Eating out in Dumfries and Galloway

Karen Appleyard Photography Visits Kirklauchline Cottage…

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm

This weekend we sadly had to say goodbye to Karen, Andy and Basil Appleyard as their two week holiday with us here in the Rhins of Galloway had drawn to a close.

I first got to know Karen and Basil via Twitter ( and ) and and the interactions were mainly focused around Scotland, Poodles and Photography! I was delighted when Karen asked about availability for a holiday at Kirklauchline cottage and was so excited that I was actually going to meet them in person.

As you probably already know, Karen, Andy and Basil have decided that Dumfries and Galloway will become their new home so I have met Karen briefly before when she came up for a flying visit to look around, alas though Basil stayed at home.  Anyway, now having spent two weeks here I think they have decided and settled on a decision to make the Rhins of Galloway their relocation from Yorkshire. I have never known guests at Kirklauchline cottage explore the area so much – they must be shattered now they are back in Yorkshire and ready for another holiday!

When they first arrived with us on 30th June Abiidoodle and I waited to greet them, we showed them around Kirklauchline cottage, the sun was shining and the views of the sparkling blue sky were beautiful (just the sort of day I like when new guests are arriving). Abii and McBasil (as he was called at this stage, after setting foot on Scottish soil) exchanged sniffs and there were two very waggy tails!

The next few days the weather was not too good, fine drizzle and mist! not the weather for enjoying the wonderful outdoors here and the views! Nevertheless,that did not stop them from getting out and about and exploring local areas such as Wigtown, Kirkcudbright, Port William, South Ayrshire and more!

Then just as I ordered the sun came out, the blue sky returned and the cliff top views were back!

During the two weeks we met Karen, Andy and McBasil a couple of times – firstly in Portpatrick, where we sat and chatted outside The Waterfront Hotel and Restaurant and as it was a Thursday the RNLI Portpatrick Lifeboat was heading out for their practice session.(A great sight to see Thursday evenings at 7pm and Sundays at 1pm) That evening at The Waterfont passed so quickly, we never stopped talking! McBasil was after a Burger but did not get one as he had already been out for lunch with Karen and Andy to Coreswall Lighthouse in the North of The Rhins.

Karen and I kept in touch via Facebook whilst they were staying with us and the day before they were due to go home we met at Knockinaam Lodge for lunch. Karen and I had a wander down to the private beach there, which was stunning and so peaceful.  The men (including McBasil) joined us for a drink in the beautiful gardens, where you could sit for hours and enjoy the silence. When our meals were ready we went inside the Hotel and into the small, cosy bar area. The food was beautifully prepared and delicious – can you believe I had Pizza! it was posh Pizza though made with goats cheese – delicious. All four of us finished off with an equally delicious Strawberry parfait! I would highly recommend Knockinaam Lodge for lunch or dinner especially if you want to treat yourselves and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There’s a lot of history about the place too, Winston Churchill spent a lot of time at Knockinaam Lodge during the second world war and departed from Stranraer in a Boeing Flying Boat on the night of the 25 June 1942, when making his second visit of the war to the USA. The largest room in the Hotel is “The Churchill Room” and is where he actually stayed.

After lots more chatting about poodles, Scotland, photography, houses and more it was sadly time to say our goodbyes! Karen, Andy and McBasil returned back to Kirklauchline to prepare for their Saturday morning departure back to Yorkshire in order to continue with their plans to move north to the beautiful Rhins of Galloway.

After our sad goodbyes the postman arrived with…. a postcard from Karen, Andy and McBasil. Belted Galloways on the front (a subject of many of our chats!) and the first line reading “Having a couple of weeks stay at the most lovely cottage of Kirklauchline! You really must try it sometime!”

Karen left a great testimonial in our guest book, two new bird feeders full of bird seed and more feathered visitors in the garden than I have ever seen before!

I was really taken by surprise when I read the Karen Appleyard Blog about their two weeks at Kirklauchline and really honoured that Karen had taken time to write it. Read it for yourself and see some of the great pictures she has taken with her iphone. The Nikon pictures, I am told, will be available on the Karen Appleyard photography web site very soon for purchase. I will certainly be purchasing a few of her prints, some to put on the walls at Kirklauchline cottage and others to put on my wall at home too. She truly is a talented photographer.

To conclude this blog I would like to say that we started letting Kirklauchline Cottage as a holiday let late 2010 and have welcomed lots of guests from all over the country and europe since then. Some we never get the opportunity to meet, others we do. Something I can say is that some of our guests have become friends and, along our way, we have met some wonderful people who have come to stay with us. Karen, Andy and McBasil have become great friends and is really looking forward to seeing McBasil again soon and I am sure will be keeping in touch with him on Twitter until the next time! So watch out for their interactions!




Celebrating Dumfries and Galloways Food and drink – Flavour fortnight

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Flavour Fortnight runs from 25th August to 9th September 2012

It is said to be one of Scotland’s most exciting food festivals

This is a 16 day food and drink festival and is the best possible way of discovering the food, drink and flavours of Dumfries and Galloway.

