Diabaig is one of those towns that you visit, and once you are there, you look at the 8 or 9 houses and farms you can see, and say "One day I will buy one of those."
That is when you look over at the few other visitors who are looking up the steep hill thinking exactly the same thing. The beauty, the timelessness, the history. The rural allure grabs you and holds you while the sheep stare blankly, and visitors and locals alike funnel into a restaurant which by all means, should not exist in this part of the world. Fortunately it does, and my god is it a hidden gem.
Now here I am going to show a major weakness of mine... pronouncing anything Gaelic or Gaelic oriented. This beautiful restaurant is called Gille Brighde and its facade is much simpler than its name.
Its pronunciation has been explained to me too many times for me to ask again. I remember thinking it was closer to the spelling than I thought, but apart from that, I have no other memory because the theory side of things was washed quickly from my brain by the practical side of things.
Loch Torridon is just around the corner and it is famous for its abundance of langoustines. Scampi-like, Prawn-like crustaceans that I remembered watching Rick Stein tuck into on his show well before I had even considered visiting the area. If you aren't into seafood... your loss. The husband-and-wife team who solely operate this stunning seaside restaurant offer something that few local eateries offer... langoustines. Yep, this is one of those places where the majority of the local produce is shipped to higher bidders, but the Dutch/English couple stay true to the local creatures and serve them up in an unbearably delicious, simple setting.
I'm not personally into food blogging but I am making an exception here for now. These guys served up the freshest, most well balanced flavours in a seafood dish which I have ever experienced. A nail-head sort of dinner. They knew what they wanted to serve, and served it with utter grace. The inside of the restaurant is simple, woody, local, like every other aspect. The bread thick and heavy, it opposes the delicateness of the langoustines and sauce. I still think about this dinner every now and then. Luckily for me, our relatives gave into the allure of Diabaig and bought a house just of the hill. Unluckily, last time I visited was in the depths of winter when the owners were visiting family.
While we were waiting for dessert, the night took a turn. I brought my camera, having visited the small fishing village before, but I didn't expect the sunset to do what it did while we enjoyed our dinner. I felt the heat of the sun on the back of my neck and fought the urge to leave the dinner table to get some photos for too long.
The sun set with grace, dipping behind the headland before me, just dodging the Isle of Skye.
This hour or so of sunset and twilight, I darted out of the restaurant periodically to take photos whenever I could. I lengthened the exposure at each point, but with no tripod or anything other than resting the lens on my finger on a fence post, I had nothing to keep myself as still as necessary. Luckily, I had recently watched a documentary on snipers, and decided to implement the technique of breathing out while taking the photo. Morbidly enough I figured that there wasn't too much difference between pulling a trigger and taking a snapshot, the act of doing so, that is.
The spectrum of colours of this sunset was hypnotic. I applied the breathing technique throughout the evening, and in a hurried dash from the car as we were leaving, I decided one more shot was necessary. I took personally my one of my favourite photographs which I have ever taken. Its not perfect, but to me it is, and has been on my wall ever since. Taken on the fly, breathing out, lens resting on my finger, my goal was to get the tiny star (or planet) to not be a blur.
The sun is always setting...
This is a follow on of the Scottish Mismatched Travel Diaries. Find Part 1, and Part 2 below.