Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fort Augustus, a Snack and a Traffic Jam

Our planned route from the Isle of Skye had been to take the ferry from Armadale to the mainland at Mallaig.  In addition to the ferry ride, that route would have provided me with no less than 5 railway stations as well as a view of the “Harry Potter” railroad viaduct. 

As Robert Burns stated, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley”!  …and astray or awry they did.  First of all I needed a reservation, secondly, timing with the drive to the ferry was an issue.  Consequently, we went to plan B.

It was a foggy and drizzly day with occasional spates of rain to boot!  Our ‘new’ route took us back over the Skye Bridge, then past the Eilean Donan Castle and the towns of Inverinate and Cluanie Bridge toward Fort Augustus. 

I borrowed this picture of Eilean Donan Castle from the Internet. 
Iconic photos of Eilean Donan Castle abound but the fact is that it was destroyed during the Jacobite Uprising in 1719.  At the time it was being primarily defended by Spanish soldiers whose government had allied with the Jacobites.  A British fleet arrived and captured the castle…and then spent 2 days and 27 barrels of gunpowder demolishing the castle.
While this castle is a famous Scottish icon that’s featured in advertising and films, it is actually a reconstruction that was completed in 1932... Despite its relative ‘newness’, the castle is a very popular tourist attraction.  For more information, go to

The weather cleared a bit as we drove east along A87.  We turned north on A82 at Invergarry and then we came to the Oich River.  This is the ‘new’ Bridge of Oich.  The old bridge was swept away in a flood back in 1849 and this replacement bridge wasn’t completed until 1854…meaning that it’s only 173 years old! 

Also known as the Victoria Bridge, it is a taper principle suspension bridge.  It was used for road traffic until 1932 when it was replaced.  After it was taken out of service, the bridge began a major decline and it was closed to public use.  It was renovated in 1997 for Historic Scotland, (now Historic Environment Scotland…a government agency), and it now serves as a public footbridge and point of interest.

This is the River Oich and that’s the new (85 year old) bridge that carries A82 across the river.   The river is only 5.6 miles long.  Flowing through the Great Glen, it carries water from Loch Oich to the southwest to Loch Ness to the northeast.


·         The Great Glen is a long and straight valley or glen that extends 62 miles from Inverness in the northeast on the Moray Firth to Fort William at the head of Loch Linnhe in the southwest.  The Great Glen follows a large geological fault which bisects the Scottish Highlands into the Grampian Mountains to the southeast and the Northwest Highlands to the northwest.  It has always been a natural route for travel in the Highlands… 

This is the Caledonian Canal.  The canal runs parallel to the River Oich for the river’s entire 5.6 mile length.  The canal itself is 60 miles long, connecting the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast near Fort William.  Having been completed in 1822, the canal itself is now a ‘Scheduled Ancient Monument’, a designation that protects it and 20,000 other scheduled monuments in the United Kingdom from unauthorized change… 

It was still cloudy but not raining when we arrived in attractive village of Fort Augustus.  Fort Augustus is situated at the south end of Loch Ness on the Oich River.   With a population of roughly 700, the village relies heavily on tourism.  Founded in the 17th century, the settlement was called Kiliwhimin.  It was named Fort Augustus after the Jacobite Rising of 1715.


·         The Jacobite Rising of 1715 was the attempt by James Francis Edward Stuart to regain the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland for the exiled House of Stuart.  James died in Rome at the age of 77 and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.    
·         The second Jacobite Rising took place in 1745.  It was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) to regain the throne for the House of Stuart.  Most of the British Army was occupied on the European Continent during another conflict.  Nevertheless, following some successes by the Jacobite forces, some British divisions were recalled and the last battle on Scottish soil took place on a moor at Culloden.  The Battle of Culloden ended with the final defeat of the Jacobite cause.  Charles escaped, eventually dying in Rome at the age of 68 where he was buried at the Vatican alongside his brother and father.

Enough history for the moment… Laurie and I posed for this photo beside the Caledonian Canal.   Our luncheon destination, The Lock Inn Village Pub and Restaurant (red sign) is just over Laurie’s head.  Note the white building over my shoulder on the right.  The sign states, D.J. MacDougall – Butcher.  More on that later in this posting… 

This is the interior of The Lock Inn.  Bill is at the bar acquiring a few brews for our table.  Once again, since I was the driver, I was restricted to a single half pint! 

