Travel Journalist for Conde Nast, Serena Chambers, is used to jetting off around the world and providing readers with a bad case of wanderlust chose. Serena got married this year and with a honeymoon in the UK on the horizon she chose the Isle of Skye. We caught up with her to get the inside scoop on where to go, what to do and what to pack for your next trip there.
We are also going to adopt her phrase "Fly-and-Flop", sounds IDEAL to us.
With staycations on the agenda you chose to honeymoon in the UK, what made you choose the Isle of Skye?
We chose Skye for its beautiful rugged landscape and the food - it certainly didn’t disappoint!
The landscape there is iconic. Tell us about the moors, mountains and lochs you explored, any stand outs?
We loved exploring the island, venturing somewhere new everyday. Highlights included the Fairly Pools, Sandy beach and Coral beach for swimming spots. Armadale gardens are also stunning, set amidst the romantic ruins of Armadale Castle. Walking up the famous Old Man of Storr is a tourist hotspot but still a must. Not an old man as such, “he” is actually a formation of rocks which, once climbed up, offer amazing views of the surrounding mountains and lochs.
Landscape aside, and onto the ever important subject of food and drink. Were there any favourite watering holes you discovered to help replenish after a day of exploring?
There certainly was! I have to start by mentioning the food in our hotel, Kinloch Lodge. The produce is ultra-local and includes the freshest vegetables, fruit and herbs from Kinloch’s hotel garden. Recently appointed head chef Jordan Webb produces delicious daily changing dinner menus, including seared highland beef fillet with Kinloch-girolle jus, Portree Monkfish with a lemon saffron veloute and Lochalsh crab and langoustine bisque. The cinnamon-buttered porridge for breakfast and Lobster mac-n-cheese at lunch were also delicious! We had wonderful long evenings sitting by the fire pre dinner enjoying cocktails before heading into the dining room which has a smart but welcoming feel. When we ventured further afield The Three Chimneys and The Oyster Shed, in the north of the island, were both stand out. The Three Chimneys serves Michelin Star quality food. We opted for the three course al la carte lunch menu which I’d highly recommend. In total contrast, The Oyster Shed is rough and ready, serving the freshest lobster, crab, oysters and scallops (and chips!) the island has to offer.
Where did you stay when on the Isle?
We stayed at the wonderful Kinloch Lodge, which is located on the southern part of the island, on the shores of Loch na Dal in the Sound of Sleat. The location is beautiful and very dramatic. Kinloch started life as chef Claire McDonald’s cookery school, before becoming the hotel it is today, managed by her lovely daughter Isabella and her charming team.
Armed with your TROY wind and waterproof parka (perfect for the classically unpredictable British weather), what are other must-pack items?
My TROY parka really was perfect for Skye. It was super practical for all the island exploring but most importantly still chic! Other must-pack items included my walking boots (not so chic), Eres swimming costume for the wild swimming spots and Celine sunglasses for when the sun decided to come out. Kinloch Lodge is a perfect mix between feeling relaxed but you can also dress up a bit in the evenings which made our honeymoon feel more special.
Are there any other spots in the UK you are hoping to tick off the list?
We went to the Isles of Scilly and stayed on the gorgeous Tresco Island with my husband’s family. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Continuing the island theme, now I have had a taste of the Inner Hebrides, Mull and Tiree are next on the bucket list!
It has been a crazy year, not least for the travel industry, how did your focus shift during this time from your usual life of jetting around?
Focused on all the unhidden gems on our doorstep! I definitely have a much better appreciation for what the UK has to offer.
When we finally get on a flight, where will yours be jetting off to?
I love exploring the UK but you can’t control the British summer weather. When I can get on a plane again hopefully it will be somewhere more exotic - guaranteed sun will be the priority! I’m actually thinking of going to Antigua for a “fly-and-flop” trip in October.