Alarm Clock set for 3.30am
I saw a similar image to this one last autumn and ever since had been determined to experience, and capture, the Solstice sunshine breaking over the stones at Machrie from the 'V' of the mountains.
Sadly on the actual day of the Solstice we were on mainland, but a promising forecast for the following morning had me setting the alarm clock and persuading Jackie it would be worth losing some sleep for. And it was.
For some reason last night, sleep was not my friend. With light filtering through the bedroom curtains just after 5am, I decided on a whim, that a trip to Machrie Stone Circles was in order. Effie, our Airedale, confused at the lack of morning routine, stayed on her bed despite the lead being removed from it's peg. I'm glad I went and so was Effie.
Looking for somewhere bright and cheerful to eat on Arran? Somewhere that cares about the food that it produces and is happy to provide great facilities for the younger ones?
Although we are no longer accompanied by small children, it’s clear that the ones belonging to other visitors of Cafe Thyme are having a splendid time on the various outdoor activities which help to make this a great place to occupy a couple of hours.The sun is shining this lunchtime in late August. The sky is blue and the air is warm.
We opt to take advantage of the small terrace, and sit in two of the contemporary bistro chairs with matching table. We are greeted shortly by Lorna with a smile, bearing the drinks and food menus. One of their USP’s is the fairly uncommon but delightful Pides (pronounced Peedees), a Turkish style of pizza baked in a wood fired oven by Hamza the chef. Vegetarians are well catered for here, and being so inclined I choose a Spinach, Garlic and Mushroom Pide (£8.50), which has the added attraction of an egg on top - something I'm always attracted to! My accompanying drink is a small glass of Australian Chardonnay (£3.75).
Jacqueline is obviously in the mood to experience the exotic and selects the Poached Scottish Lobster Salad (£14.95) along with a small glass (it is lunchtime) of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (£3.75).
We have time to take in the wonderful scene which surrounds us, from the uninterrupted view across the sea to Kintyre mainland and closer, to the colours of Scottish heather carpeting the brae which rises behind us.
Our food is delivered by a man in crisp ‘whites’ and it looks wonderful. My Pide comes with a fresh bowl of dressed salad, is piping hot from the oven and is as enjoyable to eat as it looks; a sort of widened ‘Canadian canoe’ if not quite as large. Flatbreads are placed alongside the beautifully cooked Lobster which sits elegantly within its white bowl, surrounded by a fresh salad. Jacqui enjoys every mouthful.
We finish with coffee and a smile.
It was a wonderful lunch. The ingredients are fresh, they are prepared with care and the result is a meal presented with genuine pride in the knowledge of a job well done.
Machrie Standing Stones, Arran, Scotland
Jacqueline and Geoff moved to the beautiful Isle of Arran in 2012, and have been visiting since 1998.