Autumn 2003 Visit

After 7 trips to Islay during the spring and summer at the end of November we took the bold decision to visit Islay in the late Autumn , mainly to see what the Isle looked like in a different season ! So on the 28th November we headed off in our trusty Red Peugeot 2005 for 2 nights in the Machrie Hotel……..

Arriving on the Isle off the 1pm ferry ( well on the isle at 3pm…..) like all good people we drove straight past the hotel and headed for Ardbeg to see The Thomsons ! (it was our only chance to visit any of the distilleries as nowhere was open at that time of the year ) Before we even had a chance to sit down and order a Cuppa Jackie had pounced with the Brand new Committee Bottling , The Very Young…..For Discussion

Ardbeg Committee bottlingBoy was it good ! It was incredible and it just fitted in so well with sitting in The Old Kiln . One of those moments happened next that you wished you took the person up on , now bearing in mind this was the time when e-bay hadn’t infected anybody and bottle chasers were the thing of the future and Ardbeg Committee bottlings were £25 a shot , Jackie came over and asked “How many do you want then ?” . “Three please ” i replied , “Cases ?” she said……..  I did take 3 on the day and eventually got 3 more , bottles that is not cases……..

Ardbeg Distillery Ardbeg Distillery

We did eventually get to the Hotel and checked in . Now i never really took notes on this trip , we did eat both nights at the Machrie , the food was very good , as were the rooms……..

Machrie Bedroom Machrie Sitting Room View from the Window

We were slightly shocked by the “Room” , we’d gotten a deal for the weekend and ended up in a Suite with a sitting room and changing room ! The view out of the window was very nice . Staying here also gave us our first sight and sound of the wintering Geese on the Saturday morning , flying over the hotel on their way to the fields . Now neither of us are interested in golf so needless to say we didn’t take advantage of the attached Golf Course , We did however drive around the Isle admiring the Autumn scenery in what turned out to be a very warm weekend . T-shirts only on the Sunday !

Road to Kildalton Kildalton
Deer near Kildalton More Deer !
View from the High Road Deer in a field

This was also the first time we had a good sighting of deer on the Isle , mainly due to the fact that they had come down off the hills and were grazing on the low peat bogs along the way to Kildalton . We had a great weekend , eventually departing the Isle on the 3.30pm ferry ( The only ferry on a Sunday then….) . Everyone should visit the Isle in the Autumn , the colours are outstanding !


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