May 3, 2007
This is as close as it gets to being at home and in a fantastic hotel at the same time. With many hotels and B&B’s, farm stays and self-catering lodgings while on your journey through the highlands of Scotland or on your way to prove the existence of Nessie once and for all, one can be overwhelmed with choices.
With a week’s worth of researched potential choices with me, we ventured along deciding that we would stay wherever we landed at sunset. We ended up in Inverness and decided this seemed an ideal place to stop for the night, as Loch Ness was only a few miles away and we could start that part of the journey the following day. We drove through the tiny charming town taking in sights while deciding where we should stay. We turned a corner and happened upon a gorgeous castle-like house in the quiet and serene section, yet somehow only a 4-minute walk down to the town center. Wait, it was a B&B - we were so excited. An orange homey glow lured us to the sweet arched door within the perfectly manicured garden. A smile and the fresh scent of clean. I thought, "This is going to be too much money." There was a vacancy. Now for the deal-breaker: "Will you take a clean perfectly behaved dog?" He would. "Wow!" Well, while I’m at it, "do you have wireless Internet capabilities? They did! And fire place. And a spanking brand new bathroom with huge Jacuzzi-like bathtub and expensive spa soaps! I settled my excitement down for the price hit, 30 pounds per person. That was average price, yet so much nicer than the average rest. "We’ll take it," we chimed in unison! Pawel went off to watch the rest of the game on the huge flat screen TV with the owner in the clubroom amidst a roaring fireplace, while I opened some red wine to celebrate the wonderful end to a long scenic drive through the sparkling loch countryside.We woke after languishing in some of the softest, cleanest, newest bedding I could remember, and stumbled out into the bright sunny dining room. I saw the usual toaster, cereal, juice options, but wasn’t prepared for the true highland breakfast feast we were served piping hot. Pawel had fresh poached eggs, local fat sausage, a lean slab of ham, homemade beans, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato, and Scottish black pudding – maybe he thought we were walking back to London – well we weren’t going to argue. I had some of the best thick porridge ever made, (forgive me Grandma) and with skim milk just for me.Catering to your desires, attention to detail, quality, and cleanliness is what this place is. We left feeling as if we had stayed with a thoughtful friend not a randomly selected B&B. Make sure you’re as lucky as we were, this lottery is never fun to play when you only have a few days of vacation.
From journal The Highlands in Spring