Thursday, December 25, 2008
The floating hotel, Christmas dinner, Wii Unfit and turkey in the fridge!
I've written before about the St Magnus Bay Hotel, which stands in white wooden splendour just a couple of hundred yards (or metres) from our house. Closed for a while until just over a year ago, its revival under the ownership of Andrea and Paul has put a lot of heart back into the village of Hillswick. We now have a bar, and great food available every lunch and dinner time.
The hotel has a fascinating history. Prefabricated in Norway, it was part of the Norwegian exhibit at Glasgow's Great Exhibition of 1896. Afterwards, it was dismantled, put on a barge and floated north to Shetland, where, in 1902, it became the Northern terminus of the North of Scotland Steam Navigation company's tourist and freight steamer service from Thurso. Hillswick was, for a while, one of Britain's centres of extreme, upmarket tourism. There was shooting, fishing, climbing, golf and much else.
Andrea and Paul have carried out major renovations and are still working on the building. It's just splendid to have it up and running again.
Susan is on call this Christmas and, while we both love cooking, the fact that the hotel was offering full-on Christmas dinners seemed too good a chance to miss. So we booked the five of us in for lunch today and it was fantastic. Turkey with all the trimmings, AND each booking had a turkey of suitable size TO THEMSELVES. At the end of the meal, we were able to take the leftovers (large amounts) away. So we can enjoy turkey sandwiches, curries and the like without having had to do the cooking OR the washing up! Very reasonable price, too.
Add to that the Buja-Buja chocolates I got from Santa and the day has been going very well. Low point was the arrival of the Wii Fit game thingy, though, which assessed my bodily state as verging on the obese and my Wii Fit age as 61...