Anyone With Islay Advice

Jul 27th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Anyone With Islay Advice

Thinking about a quick couple of days in Islay and was wondering if anyone had any advice? Specifically...

1) Any recommended hotels?
2) Any recommended restaurants?
3) Bowmore vs Port Ellen - best place to stay?
4) I assume a car rental is best?

Thanks for the help.
travelgourmet is online now  
Jul 27th, 2013, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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First, it is pronounced "Isla" rather than "Islay." Otherwise no help except drinking its products. Will be interested in the answers you get.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 02:09 AM
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When I went to Islay with my family five years ago, we stayed in a wonderful B&B on the road between Port Ellen and Bowmore, the Glenegedale House.

I am going back to Scotland this week, and I only wish we were going back to this place to stay (but you can't do everything).

There is not a wide range of restaurants on Islay, and none of them stick out in my mind.

You would definitely want a car to explore the island. It is a magical place.
Nikki is online now  
Jul 28th, 2013, 02:28 AM
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We also stayed in Glenegedale House but found lovely restaurants. More later. We are on holiday in Visby and my husband wants to go swimming!
Frances is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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Glenegedale House is just opposite the airport and about 4 miles out of Port Ellen as far as I remember. It was a lovely place to stay and Rachel and Alastair put a lot of energy into running it. The breakfasts were amazing-especially the home made scones freshly baked each morning with raspberry jam.
The first night we arrived on the last ferry and were bundled back into our car by Rachel when she found we hadn't eaten on the boat. It seems that restaurants take last orders at 9pm and we arrived at the hotel at 8.45.. She picked up the phone announced that it was Rachel-no surname and that she had 4 visitors who hadn't eaten. She then pointed across the road the other side of the airport and told us to go there fast. It was so funny. She didn't ask what we wanted to eat but with hindsight we wouldn't have arrived anywhere else before 9!
The next night we ate in the bar of the Harbour Inn in Bowmore. This was a wonderful meal which I still remember 4 years later. I had a platter of smoked fish to include smoked tuna which I had never tasted before. It was excellent but not massive so I ordered desert- cranachan which I had also never tasted before. Now it is my favourite desert for a dinner party and I have tried many variations. My daughter made it with Amaretto and toasted almonds last weekend.
The next night we ate in The Port Charlotte Hotel having driven by during the and looked at the menu. We should have booked as it was very busy and we only managed to get a table in the bar after a long wait. This was good but I can't remember now what we had.
Another place which had very good food was the cafe at one of the distilleries to the east of Port Elizabeth- it might have been Ardberg.
You will need a car-where are you coming from?
Frances is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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Looks like I might not have any choice in the hotel, as the Lochside is about the only one that has responded as having a room available. I looked at the Glenegedale House, but something with a pub attached or walking distance to one seems more my speed for this one.

You will need a car-where are you coming from?

I'm flying in, so will just rent at the airport.

Thanks for the tips on Harbour Inn (would have liked to stay there, but no rooms for one of the two nights), which I will definitely try. Ditto for the Port Charlotte and the cafe at Ardbeg.
travelgourmet is online now  
Aug 29th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Got back from Islay. The Lochside Hotel was okay. A bit run-down, but very clean rooms. Didn't eat there. The pub was decent, though.

Went to the bar at the Harbour Inn for dinner both of my nights on the island. The food was surprisingly good. Nice selection of whisky, but steep prices.

Never made it to eat at Ardbeg. Ate at Kilchoman, though, which was pretty good for what it was - had a nice bowl of Cullen Skink and a passable wrap.

Did the tour at Bruichladdich, which was a great experience. Stopped into Ardbeg, but the wait for the tour was too long. Welcoming place though.

All in all, a nice trip.
travelgourmet is online now  

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