Saturday, 1 February 2014

A MID-WINTER HAGGIS TREAT FOR A HUNGRY SCOTSMAN


After The Jamie and Claire Tours are put to bed for the winter, you may wonder what does a hungry Scotsman make to eat when left to fend for himself?  The right answer is..... anything with HAGGIS!  Here is the latest instalment of Scot and his Haggis epicurean delights.  The recipe in the film clip also includes a small bit of Marag Dubh -a.k.a- Black Pudding.  Ye'll be familiar with it from the chapter where Claire Fraser is making a batch.  Listen as Scot "Addresses the Haggis".
video

And for those who missed the other delights, here are the Haggis Nachos:

....and the perfect Scottish lad's sandwich:

Bon appetit!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

We Come to an Outlander Castle ~ JAMIE & CLAIRE TOUR - MAY 2014!

The Jamie and Claire Tour is returning to the 'Starz Outlander Castle'...
...yes we've brought some of our Outlandish Spirits here before.  But when I visited the set of Outlander recently, it was looking quite a bit different. You've already seen via Starz's own pages, some of the interior images and of course our two heroes.  But here is a bit of reality to filming for this project:

First of all it's late autumn 2014 as the filming commences, as you've seen by my photos on Scotland for Outlanders fb.  But didn't Claire go through the stones in May during Bealtane?  Right!  She was taken to Castle Leoch pretty quickly (after attending one red headed Scotsman's wounds).  So how do you change a set to reflect the season?  You bring in your own Garden Gnomes!
MacJock & MacGnome (notice the red jacket popular with our local Gnomes) demonstrated for me how even a simple path leading to a castle is transformed by bringing in their own clumps of long grass and sod.  If you notice, the lawn in the foreground is well... a lawn.  But on the other side of the path are the transported grasses to give it that feel of a time before lawnmowers.

To utilise the time they have at this filming location, could mean using it for other locations in the story.  Can the castle walls double for a wicked garrison?  The surrounding land certainly slopes down enough in places to see Claire being 'pushed out' of a door to tumble down a frozen embankment below the walls (snow to be added if this is the case).


A castle needs access to water and here is the real river that runs beside it.
A castle needs a good form of
escape; is this an ancient secret passage leading out of the cellars?

Find out for yourself in May 2014 on The Jamie and Claire Tour for Outlandish Spirits
www.jamieandclairetour.co.uk

Sunday, 29 September 2013

One Dead bat - day 7


And now for a few unique photos........

Scotland

Garden Bird Feeder

Not sure what the Scots are feeding their birds, but they are brave little creatures .

The Mighty Guard


Sam: Each adventure is a bit different and the places we visit and accommodation we stay in may vary from tour to tour.  We keep things unique so each group has their own special experiences. 
  
Katherine - Our last night had a fitting end with a stay in a luxury country house where you felt like you actually lived there. Food was as gorgeous as the decor and the staff treated you as a VIP. Of course we ended the night with sweets and wine and stories. This experience was by far one of the best. 

Deanna - ...and so comes the end of our tale of adventures through the incredibly beautiful Highlands.  We have visited kirks, castles, pubs, and moors.  We have tasted wonderful whiskies, ales, and the best ginger beer I could have asked for.  Scot's stories capped off evenings of not so quiet laughter and warm companionship.  I think we have been blessed by a showing of Scotland's best autumn weather. The pride of Scotland, it's storied history and people and the lovely mist will be with me forever.

Scot:  Ahh weel, the year of Outlandish Adventures comes to an end.  Time to pack away the travelling gear and get the firewood into the house for the white winter.  And, of course, dream about the coming season of adventures, new friends to meet (who are booking already) and new tour arenas to plan (like the Borders) and get excited about. Mar sin leibh an-drasta.  Bennachdan leibh, Scot.

 

 

One Dead Bat - a study in moss and stone



A study in Rock & Moss.





Gail: Great day on the nature trail, hiked to the falls, saw so many shades of green! Learned some Gaelic!