This is the view from the bar looking toward the dining area of The Lock Inn.  We were seated along that stone wall at the end.   There is a big fireplace which I am sure is welcome during cold weather…

We stuck to a fairly light lunch as we all had plenty to eat for breakfast and we had big plans for dinner this evening.  There were a couple of cups of the soup of the ‘moment’ with some nice bread and butter. (4.35 pounds sterling/$5.65 US) 

Bill ordered this Sea Food Salad…more seafood than salad…but that is a good thing. (8.75 pound sterling/$11.40 US) It was all very good but the fresh smoked salmon was excellent!

This was my mistake… It’s called a Cheese and Ham Sandwich and it came with a little rocket salad and some decent chips. (6.95 pounds sterling/$9.00 US) The sandwich consisted of 2 thin slices of ham and a wad of fairly bland shredded cheddar cheese.  Bummer!

The Lock Inn does not have a website for me to post…

Almost all of the businesses in Fort Augustus that cater to tourists are lined up on either side of the Caledonian Canal.  Only a third of the entire 60 mile length of the canal is man-made.  The remainder of this canal/waterway consists of Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy.  There are 29 locks, 4 aqueducts and 10 bridges along the course of the canal.

The Caledonian Canal was conceived as a way to provide much needed employment to the region because of the Highland Clearances, which had deprived many of their homes and jobs.  It was also felt that the canal would provide safer passage for wooden sailing ships, allowing them to avoid the dangerous route around the north coast of Scotland.  It was never a financial success and, with a depth of only 15 feet, the canal ended up being too shallow for larger vessels.  Today however, it is a major draw for tourists…

Back to D.J. MacDougall – Butcher.  Now this is a real butcher shop!  The meat is so attractive, it’s almost too pretty to eat… Try finding a really nice butcher shop in East Tennessee.  It is one thing that we do miss about our former home in Chicago!

Hikers, boaters and casual diners take note!  Hot filled rolls, soup and sandwiches to go at the butcher shop...  The sandwiches have to be better than the one I had for lunch.  How about a hot beef sausage roll or a smoke venison sandwich.  Yum!  To learn more, go to

The building at the left across the Caledonia Canal is War Memorial Hall.  It was originally built in 1892 as a community hall but by 1900 it was being used as a drill hall by the Imperial Yeomanry Regiment.  Today this building is indeed a war memorial and community hall…

The regiment was established by Brigadier Simon Joseph Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat.  He was an aristocrat, landowner, soldier, politician and the 23rd Chief of Clan Fraser.  In World War I, Lord Lovat commanded the Highland Mounted Brigade and in March of 1916, he took command of the 4th Mounted Division…basically a home defense group that remained in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war.  In the recent past, the Fraser family still owned over 26,000 acres of land along with Beaufort Castle.
At one point in the mid-1800s, there was concern that the military was stretched too far and a system of volunteer military units (militia/national guard) was set up.  The Volunteer Act of 1863 provide regulations for these groups and it set standards for drills as well as a requirement for annual inspections.  Roughly 344 drill halls of various sizes, styles and configurations were built in Scotland, of which only about 182 survive. 

The ‘Chieftain’ is about to dock after taking tourists on a cruise on Loch Ness…looking for “Nessie”…the Loch Ness Monster. 

Loch Ness is 22.5 miles long by 1.7 miles wide and it reaches a depth of 745 feet.  With 22 square miles of surface water, it is the second largest loch in Scotland after Loch Lomond.  In volume of water, Loch Ness is the largest. 

Cruise Loch Ness is a large scenic cruise operator based in Fort Augustus.  They have a number of boats in operation… In addition to the Chieftain, others are named the “Legend of Loch Ness”, “Royal Scot”, “Ness Express”, “Ness Explorer” and the “Deborah Leah”.  To learn more about these cruises, go to

Moving on down A82 toward North Ballachulish, our destination for the evening, we came to a dead stop…with police holding up traffic and flashing lights everywhere.  Laurie was sure what the problem was but we couldn’t see it from where we were… While we waited in line near the Oich River, we had time to admire this old stone wall layered in thick lush moss.

Yikes!  I think I see the problem…and Laurie was right!  We had passed this big convoy of trucks, guide vehicles, workers and police on our way to Fort Augustus from the Isle of Skye.  They were in the process of moving giant wind turbine blades along Scotland’s narrow, shoulder-less roads for installation in a wind farm.

