My husband has been saying for a few months now that we should try The Creel Inn, a restaurant in the tiny village of Catterline, nestled on the east coast of Aberdeenshire, between Stonehaven and Inverbervie. Like the many restaurants that scatter the east coast of Scotland, the Creel Inn offers fresh seafood an intimate and cosy seafood restaurant, with large portions of food that could be described as homecooking with a fine dining twist. Pat had been there for lunch and came home from work that day saying "The next time we go out for dinner, we have to go to the Creel Inn. It's your kind of place!" My kind of place? I'm in! We reserved a table for this past Saturday, and drove to Catterline, which is just off a main road but still seems remote enough to feel like you're in the middle of no where. The village itself was quiet, but the restaurant was alive! It boasts a pub and a sit down restaurant with a stone fireplace in the middle. The day's specials, as well as special beers, are written on a chalkboard at one end of the dining room. We spotted the seafood platter for two special of coconut and chili mussels, langoustines, salmon and rock turbot, and ordered that to greedily share.
It came with a side of thick cut fries (wedges?) and steamed snap peas and carrots. It also came with three delicious sauces: chili mayo, roasted red pepper and creamy herb.
There was so much food we couldn't fit it on the table! It was all amazing and fresh, and we were thoroughly stuffed, but somehow found room in our dessert stomachs for apple fritters served with homemade mixed spice ice cream.
I thought these would be like apple fritters you'd find in North America or Germany: a kind of donut with apple, cinnamon, sugar and sometimes raisins, with either a glaze or cinnamon sugar coating. Instead, they were segments of apple, dipped in batter and deep-friend, then coated with cinnamon sugar. Different, but still delicious.
On the way home, we snapped a photo of the most dramatic clouds reflecting the sunset at dusk:
Why so much food? Well, we had a race the next day! After running a 'mixed-feelings' Balmoral 10km last month, I got the racing bug and researched local races to enter. Rachel had mentioned the Dunecht Dash, a 5km run around the Dunecht Estate in Royal Deeside, so after some quick googling, I entered myself and my husband Pat in the race. I hadn't done a 5km since February 2011, where I placed second in a field of five females, with a time of 29:59. The macho runner in me always thought 5km's were easy races for beginners and always went for the 10km option instead, but every now and then, it's a nice respite from hating 10 kilometers of race to only 5 kilometers. Very refreshing indeed!