Only two days married we found ourselves bombing up the A1 to the Isle of Skye for our mini-moon. From Leeds this was quite a journey so Jake suggested a pit stop at the Mainsgill café and farm shop at Scotch Corner. He told me this was where he and “the boys” would go whenever they did a mountain biking trip to Scotland. Not to offend Jake and his lovely friends… but a greasy spoon café came to mind.
It couldn’t have been further from that. It’s an enormous café/ farm shop on the site of a farm. Before you enter you’re welcomed by punnets of juicy strawberries, smiling button mushrooms and spindly carrots with punky green hairstyles.
We went in and I saw the row and rows of preserves and what seemed like thousands of types of quiche, pie and Scotch egg on offer. I had to literally tear myself away to go and have breakfast. Jake ordered a sausage and egg butty and I had a hearty English breakfast. Nothing fussy – just the usual egg, bacon, beans, sausage, tomato and egg (the sausage and bacon were particularly tasty as they’re from the farm itself.)
After having our fill we were off to browse around the shop and buy our supplies for our Isle of Skye trip. We have a self-catered luxury cottage so I was allowed free reign on the shelves! Sausage roll, pork pie, goats cheese quiche, scotch eggs, salad and a huge array of vegetables went into our basket. We also put into the basket a bottle of what Jake referred to as “Cheggers” – basically apple juice from Chegworth Valley farm. We also bought a Mainsgill Farm cottage pie to throw into the oven for later on. Because we spent so much we got a free cool bag, which is always a bonus.
About halfway, we stopped for a short break at Loch Lomond. It was a very warm 23 degrees outside (there’s a first time for everything) so we found a picnic bench and noshed on our newly picked grub. Jake tucked into a flaky sausage roll whilst I ate a tomato with the small goats cheese quiche. I remarked that the layer of onion chutney cunningly hidden at the base of the tart really made it special.
The scenery on the way to Skye was breath-taking. Towering munros with paintbrush strokes of snow on the tops and huge sparkling lochs with magnificently still water. It was a beautiful but very long drive. Finally, as evening was starting to dawn, we reached the Skye bridge and made our way onto Scotland’s biggest islands. Low cloud and mist was shrouding the island, giving the brownish landscape an other-worldly quality. I noticed how all of the houses are white and are built in a similar style – they really stand out against the dark mysterious hills.
It took another hour or so of driving to reach our luxury cottage just north of Uig on the Trotternish peninsula. We are pretty much isolated from any other humans here… just a few sheep and their lambs are our neighbours.
For dinner, we tucked into our cottage pie bought from the farm shop – it was delicious and cheesy and the mince was fantastic quality. We washed it down with a couple of glasses of Featherdrop Hill pinot noir (wine left over from our wedding).