Renewable energy is a hot topic in Scotland.  The natural resources for renewable energy is enormous with the most important potential sources being wind, waves and tide.  We saw several wind farms on our travels through the country…both inland and along the shoreline.  I guess that the question is, how many wind turbines cluttering up the highlands scenery and shoreline are too many.  As of April of 2014, Scotland already had 2,315 units installed with 405 under construction and another 1,163 permitted…or about 1 wind turbine for every 8 square miles in the country.

So…where can cars, buses and other trucks go when confronted by these behemoth trucks and turbine blades?  It’s easy to see the scope of the problem when transporting these units along these highways…

During 2015, Scotland generated 59% of its electricity via renewable resources…exceeding the country’s lofty goal of 50% for that year.  The Scottish Government’s energy plan calls for 100% of the country’s needs to be generated through renewable resources by 2020.

A few cars lucked out.  We were waved forward and allowed to park where we’d stopped before by the River Oich.   It was raining but I got out of the car and snapped this photo from the old Bridge of Oich.  That is one giant piece of hardware on that truck!

We watched as crews tried to secure the traffic gates for swing-bridge over the adjacent Caledonian Canal.  They were obviously concerned that they’d be destroyed by the passing trucks.  Eventually the convoy crept by, (no visible damage done), but it had traffic blocked up for quite a distance in both directions.  We were lucky in that we were in the lead group headed south after the convoy passed. 

Next stop…North Ballachulish on Loch Leven near the west coast of Scotland.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a tour and a bit of history!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave  

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Road Home From Nashville…and Lunch Too!

Following my DeVeaux School (prep school) reunion in Nashville Tennessee, we decided to get off the Interstate Highway System and follow US 70 eastward across the state to our home south of Knoxville…

Even US Hwy. 70 bypasses some of the small towns along the route…so we ventured off the highway and drove through a few of them to take a look.  This is the Salem Baptist Church in Liberty Tennessee.  As you can see by the dates on the front of the church, this congregation was first organized back in 1809.  This particular structure apparently dates back to 1927.

Liberty and DeKalb County as a whole was first settled by Adam Dale, a Revolutionary War veteran, ca. 1797.  The town has never been large…with the census showing that the population peaked in 1990 with 391 residents.  The current population is estimated at 315.

This is the former Liberty High School.  This fortress like stone structure was built in 1918.  It now serves as the town hall, senior center and library with a history room too…

The millstone at the lower left of the photo was found in nearby South Fork Cree, near the site of Adam Dale’s gristmill.  As I mentioned before, Dale was the founder of the town.

We did note this population explosion in Liberty!  Mama cat and her 5 offspring were out exploring… Is a black cat with 4 black kittens and one black and white kitten considered to be bad luck?

This is just one of the many old homes in Liberty…  The Liberty Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.  It includes 76 contributing properties including the Salem Baptist Church and the former high school.  The oldest home in the Historic District dates back to 1820 and others were built in 1825 and 1850.

This is the DeKalb County Courthouse in Smithville Tennessee.  It was built in 1970 to replace the previous courthouse, which in turn had replaced another courthouse that had apparently burned down ca. 1925.

Smithville was founded in 1838 and it has a current population of about 4,700.  It is the home of the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree and Crafts Festival.  This festival has been held on the weekend closest to July 4 ever since 1972.  Present day attendees are estimated to exceed 100,000!  To learn more about this event, go to

FYI…Country singer and songwriter Alan Jackson is from Smithville.  He has sold over 80 million records, has received 2 Grammy Awards, 16 CMA awards and 17 ACM awards.  He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017.  To learn more about Alan Jackson, you can just go to  To visit his personal website, go to

It was all about agriculture in DeKalb County until 1949.  Following the completion of the Center Hill Lake and dam on the Caney Fork River, tourism in the area has become big business.  This is one of the marinas on the lake.  Center Hill Lake has 415 miles of mostly undeveloped shoreline with over 18,000 acres of deep water. 

·         US Hwy 70 is 2,385 miles long, stretching from Eastern North Carolina to East Central Arizona.  Tennessee State Route 1, known as the Memphis to Bristol Highway is 539 miles long and most of this route follows US Hwy 70 as well as part of US Hwy 11.  State Route 1 was opened in 1915 and at 539 miles in length, it is the longest highway of any kind in the state.   

