zondag 25 september 2016

Maastricht Peter's Bday dinner @ Beluga

great dinner @ Beluga 

Friday 23 - Sunday 25 September 2016

Because the restaurant Beluga was fully booked in the weekend of P's Bday, I had to postpone his Bday dinner @ Beluga restaurant in Maastricht with 2 weeks. 

After a horrible traffic jam on Friday afternoon, we parked our car in a garage and checked in at the Hampshire Design hotel

the dogs of the hotel 

Our room had many windows and a really super bed, however, when opening the door of the room we immediately bumped into the sink. So, not very spacious. 

After a drink at the river side we went to Beluga, where we had an excellent dinner. We took the menu accompanied by the wines they suggested. See pictures.


their all time fav amuse: tomato soup with foam of parmezan cheese

the menu

first course: coquilles

the 'friandise tree'  

Saturday 24 September

After a nice breakfast at 't Wycker Cabinet we went shopping. The sun was shining and we enjoyed muchly. 

huge breakfast @ 't Wycker Cabinet

very 'southern lady' 

at Wyck side of the river

'Theo shoes' 

Beluga restaurant by day light (ground floor)

the new bridge to the other side of the river

Lighting a candle at the Basilicum of our Lady  

Ending the afternoon with drinks at 't Vrijthof

view on Wyck from the old bridge

In the evening we had a nice dinner at Umami by Han, which was near our hotel and afterwards visited 3 'winebars'. 

Umami dinner consisted of several small dishes, which we shared among the two of us.

The waiter of Umami advised us to visit the bar of the Kruisherenhotel and have a drink there. This design hotel is situated in a renovated 15th century monastry. A really wonderful place.

Kruisheren hotel bar

@ the Kruisheren hotel, definitely an arty place worth visiting

But by far our favourite winebar in Maastricht was Insieme, what a great place. They serve really nice wines. After we explained which sort of wines we like, the owner suggested 2 wines, which we both have at home in stock. Sooo, great suggestions, however, less exciting so we drank another great wine. 
We had the Ori di Verdicchio, an old white wine, which tasted great.


Sunday, 25 September

We crossed the Belgian border and visited the 'Voerstreek', which has been in the news in the 80's because there was a fierce battle going on between the french and flemish speaking people of the villages in that district. It's now peaceful, a lot of Dutch crossed the border to live there, and there's tourism now (cycling, walking). 

what can one drink in Belgium besides beer ....

We drove back to The Netherlands and made a lovely walk near Eckelrade. The weather was great, lots of sunshine and high temperatures (25C). 

Motor guy that followed the instructions on the cross: 'Rust hier uit in de schaduw van het kruis' (= rest here in the shadow of the cross)


maandag 5 september 2016

Scotland - 27 August - 5 September 2016

best pic of this trip

Road trip from Edinburgh to the north of Scotland and back along the West Coast. We drove about 2000 kilometers during this 10 day holiday trip.

places we stayed for the night

The initial plan with one battery (= place to stay) at the wrong spot of the map (Wick is far further up in the north)

Day 1, Saturday 27th August 2016: from Edingburgh to Pitlochry

  driving at the wrong side of the road in our rental car, a red Fiat 500x

First stop at Dunfermline, the park bought by Mr. Carnegie, who was born here and made his fortune in the US, for the people of the village. Great plants and gardening.

Church of Dunfermline

Church and burrial place of Dunfermline. Great location 

lots of trails here, we walked the Killiecrankie path

Killiecrankie walk: at the river 

At our first place to stay of this holiday, the hotel Atholl Palace, which wasn't what we expected it to be. More sort of a 'Van de Valk'  type of place. The food was not good and seriously over prized. Bugger.

Upper right picture shows our 'Tower Attic' room at the Atholl Palace hotel which was very small, too expensive BUT had a great view of the gardens.

Day 2, Sunday 28 August 2016:  A day in the Highlands and our first whiskey tasting

leaving the Atholl Palace hotel

bottom right: drinking coffee at the local 'grocery'

More sheep than people in Scotland

Our first whiskey tasting at distillery Royal Lochnager, which is situated next to Royal Balmoral castle.  

Loch with fishermen

breath taking sceneries

Top right: visiting the photogallery of artist Gerard Murphy. Watching great photos and having a lovely chat with a very interesting and kind man.

the road to nowhere

Our next stay for the night 'Thistle Dhu Bed & Breakfast', a lovely place situated near Glenlivit, with kind hosts, a large bedroom, good bed. Phew what a change compared to last nite.

dinner at 'The Croft Inn', which was at about 10-15 minutes walking distance of our B&B: kind people and good pub food: home made soups and good meat (lamb shawk for Peter and feather blade steak for me, both slow cooked).
Just noticed on the internet that the place is for sale...  anybody interested?

