He­brides

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Scarista House Ho­tel, Isle of Harris

This white­washed late Ge­or­gian manse over­looks the flower-strewn machair lead­ing to one of Bri­tain’s most beau­ti­ful beaches. It was made fa­mous by Ali­son John­son’s A House by the Shore, the story of how she and her hus­band res­cued it from dere­lic­tion in the 1990s. Now in dif­fer­ent own­er­ship, it pre­serves its old-fash­ioned, com­fort­able atmosphere in­fused with the aroma of peat smoke. Bread, cakes, oat­cakes, bis­cuits and ice creams are baked in the house or by neigh­bours and the menu fea­tures such de­lights as Minch lan­goustines with Di­jon may­on­naise, gar­lic-and-herb but­ter, navarin of Lewis lamb or hazel­nut meringue with Qui­din­ish rasp­ber­ries and blue­berry, lime and el­der­flower sor­bet. Open all year, ex­cept Christ­mas, New Year, Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary. How to get there Plane or ferry to Stornoway or ferry from Skye to Tar­bert on Harris, from where it’s a 25-minute drive to the west side of the is­land Re­mote­ness rat­ing 9 (out of 10)

(01859 550238; www.scaris­ta­house.com)

The Boathouse, Isle of Ulva, off Mull

In 1989, an old ferry shed was con­verted into a li­censed tea­room, where you can have any­thing from a cup of tea to a three-course lunch. All seafood is locally caught by hand, line or creel. All pro­duce is or­ganic and out­door-reared, the bread and cakes are home­baked and the cof­fee and teas are Fair­trade. Scot­tish Win­ner of the Mar­ket Gar­den Lo­cal Food Heroes com­pe­ti­tion 2009. Sit in­side or out on the pier and enjoy bay oys­ters har­vested on the is­land, prawns, brown crab, lob­sters or dover sole and monk­fish caught off Tober­mory. Best from April to Oc­to­ber, open 9am to 4.30pm.

How to get there Short ferry cross­ing from Mull, which has to be sum­moned (closed Saturdays) Re­mote­ness rat­ing 10

(01688 500264; www.isle­o­fulva.com/the-boathouse)

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