We recently visited Skye, staying in a cottage in Portree. It isn’t the first time we’ve stayed there but this time we cooked a lot more in the cottage (and over a small fire I built by the loch) so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of where to get your vegan essentials.
There is a small Co-op in the centre of Portree which has a few bits, but head out to the large Co-op on the edge of town if you want a big selection of vegan ready meals, various non-dairy milks, and Linda McCartney products, as well as the usual staples of pop, crisps and vegetables.
Health food shop with all the usual cereals, pulses and health food awesome. They stock some of my favourite things like Minor Figures, Tofurky, Taifun, and Vego. I baked some Taifun tofu with onions and peppers on the embers on my fire for a wild cooking take on fajitas, and it was amazing.
Even if you aren’t into the gorgeous batiks it’s worth popping in for the Sri Lankan curry mixes. We picked up one for lentils and one for potato. They’re rich and flavourful and you add chilli to taste so it’s suitable for everyone from wimps to fire eaters.
Recently we stayed in a small cottage in Portree on the Isle of Skye. We noticed the Ice Cream Co shop but we didn’t think much of it, being vegan. My Dad went in though, one day when he was out walking the dog. He came back with a big smile on his face talking about how nice it was and how they offered Watson his own ice cream. Which is cute and everything but I wasn’t really interested until he said the magic words “and they had vegan ice cream”.
We popped in and got two scoops of raspberry and it was delicious. Despite being early May the weather in Portree was stunning and it was nice to cool off with a little dairy-free treat. We were happy to find a vegan option, even happier that it was in such a cute and friendly ice cream parlour.
Since starting this blog focused on vegan life in south Devon I’ve been to Manchester, Guide Camp and now I’ve dragged Kate and my camera phone all the way to Skye. We have been to Skye before, last June when we still ate eggs and dairy. Being vegetarian on Skye is so easy – this is Macaroni Pie country after all – but I was worried that being vegan might be too difficult. Especially with my meat-eating Dad, not to mention his dog, along for the ride.
Welcome to Portree.
We rented a self catering cottage in Portree for the week. Portree is small but it is not the back woods. There is a Co-op in the centre that is open till late seven days a week. As a lot of the shops on the island close on a Sunday that’s a good thing. You can get soy, coconut and almond milk in the chiller and Linda McCartney Sausages in the freezer.
If you are self catering Jackson’s Wholefoods is across the road. Open Tuesday to Saturday it stocks all sorts of vegan goodies: tofu, cheese, hotdogs, biscuits, oatcakes, haggis… all sorts.
Eating out there are plenty of options too. Our favourite is the Fat Panda. If you are okay with shared fryers (we are, but we get why other people wouldn’t be) the chip shop on the harbour uses vegetable oil to cook their chips.
Embrace the Haggis
Okay so you don’t need me to tell you that traditional haggis isn’t vegan. Vegetarian haggis is though. We ate Haggis for breakfast at Central Cafe in Portree (dogs welcome!) and Kate had a Haggis melt with vegan cheese from Cafe Sia in Broadford (dogs outside only)
If you visit Central Cafe after breakfast you get a couple of vegan options. We spied a three been chilli and a lentil soup. Cafe Sia had the widest vegan menu of any of the places we visited. You can get their wood fired pizzas with vegan cheese. I went for the Glasrach, packed with delicious vegetables and one of the nicest tomato sauces I’ve ever had.
Party with Pie
One of our favourite stops on our last trip was Skye Pie Cafe (dogs outside only) We were delighted to see that they offer a vegan tart. Well I was. It has a polenta base, topping of roast vegetables and dollop of pesto. Kate thought it might be a bit too adventurous for her. In the end it was, and even I have to admit there were a lot of peppers. The potato wedges kept her full though.
Nowt Beats Breakfast
CafeArriba in Portree made us a great vegetarian meal last time we went to Skye. Unfortunately we didn’t get to pop in for dinner this time. Instead we ate breakfast there with me eating some combination of beans, hash browns and toast with soy hot chocolate. Kate ordering a bagel with jam and a pot of tea. It’s a friendly welcoming place and they provide a bowl of water for the dog.
How did we find visiting Skye as vegans? Well actually it was really easy. Skye is stunningly beautiful and full of sheep. It’s one of my favourite places to visit. And there was no going hungry.