Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The New Model Inverness and lots of whisky
I can't believe that the old Highlands and Islands Development Board/Highlands and Islands Enterprise HQ in Inverness has been converted into luxury flats. But my eyes were not deceiving me yesterday morning: there you have it, proof positive that half of the reason for me using the phrase 'Cumbernauld in a Kilt' all those years ago has now, if not vanished, at least been tarted up in a kind of 'Dreich Miami' style.
Actually, Dolphinsludge, Queen of the Highland Fleshpots, was looking like a million Euros, I thought, with the Ben Wyvis massif all Eiger and Matterhorn white, and the riverside down by the Glen Mhor Hotel as lovely as ever.
A truly excellent meal was had at Rocpool Rendezvous - better, cheaper and much less pretentious than the Glenmoriston's absurd, and now Ramsay-condemned Abstract. Daniel and I zoomed off to the excellent Benromach Distillery in Forres yesterday morning, then it was time to visit old haunts at BBC Highland and broadcast from there. No time to waste, though, as we had to be in Glasgow by currytime. The A9 was awful as ever, but we arrived in time for a curry fit to wash out the taste of the terrible Cinnamon (see below) at Sibbo's Delhi Dhabba. Yum! Good to see young Magnus, and there was just time to drive over to the Showcase complex at Coatbridge to see the movie Blood Diamond, which is over-long, over-worthy and a bit too self-important, but worth seeing. Leonardo Di Caprio does an amazing Rhodesian accent, and seems to have grown about a foot.
This morning, Dan and I looked round Auchentoshan at Clydebank - what a difference from the last time I was there, back in 1992. Lovely visitor centre, good tour. Tonight, it's The Hold Steady at the Cathouse. The hottest band in the world comes to Glasgow! See you there.