Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cafe Arriba - Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands

So on day three we decided to take a VERY long drive up to the Isle of Skye.

The weather was surprisingly good and the views were amazing. It was slightly cloudy which apparently makes the scenery better as when it's not cloudy and too hot your views are blurred with heat (I can't imagine this happening a lot in Scotland). More often than not the highlands are met with lots of low cloud and fog... meaning you can't see the amazing scenery. I was told that we had a chance of seeing red deer and I nearly strained my eyes out of my head trying to spot them but constantly being disappointed upon discovering all that I was seeing was a funny shaped rock or tree stump.

On the way up there we stopped at Eilean Donan Castle....

It's like a scene from a film.. breath taking.

Full of tourists.

Eventually as my bum became unbearably numb we crossed over the Isle of Skye bridge passing from the mainlands to one Scotland's 790 islands.  We stopped in Portree the largest village on the island for a walk around the shops and to find food.

There were many fish and chip shops and cafes which pretty much all sold the same old thing.. We walked in and out of a few places. Then finally we stumbled across a little cafe called Cafe Arriba which stands above a gift shop below.

The narrow staircase is colourful and bright preparing you for the burst of colour that meets you when you step through to the cafe.

The cafe can't house many people but that's comforting. The whole of the menu is written in chalk on a blackboard on one wall of the cafe, this is because I am told it is ever changing using local produce and Scottish suppliers.

The views from the windows are magnificent so if you can try and grab a table by the window.

I decided upon the Moroccan chickpea and lentil soup with home-made bread.  It was spicy but not over powering just slightly warm and really chunky. The home-made bread can only be described as savoury scones... odd but surprisingly pleasant.

T and D chose the roast pork open sandwich on home-made bread with strathdon blue cheese, apple salad and balsamic glaze.

Both admitted that it wasn't exactly what they were expecting, however still enjoyed it. The sandwich was over loaded with cheese, and strathdon blue is not the mellowist of cheeses either....

F had the Steak sandwich, BBQ rubbed minute steak in a ciabatta with spicy fried onions and cheese. F asked the waitress if he could substitute his cheese for a cheese which isn't cows cheese and they gave him plenty of choice and were not perplexed by the request at all... Something that seems to crop up when F asks for cheese that doesn't come from a cow seems to confuse a lot of waitresses or offends them for some odd reason?

Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of F's food as he had eaten a good chunk of it by the time I had even turned my camera on.

The drinks menu was varied, and also had a good selection of non-alcoholic drinks too.

The waitress was really friendly and seemed more than happy to let F tell her how to pronounce the names of the German wine and the history of it's semantics...

If you ever visit Isle of Skye I would definitely recommend you stop by, take a break from the fish and chip shops and typically boring run of the mill cafes.

Cafe Arriba website, you can find out more here and check out the menus :

Eilean Donan Castle website:

Cafe Arriba on Urbanspoon