All posts by Shetland Life

Seasonal Fruit Crumble

Seasonal Fruit Crumble

Ingredients for the filling:

  • Use one of the following options:
  • 3 large dessert apples, peeled and chopped into chunks;
  • A handful of sultanas;
  • 1 mango peeled, stoned and chopped into chunks;
  • Half a punnet of strawberries and half a banana;
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled and chopped into chunks;
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped into chunks;
  • 1 large stalk of rhubarb, washed and cut into chunks;
  • A handful of dates, chopped into pieces;

Ingredients for the crumble:

  • 3 tablespoons of whichever flour you prefer
  • 3 tablespoons of porridge oats
  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place your chosen filling in an ovenproof dish with half a mug of water.
  2. Put the flour, oats and rapeseed oil into a small mixing bowl and, using your hands, rub the oil into the flour and oat mixture as if you were making pastry.
  3. Place the crumble mixture on top of the fruit and flatten out gently with the back of a spoon.
  4. Cook in a moderately heated oven until golden brown and serve with soya custard or yoghurt.

Pan Seared Sea Bream

Pan seared sea bream, mussel, potato, spinach & saffron broth


  • 4 fillets of bream1kg mussels
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 shallot (finely diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely sliced)
  • 1 tomato (blanched skinned & deseeded)
  • 50g peas (frozen)
  • ½ courgette (1cm dice)
  • 2 potatoes (1cm diced)
  • ½ packet baby spinach
  • 1tsp flat Parsley (chopped)
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 250ml white wine
  • 50ml double cream
  • 20g butter (optional)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Warm sautee pan, add knob of butter and then sweat off half of the shallot and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Now add wine. Bring to the boil. Add mussels, place lid on and steam shellfish for 3-4 min­utes, or until all shells have opened (discard any that have not opened).
  3. Strain through a sieve keeping the liquid as this will form the base of the broth.
  4. Remove meat and discard the shells.
  5. Wipe out the pan and add a knob of butter. Add the other half of the shallot and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Then add the cooking liquor and reduce by half.
  6. Now add veg stock and reduce by two thirds. Add cream and again reduce by one third.
  7. Add the diced potatoes and saffron. Boil for a few minutes.
  8. Once the potatoes have cooked, add peas, cour­gettes, spinach and tomato and warm through.
  9. In a non-stick pan, heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil then add the fish skin side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy. Turn fish over. Add 10g butter, take pan off the heat and allow residual heat of pan to finish the cooking.
  10. Finally add mussels and parsley. Check seas­oning and serve in a large bowl with the fish on top.

Choose Shetland Life

Choose a Life, choose a career, choose Shetland as your base to enjoy what you do.

Our 450th edition of Shetland Life magazine is out on Friday 6th April 2018 and we are delighted to give everyone the opportunity to see our latest design and new content by giving it away FREE.

We’ve chosen to showcase Shetland in our main feature with a photography special and fantastic photos from around the islands. 50 top tips from well know local photographers are also included to help you take your best photos ever. 

An interactive music page, delicious recipes, film reviews, health and wellness, competitions, updated puzzle page and fast paced article sections are just some of our new items.

Choose Shetland Life monthly magazine to keep you up to date with everything we know you love about Shetland and its community life – we’d love you to join our growing readership.

Print and digital subscriptions are available at


The sky’s the limit!

For an up-lifting read, choose #Shetland Life monthly magazine – FREE NEXT WEEK with your purchase of Friday 6th April 2018 edition of The Shetland Times newspaper. We hope you enjoy our latest short film which was shot at the beautiful St Ninians Isle.

The new interactive music page within our magazine will allow you to play that funky music!


Who Lives in a House Like This?

Who Lives in a House Like This? Someone who loves life, #Shetland Life, @vrossmith.

Beautifully made crafts and unique gifts. Fascinating features invite you in to our new Shetland Life magazine. Out Friday 6th April as our gift to you.

Shetland Life – Films and Surprises!

This Land is Your Land and the team at Shetland Life magazine are excited to share the first in a series of short films they have been working on. The films show life in Shetland as it is today and also reflect the new style of exciting content Shetland Life monthly magazine continues to include within each edition.

