November 2011 Visit Shetland Newsletter
I'm Abby and I'm here again with the latest Shetland happenings, information and holiday suggestions. If you are considering a visit to Shetland, please do not hesitate to contact us for holiday planning advice, using either the contact form on the website or by phoning +44 (0)1595 98 98 98.
Since we last spoke…
I have been reading about a recent rare visitor to Shetland's south mainland - the Siberian Rubythroat - only eight sightings in the UK, six of them being in Shetland! I've been greeting seals on my way to the shops, keeping a look out for snow white Mountain hares and visiting makers on the Craft Trail. Deborah, PS crew member, has been talking colours with Doreen Brown of Shetland Collection, for her custom made Fair Isle yoke cardigan. Misa has been spending time at the beach with family and friends and on the way to PS HQ she always makes time to stop for a chat with the neighbours! The smell of peat smoke fills the night air, the moors are turning chocolate brown and gales rock my creaky old cottage. It's a time for hunkering down, it's a time for storytelling - a time to remember…
Real Shetland Stories
Congratulations to Drew Ratter, winner of the Real Shetland Stories Competition. The top 40 stories (including the winning entry) will be printed in a special book by Jamieson & Smith and the Shetland Amenity Trust. The prizewinner was announced during Shetland Wool Week at a small reception, where Jamieson & Smith also launched a new book 'Knit Real Shetland' to celebrate their 65th Anniversary - the perfect stocking filler!
Sweet Treats and Boannie Isles
It's a magical winding journey to reach the picturesque village of Hamnavoe. The day I visited the weather was glorious as was the warm welcome I received at Boannie Isles - makers of exquisite handmade sweet treats and featured on the Craft Trail . This is a genuine cottage industry - started in Jessamine's kitchen using her mother's tablet recipe - a family heirloom from the island of Unst. 'It's a secret recipe' she told me, 'would you like to try a piece?' "Oh yes!" Creamy, melt in your mouth, utterly-butterly delicious with a slight crumble. I was on a sugary high that afternoon and went for a long walk in the area. Stunning. You can purchase the tablet in various flavours locally or via their website, including the seasonal celebration - Festive Special (studded with rich jewel-like fruit and enhanced with spices). Be warned - it's addictive and you won't want to share!
A treasured find: 19th Century Fair Isle Cap
The staff at Shetland Museum & Archives are celebrating! They have recently received a donation of a traditional Fair Isle cap, which is thought to be the oldest piece of knitting in the collection. Masami Yokoyama purchased the cap from the internet auction site Ebay for £7.39! A bargain buy and a treasured find for Shetland. Many thanks to Ms Yokoyama for donating the cap to Shetland Museum and Archives textile collection - she was here on holiday during Shetland Wool Week and made this special occasion extra special with her generosity of spirit. A must see if you're visiting the Museum.
A brand new guide: Trout Fishing in Shetland
Hundreds of lochs, abundant hard-fighting trout, and in the summer - long hours of daylight. Shetland is an Angler's paradise! A superb new guide has just been published: 'Trout Fishing in Shetland'. This is a comprehensive guide detailing many of the islands' best fishing locations, in addition to information on boats, fish species and access - only £2.00, plus P&P. Purchase the brochure online or from the Tourist Information Centre, Lerwick. If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact the Shetland Anglers Association. Hope to see you over here for the season.
A luxe winter warmer - the ultimate Shetland scarf
Congratulations to October's prizewinner Kerry Tannahill - a silk hologram of waves, designed by award-winning artist Hilary Seatter, is on its way to you! This month's prize is a 100% Made in Shetland wool scarf. Knitted using Shetland Supreme 2 Ply Laceweight yarn and fabulously felted to provide seriously chic simplicity and cosy cool - it's the perfect accessory for this season's lady-like fashion vibe, and with its accompanying limited edition card guaranteeing authenticity - this scarf shouts luxe luxe luxe!
The art of cheese and the heart of hospitality
I met Jay, owner of Shetland Cheese, at last year's Food Festival - I purchased a Chilli Truckle - a moreish winter warmer! His artisan cheese business has gone from strength to strength and he's now added a café and shop to his premises. I visited recently and had great fun learning the art of fine cheese making on a behind-the-scenes guided tour, followed by a generous cheese platter (adore the Sandstinger) and a cup of coffee - all for £6.00! Jay can be found at the Farmers' Markets or at his premises in the pretty seaside village of Skeld. I love combining this trip with a visit to one of my favourite gardens - Da Gairdins i Sand , and a walk on spectacular Sand beach. If you fancy a Cheesy Christmas hamper - order soon!
See you soon!
PS. Don't forget the Food Festival is on 5th-13th November and will be a great chance to indulge in some of Shetland's fine produce. Sharing the last weekend is the Shetland Arts & Crafts Fair - which is on from 11th-13th November - a dazzling array of original products showcased and a chance to meet the maker, including textile designer Andrea Williamson - watch a short video 'Folk Art meets Fair Isle' - filmed at her studio on the island of Whalsay. What an idyllic place to work. If you can't make it to the Fair - you could always indulge in retail therapy via Shetland Museum's online shop - unique Christmas gifts at your fingertips and a wealth of stylish seasonal ideas.
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The team at www.SHETLAND.org
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