Last week I featured in the local Inverness Courier. They run a weekly feature called ‘On my doorstep’ in which they quiz a different local resident of Inverness. I was chosen to be in last week’s feature so I thought I’d show you my answers in case you wanted to get to know Inverness from my perspective!
1. How long have you lived/did you live in the Inverness area?
My husband Andrew and I moved here from Fife, just over two years ago when he took up being minister of Kinmylies Church of Scotland.
2. Best thing about living here?
The scenery and proximity to loch, forest, hills or beach, and the work/life balance (thinking back to 8 years spent living in London) to enjoy those things!
3. Worst thing about living here?
This is not a fault of Inverness itself, but I find it irritating that some companies don’t deliver (or apply astronomical charges to do so) their goods to the Highlands area.
4. One thing you would change about Inverness.
I’d love to see more support and investment for the city centre; even in the two years we have lived here there have been closures of local businesses and I’d hate to see that continue.
5. Your favourite walk/cycle ride.
We walked most of the Great Glen way last year which was beautiful, but a regular favourite place to walk in Inverness is to the end of the canal at Clachnaharry Point. An experience whether in blistering winds or to see stunning peaceful sunsets.
6. Describe your ideal Inverness weekend.
We enjoyed last years North Hop festival so something similar would start the weekend off well! A good leg-stretching walk, trying a new cafe or restaurant, worshipping with our local church family, baking and writing blog posts (www.messintheness.com) would all make excellent weekend activities that would refresh me for the week ahead.
7. Where would you take a first time visitor to the area?
We have a tried and tested “five loch drive” that we take visiting friends and family on; it takes in Loch Ness but also smaller lochs like Dunlichty and Farr (amongst others) which lets people see the less travelled landscape around Inverness.
8. Where’s the best place for a first date?
We’d choose an walk along the river followed by dinner and a show/film at Eden Court.
9. Favourite local restaurant?
We’ve got a few, although we’ve still got a large list of recommended places to try out. The Mustard Seed gets our vote for a classy delicious meal that doesn’t cost the earth.
10. Favourite shop?
Being a keen foodie, I love visiting a seasonal weekly croft shop run by Capability Browns during the summer months. It’s a treat being able to pick up local fruit and veg, eggs and delicious home baking on a Sunday afternoon, just a short walk up Leachkin Brae.
11. Your favourite local building, and why.
Connected to the answer for my favourite walk I have a real soft spot for the Clachnaharry area; considering the picturesque cottages, the signal point, Lock keeper buildings and a great dog friendly pub- it’s too hard to pick a single building!
12. What book are you reading at the moment?
If you can call it reading, I spend a lot of time studying cookery books for baking inspiration! My most recent purchase was ‘John Whaite Bakes’ (by the winner from the Great British Bake Off) which also had autobiographical snippets interspersed which gave interesting insight into his baking habits and recipes.
13. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Being honest, the last film I saw was Shaun the Sheep (dragged along to by my husband Andrew!) but the last film I enjoyed was Wild starring Reese Witherspoon.
14. Who is your favourite Invernessian, past or present, and why?
I’m part of a fab local group of bakers who discuss and share their baking adventures, (www.letsbakeinverness.co.uk) so I couldn’t not mention my friend Kirsty Montgomery who is the co-creator of the group as well as a fellow baker and blogger (www.eversosweet.co.uk)
15. What is the area’s best kept secret?
If you’re into historic Pictish sites, short leg-stretching walks, or scenic views, Craig Phadrig on the west side of the city is for you. We’re sure it should be busier than it appears to be as it’s a great way to spend an hour or two.
16. How do you think Inverness is perceived by the rest of Britain?
Our friends in other parts of Scotland think Inverness is further away to travel to than it really is. Maybe we’re not true Invernesians yet but we still enjoy the drive down the A9 to the central belt or beyond!
17. How would you describe Inverness in a sentence?
The hub of the highlands which I hope will be supported to flourish and expand in years to come.