Our Scotland/Ireland trip report left off with us leaving the airport and heading for the Loch Lomond area. The original plan was to stop at Stirling Castle on the way to our first B+B. It was only about 40 minutes between the airport and the castle and the GPS put us there at 12:30. That short time proved to be too much for the girls. They fell sound asleep a few minutes in. My husband and I figured we’d let them sleep for a few minutes and then wake them up to go into the castle. We were still on track. The best laid plans…
Stirling Castle, Take One
As we got into Stirling, the area was incredibly tight, with small narrow streets and many pedestrians. It was clear that we’d have to park pretty far and finding a spot within a 10 minute walk would be difficult at best. It was at this point that Sport woke up and proclaimed that she would NOT be seeing a castle today. The combination of tears, congestion and fatigue quickly had my husband saying, “Ok, forget it!”
Even though were were tight on time in Scotland, I was fine skipping the castle that day. I was tired, too. In the desire to pack as much in as possible, we forgot that big plans on the first day are not a good idea. Getting to the castle mid-day also broke my “first at the gate” traveling strategy.
A Tea Serendipity
With a new plan of getting to the B+B a little early, we drove through the town of Callander. It was really cute and we decided to get something to eat. Having tea was the main goal of the girls. To find a tea place as quickly as possible, my husband hailed the first person he saw, in this case a 50-ish man with an incredibly thick Scottish accent. After a confusing joke/not joke about whether or not we wanted a place that served tea and whisky (his accent really made it hard to tell if there was humor there), he recommended Deli Ecosse. We found it easily enough and were able to sit right away. It was a casual, comfortable place that seemed to be part of an old church.
I can’t remember if whisky was available, but they definitely had tea. One trip goal checked! My husband ordered some chili special and the girls and I got afternoon tea. At around 7 pounds, I thought the price for the sandwiches, tea and scones/sweets was great. We got one afternoon tea and two “wee” afternoon teas and had a lot of leftovers. I added this to my traveling food stash.
Some of the sandwiches and sweets from the afternoon tea plus the chili potato. Everything was excellent!
The food was fresh and delicious and exactly what we needed.
Rule Breaking, Golf and Grub
We made it to the B+B without getting lost and I promptly broke a cardinal rule of traveling: don’t sleep in the middle of the day. I break this rule all the time. Sometimes it’s necessary.
My husband, on the other hand, does not do well with sleeping like that. One of his Scotland goals was to golf. (Turns out golf was invented in Scotland? Not sure because I don’t care about golf.) So while the girls and I napped he went to a nearby golf course. I think he had a good time.
After an hour or so the girls woke up and enjoyed tea in my room. This put our trip cuppa count at 8. Clearly the nap didn’t ruin our trip or our tea-drinking ability.
My husband returned and we decided to make our way to dinner. The Clachan Cottage Hotel was within walking distance and had a cafe/bar in addition to a regular restaurant. It was directly across the street from Lochearn. We opted for the cafe/bar and found it to be casual and comfortable. Another plus is that we seemed to be the only tourists. My husband and I like places that local like. We were able to play pool and enjoyed some Scottish food.
MommyDaddyBaby (always said as one word) join us on many of our travels. They enjoyed the view from our table.
After a short walk back, it was time to call it a day. Looking at the day:
Authentic Scottish meal-√
We didn’t meet our original goals, but the day was still a success.