Day 3, Monday 29 August 2016: to Wick in the far north  

We were the first to visit The Glenlivit distillery 

great scenery along the way to the north

 Another distillery, one of P's favourite whiskey's: Glenmorangie 

still going strong

the harbour of a small fishermans place called Helmsdale on the north coast

Gunn clan memorial place, very photogenic

Our home for this nite Ackergill Tower Castle near Wick. Ackergill Tower Castle is situated at the sea shore and feels like a museum, but one where you can sit on every chair, touch all the (very old) books, walk around and feel at home. Awesome place. Loved it!

Inside the castle, with bottom right our awesome room with canopy bed

lovely dinner at the hotel: wow love these 'fish places' (upper left photo) 

Day 4, Tuesday 30 August 2016, our wedding anniversary day: driving along from the North East to the North West coast

Ackergill Tower Castle

More photos of this awesome situated place. We are lucky because it's lovely weather: 20-22 degrees Celcius

stop at 5000 years old tombs (Grey Cairns of Camster) 

Next awesome home for a nite: the Summer Isles hotel in Achiltibuie. Dressing up for our dinner.

Our wedding anniversary dinner at  the 1 star restaurant of the hotel: all yummie. Only negative point was the service by Romanian girls that needed some more training for sure.

Day 5, Wednesday 31 August 2016:  to Loch Ness - rain rain rain

breakfast at the Summer Isles Hotel

The Summer Isles hotel, which according to internet is for sale

Sheep on the road.

Although it rained, I couldn't resist to leave the car to make photos of the overwhelming scenery

Inverewe Gardens and Estate 

photos made when it wasn't raining now and then

Foyers Bay Country House, nice from the outside, dowdyish and outmoded from the inside, badly needs renovation. We stayed here unfortunately two nites. Our hosts were an elderly couple who didn't appear to be very enthousiastic. Bottom right: mustard I asked for at breakfast on day one,  the remnant was handed to me on day two (arghhh), how thrifty can one be....

Day 6, Thursday 1 September 2016: walks around Loch Ness area

bulls and their mothers top right and another photogenic graveyard.

great flowers

Day 7, Friday, 2 September 2016:  along Glen Coe 

 rainbow at Glen Coe

rain, rain, and cloudy

cute yelling piggies and the river Orchy

Our place for the night was Bed and Breakfast Corrie Bank, which was ok, but nothing special. I didn't make any photo. Shame on me

Day 8, Saturday, 3 September 2016: from Loch Awe to the Isle of Kintyre

St. Conan's kirk Loch Awe, opposite our Bed & Breakfast, what a historical place 

Oban harbour, a lovely busy place

We did the Whiskey tour at Oban Distillery: very interesting. We could keep the whiskey tasting glasses, which are really nice.
Oban is a nice little town, with a lively harbour where you can eat all kinds of (shell)fish. Moreover, there are places to sit and have a nice glass of wine.

yeah, cheers

Our home for the next 2 nites B&B Allt-Na-Craig in Lochgilphead, an awesome place, with lovely hosts. Loved it. We felt very welcome, breakfast was superb and our hosts supplied us with good information about the isle of Kintyre.

view from our B&B window

We had a nice dinner at restaurant The Yot Spot, in the nearby harbour: we ordered 4 starters accompanied by a nice bottle of Chardonnay. Right bottom photo: playing cards at our B&B

Day 9, Sunday 4 September 2016: round trip along the isle of Kintyre

Superb breakfast and great tips of the lady of the house. The B&B is situated in a 160 yrs old Victorian house with a view on the loch (mm no loch but sea according to P.)

mirroring effect at the harbour of pitoresque Tarbert on the isle of Kintyre


along the coast of the isle Kintyre (view on the isle of  Arran)

The Machrihanish Golf Club has become well known in recent years especially for the exceptional first hole which requires the round's opening shot to carry the Atlantic. But oh well you receive membership of the golf club for life when you book a week's holiday for life at the adjacent hotel ...

Early dinner with lots of shellfish at rural restaurant Skipness Seafood Cabin with in the background Skipness castle

Day 9, Monday 5 September 2016: visiting Inveraray castle (not the gardens because of the fierce rain) on our way to the airport