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Spirit of Summer
Posted on: 19th July, 2019
Twelve Danish cyclists drop in for some summer respite.
The signs of summer marching on can be found all around us here in Harris. From the colourful wildflowers in bloom across the coastal croftland known as ‘machair’, to the hundreds of new visitors, we welcome through our distillery doors every day.
The often unsung heroes of our guest team work hard at this busy time of year to create a warm welcome for every guest who arrives, and with several thousand of them joining us each month, our distillery is bustling and full of life.
A typical day here begins with by lighting our fire, come rain or shine. No matter what’s on display in the Hebridean skies above us, our dark peats burn strongly throughout the day, perfect for drying out the damp cyclists and wild campers who have just crossed the Clisham.
The Shop staff will be replenishing their empty shelves with fresh batches of Isle of Harris Gin, ensuring there’s plenty of island spirit for all to sample when the doors finally open.
Piping a Harris welcome from young Ewan.
After the quiet months of winter, it’s always a pleasure for them to see so many people, many returning to Harris once more, as retail manager Alexander explains…
‘The winter is often long and dark and so to feel a new buzz of life around the island is always greatly appreciated at this time of year. We love meeting new guests visiting Harris for the first time as well as those who return once more to our shores.’
In the distillery Canteen, there are fresh bowls of soup and home baking, heartening on the more dreich days, with light plates of local seafood and refreshing Isle of Harris G&Ts served on the patio when the sun shines.
There’s rarely a quiet moment from the start of the season in April right through to the October holidays as catering manager, Kate comments
‘The canteen is definitely feeling like the ‘Social Hub’ of the distillery lately with the huge increase in guests visiting and spending time with us, creating a very convivial atmosphere.’
And with over 60 guests joining us daily to learn more of our spirit production and experience the action taking place behind the scenes, it’s fair to say both spirit and story are flowing freely. As tour guide, Marie tells us…
‘It’s both a busy and exciting time, telling lots of new and old friends our wonderful story so far.’
James from Bright 3D who created our distillery interiors.
And while we love sharing our story it’s always a pleasure to hear yours too!
This week alone we’ve met 12 Danish cyclists making their way around Scotland, a young bagpiper called Ewan treated us to a tune by our front door, and we’ve caught up with interior designer James from Bright 3D as well as good friends at JJ Event Bars.
So, if you’re visiting Harris this summer then do be sure to join us, share your story and we’ll be sure to share ours with no shortage of summer spirit from our Hearaich family.
- By Shona Maclennan, Assistant Storyteller.