We arrived at the Three Chimneys about 30 minutes early since we were unsure how long it would take to drive through half the island shooing sheep from the road. When I first made reservations for dinner here three months earlier I received a confirmation email along with instructions on where to moor our yacht and something about a helicopter pad? The small white washed building with its three chimneys sitting quietly on the side of the road surely didn’t look like the kind of place for someone who helicoptered over from Edinburgh (or arrived on their boat from the south of France). Ahhh…but that’s the charm of Scotland for you. The air outside was filled with smoke of burning bog peat from a traditional home a few feet away. It wasn’t a bad smell mind you, just a particular one. I was confident we would be soaked in its heavy soot if we stayed too long.
We were welcomed into a beautiful small front bar room with a fireplace, several wicker chairs with sheep skins thrown over the backs, several tooled leather stools and a few trays of single malt being passed around. We were given a chance to look at the night’s menu, meet our fellow diners and chat about how we all thought we were lost right before we finally found the place. Just as the scotch was empty and the conversation winded down, we were seated in the main dining room.
The small thin room is furnished with custom made Arts and Crafts furniture and its white plaster ceiling glows from soft lights. The traditional stone walls make you remember you are in rural Scotland while a few carefully placed lamb and chenille throws make everything feel lush, soft and comfortable. It is the kind of place you want to sink into for a while and be waited on.
Our order was large so we could try as many local items as possible. We shared a warm monkfish and citris salad with fennel and endive, a tartine of squid with wild mushrooms, a warm duck salad with tart greens, a roasted stag with gooseberries and the house special whitefish soup. We kept to my unwritten rule of always ordering Clootie Dumpling whenever it’s on any menu….and it was Clootie heaven. We finished the meal with coffee, petite fours and a long pour of Talisker to make us sleepy.
So much excellent food…the soup and monkfish salad were amazing and the dumpling was the best I’ve had so far. We were given so much comfort and care and our beautiful meal was my best memory of Skye.
photo credits: www.threechimneys.co.uk