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Café Thyme

Machrie Isle of Arran KA27 8EB

Arran is an island overflowing in excellent fresh produce, but its west side is quite low on places to eat out. However, it got a real shot in the arm in summer 2012 with the arrival of Café Thyme, and specifically the Turkish owner’s brilliantly conceived hand-built traditional Turkish wood-fired oven. In this beautiful kitchen oasis Hamza conjures up superb breads that are accompanied with the likes of smoked salmon and fresh salads plucked from their polytunnels. Then there are the pides, a sort of Turkish calzone pizza, with a range of delicious fillings, including (yes, we're not joking) a daring culinary marriage of haggis and cheese –  infinitely better than it sounds, honest. The café itself is a bright, modern affair with a striking stained glass window mirroring the vaulting druid stone that sits dramatically outside guarding the way to the shore. Also part of the set-up here is a pottery and a shop selling jumpers and other wool products.