The Cottage Diary  


1st September 2012 A warm welcome from Steve & Julie the new owners of The Brewers Cottage.

20th - 27th October 2012 We have just spent our first week in the cottage as the new owners. Four of us have had a very busy week making improvements both inside and out. We took onboard the comments in the visitor book with regard the shower and the old shower has now been replaced with a highly effective power shower. The cottage has had the roof space's insulated, the porch has had the invasive ivy plants removed and the damaged exterior woodwork has now been replaced, unfortunately the weather was to cold to do the exterior painting. The garden has had a tidy up for winter, and we have removed the pond as we felt it was a hazard for small children - the pond area will be replaced with some insect enticing plants in the spring. Some bird feeders have now been added to the garden much to the delight of some very hungry birds - we do hope our visitors will continue to encourage them into the garden and log the sightings in the new logbook. We still have lots of jobs to do, but we simply ran out of time on this visit - hopefully we can make a return visit in the next few weeks to carry on where we left off. We did manage to to steal a day off to do the beautiful 18km walk around Loch Affric in the fantastic October sunshine.

25th November - 2nd December 2012 We have just returned from another busy week at the cottage, four of us spent another two days taming the garden, which by the end of the week looked just like everyone else s garden - white with snow ! We managed to do some short local walks including the 6/7 mile walk to Plodda Falls taking in the ghostly ruins of Guisachan the former home of Lord Tweedmouth. And we must say a huge thank you to Sasha at Highland Trekking & Trail Riding for a wonderful trek into Glen Affric on a cold crisp winter morning - the scenery was just stunning.

19th January - 26th January 2013 Well what a busy week we have just spent at the cottage - the first job was to install two bat boxes in the garden in the hope we can attract some different winged creatures. The old wire fence at the bottom of the garden has been replaced with wooden rails, and we have started work on the drainage issues on the drive which cause icing in the winter months. Inside, the bathroom has had a makeover. 

A wonderful day mid-week was spent under blue skies and in fresh snow volunteering with the charity Trees for Life in Glen Strathfarrar where we were collecting Scott’s Pine cones for seed extraction, the seedlings will be grown on for 3 years before being returned to protected areas. The charity welcomes volunteers keen to protect, and restore the Highlands.   No trip to the cottage would be complete without a pony trek from Cougie with Sasha, and this time was no exception – on a cold, frosty morning we set of in the snow reaching Cougie with the aid of some snow socks on the front tyres! for a couple of hours trekking in Glen Affric. Following the fox tracks in the snow it’s so nice to see the valley change through the seasons…… we just love winter in the highlands!!

P.S. We have to add were very impressed with the arrival of the gritter in Tomich at 6.45am on a Saturday morning!!  

18th February 2013 We are delighted to hear that following a recent inspection The Brewers Cottage retained its 4 star status with Welcome Cottages for 2013. 

9th March - 16th March 2013 Well that’s us back form another busy week at the cottage, again the work we have done will go largely unnoticed by the visitor. The drainage issues have been addressed in preparation for the new guttering and outside paintwork which we hope to start on our next visit. In a continuing commitment to a greener cottage we have built a new composting area in the hope this can eventually be recycled. The large flower bed in front of the cottage has had weed suppressing forest bark added, and we have added three 'home grown' trees to the garden - A English Oak has been added to the area at the bottom of the garden, a Horse Chestnut has been planted on the rough bank and a Sitka Spruce grown from seeds found in my late father’s pocket has been planted on the drive. An unexpected five inches of snow early in the week made for some stunning scenery on what was to be (once again!) a chilly four hour trek with Sasha from the stables at Cougie, we were thrilled to see a pair of Golden Eagles souring overhead for much of the trek.

We would like to take this opportunity say a very big Thank You to Roni who has looked after the cottage so well for the last 6 years - enjoy your free time Roni. We are delighted to welcome on board our new caretaker - Gail, Gail and her husband Chris have us feel so welcome in the village and we know the cottage will be very well looked after in their capable hands.