We’d been driving and exploring for a while and it was about time for lunch.  Laurie got out her smart phone and searched on for a place to eat in Sparta Tennessee.  We decided on Yanni’s Grille… Who expects a Greek style restaurant in the middle of Tennessee?! 

This is part of the dining area at Yanni’s Grille.  We immediately checked the menu for Greek options.  Actually, there weren’t very many…no surprise given the restaurant’s location in the middle of Tennessee.  Still we noted that they serve a Big Fat Greek Salad (full portion $6.99), Grecian Shish-Kabob ($10.99) and Baklava for dessert. ($3.49)

More importantly, Yanni’s menu features a Greek Gyro Sandwich…something that we’re always looking for in Tennessee!  We asked our very helpful and friendly waitress a couple of questions.  Is the gyro meat carved from a loaf on a split? (No) Does the house-made tzatziki sauce have any noticeable garlic flavor in it? (Some…but not a lot) Our waitress loves garlic but she said that their customers don’t like too much of it.  She did say that the gyro meat is grilled and that the sandwich is good…

So we both ordered the gyro sandwich with extra tzatziki sauce and a side of chicken rice soup. ($6.99 each plus $.50 for extra sauce)  The soup was very nice and so was the gyros sandwich.  While not as 'garlicy' as what we enjoyed in Chicago when we lived there, this was best gyro sandwich we’ve had anywhere in Tennessee! 

Yanni’s Grille is at 19 South Spring Street in Sparta Tennessee.  They are open from 11 AM until 9 PM Tuesday through Sunday.  Phone: 931-836-3838.  Yanni’s is on Facebook and their menu is included.  Just go to

Moving east along US Hwy. 70, we came to Crossville.  While we’ve been to Crossville before to attend the popular Cumberland County Playhouse, with 165,000 plus attendees per year, (, we’d never driven through the center of town. 

The Milo Lemert Memorial Building is the courthouse annex right across the street from the Cumberland County Courthouse and right next to the old courthouse.  This is also the former main Crossville United States Post Office.  It is named after Milo Lemert, a Sergeant in Tennessee’s “Old Hickory Division” who was killed in action as he tried to subdue his 4th German machine gun nest in a row on September 29, 1918.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts and bravery…

This is the current Cumberland County Courthouse.  As you can see, it was completed in 1905.  Construction costs totaled $23,000, or about $1.4 million in today’s dollars.  The foundation is sandstone and the walls are made with cut Bedford limestone.


·         Earl Francis Lloyd was from Crossville.  In the 1950 – 1951 season, Lloyd was the first black person to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). 

·         The United States Chess Federation moved its corporate offices to Crossville in 2005.

This is the earlier Cumberland County Courthouse.  It was built with Crab Orchard stone back in 1886 at a cost of $5,200.  Fire destroyed the roof and interior of the building in 1905.  The building was repaired and it served as the first Cumberland County High School and Normal School from 1908 – 1929.  Subsequently, it housed various government offices including the Cumberland Board of Education.
Since 2002, the old courthouse has served as the Military Memorial Museum featuring over 3,000 related items.  To learn more about this museum, go to

Moving east along US Hwy 70 from the town of Crab Orchard, we noted this ancient looking wood and steel railroad trestle crossing a deep valley.  I assumed that it was abandoned which most of this particular rail line is… However, a little research revealed that a 15 mile stretch of track including this trestle (and a tunnel) are still in use. 

This little railroad is owned by Franklin Industrial Minerals Railroad (Lhoist North America) and it’s used to transport limestone and calcium carbonate products to a rail connection at Rockwood Tennessee.  For those rail buffs out there, you can go to this site to view some nifty photos of trains on the trestle and coming out of the tunnel.

That’s all for now... Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!  We’ll return to Scotland for my next post on the blog site.

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Friday, November 24, 2017

McNamara’s Pub and Restaurant – Nashville

Time for a bit of a diversion from our adventures in Scotland and Ireland…

During our DeVeaux School class reunion…class of 1961…we had a ‘free day where couples or groups could pick whatever Nashville area attractions they were interested in visiting.  That included a luncheon spot too.

