Monday, 17 September 2007

Stornoway cuisine: food for bloggers

Sussed it; this wall-to-wall coverage of the Northern Rock banking "crisis" is all just a cover story to distract us from the big development of the week. Note all the experts telling us that the "Rock is sound"; so what's the issue diverting our attention from? The real shock story of the week: Paddington Bear has dumped Marmalade and now promotes ... Marmite?!!! Seriously. Is nothing sacred? 

Back to Stornoway. It's an odd place; it's by far the largest town in the Outer Hebrides (arguably the only town, as other places are villages of variable sizes). Sometimes, in the summer when the weather is good and everything is open it's not a bad place at all to be. Wheras in the depths of winter, on a day where nearly everything is firmly closed and the wind is blowing you down Cromwell Street (Why was that name chosen?) I'd rather be anywhere else.

What it does have, surprising many visitors, is quite a good choice of places to eat and drink in. At the cheap and cheerful end of the market, there are various chippies, an Indian restaurant, and several Chinese and Thai takeway and restaurant establishments.


James Morrison has scanned in the current menus of some of these establishments and put them online, along with their mapped locations, for examination (or, if you are a Stornoway resident, for easy selection before you reach for the telephone).

There's plenty of other options, including several hotel restaurants. My favourite three eating places in the "big city" are:

  1. the Tapas restaurant; good choice, comfy place to eat (here reviewed by senior resident) - yes, you read that right, a Tapas bar in the Outer Hebrides - why not?

  2. the An Lanntair arty centre; good coffee bar with lots of comfy seating, and a restaurant (with partial harbour/sea view) that does large portions

  3. Digby Chick restaurant. Quite upmarket, but they let a tramp like me through the doors, so it's a relaxed place. Evening meals are pricey, but the lunchtime specials are very good value. Two courses and a drink for under a tenner, then up the road to An Lanntair for a coffee to finish off

Anyway, am looking at these options with a view to a bloggers meal out in Stornoway at some point. Some Harris and Lewis Flickerites have already met up, and previous blogger meetups centred around the BBC Island Blogging community organised for An Lanntair. I wonder what the cuisine of choice of Outer Hebrides bloggers will turn out to be (hopefully nothing containing marmite)?


  1. Now you may not want to believe this, but when I was a little lad at school, one of the MOST awaited breakfasts was:Fried bread, liberally covered with marmite and smothered in marmalade. Absolutely delicious, and actually extremely nutricious. It had every know vitamin,fat,protein and whatever else you care to mention then known.Much better than the powdered scrambled egg. I believe we were fed on 21/9d a week. That's 108.75 p. ie just over a guinea.Bet that takes you back.

  2. Well, we've just had visitors up, and we had a smashing meal in the Boatshed (in the Royal Hotel). We'd been in there a year or so ago, and it wasn't that hot, but I understand they've since changed their chef. The scallops were excellent and, unlike Digby Chick, we didn't have to remortgage our house to have a meal.

  3. Me, I'm partial to the Thai restaurant and I hear that the County is doing Indian meals on Friday nights (I believe that it's Friday nights). Oh, and the odd bacon roll from Englebret's.

  4. i am suffering with serious withdrawl symthoms!!!! have been living here in the foothils of the cevennes for 31years yes you read rightly 31 years no shops or buses in this kneck of the woods ---- just thinking of a "take away" even fish and chips---makes me want to cry!!!! thank god i love cooking so can master a thai or indien when the time comes!!but still the desire"fancy a thai or indien,or chinese???" makes me drool!! okay december the sixth is not to far away buty the price of an ticket to nz via singapore(ok, memories of my early yeats in singa) is maybe a little expensive----(not really(nz is really a great place and feel so happy to be going backthere and guilty at the ame time cause its expensive to go there and not everyone can share thid expirience with me!