The Creel is a spacious 3-room B&B in St Margaret's Hope, gateway to Orkney,
People come to Orkney for its ever-changing natural beauty, its wonderful archeological sites, its wildlife and birds, for walking (oh, the clifftop walks!), for cycling (if you're brave; it's not that flat!), and the Orkney produce (my favourite – Orkney lobsters, but even Orkney milk is something else. And that's before mentioning the beef and lamb!)
On the subject of food I had better point out that I am making The Creel a bed&breakfast with the capability of offering evening meals on occasion to guests (i.e., it is no longer going to be a walk-in restaurant with an extensive menu but rather a place that will serve by prior arrangement good honest cuisine with an emphasis on local Orkney produce). Work has just finished on putting in the fittings for the Blue Lobster Bar I have opened. Here, once again not on a daily basis and dependant on the availability of good lobsters (or other goodies (such as langoustine tails when lobsters out of season), I will be serving those accompanied by some seriously interesting wines.
Regarding suppers – I can't cook every day but aim to provide all guests staying for several days with the opportunity to have at least two meals in if they want. Please advise in advance as I buy fresh produce. I cook a single 3-course supper (all priced at £30 per person) using as much Orkney produce as possible. I often cook Moroccan tagines for which our Orkney lamb is wonderfully suited. On another occasions, I make use of our wonderful fresh fish. Sometimes, instead of a restaurant meal, I do a luxury ‘bar’ meal in my Blue Lobster Bar — typically a starter of salami, mortadella, hommous etc etc followed by a lobster sauce meunière. When lobsters are out of season, I have substituted a half kilo of langoustine tails, which I marinaded and air-fried.
I am expanding my wine list, but its core will always remain the dozen or so really excellent yet reasonably priced Italian wines I bring up from a specialist importer in London.
The Creel only has three rooms. They're all nice and large, pleasant and comfy. (I'd find it hard to choose a favourite myself.) I wanted names for them instead of Rooms 1, 2, and 3. Two names came to me easily: from two of the best things in Orkney. So the room on the top (second) floor obviously wanted to be Sky Room, since it was nearest to it. The room nearest the sea at the front of the house then obviously had to be Sea room. That left the last room, which also has a grand sea view, short of a name. Sand or Beach would have completed the obvious trio, but the Med this ain't. Another great thing about Orkney is our prehistoric standing stones, so I opted for Stone. (And I'll think of a prize for the guest who finds a better name for it during 2016.)
Stone (aka Room 1)
Stone has one double bed and a single bed. Two windows overlook the sea. It's on the first floor, at the top of the stairs. All the rooms have their own private bathrooms, pictured. Price: £55 per person per night (double occupancy) bed and breakfast Other rates – single occupancy, child rate, third person please click askfor your email client to open or use email@example.com
Sea (aka Room 2)
Sea is also on the first floor and also has two windows overlooking the bay. Sea only has the one double bed. On the other hand, it has a pretty-looking fireplace! Price: £55 per person per night (double occupancy) bed and breakfast Other rates – single occupancy, child rate, third person please click askfor your email client to open or use firstname.lastname@example.org
Sky (aka Room 3)
On the second floor, under the roof, we have Sky. Once again, a room with a double and a single bed and plenty of space. Just one window looking out on the bay. Price: £55 per person per night (double occupancy) bed and breakfast Other rates – single occupancy, child rate, third person please click askfor your email client to open or use email@example.com
Garden Flat - self catering
Also available is the self-catering Garden Flat situated in a wing of my own home, Bank of Scotland House, next door to The Creel. This has a double bedroom, plus a sofa bed in the sitting room, as well, of course, as a kitchen and a bathroom. The flat is on two floors and has its own entrance. Price: £125 per night (BUT £400pw and lower still for a month) Bookings will only be accepted for a minimum of three nights.
And from any of these rooms, it's mere minutes to, for example, this
The cliffs at Burwick (and a lovely cliff-top walk, for those who feel like, following the fence on the right of the frame)
(for still more and more and more, see the Sights page)