So following a very enjoyable visit and tour of President Andrew Jackson’s former home, The Hermitage, we stopped for lunch.  I’d listed McNamara’s Pub and Restaurant as a likely dining option.  This restaurant certainly didn't look like every other dining spot from the outside…

The dining area was very reminiscent of a pub, with lots of wood, walls covered with pictures and bric-a-brac…providing a real ‘homey’ feeling.
This restaurant features live Irish music Wednesdays through Sundays.  There is a sports lounge on the 2nd floor with flat screen TVs and darts too.   

The actual bar area was small but the same pub atmosphere prevailed.  The beams throughout added to the feeling…

Two of the owners are pure Irish through and through.  Sean McNamara is a descendent of a Irish immigrant who came to America in the mid-1800s.  Paula McNamara was actually born in County Down in Northern Ireland and came to America via Australia.  Demonstrating what a melting pot the USA is, their head chef, Magic Gyebi is from Ghana!

This was our little group.  From the left, Rhonda, Barbara, Bob, Tom, Margie, Don and my better half, Laurie.  We didn’t want to eat too much as all of the wandering explorers from the class were getting back together for dinner that evening in downtown Nashville.

A variety of dishes were ordered by the group.  This was the Chicken Salad Sandwich with French Fries. ($11.00)

We also ordered an appetizer to be shared.  My photo of the Caledonian Scotch Eggs…6 half eggs ($10.00)…just didn’t come out well enough to use.  Most folks liked them and the dipping sauce was very nice…but Laurie and I prefer the Scotch Eggs served at the Tilted Kilt chain of restaurants.  The others that tried this version enjoyed them.

Another choice was the Galway Grilled Salmon with Broccoli Cheese Casserole for the side dish. ($17.00) Our classmate was happy with the choice.

We really didn’t sample the Irish side of the menu very well and I’m sure that it deserves a try.  McNamara’s features such dishes as Chicken Curry ($14.00), Kerry Lamb ($23.00), Irish Bacon and Egg Butty ($10.00), Shepard’s Pie ($13.00), Irish Stew ($14.00), Steak and Guinness Pie ($13.00) and, Bangers and Mash ($14.00).

Having just returned from Ireland, I didn’t really want an entrée based on Irish cuisine.  Consequently, I ordered the French Dip Sandwich with French Fries. ($12.00) It was not good!  The meat was dry and tasteless…but the French Fries were pretty decent.  Curiously, my bill showed "French Dip, no cheese".  I didn’t see a cheese option on the menu and I wasn’t asked if I wanted cheese on the sandwich.  Too bad as it would have helped...

Laurie had the Fish and Chips with a side of coleslaw with her French Fries. ($10.00) She liked the fish and she thought that the slaw was very nice.

Our feedback for McNamara’s was mixed but the positives outweighed the negatives.  Most of the group enjoyed their lunch.  I was the big exception.  I also thought that our server was harried and not all that personable.  Service was uneven at best.  I would try dining at McNamara’s again, this time focusing on Irish fare.  This is a popular, highly rated restaurant and everyone has a bad day from time to time.

McNamara’s Pub and Restaurant is located at 2740 Old Lebanon Road in Nashville Tennessee.  Phone: 615-885-7262.  They have a website that you will find at  

We’ll return to our trip in Scotland and Ireland after one more side trip in Tennessee.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dinner in Portree – Isle of Skye

Following our hotel issues or challenges and having settled in at our overnight destinations, it was time to meet for dinner.  Laurie and I drove down to Portree to meet Bonnie and Bill.

Their hotel, the Isles Inn, was right on Somerled Square, the center of Portree.  Parking was a challenge, even for mid-September, and we ended up on a side street about 4 blocks from the Square.  That handsome building at the right is the Bank of Scotland, in Gaelic “Banca Na H-alba”.

This is the former home of the Lodge of St. Kilda #881.  It was built in 1912. 

Freemasons have been a part of the Isle of Skye and Portree since 1784 when the first lodge opened.  The history of the current lodge began with a meeting of Master Masons in the Portree Hotel in 1898.  They petitioned the Grand Lodge for authorization to build this lodge and to name it the Lodge of St. Kilda.


·         St. Kilda (Hirot) is an isolated cluster of islands in the Atlantic Ocean about 40 miles west of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides.  St. Kilda is a World Heritage Site, unusual because it is so designated for both cultural and natural reasons.  Ruins from previous settlement, many sea birds and 2 rare types of sheep, one from Neolithic times and the other from the Iron Age…all add to St. Kilda’s attraction to tourists.  To learn more about the history of St. Kilda and to see some great photos, go to,_Scotland.  To learn about one of the several ways to visit this World Heritage Site, go to

 The Granary Restaurant on the Square was our first choice for dinner…but it was totally booked for the evening.  So was our second choice and this was a Tuesday night!  It turns out that this restaurant is operated by the same folks who run our eventual dining spot for the evening...