Sarah - The last several days have provided many opportunities for wonderful experiences. I've been horseback riding through the hills, had a marvelous boat adventure on Loch Ness, walked hills and viewed scenery the likes of which are not to be found anywhere else on earth. Currently, I am sipping wine in good company in a beautiful big hoosie awaiting a wonderful meal. I can honestly say this has been the most wonderful holiday in the most magical place.

Friday, 27 September 2013

One Dead Bat tour - day 5


No words today, just images to capture the autumn colours.







Day 2 & 3 - OUR ANCESTOR'S LIVES

Our ancestors had a harder life than most of us unless they were of wealth and nobility.  Who amongst you would give up your power garden tools or grind your own oats to make porridge?
 
Katherine- For someone who hasn't read the Outlander series I am completely in awe of what I have been experiencing.  I am surrounded by history, discovering the nooks and crannies of highland life of past and present!  All in one day I was thrust into several different worlds and was able to become a part of lives that lived before me.

Gail - We visited a Cottars house. We learned about the housing, family structure of the time, tools, just the every day life.

Sarah -  I was struck by the ingenuity of the people, as well as by what was most evidently a hard and difficult life.  It was by turns fascinating and shocking to experience what it would have been like for the people of those times.

Deanna - Being an American, I haven't had an opportunity to experience historical context of a way of life that is hundreds, even thousands of years old.  We visited an area with homes that were a century older than our country.   I can better visualize what the people looked like, their daily lives and the hardships they endured.  I also now have memories of the smell of a pine forest and a peat fire, the sensation of lying in a field of heather and the bright blue sky above. We wondered through a tree grove and listened to a story of "pine needle litter" and "saffron eyes". Another amazing day.


Liza -  I was able to lay in the heather, feel the Scotland mist on my face, experience the words of "Herself" from the voice of a Scotsman, and truly feel overwhelmed with the beauty and emotional connection I feel and see everywhere around me.  Oh, and it's only day 2. Och, I can't wait to see what's next!!!

Gail - Today we viewed a castle that is lived in by the owner, she allows visitation during the season. Beautiful. Our visit to the Culloden Battle Field is very sobering. It is heart wrenching to see what the outcome of the Jacobite uprising cost the Highlanders. The group dinner is the nice finish of our day!

Deanna - The castle's Don Quixote tapestries with their vibrant persimmon and rich teal colors was charming, as were the hand sketched portraits of the orignal lady of the castle and her daughters.  Culloden Field was devastating, watching the blue and red flags whipping in the light wind, knowing the stories of the families who lost so much that day.  Donald from Appin's story provided insight into the Scottish spirit of honor and duty.

Sarah - I was enamored with history...especially the dungeon. The story about the sheep "borrower" who was held there was my favorite. The art work in the depiction of how the Laird found the spot upon which to build the castle stood out, as did the gardens.. Following that was the somber visit to Cullodeon. The short film of the re-enactment brought a lump to my throat. Following that journey, I disappeared through the standing stones we visited. It was an odd trip and since James Fraser was not waiting for me on the other side, I returned in order to continue on this journey.

Liza - Culloden was a rightfully solemn visit.  But the story that Scot told us regarding the 16 year old boy who picked up his family's banner and hid it so that he would be able to take it home to his family was so heart touching that it actually brought a tear to my eye.  Hearing such a specific family story from Culloden really made me think of my own family and how I would feel seeing my son come home from such a devastating event.  A very emotional but yet another wonderful day.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

One Dead Bat tour - music on day 3


Traditional music of Scotland is one thing our Outlanders seek.  We often take them to a traditional pub where the ale and the whisky are in abundance, as is the music:  Fiddles, banjo, guitar, bodhran, bones and spoons.  Here's a wee video shot by Scot to give you a flavour of the old and the new in the Highlands.

video

And why is it called the One Dead Bat tour?  It was the last item on the list of the objects found when the castle excavated the dungeon (along with bones, shoes, coins etc).  Our lasses were rather taken by it.  It has become the group's toast.  "One Dead Bat!"  c-c-Clink!