9 July 2012

Day 3: Shower. Ardbeg. Bump.

A lazy start to the day, well it was still raining, so we were in no hurry anywhere.

After a good deep sleep, Rebekah woke us from our slumber about 0730, with her usual "I need toilet!" call. We let Hannah sleep on & she eventually woke about 9. Once we were all breakfasted & dressed, we headed up to the local B&B for a shower.

Now squeaky clean, we got waterproofed from top to bottom & set off for lunch at The Old Kiln cafe in Ardbeg distillery. A 3.5 mile walk (cycle for Hannah) is a good way to work up an appetite! The road to Ardbeg is one of the two main roads out of Port Ellen & is clearly signposted. You'll pass Laphroaig & Lagavulin on the way. The grain lorry from the maltings at Port Ellen was unloading as we passed Lagavulin, so we helped ourselves to some malted barley to chew.

As always, the Ardbeg cafe didn't disappoint, excellent kids meals, with the obligatory ice cream for afters. I had carrot & ginger soup followed by a salmon fish cake, both were lovely. Chris had superb crab chowder (I will happily admit soup-envy) followed by a lamb & haggis burger, which wouldn't be my cup of tea, but he said it was nice. He then finished off with what he described as "The nicest cheesecake I've ever had" and in fairness, I tried some & he wasn't wrong. Light yet dense Irish cream cheesecake with a biscuit base which was beautifully short & reminded me of a shah biscuit, served with a rich chocolate sauce. It would be worth the 7 mile round trip just for the cheesecake!

Our post-cheesecake plan (time will now be referred to as BC & PC) was a tour of the distillery, which I hadn't done since Hannah was about 15 months old. I have memories of me holding her up & her peering into one of the mash tuns with her dummy in her mouth & me suddenly realising that if she spat it out at that moment, I may have ruined several thousand bottles of Whisky! Ardbeg are owned by Glenmorangie who, unlike Diageo, allow kids on the tours. The distilleries owned by Diageo don't allow kids under 8 on the tours, for health & safety reasons. In fairness, if you dropped one into a mash tun or the mill, it probably wouldn't be good. But you'd have to be pretty incompetent. Hannah enjoys taking photos, so it was a great opportunity for her to snap lots of photos as we went round. The tour was fairly basic, but a good reminder of the process of Whisky making & we got to try Corryvreckan & Alligator at the tasting afterwards, with Alligator coming out on top. However at £65, Chris decided to spend his £5 off voucher (that you get with every tour) on a £35 bottle of ten year old.

Jelly babies & a little hill propulsion assistance was required to get Hannah the 3.5 miles back to Whisper, but she was great & will be entering the Tour de France next year...as long as they have Jelly Babies. Rebekah on the other hand, decided at the top of the last hill down into Port Ellen, that she had had enough of the buggy & wanted to walk. So out she got & approx 1 minute later face-planted the rather rough surface of the pavement, leaving a rather large blue & red bump on her forehead. So with wailing child in arms, we head to the co-op, buy a can of diet coke & apply to child's head. It's now 6 hours later & it's a bit less blue, but still pretty big! See photo.

Still stuffed from lunch, toast & yogurts were all that was required for dinner & after some colouring in & a play with the new dominoes set Nanny sent with us, the girls were off to bed. Which is where I'll be heading as soon as I get this uploaded.

Signing off...

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