For the past year, I have been planning a surprise trip for Husband’s big birthday (I won’t reveal the number – let’s pretend it was 30). He was not involved in any of the planning and I managed to keep the secret all the way up until our final leg of the trip, so honestly, I am feeling pretty smug about what I managed to pull off.
On our very first trip to Edinburgh 4 years ago, Husband discovered Islay whisky, and became quickly fascinated by all the different elements that go into making the iconic whisky. Since then, he’s been working his way through all the different brands that make this small island their home. so there really was only one place to take him.
And it certainly helps that Islay is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited.
More about the island in the next few posts, but this first one is about the place we stayed. I have a reputation amongst friends and family for obsessively seeking out unusual places to stay (exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C to name a few) so of course I spent weeks – months – finding the most perfect property. And I found a gem (here comes that smug feeling again).
This small but ever so beautiful turf roofed lodge is called Tigh Na Uiseag (which I think means house of the lark) and I found it on Airbnb. I haven’t ever used Airbnb before so was a little nervous of booking, but I had no reason to be – Richard the host was a delight, so generous and helpful. We couldn’t have wished for a better first Airbnb experience.
There are many places to chose from on Islay from B&Bs, to self-catering, to hotels, but there were a couple of things that helped me choose Tigh Na Uiseag – the overwhelmingly positive reviews, the Scandinavian-inspired decor (an Arne Jacobson chair!) and the view. My god, what a view.And if you zoom in at the centre…
Husband’s favourite distillery, Laphroaig. This post could just be a million photos of the view as we spent most of the time in the house just looking out the window, but then you’d miss out on the beautiful interior.
I didn’t photograph it, but the bathroom was amazing as well – Molton Brown toiletries, White Company bathrobes, and the most phenomenal shower I have ever used in my life.
There were so many thoughtful touches which made our stay even more wonderful – a book of short stories on the bedside tables, home-baked bread, eggs and bacon in the fridge, and a cute pot of delicious marmalade which we ate whilst watching the ferry arrive in the morning.
Sadly, our stay was too short – a drawback of working in Higher Education with an August birthday is that annual leave is a little difficult – but we will definitely be returning for a longer stay. As you’ll see from my next few posts, we still have so many distilleries left to visit…