2022 continues apace as we adjust to life here at Doune. Winter brings days seemingly filled with simple tasks that become wild adventures. A shopping trip takes the whole day, a visit from the local doctor easily takes us till mid-afternoon and a path building project can take weeks bearing in mind that the sand and stones need to be hauled off the beach beyond Marianne’s point and brought back, Doune style, in the dingy before transfer to a trusty wheelbarrow.
We are also busy getting ready for our first season and are so grateful to have Andy and Liz at the top of the path and Martin and Jane at the end of the phone to answer our daily questions – we are not letting them retire yet! Many of you will have enjoyed the comforts and adventures that they, Alan and Mary created, and we are keen to embrace all that has made Doune so attractive over the years – we will maintain the ethos of this special place.
Rebecca is steadily working her way through Liz’s recipe book and will create this season’s menus over the coming weeks. The focus of the Dining Room remains to serve wholesome, delicious, locally sourced produce. Rebecca loves to look after people through food – thick hearty soups, fresh seafood, succulent roast dinner, sourdough breads, rich and interesting stews and plenty of vegetables. Andrew has the sweet tooth and, along with 11 year old apprentice Bob, is doing a cracking job as chief taster for the desserts, cakes and biscuits – it’s a good job that many days are spent exploring the local walks and operating our trusty tub, Gripper II. Louise and David are busy getting Doune Bay Lodghe ready for the summer and roasting coffee for all their Coffee Knoydart customers. After a swim on Christmas day, it was decided that we would swim every day in January and so the sea has become the place for daily catch ups and business meetings.
Our Winter Lunch season is underway, and we enjoy feeding visitors to Knoydart in our own dining room. This was how dining at Doune started, with Mary and Liz feeding guests at the beautiful table in The White House Dining Room, and we have been excited about rekindling this experience. Lunches are available Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays until the 12 March.
Over the coming weeks we’ll introduce all the new ‘Dounies’, including the canine and feline members, on our Facebook page @Doune-Knoydart and our Instagram page @doune_knoydart. We hope that through the wonders of the internet, whether or not you are joining us in 2022, you still feel part of Doune life.
If you are thinking about a visit and haven’t yet booked, we have had a couple of cancellations in the early months and we do still have good availability later in the season. With all the publicity Knoydart is receiving via The Old Forge Community Buy Out along with another summer of staycations, we hope to fill up. We’ve updated our rooms with the addition of new beds and some super comfy bedding and towels, but other from that, the simple pleasures of Doune remain. We do have exciting plans for the rooms for 2023 onwards, but they’ll remain under wraps for a future newsletter.
Finally, our search is underway for staff to work alongside us for the season – please do share this with anyone you know who might be interested in making Doune their base for the spring and summer. Our staff will form part of an incredible community where everyone looks out for each other, where the days are spent really living, experiencing the challenges of remote Highland living whilst reaping the rewards of this simple, natural lifestyle.
All the best
Rebecca and Andrew,