Day 1:Saturday 3 October 2009
Journey up, Perth, and arriving at The Bothy, Croy
We set off at 9.25 am, stopping at Perth for lunch and a look round the farmers' market, finally arriving at The Bothy, Croy at around 5 pm.
Lunch: Goodfellow & Steven's Bakery/Cafe
JKW: jacket potato, cheese and coleslaw; lemon tea
RJW: jacket potato, cheese and beans; coffee
Cost: about £10
Also bought a cornflake/chocolate cake and a coffee tower (a gorgeous coffee eclair) downstairs in the bakery.
Recommended: Yes - nice food, quick service, good value and great cakes!
Perth Farmers' Market is a monthly event and well worth a visit.
We bought vegetarian pates from Findlater's Fine Foods, very tasty award winning pates; Anster cheeses from the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company; Lime & Thyme soap from the Caurnie Soap Company; and Raspberry Wine from Cairn O' Mohr.
Thanks to excellent directions from the owners, we found the Balblair Cottages easily. They are situated 10 miles East of Inverness, near Croy. We stayed in The Bothy - a very cosy and well-appointed cottage with a gallery double bedroom reached via a spiral staircase; sitting room/dining area; kitchen and bathroom.
It is just right for two people, and the Strachans (the family that run the self-catering cottages) allow dogs, so Henry was able to come with us. There were home made cakes waiting for us, and the cottage had everything you could need for a self catering holiday - dishwasher, microwave, cooker, washing machine, bath and shower, comfortable sofa and bed, wood burning stove with plenty of free logs to burn. Soap, bed linen, towels, face cloths, iron and hairdryer were also provided, along with environmentally friendly cleaning products. They seem to have thought of everything. There was a nearby dog walk for Henry and he loved Trig, one of the Strachans' dogs who was very friendly and even came on walks with us.
We paid £276 for a week's accommodation (from 3 October, including £16 for the dog), plus £6.60 for electricity (charged on an 'as used' basis).
Here are a few photos of the interior of The Bothy.