Called out early on Saturday evening as there were a couple of groups booked in at six and it is quite difficult to arrive and start work at the same time as the customers arrive while looking at the booking list for the evening. Turned out fairly busy but not silly. Lots of moving people about throughout the shift and seem to have got away with it. Bit like a game of chess when you have to plan a few moves ahead. Building a rapport with the tables helps and “being too nice to refuse my requests” help as well. Only because I knew them, I moved a couple in-between courses, as regulars and knowing what the Inn is like, took it as a compliment that I asked them. It was a compliment to them that I was able to ask them and also that I knew they were okay in helping us out and the table was used for yet another late group of dinners. In this case four sirloin steaks, at least they were rare and medium rare so kitchen were not too frazzled. Despite this there are always tables who are not quite with it wandering up to the menu board after service has finished to see what they are going to eat and ordering desserts at eleven, an hour after the prep room has closed down. But you treat them just the same and not get too fashed.
Sunday, and Jack gets to sit on a police bike and seems to enjoy the experience.
A police training day with a lunchtime stop at the Inn. A slightly quieter day, plenty to do but reasonable numbers. The thirty bikers booked for twelve arrived but some just stayed outside and had a coffee and ice cream at the “Silver Dream Machine” so we did not see them all inside. Towards the end of the lunch shift we had an interesting customer. First was alerted when he asked several penetrating questions about where we sourced this and that. Squats easy enough to tell but had to go to find out the rollmops came from Strathspey. That satisfied the questioner and they all duly tucked into a seafood delight. Squats, langoustine and herring. Then it was onto the ice cream…..pressure on when he let drop that he had been judging the Scottish ice cream competition at, I think, the Royal Highland Show with a couple of Italians. They were on the ball as they were able to identify all five ingredients along with saying that the whisky used was from Islay. Also the way that the gelato was finished pointed to the fact that the ice cream maker was over 60. Turned out that the whisky was an Ardbeg and the ice cream maker was 82 years old. When he ordered the Plum Sorbet I wandered off hoping for Aron it would go okay. Turned out it went better than that. The whole visit was deemed well above expectations and he went out to Aron and Sarah and told them that he would have given them a silver medal just based on that sorbet alone.
As he was leaving I spoke to him outside and he said it is so often the small dedicated producers that come up trumps. Have to say that Aron and Sarah were excited little kids after the praise their ice cream received, and rightly so. Looking round here when you see The Torridon Smokehouse and Nanny’s at Shieldaig, coming round the Coast you pass another Smokehouse at Kenmore, good things being said about this new venture. Then onto Applecross itself and you have the Walled Garden and the Inn and you realise how fortunate we are regarding food outlets. Yesterday I finish the shift with pan-fried lemon sole, salad and chips and tonight I am having some salted caramel and golden syrup ice cream after my slow cooker tea tonight. We do eat well and I for one appreciate that fact. Another wee story from last week, retold by Judith which reminded me of it. A little chap when asked for his order said nuggets, chips and beans. There was a pause and then his mam said and what is the word you forgot. Another pause and he came away with “baked” to a burst of laughter.
Dark and breezy today so no danger of going to sea so a little book work and a run up the road for my fruit delivery. Busy place with bikes, tractors and buses scattered round the Inn.
Small blinks of colour at the gate
but even the greys
of the horizon is fine to look at. As ever looking over Ardhu and Ardban is very peaceful.
Dougal keeps wanting to go out to have a look and that is what I did this evening and once again he is worth it.
Finally yet another chat about independence, this time with an Australian staying at the Inn with her sister. To cut a long discussion short…..complete puzzlement as to why we would vote No. Sums it up I suppose.