The Creel has been welcoming guests for quite a while. Our Smiddy Museum (entrance free, open all year), here in St. Margaret's Hope helped me find this picture of the Creel (the St. Margaret's Hotel) which dates back a touch over a century.
We don't have the market day on the esplanade any more, but the rest is quite unchanged and instantly recognisable.
Museum here: https://www.facebook.com/smiddymuseum/)
So, if you've got a time machine, I recommend checking out the old Creel: I'm sure the room rates and the cost of meals there are lower.
On the other hand, I can safely guarantee that today's Creel still uses Orkney produce and that it has a far better wine list (no expensive time machine required – and you know how dangerous the cheap ones are!)
A lovely bright spring day, with a cool wind. Orkney's ewes have lambed and our farmers have decided they can come out – with suitable protection! (I took these pictures just outside Kirkwall, not far from the airport.)
Well, my Blue Lobster Bar is certainly waiting for its lobsters, but the matter is in hand. What did I see at the end of my pier, yesterday, but these.
In the meantime, however, there is a great consolation prize. My supplier of super fish and shellfish telephoned today to say there was an arrivage of langoustines and did I want some tails. 'Course I did!. so I rushed off to Kirkwall and picked up a few kilos of these.
So my next guests may, if they so wish, ask for a feast in the Blue Lobster bar that will include these tails cooked to a little recipe of mine, which makes them look like this:
There's a brisk wind today. Had a light salt-water carwash crossing the barriers on my way into Kirkwall this morning. Sunny spells interspersed with showers, some hail. On my way back home, I took the road past Kirkwall Airport, so as to pass one of my favourite viewpoints, overlooking the sound through which the U-47 passed and went on to sink HMS Royal Oak (which led to the construction of the barriers). This was the view today – a wonderful mix of sun, storm clouds, and a choppy Scapa Flow.
This is where the shot was taken from. There are constantly wonderful views from there.
I have an interesting and enterprising cousin, Yun Hider, who forages wild food. His customers include the ✭✭ Michelin chef Marcus Wareing at Marcus/The Berkeley, Gordon Ramsay's Pétrus in Knightsbridge and Bread Street Kitchen in the City, Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridges and other chefs at Claridge’s main kitchen, and the Galvin brothers' Windows, Park Lane and La Chapelle in Spital Square.
I am fantasising about how to get him up here to see what he can forage in lovely Orkney and see what magic can be worked with our wonderful local meat and fish enhanced with the things he knows how to find.
It's gotta be made to happen as it would be cool beyond belief!
I like to take photos and am fond of clichés - so I'll say I find them to be worth a thousand words.