What better way to start your day in Scotland than with a dram of whisky! After a lovely stay in Inverness, we made our way first thing Monday morning to the Glenmorangie Distillery, near the shores of the Dornach Firth. No photos allowed on the tour (something was said about electronic sparks in a highly flammable area after I snuck in one quick pic - yikes), but what an interesting process! Glenmorangie produces 6 million liters of whisky a year, all by the hands of the 16 Men of Tain – those entrusted with the secrets of this distillery. Their copper stills are the tallest in Scotland, and equal the height of a standard adult giraffe – appropriately their mascot. We tasted the original, plus the 12-year Lasanta, and the 12-year Nectar d’Or. The consensus favorite was the Lasanta. The distillery was purchased in 2004 by Hennessy/Louis Vuitton; the Cadillac was a gift from LV to the distillery.
We then made our way up to Dornach – the northernmost point of our trip. What a sleepy little Oceanside town! We walked along the beach and then stopped in to view their lovely cathedral. A side note – Madonna married Guy Ritchie in this cathedral in 2000.
We ventured on to Dores, on the south side of Loch Ness, and back near Inverness. What a breathtaking view of the loch and surrounding mountains! We sat outside the Dores Inn and ate our bangers and mash and fish and chips overlooking the water. Sadly, we did not see Nessie. Though we did see the crazy man, with his dilapidated camper and all, who has devoted his life to spotting her.
We made a quick stop to see Urquhart Castle, one of the great Scottish castles taken by the English when King Edward invaded in 1296. We then stumbled upon the Bridge of Oich near Aberchalder, on the far end of Loch Ness. The bridge was built in the mid-1800s and offered some lovely views of the surrounding countryside.
Remember the “Harry Coo” rest stop cafe we stopped at yesterday? Well, we actually spotted a Harry Coo!! Turning around to capture this lovely beast was a must!
We arrived at our hotel – the Inverlochy Castle, with plenty of time to take in the picturesque views of the evergreens surrounding this incredible property. The 19th-century castle was originally owned by Baron Abinger, sits near the base of Ben Nevis Mountain, and is rich in history. Queen Victoria once spent a week at Inverlochy and remarked that she had never seen a lovelier or more romantic spot. We agree!
Our onsite dinner began with drinks and canapés in the drawing room, followed by dinner in the portrait room. Dinner was a three-course delight featuring Chateaubriand as our main course, by acclaimed father and son chef duo Albert and Michel Roux, Jr. After dinner, espresso, tea, and dessert canapés were back in the drawing room. We retired for the evening with full bellies and warm hearts. Another beautiful day in the Highlands!