North Harbour Bistro on Scalpay has been awarded the prestigious Good Food Award for 2019.

The award states: “Over the last 12 months we have evaluated customer feedback and these premises have demonstrated exceptional levels of food quality, service and value when compared to our industry benchmarks in their category.

“In recognition of this achievement they have been duly awarded the 2019 Good Food Award.”

And social media is ablaze with praise for chef and entrepreneur George Lavery and his team.  A typical comment on their Facebook Page states: “There is no comparison between your food and the food elsewhere in the Hebrides or the Highlands actually.  Your food is way above the rest and that’s fact.  The service is always a cut above the rest, too. What an amazing team you have.  Well done! Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to have my next meal there again!”

There’s a refreshing sight for travellers heading north or south over the Harris hills, with a new food van prominently placed by the road at the head of Loch Seaforth near Bowglas.

The bright chrome food wagon is the home for a new business, launched in October by husband and wife Irene and Alasdair Morrison. Taste n’ Sea invites you to sample the freshest of island produce while perched on a bench enjoying one of the finest views in the islands.

The idea’s been developing over a while, with Irene and Alasdair convinced that walkers and cyclists needed somewhere to stop during the long hike between Leurbost and Tarbert. It came to a head after a meeting with the North Harris Trust, which raised the issue of providing something for just those sort of customers when they’re visiting the islands.

Irene said: “The ideal would be a café in that spot, but for the moment it seems like enough of a risk to have converted part of our croft for a site for the van and extra parking, together with benches overlooking Loch Seaforth.”

The Isle of Harris Distillery won the biggest award of the night at the Scottish Gin Awards in Glasgow on Thursday September 20th.

The ultimate award, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, was presented to Isle of Harris Distillers, whose mission to create a “social distillery” bringing jobs and increasing tourism to the island was praised.  The Hebridean distillery fought off competition from four other distilleries to win the award.

Six members of the Tarbert team attended the glamorous ceremony in Glasgow while, back at home, other staff dined out at North Harbour Bistro in Scalpay and greeted the news of their win with delight.

Award sponsors the Scottish Gin Society said: “The big one!!! So happy for Isle of Harris Distillers as they win distillery of the year – sponsored by us – amazing Scottish Gin distillery.”

The distillery welcomed congratulations from other islanders like Kilda Cruises, who tweeted: “Not surprised by the award of Gin Distillery of the Year, but delighted for you all!”

The Isle of Harris Distillery's managing director has won an award for his "vision, ethos and outstanding management."

Simon Erlanger won the SME Director of the Year 2018 at the UK Institute of Directors (IoD) awards ceremony on Thursday 18 October.

Judge Chris Dodson OBE DL, Chairman, Mortimer & Torftech Groups said of Simon: "I cannot fault the vision, ethos and outstanding management displayed."

The Isle of Harris Distillery team took to Facebook to celebrate the good news, stating: "This is a fantastic acknowledgement of Simon's pivotal role in our distillery's success and on behalf of the entire team in Tarbert, congratulations on such a wonderfully well-deserved national industry accolade.  We're very proud of him!"

Essence of Harris began life in the village of Bunavoneader, on the Isle of Harris. After noticing that there were no companies producing home fragrance locally, partners Jamie and Deenie decided to turn their passion for innovation into ‘Buth Bheag Candle Co’. It was humble beginnings for the Buth Bheag team of two, with the couple crafting each product on their kitchen table for a small following of island locals.

However, in the three years since the company was established, it has grown beyond everyone’s wildest imagination.  The team of two has become a team of 15, they have opened two retail outlets- one in Tarbert and one in Inverness Airport, with a third shop set to be opened in 2019 and have 70+ stockists throughout the UK and Ireland. The rebrand from Buth Bheag to ‘Essence of Harris’ has allowed the brand to flourish in different markets, and they have just started exporting across the Atlantic- bringing a little piece of the Hebrides to the USA! Employing local staff to handpour each and every product using soy wax, Essence of Harris will always remain true to their island roots, and the locals who supported them from the very beginning.