What's on this Winter!
When the clocks go back at the end of October, it’s only natural to feel a certain sense of dread when considering the LONG winter months stretching out ahead, but then BOOM, November arrives and we’re reminded (because for some reason we tend to forget) that winter in the Highlands is actually brilliant! In fact, we’ve made the decision that November, in particular, is one of Arisaig’s best kept secrets. So far this month, the amazingly bright & sunny skies have given way to superb sunsets and celestial spectacles galore and all the great weather has meant outdoor/wildlife enthusiasts have been treated to some incredible sights.
If all the wondrous early winter weather hasn’t eased the impending dread, keep in mind that the shortest day is just a matter of weeks away, so from 22nd December things will slowly start to lighten up again! If that prospect hasn’t helped, there’s LOADS of things going on in the village to occupy you over the coming months, so pour yourself a big glass of something and read on to discover what’s happening in Arisaig this winter:
The hotel rooms and kitchen closed on Monday 11th November and will reopen on Friday 13th March 2020 (the bunkhouse will remain open throughout the winter). The kitchen will occasionally be firing up its ovens throughout the winter for some great evenings of food & fun (see below) and the bar will be open as follows:
Wednesday: 4.30pm – 8pm
Thursday: 4.30pm – 8pm
Friday: 4.30pm – 12.45am (Friday music session from 8pm)
Saturday: 4.30pm – 12.45am
Sunday: 4.30pm – 8pm
Note: The bar will be closed from 3rd – 17th January 2020
Christmas & Hogmanay
Yes, it’s still November; but this would be a pretty shoddy winter newsletter if it didn’t mention the C word, so here goes!
We’re offering a fabulous four-course Christmas extravaganza served up with mince pies, live music and a fantastically festive atmosphere for £35. If you'd prefer lunch, the price will be reduced to £30 as live music won’t be available during the day; however, we will play a nice Christmas mix! Dates are filling up fast so we would advise to book soon to avoid disappointment. Booking is essential on the following dates:
28th November: Why not head along to the Astley Hall between 3pm – 7pm where you’ll get to bag yourself some unique gifts and local produce from the area’s amazing makers and creators.
5th December: Arisaig Marina will be a hive of Christmas cheer where hot festive rolls, mulled wine and 10% off goodies from their marvellous maritime giftshop will be up for grabs from 5pm – 8pm. The Marina café will also be open for festive light bites from 11th – 15th and 18th – 22nd December.
15th December: The Land, Sea & Islands Centre will be open for festive fun for all the family with Christmas shopping & mulled wine. Why not head along and throw yourself unashamedly into the festive spirit!
21st December: If the prospect of wrapping all your Christmas presents is bringing you out in a cold sweat, why not pop down to the hotel from 5pm on 21st and have all your gifts expertly wrapped by elves while you enjoy a drink in the bar! All proceeds from donations will go to Arisaig Primary School.
Just because we’ve entered the low season, the village’s reputation for hosting AMAZING live music sessions and events never stops! Not only will there be live music every Friday & Saturday on the run up to Christmas, here’s what else is planned for the music lovers over the coming months.
Friday Night Music Sessions
Our brilliant open music sessions will continue as normal from 8pm every Friday night, but over the winter we’re going to add the odd “themed” music session into the mix to shake things up a bit. Stay tuned for more information!
If you’re interested in sharpening up your session skills over the cold winter months, join us by the wood burner every Thursday night from 7.30pm for drinks and music making.
Blas Festival: 22nd November
Blas Festival will be teaming up with Fèis Òigridh-na-Mara to bring the first ever performance by their brand-new local pipe band! Your ears will also be treated to the sounds of some of Feis’s exceptional young fiddlers, not to mention Robert Robertson and Ross Wilson from top Scottish band, Tidelines. Tickets are available on the door or online for £12/£10 or £30 for family. Astley Hall from 7.30pm.
Stella Nova: 15th December
Even the biggest of bah humbugs will be in the mood for Christmas after the area’s very own choir, Stella Nova, sing their hearts out at their Christmas concert at the Astley Hall from 3pm.
Feis-na-Mara Fundraiser: 28th December
A full-on night of musical mayhem in the form of neo-trad trio Project Smok (innovative, explosive and unconventional), Hò-Rò (award-winning young Highland band with great tunes and songs) and finishing with the legendary local hero, DJ Binnie! 9pm. £12 per ticket (all profits will go towards funding Feis-na-Mara).
FRAS: 31st December
Bring in the bells in style when the fabulous FRAS will have you dancing the night away at the hotel. There’ll be stovies for sustenance and maximum fun guaranteed! Free entry.
New Year’s Dance: 1st January
Head up to the Astley Hall to dance the Hogmanay hangover away at the annual New Year’s Ceilidh from 9pm.
School of Daimh
After the success of the last two School of Daimh’s, we are really excited that we don’t have to wait until next November to re-run the fun as School of Daimh will be BACK this coming March! Watch this space for dates.
Food & Drink
Curry Night: Saturday 8th February
Why not escape the chilly winter nights and come and warm up with a selection of tasty homemade curries? More details to follow in January.
Valentine’s Night: Friday 14th February
Show your other half some L.U.R.V.E. on Valentine’s Night and treat them to a specially created menu packed with aphrodisiacs! More details to follow in January.
Arisaig - A Taste of Winter: Saturday 22nd February
After the success of October’s Taste of Autumn dinner, Chef Alan will be cooking up another storm with seasonal ingredients from in and around Arisaig! Booking essential. £45 per person.
Other Arisaig Offerings
A Night with Arisaig’s Resident Author: Wednesday 27th November
You are invited to a night of literary fun with Arisaig’s resident author, Tom O’Keenan, where he’ll talk about his experience of writing his dark, gritty crime thriller series, The Family. Under candlelight with a roaring open fire the atmosphere will be set as Tom explains his writing style, inspiration and pose the question “do you have a book in you?”. This is a great opportunity for would-be writers to glean knowledge and for local book lovers to enjoy some literary dialogue and book chat! Free entry, from 7.30pm.
Pub Quiz Nights: Every Sunday
Gen up on your general knowledge & get ready to test your trivia as the Crofter’s Rest winter pub quiz is back with a vengeance! Join us every Sunday from 7pm.
Saturday Night at the Movies: Saturday 18th January
Come and join us for a village screening of a film of your choice (there will be a Facebook poll at the beginning of January)
Clothes Swap & Cocktails: Saturday 1st February
Celebrate the end of miserable & moody January with an evening of cocktails and clothing! If you’re planning on having a new year clothing clear-out, why not drop your preloved items off at the hotel and give somebody else the chance to benefit from your boredom!
The trusty Sheerwater, which ships thousands of locals and visitors to and from the Small Isles every year, is going to be setting sail for the islands from Thursday 2nd April next year. So now we'll get an extra four weeks of opportunity to explore the Small Isles!
Road to the Isles Festival of Running
Entries for the Road to the Isles Festival of Running have just opened and hundreds of participants have already signed up, so be sure to book soon to avoid disappointment. The charity race starts and ends in the village and we’ll be booking the wondrous Bad Boogaloo to get you dancing your sweaty socks off! Please note: The bunkhouse is already fully booked and there’s limited availability in the hotel.
Arisaig Americana Festival
Heading into its third year, Arisaig Americana Festival will be moving from their usual weekend slot in May to the weekend of 5th June where Americana lovers will be treated to workshops, tuition, talks and LOADS of live music (lots of which will be based at the hotel). Tickets will be available online shortly so keep your eyes peeled.
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