The March issue is receiving great reviews and the team have a bundle of surprises and news that they will be announcing during the next few weeks.

If you’re a proud Shetlander, we know you love where you live so feel free to share our videos and let everyone know This Land is Your Land. Please leave us a message below too.

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Triumphant Dawn

I see the TR6 coming close in behind – its circular headlamps glowing bright and filling the reflection in my door mirror.

Later on I’ll be in that car, too, the wind buffeting my face and the cold March air filled with that lovely deep growl of an engine note.

Down in the engine room the six-cylinder power-house will be carrying out its duties without even a hint of fuss, helping this car surge her way along the A-roads.

Getting the TR6 going after her long hibernation has taken time, energy and a few choice words best described as post-watershed. But she is ready for the task and is eating up the miles.

For now, though, I’m with Mark Fuller in the rather pert-looking TR4A. Conditions here are … cosy – in part because we have a roof over our heads. Mark is smiling as we look over the wood-clad dashboard, once so much the in-thing for British cars, and at the road ahead which the little TR is soaking up with bags of enthusiasm.

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Still in the shed is the grand-daddy of the bunch – the little TR3. Among this trio of Triumphs, she is perhaps wearing her years a little less convincingly than the other two. But, nonetheless, she is road legal and raring to go.

In fact, all three are performing well, considering they’ve been tucked up all winter. But now, with spring just about upon us, and the days getting longer, Shetland’s rich array of classics are beginning to get noticed again. And the TRs are out in force.

It’s time to throw off the covers.

I don’t know if Mark is known as Mr Triumph, but he probably should be. His love of TRs goes back to when he was 17. He has already had an example of Triumph’s much sought-after GT, the Stag.

“Having young kids it was great, because you could go about with the kids. But the kids get to a certain age where it’s not cool to be seen with Dad, so it was my excuse to get a two-seater.”
Time for a TR6, then. But the first one in Mark’s hands was not the stylish roadster you see here. He initially bought a car brought back to the UK from California. But on later getting his TR4, he found the smaller-engined car “ran rings” round the more powerful 6. Why?

“When I bought the TR4, she’d been breathed on a little bit, tuned and what-not, and she absolutely ran rings round the TR6, which shouldn’t have been the case.

“The American cars were seriously detuned to meet their emission regulations. I went looking for an original-spec, UK car, managed to find one and took the chance to buy it.”

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And who could argue against that? The new TR6, a 1970 car, is fitted with what Triumph termed as a PI, or petrol injection, 150 bhp engine of two and a half litres.

The TR6, says Mark, does not take kindly to sitting idle for lengthy periods, which makes the long, dark winter something of an inconvenience. But that’s all the more reason to celebrate the changing of the season.

“She needs a little bit more fettling. She needs to be used, and unfortunately our climate doesn’t let us use the cars as long as they do down south. Our season is pretty much March to September. We’ve got a constant battle with moisture and salt.

“It’s great fun, I just get a huge amount of enjoyment from it.”

Mark has had plenty of enjoyment from his 1967 TR4A, as well – and has even ventured into the continent with the dashing little sports car. It has been to Le Mans twice – home of the world’s oldest endurance race, the 24 Hours Le Mans.

But there are classic events there too, and it’s the TR4A that has taken Mark out to see the entertaining spectacle. He has plans to take her again this year, even if last year’s venture brought some unwanted overheating problems, which meant having to “nurse it round” for 1,500 miles.

“We got to France, there were very high temperatures, and I managed to blow a radiator hose.
“James Hutton, my co-pilot … there’s not much room in a TR4A cabin, and he spent the entire trip very up close and personal with a 25-litre tank of water.”

Nonetheless, driving a TR on the continent will get you an awful lot of attention.

“In France people will actually stop and wave, toot horns. Traffic lights are a hoot because everybody just claps, and asks about the cars. My French is rubbish so I’ve not got a clue what they are saying, but the general feeling is understood.”

