Marian’s Mountain Cafe escape

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

This week’s lockdown offering comes from freelance videographer and journalist Marian Milarvie and is adapted from the glorious Mountain Café Cookbook by Kiwi Kirsten Gilmour, who runs the amazing Mountain Café in Aviemore – which always has a queue to get in during summer opening hours.

Marian told us: ‘I follow the basic recipe for the oats and oil/syrup mix but add the ingredients I like to make a fantastically tasty breakfast granola that can be added to fruit/fruit compote and yoghurt, or mixed with another cereal like cornflakes or bran flakes, or eaten on its own with (Wee Isle Dairy) milk – or you can do as my husband does and put it on top of porridge. Each to their own…

‘The ingredients in brackets are optional. I sometimes put them in and other times don’t feel like it or don’t have them.’

Mountain Café Granola


250g Jumbo oats – Millstone Health Foods in Oban’s High Street has these loose – don’t use ordinary porridge oats as they are too floury.
50g pumpkins seeds
50g sunflower seeds
30g flaked almonds
(25g linseeds)
(25g sesame seeds)
(50g mixed chopped nuts or whatever ones you like, just bash them with a mortar and pestle to make them smaller pieces first)
1 vanilla pod or a tsp vanilla essence
100ml maple syrup
70 ml rapeseed or other vegetable oil (not olive)


• Heat oven to 150° C fan/170° C

• Mix the oats, seeds, almonds (and nuts) in bowl.

• Into a jug, scrape out the vanilla pod (or add tsp of vanilla essence), add the oil and syrup and mix together with a small whisk or fork.

• Pour over the oats etc and mix thoroughly.

• Spread out on a large baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

• Take it out the oven and, using a fork, break it up and mix it over.

• Put back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
As soon as you bring it out the oven, break it up with a fork again, then add whatever dried fruits you like, scattering them over the top.

For instance: cranberries, sultanas, chopped apricots, pineapple, papaya, flaked coconut (toasted or not), raisins or anything else you think would go (the original recipe uses freeze dried fruits but I found them hard to get hold of).

• Stir them in and leave the mix to cool. Once cooled, store in an air tight container.

Send your recipes, a photograph and a wee description of yourself, to