It has been a long time between posts due to me spending five weeks basically eating my way around Europe. Let’s just say it is going to take me a good few months to shift the holiday kilos, but so worth it! I am not going to bore you all by blogging about everywhere I went in Europe (and you can check out @foodiemelbourne on Instagram if you would like to see all the amazing food I ate anyway!) but I couldn’t not blog about my incredible foodie experience at Three Chimney’s on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Skye has to be one of my favourite places I have ever visited. It is so breathtakingly beautiful, with its rugged coastline, sweeping rolling hills and mountains, gorgeous white houses and loveable roaming livestock! This is the kind of place where you can drive a good 45 minutes and not see much else than gorgeous scenery and some random sheep crossing the road (although the one lane windy roads are not for the light hearted!)
Skye also happens to be home to the restaurant, Three Chimneys. About an hour’s drive from the main town of Portree, located on an ocean inlet in a beautiful, white cottage, this restaurant showcases the best of Skye’s produce. It unfortunately lost its Michelin star a few weeks after my visit, but hey, it has five Foodie Melbourne stars in my opinion. This restaurant has been in operation by the same owners since 1985- older than I am, and whilst the owners are not on site anymore they are keenly involved in ensuring the restaurant continues with the ethos and standards they have developed over the last 30 years.
When I booked, the only table they had left was the Kitchen Table, where you must order the ‘Taste of Skye’ menu and share with other diners. I jumped at the chance to experience this, but had no idea just how amazing it would be on the night.
When we arrived, we were taken to the bar next door to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and meet the other people on our table. We were lucky enough to be seated with a lovely couple from Edinburgh celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. It was refreshing because they were just as excited about this unique experience as we were, and also didn’t often dine in Michelin star restaurants, so we had a lovely evening getting to know them and marvelling at the food. If we had have been sitting with someone who was very familiar with fine dining and wasn’t as impressed by the food and ambience as we were, I wonder if the experience would have been as merry.
We were taken to the Kitchen Table, which I had envisioned as a kind of bar seating overlooking the kitchen, so I was like a kid on Christmas when we walked into the actual kitchen, seated on a beautiful wooden table on the side of the kitchen and told we can walk around as much as we want, chat to the chefs and ask any questions we liked. It was like being on the set of a cooking show- how many opportunities do you get to watch your food being put together, ask questions about the techniques and elements and actually get to know the chefs?
The dinner itself was beautiful. Ten courses, all made with local Skye produce from the island. I loved hearing that the eggs are from one of the chefs chickens, the herbs grown out the back, the seafood left on the pier a stones throw away where the chefs leave cash in a box for the supplier to pick up. The menu was a perfect medley of local, rustic cooking but combined with finer elements and modern cooking techniques.
Whilst all the food was incredible, one of the highlights was the final course. Izzy, one of the chefs who has worked at Three Chimney’s for over 30 years, gave us a lesson in how to make souffle. It was really interesting learning that their Marmalade Pudding had been on the menu for decades, but that they had recently revamped their famous dessert into a Hot Marmalade Pudding Souffle to breath fresh air into the dish. These guys make all their orange marmalade at the beginning of each year and go through over 1000 oranges to make it! This was by far one of the most interesting and delicious desserts I have ever tasted.
As a foodie who is absolutely fascinated by cooking, how commercial kitchens work and what inspires chefs, this was an absolutely wonderful experience. This was a great kitchen to watch work, as on a busy Saturday night they were like a well-oiled machine, moving around each other without needing to communicate and bringing absolutely stunning and delicious food to the table even with four eager eyes watching them and wandering around their kitchen.
It is interesting to note one the main qualms other diners seemed to have on Tripadvisor and Zomato etc was that head chef Scott Davies was not present on the evening they dined so they couldn’t meet him. This was the case the evening we attended but made no difference to us! The man has got to have a night off, and his sous chef and staff were absolutely phenomenal and impressed greatly.
Michelin star or no Michelin star, this is a restaurant I would encourage anyone to treat themselves to while visiting Skye for a completely memorable experience tasting this showcase of beautiful Skye produce. I know it is a dining experience I will always remember!
Have a delicious day,