A rather nice new lunch option has hit the Hope: another gourmet 'hamburger van' has appeared in Orkney. As good as Leigh's, but different. And this time it is just up the road from the Creel, increasing our local South Ron eating options in a valuable way. Just look at this minute steak in a bun!
The above is what I got my son, who has been working hard in the garden, for lunch today, My treat was this:
Cajun chicken, that was, before I wolfed it down.
So anyway, we're delighted to recommend 'The Grill' which has opened at the top of the hill, open 10am-2:30pm every day. It's excellent value and a nice & tasty lunch solution.
William and I have set ourselves the task of working our way through the menu, something that promises to be fun.
Here is the establishment itself. It may not look grand, but it's what comes out of it that counts! (I particularly love the two strong webbing straps to either side of the hatch to hold it tight to its trailer against Orkney's winter winds.)
and the chef, Elaine Gutcher:
Find The Grill here
My friend Paul, who was over from Paris and with whom I went for the walk described in my previous post, showed himself to be a proper Frenchman and wanted organoleptic tourism as well. Having a fondness for cheese, he asked if we had any local cheeses. It was nice to have someone interested in more than just whisky! Also I knew just where to go. This kind of requirement called for a trip to Kirkness & Gorie, our quality delicatessen and serious wine merchant – always a nice activity, even though it generally costs me dear as there are too many (rewarding and appreciated) temptations there. So, in the funny way of things, we dropped in to the shop and asked about cheeses. To be honest, the Orkney cheddar one sees everywhere is, although nice, nothing much to write home about. We were soon shown the right path in this shop.
These two cheeses from Westray are truly excellent and interesting.
We both bought some (and today I've just bought some more) – hence this post. I took the photo below with my iPhone as I shopped today.
In fact, Paul impressed me by buying food to take back as a souvenir and something for the other members of his family to enjoy. So what else does a Frenchman take back from Orkney? Answer: several kilos of our wonderful Orkney beef, so good it has its own 'appellation' . Its a PDO – 'Protected Designation of Origin'. So we bought a couple of kilos each of filet and sirloin, sliced and vacuum packed in two, from the Creel's favourite butcher, Williamsons, Paul's wife, Ariane has already emailed to say the meat was excellent.
Both shops are in Kirkwall and well worth a visit. (And no, I don't get a commission for these plugs!!!)
One of my oldest friends came to stay for a week last week and we found ourselves doing with him what our guests come to Orkney to do! Orkney has wonderful clifftop walks along maintained paths and we did this short one to see Hoxa Head and the WWII defences including the Balfour Battery. Our walk started in the rain and ended in brilliant sunshine. It was grand!
I called this picture Hoxa WWII Cinerama. It's taken from the gun emplacement at the very tip of Hoxa Head.
This picture I took a few minutes before the Cinerama one, when it was still raining a bit. The light was very strange as the sun began struggling out from behind the clouds.
From the tip of Hoxa, as the day turned brighter and brighter until it was almost blinding in the clean, clean air, we took the clifftop path back to our parking spot. This led us to the Balfour Battery.
Now that's what I call a house with a view! The wartime concrete is so good, it looks new to this day.
One can walk almost all round Orkney on clifftop paths. This particular walk only took a little over an hour, even with photo stops for me and my friend. This walk went like this:
and then on foot:
The camera symbols indicate where the photos above were taken.
After a few stormy days, today start with dead calm. I had to take a house guest to the airport for the early morning flight to Aberdeen. Day was breaking as I made my way back and the light in the sky was magnificent. No camera with me, but I stopped at the 4th barrier to take this snap with my iPhone.
I like to take photos and am fond of clichés - so I'll say I find them to be worth a thousand words.