There’s a wide range of opportunities for you to find out more about the food and drink in this area and to sample it too…. more importantly! From Beltie Beef to Real ale to relishes and Chutneys, tartan chocolate, Sausages, Fudge, Cheese and lots more.

There are Markets, dining occasions and many many people passionate about Dumfries and Galloway produce. This event is organised by Savour the Flavours, which is Dumfries and Galloways organisation for local food and drink.

It just so happens that here at Kirklauchline cottage we have had a cancellation  and now have availability from 1st September to 15th September – an ideal time to catch Flavour fortnight here in Dumfries and Galloway.

We are ideally situated to go along and enjoy the Lochinch Castle Food and Drink Festival, Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer on 2nd September from 10am until 4pm where there will be a wide range of stalls  including home baking, cakes, pork, bacon, beef, cheeses, real ales, jams and chutneys, fruit and vegetables. I can personally say that the stalls there will be fantastic There will be taster sessions, samples and demonstrations. I think I may go there too myself, it sounds too good to miss!

Here are a full list of events all across the Dumfries and Galloway region celebrating Flavour Fortnight available to visit and enjoy.


It is also important that I tell you the remaining dates for the popular Portpatrick Farmers Market. They are:

Sunday 15th July, 19th August, 16th September and 16th December.

Each event is in Portpatrick Village Hall, near the harbour between 1pm and 4pm. There’s free ample parking in the village and its free entry in to the market too. Everything you find here is locally produced and delicious and you can even sit and relax with a cream tea.

So if I have tempted you along  to Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway for Flavour Fortnight then please get in touch for full details of Kirklauchline Cottage and how to book.






Valentines day

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Well here’s hoping!

As it’s Valentines day tomorrow  I wonder what the day will bring! Could it be a rare treat of a cup of tea in bed and maybe, just maybe, Mr S might head out to let the Hens out too so I can stay in bed a tiny bit longer.

Or maybe, he will surprise me with a Pandora charm or anything Radley – after all you can buy both in Stranraer.  I did direct him towards the Jewellers when we went to see the Stranraer Christmas Lights switch on.

I might even be treated to a romantic meal out at one of my favorite Restaurants, of which there are a few.

Campbells in Portpatrick has sea food to die for! I just love their Crab and Lobster crepe in thermidor sauce. I can truly recommend a trip to Campbells for anyone who comes to stay at Kirklauchline Cottage. The Restaurant is right on the Sea front in the beautiful village of Portpatrick in South West Scotland and is a family run business. They have an extensive A la Carte Menu with meat and fish which is locally sourced, there are delicious vegetarian options too. They are open for lunch and dinner 6 days a week (closed Mondays) – there is a lunch time “Light bite” with sandwiches, crepes and salads.  Make sure you telephone ahead to book, they are booked well in advance in peak season. The staff are really friendly and helpful too, make sure you ask for a table by the window when you book. There is car parking opposite near “Lighthouse Pottery“.

Another option for a Valentines romantic meal for two could be Coreswall Lighthouse Hotel.Sunset at Coreswall Lighthouse Hotel with views towards Arran and Ailsa Craig I bet you have never eaten in a working Light house before. I love arriving in the dark as the rays of light from the top of the lighthouse rotate and sparkle on the sea – it is fantastic. Again, make sure you book and look out for special offers. On arrival at the Lighthouse, which is in the North Rhins with views across to Arran and the Ailsa Craig, you are shown into a lovely cosy sitting room with a definite nautical theme where you can sip a gin and tonic and the waiter brings you a little taster to nibble whilst looking through the menu. The food is all locally sourced and includes Beef, Lamb, Game, Sea food, vegetarian dishes and lots more. The restaurant is  a very romantic kind of place with candles, dimmed lighting and a log fire in the winter months. The food is gorgeous and we can usually fit in a whole three courses and a bottle of wine. A must for dessert is the Ecclefecan Tart (try saying that after a few drinks!). Ecclefecan, by the way, is a small village steeped in history in Dumfries and Galloway that you pass on the A75 on the way to Kirklauchline Cottage.

Of course, these two Restaurants are lovely any time of the year, not just for Valentines Day. When you are on holiday it’s always nice to treat yourselves and eat out a few times.

I hope that all of you who read this blog have a lovely Valentines day tomorrow. I think a romantic walk on the Beach with my favorite Man and our gorgeous Dog might be on the cards. Ardwell bay in the South Rhins of Galloway

Don’t forget if you want to make a booking at Kirklauchline Cottage give me a call or e mail.

I can book restaurants on your behalf if you like or, if you really want to treat your loved one whilst enjoying your holiday, I can organise that romantic gesture of flowers, champagne or chocolates too. Locally sourced of course!

Look out for more blogs about where to eat, next time places to eat and take the Dog along to too.

Bye for now, Alison