ELLISHADDER ART CAFE

Ellishadder, Staffin.

Inside or outside, you’re on to a winner with this modern but traditional Staffin eatery.

The Ellishadder Art Café is light, bright and airy, set in a traditional white-washed croft house from where customers can eat and drink in the views. 

A seat at one of the outside tables allows customers a filling view, and feed. Looking east to the nearby Kilt Rock and the hills of Wester Ross, straight ahead to Loch Mealt or sweeping west to the Trotternish Ridge and the Old Man of Storr. An art café in an artist’s dream location really.

Owner Maggie Quigley and her staff provide freshly-made light lunches, cakes and a selection of top-quality coffees or loose leaf teas in the café, which has 18 covers. The EAC is nestled in one of Staffin’s 23 crofting townships, Ellishadder. The café is geared towards providing local and seasonal produce. Herbs, salads and vegetables are grown in the garden or food is sourced from a delivery van transporting goods from small scale growers in Skye and Lochalsh every week. Flavour is hugely important to Maggie and produce grown to organic principles is preferred. Another 10 people can sit outside.

As the name suggests, it’s not all about food and drink.

 

Distinctive high quality artwork and a luxurious range of handwoven interior accessories and gifts can be purchased after a meal or snack.

Maggie combines a love of cooking with her artistic flair. A qualified craft designer, her specialism is weaving, which she started learning as a teenager. She later worked for a Cumbria-based weaving firm and later became a teacher in arts, textiles, food technology and resistant materials for more than 10 years.

The demands on her time as a school teacher meant she struggled to find the space in her schedule to carry out her own weaving so she made the move north to Staffin in order to combine both her passions. Maggie said: “I never seemed to have any time to do my own work. So I took the plunge and gave up teaching four years ago to set up the art cafe. It’s a move and decision I have never regretted. We’ve had great support from locals as well as tourists from all walks of life.”

The café has easy parking, disabled access and a bus stop for people travelling by public transport, a short distance away at the nearby Staffin Museum.

Opening times: Easter to October; Sunday to Friday 10.30am to 5pm and closed on Saturdays.

Directions: from Portree, the cafe is 16 miles north on the main A855 road. You travel past the Kilt Rock junction, across the Loch Mealt causeway and turn left at the sign for Ellishadder and the Staffin Museum. It is a short drive along the single-track road from there and well-signposted. From Uig, the cafe is only 10 miles away over the spectacular single-track Bealach/Quiraing road. Turn right at the Brogaig junction as you descend from the Quiraing and the cafe is approximately two miles north, turning right as you arrive at the museum.

Contact details: phone the art cafe on 01470 562 734 or 07766 636 573. E-mail info@ellishadderartcafe.co.uk or by post to: Ellishadder Art Cafe, Ellishadder, Culnacnoc, By-Portree, Isle of Skye IV51 9JE

The Ellishadder Art Cafe on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellishadder-Art-Cafe/201165446641151

Further information can be found at http://www.ellishadderartcafe.co.uk/

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SKYE PIE CAFE

Culnacnoc, Staffin.

Pies the limit in Skye this year as the island’s first ever pie café has opened its doors in Staffin.

The Skye Pie Café is the exciting new venture from the duo behind the award-winning Glenview in Culnacnoc.

Simon Wallwork and Kirsty Faulds have run the historic inn for eight seasons and in that time picked up a fleet of awards for their food – including the Best Highland Restaurant of the Year. The restaurant was even the subject of a glowing review by The New York Times no less. The couple have now undertaken a change of direction and transformed the popular premises into a classy pie eatery, complete with gallery and accommodation.

The change was partly motivated by a desire to spend more time with their two young sons in the evenings but Simon is passionate about pie-making. His first culinary memory was making mince pies with his mother and making the pastry from scratch was a family tradition.

All the pies at the Skye Pie Café are Simon’s work which is made, rolled and cooked by the man himself. Forget any notion about a greasy Scotch pie with a minimal meat filing and little else but stodge.

 

The Glenview was all about locally-sourced and organic food. It was supplied by a sprawling Skye network of local growers and producers and those key relationships and supply chain are still thriving.

Kirsty explained: “It’s amazing what can be wrapped in a pie crust and Simon is currently perfecting our lobster and crab pie using lobster caught in Staffin Bay – a stone’s throw away.”

There are a range of healthy and hearty fillings created by Simon with a different Pie of the Month.

There is the Highland Game Pie, with venison & pheasant in a red wine sauce and the Skye Mutton Pie, pulled meat with harissa, apricots and coriander. If meat is not your thing then the Veggie Pie with curried lentils with sweet potato, lime pickle and spinach will delight your palate. It is an ideal pie stop for visitors in Staffin whether they are bound for the Quiraing, Old Man of Storr or Trotternish Ridge.

Takeaway “Walkers’ Pies” can also be purchased – a welcome bite for a hungry rambler halfway up a hill!

Fresh and vibrant salads like roast carrots with pumpkin seeds and thyme or bulgar wheat with fennel and lemon can be the perfect accompaniment if there is a degree of guilt about filling up on the pastry…

The Pie Café also offers a choice of daily made soups, with a vegetarian option and always a home-made sour dough roll.

To round off your pie-tastic trip why don’t you finish your meal with a sweet pie? Apple crumble, chocolate fudge tart and raspberry and almond frangipane tart are among the offerings.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am to 5pm.

Directions: from Portree, travel north towards Staffin on the main A855 road, for approximately 20 minutes. The Pie Café is in the crofting township of Culnacnoc, about five minutes after you pass the Lealt Gorge, on your left. From Uig, it is approximately 25 minutes over the Quiraing road, on your right-hand side, about five minutes past the Kilt Rock.

Contact details: Skye Pie Cafe at Glenview, Culnacnoc, Staffin, Isle of Skye, IV51 9JH; phone 01470 562248, e-mail enquiries@glenviewskye.co.uk or visit http://skyepiecafe.co.uk/