One dark and windy night in late October 2010, we met Carla and John Lamont from the Mull restaurant, Ninth Wave, in Edinburgh! Ninth Wave is situated on a croft on the Ross of Mull, near Fionnphort where you catch the ferry to Iona. Carla and John, ourselves, and John and Jane Noddings from nearby Seaview Bed and Breakfast, were all Finalists in different categories at the Scottish Thistle Awards.
Ninth Wave was in the Restaurant category, Seaview in the Extra Mile B&B category and we were in the Sustainable Tourism category. I was SO nervous that if we won I would have to go up and collect the award. No need to worry as we didnt win (but came home feeling very proud to have been the only accommodation business to get to be a finalist)! Seaview did win – Jane bravely stood up and collected the Extra Mile Award, which was wonderful. Ninth Wave have since won other awards for their cuisine, well deserved.
We supply the restaurant with racks of our lamb, and yet we had never been to the restaurant to eat. Today changed all that! We went down with friends to one of their autumnal Sunday Brunches. It is a long drive – for lunch – but it was a beautiful day. We stopped to have coffee from the flask half way down, had time to detour along the lovely road through Ardtun, and even managed a view of Iona across the beach at Fionnphort. The sky was SO blue.
John is a fisherman and his catches make up an exciting part of the menu – lobster, crab and prawns – they also grow herbs, salads and vegetables on the croft. Carla harvests wild flowers and herbs to use in her cooking too. There is so much local produce on Mull and it was wonderful to eat somewhere where it was really celebrated. Here is some of what we ate. It was all delicious!
We really enjoyed the whole experience of dining at Ninth Wave. The atmosphere is relaxed and special, everything is presented with such care and generosity. John leaves his fishing gear at the door and becomes wine steward and waiter at the elegantly laid tables. They have an impressive wine list of organic and biodynamic wines, as well a long list of exotic cocktails. It reminded us that the cocktails we drank at the Thistle Awards 4 years ago was made to a recipe created by Carla!
As I was writing this for the blog, I was wondering what our visitors would think of driving all this way to eat at Ninth Wave in the evening, and then having to drive all the way back. There is a way round it though, why not add on a night at the beginning or end of your self catering holiday, and stay the night in Fionnphort at Seaview B&B. They come highly recommended.
The good news is, for those of you who cannot get to Mull before the 19th of October when Ninth Wave close for the winter, Carla has written a book! We feature in it as one of their suppliers (we are thrilled to have been included). The book is being published in November by Birlinn. It is called Ninth Wave: Love & Food on the Isle of Mull.