"The Orkney Sherpa"
Returning from an early morning, pre-breakfast, country-side walk our guests were dismayed to report sight of small bird fluttering and entrapped by a barbed wire fence.
Stan Groundwater, amateur ornithologist, (known by some as the Orkney Sherpa) was reported to be unavailable whilst preparing for a Pure Orkney clifftop walking tour that day. Within a few minutes of him hearing our message however, he arrived and sought directions to the bird.
The Islands visitors were delighted to learn that the little Meadow Pipit had been extricated from the fence and was once again flying freely. They were undoubtedly impressed by our caring community.
Our thanks to Stan groundwater for his compassion to stop what he was doing for the sake of saving a little creature.
Click here for more about Pure Orkney Tours
Played ‘hunt the seafood’ when you ordered seafood pasta?
You can play ‘hunt the pasta’ with Missing Bell seafood pasta!
Our ‘Sicilian Summer’ has been a popular tribute from one seafood rich island to another - from Orkney to Sicily. We may not have the scorching sun but our pristine waters provide an abundance of seafood treasures.
You can even play ‘hunt the mushroom’ with the scintillating flavours of stuffed mushroom with Mediterranean roast vegetables.
Click here to salivate with the whole menu
A Missing Bell Dining Experience
Last year when a Canadian gentleman and his wife had to cancel their holiday due to a serious health issue, we immediately sent our very best wishes together with a deposit refund. (We would never knowingly profit from someone else's misfortune).
How delighted we were to meet them in fine fettle and enjoy the last six days with them.
This charming couple chose a Pacific Islands dining experience for the last of their six night holiday at Eastward House.
The evening began with ‘Tahiti Waters’; speciality seafood, langoustine, squid, squid tentacles, prawns, and monk fish tails cooked individually and brought together in the last minute to bathe in the delicate flavours of a Missing Bell original recipe, made-for-the-moment, aromatic sauce.
And then a delightful palate cleanser, mango and Bacardi sorbet.
‘Polynesian’ lamb (actually Scottish lamb) stuffed with garlic, rosemary and secret herbs, then tenderised with a low temperature seven-hour, honey drenched roast in Chardonnay. Enhanced by a made-for-the-moment red wine, honey and plum dressing. Accompanied by Samoan banana and herb-roasted sweet potato.
Accompanied by fresh raw diced Polynesian vegetables together with freshly made Missing Bell special recipe, pineapple and chilli chutney.
Finally, this exotic tasting, colourful desert tribute to the Pacific islands: chocolate sponge, coconut and light rum Haupia together with mango, passion-fruit and orange liqueur jelly. Dressed with mint, mango, pomegranate and strawberry coulis.
Edible viola flowers grown, picked and washed by Ayana.
None of the above images are stock photos. They are our amateur shots of the actual food that was served 10 seconds before leaving the kitchen.
To book a dinner bed and breakfast dining experience please click here.
A Natural Harbour, Quaint Village, and the Local Pub
Set in the rolling green pasture-lands of the rural wonderland of South Ronaldsay and bathed by the pristine waters of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, lies the village of St Margaret’s Hope.
It is unspoiled. There are no busy roads, traffic lights, supermarkets, vending machines, bookmakers or modern offices. It is full of old world charm, character in abundance and even the unexpected.
On an early evening sunny visit to St Margaret’s Hope we learnt about the village etiquette interpretation of the Highway Code.
Golfers have absolute right of way to the whole road. What a jolly decent thing that is.
Nestled amongst the quaint stone buildings is the local pub The Murray Arms”. Actually, it is a hotel with an array of single, double and family rooms to provide more erstwhile travellers with a welcome resting point and yet another great place to Wake up in South Ronaldsay.
In its guise as the local pub we were welcomed by cheerful Gina. In the bar we found a group that travelled from Kirkwall every Monday evening, mothers having a quick supper with their children amongst the regulars sipping ale, mixing with holiday makers and talking about anything but politics!
Amongst the constant stream of hot bar food that flowed from the kitchen were Murray’s burgers (in all their varieties of Cajun chicken, locally produced chilli or regular beef) and topping the popularity Murray’s curry served with rice, chips and a poppudum.
Judging by the clean plates returning to the kitchen we were encouraged to sit in the restaurant and how nice it was to find tablecloths as well as place-mats which often seem to have disappeared these days in a wave of bistro chic.
Gina enthused her proposition that they were not aspiring to be a 'gastro pub' but moreover a good value, home cooking place to rest and relax. As the food began to arrive we thought that the Murray Arms had exceeded their own ambition. That evening’s special was Westray Crab claws with a mixed salad and a Thai dip.
And then the unexpected: for our main course, we enjoyed that day’s hand-dived scallops from Orkney waters, served with new potatoes and an egg salad.
Well, we certainly had not expected that from a pub with such an unpretentious view of their fare.
And sticking to their home cooking regime, we finish with a scrummy sticky toffee pudding accompanied by Orkney ice cream.
As we said farewell and wandered outside we stumbled upon another delivery of live scallops heading for the kitchen.
Stepping into the sun-kissed quaintness of the utilitarian named ‘Back Road’, we were delighted to be greeted by the sight of a young lady and her pony enjoying an evening stroll through the village.
In the best possible way, when you go to St Margaret’s Hope and Wake Up in South Ronaldsay, expect the unexpected.
To book accommodation or the restaurant at the Murray Arms click here
"This church had 134 years of weddings, blessings and Sunday school; it must be Inculcated with love, the walls must exude happiness and joy." Keiko Yamaga-White November 2007