Just back from a four day cycling trip. This is the last trip before the winter nights close in and we were blessed with good weather.
On the second night we stayed at The Fife Arms hotel in Turriff. This is a great hotel with very hospitable owners. We stayed there a year ago and arrived by bicycle after riding all day in heavy rain. The owner was not at all fazed by the appearance of two wet individuals who must have looked like tramps and gave us a great welcome.
This year we arrived dry if only marginally less elegant and were immediately recognised even though one year had passed.
The Fife Arms has superb food and we had a great meal but I would single out my starter as one of the most imaginative and delicious I have ever had. Calamaris with black pudding. As most people know calamari can be tough and rubbery if even slightly overcooked. These were perfect. I am not sure of the recipe but the black pudding was thinly sliced and slightly crisp. The salad included slivers of apple, possibly marinated in the salad dressing but not cooked. There was garlic and sweet chili in there somewhere plus olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Anyway the ingredients blended perfectly into a mouthwatering explosion of contrasting tastes. This starter could be adapted to make a very good main course with the addition of a delicately flavoured rice.