A Cottage Blog

Our Lilac Bank Cottage blog keeps you updated on our wee country cottage in the lovely conservation village of Crosshill near Maybole in Ayrshire. Check in every now and again  for News, updates and recipes.


Winter scene in Crosshill

Here we are into January 2021. Graeme and I are taking advantage of any dry days to walk, either in the countryside around Crosshill or at Culzean Castle. We are so lucky to be in lockdown in such a beautiful area. We haven't been able to take bookings for a few weeks now due to Level 4 restrictions and then lockdown, but we are hoping by early to late spring the situation might change. We know the restictions in Scotland will remain in place until mid February at the earliest and we are taking bookings for the rest of the year.

Lilac Bank Cottage Garden in June

Summer may have been slow to arrive, but the cottage garden has carried on regardless and is looking very green and healthy. Planted to give plenty of flowers for decorating the cottage, there is a lovely display throughout summer.

Lilac Bank Cottage by S E Hamilton Photography

I'm wearing my proud mum hat for today's cottage blog post!

Our eldest daughter, Sarah, dropped in a few weeks ago to take photographs for my Autumn update of the website. You will find examples of her work with some lovely views of the cottage interior. Sarah qualified as a photographer at City of Glasgow College and has undertaken work in many fields of photography. 

Arran view from the Lamlash Rd

We are enjoying a few days on the Isle of Arran for our anniversary as we do every year. We are staying at the Auchrannie Hotel with a choice of the old House Hotel or Spa. This year it's the spa side, but more often than not we choose the house, both are perfect and the restaurants in both sides are excellent as are the swimming pools. The pleasure of a quick 45 minute drive to the ferry port at Ardrossan, a leisurely hour's crossing usually spent with coffee or a gin and then a 5 minute journey up to the hotel means that we still have most of the day ahead when we get here.

Cranberry sauce recipe

Our guests Cherry and Martin, who are currently living and working in Latvia, have spent the past week at Lilac Bank Cottage. They left us with a lovely gift of cranberries fresh from their garden and so, a little earlier than usual, the cranberry sauce for Christmas Day is now residing in the freezer! I vary the recipe each year according to which Christmas / preserves book I hunt through first. Here is this years recipe, I doubled the recipe to use my 1lb of fruit.

New artwork by Sarah

Sarah Hamilton-Reilly has again been busy with some rather gorgeous photography around the Strathaven area over the winter period and examples of this are displayed in the cottage sitting room. The image above shows them all ready to be picked up in her studio in Strathaven.

Butternut Squash Soup

Anne and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember, she is Jamie's Godmother and I left her in Morpeth when I came over here! We keep in touch via facebook, Christmas visits and she sends me the occasional recipe of which this is the favourite

 Culzean Castle Maybole 

We had a guest in our b&b days who wondered what we do all day in the winter because "It must be bad living up here when you get no daylight hours". Well that might be one of the more extreme comments, but many of our guests coming for the first time to Scotland have believed that in winter, weatherwise, conditions are quite dire! So let me lay this myth to rest!

Berries on our Autumn walk

It's 7.30pm mid September and Graeme, Nikki and I are just back from a beautiful walk.

Christmas at Lilac Bank

Merry Christmas to all our guests, family and friends. We wish you peace, good health and happiness.

Lilac Bank Cottage before stonework clean up

After many years on the 'to do' list, we decided September was the month to tidy up the cottage walls. At some time in the past repointing had been undertaken with a cement mix roughly spread to cover lots of the beautiful stone work.