Arts & Crafts
As soon as the crofts were prepared for planting, cattle and other livestock were banished to the moors, but this created another problem - milking cows when they were grazing miles away, and feeding hens and collecting the eggs. Thus the shieling.
Sheilings were small huts, made of stone or sod, with just enough room to sleep and to store milk while the cream rose to the surface, and then to prepare the cream and skimmed milk for butter, cheese, crowdie or whatever. Some shieling maids brought along their spinning wheels, and always their knitting needles.
Once a week or so, the dairy products would be transported to the croft, and the shieling would be prepared for another week of work - and play.
One would be inclined to think that with all the village girls away 'on the shieling', it would be a pretty boring time for the young men, but the ever-resourceful mother nature, as usual, came to the rescue.
The shielings became the center of youthful summer activity and this social phenomenon no longer seems so strange. Occupants of shielings for miles around often got together with the young men of the villages for dancing, ceilidhs, and whatever else.
At the heart of The Sheiling you'll find Ella's Café providing a warm and welcoming area to meet, relax and chat when you visit us.
Visit Ella's Café and enjoy a homemade flatbread with chick pea felafels and date chutney, or try some Skye bacon with rowan and apple jelly served in homemade focaccia bread.
The menu also includes filled multi seed rolls, freshly made soup and daily specials.
We have a range of loose leaf tea and fairtrade coffee for you to enjoy with a piece of cake. Ella's selection of homebaking includes Banana-Chocolate-Nut Cake, Ecclefechan Tart, Carrot Cake and Peach and Hazelnut Tartlet.
The food is freshly made on the premises, using lots of Skye and Highland produce, including delicious Isle of Mull artisan cheeses and our own croft grown salad leaves.