has come to mean 'fried'. It was declared "good" though.

I reserved my panini in a napkin to add to bananas for our breakfast next morning. The FBI was charging a tenner for theirs and we couldn't face those stairs.

We slept a bit fitfully that night. There were lots of extraneous noises - banging doors, music, the exhaust flu from the kitchen below... more on that in upcoming post. Friday was to be our biggest day in many ways. Will return to this on Monday.

Tomorrow, though, something sombre.

11 comments:

Bouncing Bertie said...

Oh dear - reminds me of a bad experience one time I stayed overnight in Ullapool on a bicycle tour - except that time it was the restaurant not the hotel that was the problem.
At least Kay is smiling in the photo.
Looking forward to reading about the Biggest Day.
Cheers,
Gail.

Madi and Mom said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh dear me what an experience. One thing for sure that was some fine looking food. I love MacnCheese
Hugs Cecilia

Julie said...

Is that a PUB????
Can I haf a pint of heavy please???
Loves and licky kisses
Princess Leah xxx

peppylady (Dora) said...

I like to ride on ferry usual on cold night when the moon is full. I know I'm a little off.
Mac and Cheese home made is the best...Coffee is on

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

OMD OMD.... MAC and CHEESE... One of our FAVORITES... Love that COMFORT FOOD stuffs.

Dory and the Mama said...

What a shame that the hotel wasn't quite up to snuff, but the dinner and scenery look wonderful!!!

Oreo said...

Sorry about the hotel but that food looks yummy

Wags
Oreo

Mara said...

I've never gotten the hang of mac and cheese. Perhaps if I were to try it myself some day. Some hotels seem to begrudge the customers. You would think they would be happy to have some business!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, pretty scenes and yummy food. Sorry about the hotel! Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and the weekend ahead!

Mark Muller said...

I love the food and the sunset... how sad that the howl-tel looked good from outside but wasn't the place "like home" somehow...

Jenn Jilks said...

Such a happy time you had. I'm still processing the danged US election...
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!