The oldest in the trio is the 1960 TR3, and a “rolling restoration”. Mark is delighted that she is roadworthy, but is unsure just how far he should go in making her look new.

“If you go too far then you’re too scared to take them out. The car needs to be driven.”

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Of course, Triumph is just one of a host of British sports car manufacturers that flourished in the post-war years. But Triumph was hopelessly mismanaged after the company was sucked into the woeful British Leyland empire, and the marque was finally laid to rest in 1984, its bow-out model a mundane Honda-based saloon.

But even under BL, Triumph showed tremendous potential, even if very little of that opportunity was ever realised. Look up the still-born Lynx project, a promising Stag successor, or Google the proposed, but never produced, Dolomite replacement, the SD2, if you want to wallow in the world of what-might-have-beens.

Nowadays, the famous marque is owned by BMW – custodians of Triumph’s one-time stablemate, Mini. Talk emerges every few years of a possible resurrection of the Triumph name, although the Bavarians have never confirmed any relaunch plans. A separate enterprise has already seen Triumph motorbikes brought back into production. Is Triumph dead? Or does a new dawn await?

Photos: Dave Donaldson

Capturing Unst’s Spirit

The long-running BBC television series An Island Parish follows the lives of island communities and the local parish. In the past the programme has visited the Isles of Scilly, Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Sark in the Channel Islands and gone further afield to the Falkland Islands. For the eleventh series, producers headed to Unst, following the Rev. David Cooper and other island residents. The programme is a gentle observational documentary rooted in the community of the islands featured, with a particular focus on the church and the role it plays in island life. Production coordinator Rosie Patchett is one of the team who worked on the project and told Shetland Life how she found the experience on the ‘island above all others’.

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Shetland Life: When was the production team in Unst and how long were you based there?

Rosie Patchett: The production team were in Unst from mid-June until December last year for anywhere between two weeks and a month at a time. We tried to be there for as many key events in Unst as possible, as well as giving ourselves time to get to know the island and the local community.

SL: Which parts of the community did you get access to?

RP: We spoke to people from all parts of the community and everyone was incredibly helpful by putting us in touch with people when we wanted to explore an event or idea further. Being based in Unst over such a long period meant we had the opportunity to get to know people from local businesses like the Final Checkout and Baltasound Hotel, as well as the organisers of events, such as the brilliant UnstFest and the Norik Eela.

SL: Shetlanders are famed for their welcoming attitude, did you find that was the case in Unst?

RP: Absolutely. We were lucky enough to be able to take time off from filming to get to know people and found everyone eager to help. Alongside much-appreciated dinner invitations we received advice on anything we needed. Whether it was better ways to travel to Unst, local fishing spots or how to avoid being dive-bombed by disgruntled skuas, there was always someone more than willing to help out.

SL: What was the highlight of the time spent in the island?

RP: Stumbling across Victoria’s Vintage Tea Rooms after our first rather long journey to Unst and sitting down to afternoon tea is certainly one of the highlights. The Norik Eela was a really enjoyable event that stands out as a great example of how everyone in Unst gets into the spirit of things and pulls together to put an event on.

SL: Did you find any challenges that were particular to filming in Unst, or do other island communities face similar difficulties?

RP: We’re usually prepared for some unpredictable weather when filming on islands and Unst was no different. We drank a lot of tea so the biggest challenge was probably running out of milk on a Sunday and knowing you’d have to ask a friendly neighbour if you wanted another cup of tea before the ferries came in on Monday.

SL: The first Shetland Reel Festival was held during your time filming in the island. Were you surprised to see so many visiting and local musicians coming together in such a way?

RP: We’d actually been fortunate enough to see some of the local talent before the festival so we knew it was going to be a great event, but to see various musicians from Shetland and America playing some of the sessions together, having never met each other before, really highlighted just how good the musical talent in Shetland is.

SL: Did you have time to enjoy the fantastic sights and attractions that Unst has to offer?

RP: Both when filming and in our time off we had the chance to explore the island. We managed to take time for walks to Hermaness to see the puffins and to explore the Viking ruins dotted all over the island, not to mention sampling the local food and drink.

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