23.06.2013 We have just returned from our busiest week at the cottage so far. The first job on the list was taming the garden which had turned into a meadow! Regular visitors will notice improvements to the overall look of the cottage - We have now added a donated old shed to the garden which has had a re-vamp and now looks like new! and Steve built the cottage birds a new bird table. But the big work has been on painting the dorma on the front, and the outside of the property at the rear where it had been badly affected by a rampant ivy, the replacement of the guttering etc to the front of the cottage has made a big difference. Its great to see the trees we planted in the garden over winter doing so well, some additional shrubs have now been added the the flower bed in a bid to attract more bees and butterfly's. A big Thank You to Gail for looking after the cottage so well in our absence, and welcome on board young Ewan who will be keeping the lawn in check for us.

19.04.2014 A wonderful Easter has been spent at the cottage with the chance to carryout a general garden tidy, undertake the first grass cut of the year, add some new edging to the lawn / parking area, and plant up a mini orchard on the banking under the downy silver birch trees this area will be underpinned with wild flowers in the coming months. Lovely to see the new fruit trees on the drive budding up, and the existing plum and blackcurrant in full flower...what a superb time of year in the Highlands the mini heat wave was just perfect.

16.08.14 Caught on our new camera trap we are thrilled to see a badger visiting the cottage garden each night this week - the peanuts are a favourite.

01.11.2014 We set the camera trap up again during our visit to see if our badger was still visiting... what a surprise we got when we checked the card in the camera on the first morning...no badger but instead a Pine Martin! He continued to visit each evening with visiting times ranging from 10.30pm to 3.30am. Honey sandwiches, jam sandwiches and bacon all proved very popular fodder (pine martins are known to love sweet food) We are absolutely thrilled to have such a range of wildlife now coming into the garden, and we encourage all our guests to get involved and place food out for the birds and mammals.

03.11.2014 No trip to the cottage is complete for us without a trip out with Sarah at Ecoventures, Cromarty dolphin spotting. Our trip this time was the last of the 2014 season and the weather was defiantly not on our side, the cold and the rain made it something of a challenge.... Two hours and 25 miles out into the Cromarty Firth proved fruitless, and we had all but given up hope of glimpsing a dolphin, until that was we came back into the harbor area we were delighted to see a resident dolphin 'Sundance' and her calf. As soon as she saw the boat she came directly to us to say hello. Encounters with these beautiful wild creatures is what keeps us returning again and again.

05.03.2016 We eagerly await the new Tomich Post Office / tearoom/ farm shop / gift shop opening very soon .... we will keep you posted on progress.

12.03.2016 The wildlife visiting the cottage garden has increased significantly recently. Thank you to all our guests who have been feeding our extensive bird species. Our nigh time visitors now include foxes, badgers, pine martins and hedgehogs. We are still awaiting a sighting of a red squirrel. We were a little surprised but thrilled to see a brown hare on the neighboring drive last summer. 

We are delighted with the latest addition to the village - The Coach House Cafe Joyces cakes are a must!!. The cafe also offers a wonderful selection of gifts (including Tilly Mint Silver ) and a small selection of local farm produce. We wish Tomich Holidays every success with this latest long overdue venture 

19.10.2016 The new cycle storage / wet weather clothing drying area is now complete and offers an undercover area to dry clothes and walking boots during the wetter months, this area also offers storage for those who wish to bring bikes on holiday. * Note we are also offering a trail run of a honesty box for access to our log store during the winter months.

28.02.2016 The new bathroom window has now been installed and the outer bathroom walls insulated. The bird feeders are as busy as ever and the fox is still a regular visitor to the birdtable. The clear February days made for superb views from the Tweedmouth Monument.

25.03.2017 A whole two weeks at the cottage while we performed something of a transformation the windows have now been painted inside and out, and the plants on the front of the cottage have been cut back giving the whole place a new look.

A visit to the Elgin Heritage Centre rewarded us with the most fantastic insight into the development of Tomich through the drawings of the architects of the time. We now know the cottage was built approx. 1865. A visit is highly recommended for those interested in the history of Guisachan and the village, however you do need to give a weeks notice as the drawings need to be brought out of the archives for you to view.

May 2017 Having teamed up with a wonderful illustrator we are very excited to announce that we have a Brewers Cottage shop coming very soon ! ....watch this space...


The Brewers Cottage Tomich, Near Cannich, Beauly. IV4 7LY




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