With a population of about 2,500, Portree is the largest town on the Isle of Skye.  Almost 40% of the residents speak Scottish Gaelic.  Portree has been around for a long time… Before the 16th century, the settlement’s name was Kiltaraglen (the church of St. Talarican) from Gaelic Cill Targhlain.  I noted with interest that Portree had the last manual telephone exchange in the United Kingdom.  It wasn’t closed down until 1976!

The Portree Hotel’s restaurant on Somerled Square was our 3rd choice for dinner.  We were told that they needed us to be done with dinner within an hour and a half or so…before they needed our table for a reservation. 

Somerled Square was formerly known as Jail Square.  The jail has been demolished and it’s been replaced with a new police station.  Somerled was a mid-12th century warlord who, through marital alliance and conquest, seized control of the Kingdom of the Isles.  Clan MacDougall, Clan Donald (MacDonald), Clan MacRory and Clan MacAlister can all be traced to Somerled’s descendants.

To learn more about Somerled…one tough and blood thirsty character, go to 

The first two photos are of the dining area in the Antlers Bar and Grill...and the third is a look into the West Highland Bar at the Portree Hotel. 

The Portree hotel was originally built back in 1875.  It had recently been extensively refurbished and, in addition to the restaurant and bar, it offers 24 redesigned en-suite guest rooms. 

Bonnie and Bill were ready for dinner after our ‘hotel’ adventures!

Bonnie took this photo of Laurie and yours truly… What do you think about my new tam? 

FYI…a tam o’ shanter is a name given to the traditional Scottish bonnet worn by men.  The name comes from Tam o’ Shanter, the hero of the 1790 poem by Robert Burns.

Onto the food!  This was a nice bowl of pea soup…the soup of the day. (4.00 PS/$5.20 US)

Two of us ordered these nice bowls of Haddock Chowder. (6.95 PS/$9.00 US each) It was quality comfort food!

This was the Antlers Restaurant’s version of Caesar Salad. (11.95 PS/$15.50 US) Although it wasn’t exactly a traditional Caesar salad, it was still very nice…

This was the Seared Scallops entrée. (18.95 PS/24.60 US) It came with slow cooked pork belly, sautéed potatoes, peas, lemon and butter sauce…and it was very good too!

Yes…once again one of us ordered mussels!  Bonnie ordered the Steamed West Coast Mussels with white wine, cream and garlic as her entrée. ($9.95 PS/$12.90 US) She was very happy with her choice, especially with that nice bread to mop up the sauce.

Bill decided to skip seafood for once and he ordered the 10 oz. Rib Eye Steak. (24.95 PS/$32.40 US) It was served with chips (French fries), grilled tomato, mushrooms, a small ‘rocket’ salad, onion crisps and a garlic-herb butter.  It was a good if not great steak…

FYI…rocket salad, aka Eruca sativa is commonly known as arugula.

Laurie’s entrée was this beautiful creation… This was her Cod Fillet Dinner. (15.95 PS/$20.70 US) The chargrilled cod filets were served with slow cooked pork belly, braised greens and mashed potatoes.  How can you miss having a great meal with really fresh fish is topped with pork belly!

Each couple split a dessert or ordered their own… This was the Sticky Toffee Pudding. ($6.95 PS/$9.00 US) It was very tasty, especially with the ice cream and candy like toppings…

Two of us ordered this Raspberry and Almond Tart. ($6.95 PS/$9.00 US) It was pretty and pretty darn good too!  Note the chocolate straw…

This was a very good dinner, way above the average fare, but a bit pricey too.  I haven’t mentioned the VAT tax have I?  While here in the USA, sales tax might run from 6% to 10% depending on locale, the VAT tax in the UK comes to 20% of the bill.  The good news for diners is that expected tipping is lower…about 10% in the United Kingdom so the VAT for meals is almost offset.  

In any case, we would recommend the Portree Hotel’s Antlers Bar and Grill to travelers visiting Portree on the Isle of Skye.  To learn more about this restaurant as well as the hotel, you can go to

That’s it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a little history and dinner too!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave