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Scottish blogger

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake


Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

A simple chocolate cake that can be served as a dessert or serve a slice with a cup of your favourite tea. No eggs, flour or sugar and sweetened using only dates. 

Shopping bag

  • 15 small dates soaked in boiling water for at least 30 mins (medjool dates are best)

  • 200g ground almonds

  • 1 teaspoon gf baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 4 tablespoons coconut or olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

  • 60 ml non-dairy milk

  • Pinch salt


Pre-heat oven 180 or gas 4. grease and line a round cake tin.

Drain most of water just leaving a small amount and blend dates and water in a food processor. Add the pureed dates to a bowl with all other ingredients and mix well before pouring into the greased tin. Bake for around 20 minutes. 

Blend coconut cream and fresh berries of your choice to serve with the cake. 



One of the prettiest beaches in Angus - Lunan Bay


One of the prettiest beaches in Angus - Lunan Bay

Scotland you are spoiling us! We have had this May and June so many prefect days for an outdoor adventure! If this weather continues, no one will ever believe us that it rains here most of the year. We have been so spoiled  with this glorious weather and it’s not even summer yet.

It was still May when we packed our photography gear and headed out to Lunan Bay. It was sunny and warm and almost zero wind. Simply amazing. Ironically, while we were filming our yoga sequence I got a notification from the Met Office issuing a heavy rain warning in the central and west part of Scotland.We never got a drop of rain tho. ⚠️


Lunan Bay is probably one of the prettiest beaches in Angus. It offers you a magnificent sweep of sand, with a cave and arch at its northern end. Beyond all the sand dunes you can see ruins of the Red Castle, proudly overlooking the bay. It is hardly surprising that in 2000 Lunan Bay was voted the best beach in Scotland. It’s a good place to visit after a heavy storm go find some hidden gems as the beach is famed for its good sources of agates and other gemstones. It’s one of those places that unless you are local, you wouldn’t have known of.


We arrived to the area before 9am but the sun was already strong. By noon the ground got so heated the condensation created a faint smudge of steamy smoke hovering just above the ground and into the water.  We had a great day of recording some yoga footage, with a simple sequence from Finlay’s book, playing with Coops and soaking in the beauty of this amazing place.


Yoga on the beach is a fantastic idea. You can try poses without fear of face planting because let’s face it, the landing is pretty soft! 

I also had an opportunity to play with Finlay’s camera, Canon EOS 600D . It’s not the newest model but pretty amazing and sharp. It’s an entry-level model so perfect for anyone wanting to take their iPhone photography to the next level. Those pictures were done with a 70-300mm lens, it’s a telephoto focal length lens so helps you to capture the detail of distant subjects and gives you that lovely blurry background (with a little help of well adjusted low F stop). This is what I came up with today.

I use Nikon myself so it was a great to play with Canon and explore all the functions it has to offer. I have been chatting a lot with my photography pals Siobhan and Kirsty about Canon, they both are professional photographers and using full frame Canons. So this is a wee treat.

Now, acro... well this was another adventure! After a few hours on the beach we decided to move up and explore the ruins of the castle. The Red Castle of Lunan is a ruined fortified house on the coast of Angus. The earliest structure on the site was built for King William the Lion in the late twelfth century to repel Viking invasions to Lunan Bay. It was rebuilt several times and pretty much used until 1770 but in the last few centuries in went into a gradual decline so all we can see now are the ruins. 

We set our camp, secured Cooper and off we went to film our acro...however the uneven ground, a whole group of tourist that appeared out of nowhere and walked on us and Cooper chewing on the lead meant that I dismantled myself off the very first pose, landed on Finlay, practically gave myself a concussion and almost broke my pinkie finger (although not sure how I managed that). We just really like a good dose of drama! I am pretty sure the whole Angus could hear us laughing, cursing and laughing more (just imagine the facial responses of those poor, confused tourists). 

We had no food today but our friends recommended finishing our day with a naughty and very vegetarian lunch and the Lunan Bay Diner. Vegan burgers with halloumi cheese AND baked beans - yummy!! Even Cooper enjoyed it. 😂


Our journey to the wild amphitheatre of the rocky Corrie Fee - with Kilted Yogi


Our journey to the wild amphitheatre of the rocky Corrie Fee - with Kilted Yogi

This was my second visit this year to this wild amphitheatre of rocky landscape! It was amazing to see the changes a few months can do and I am hoping to show you both the winter wonderland and spring awakening. 


This whole area was sculpted thousands of years ago by the power of ice and water which left behind corries, cliffs, moraines and a mesmerising river. Today, this beautiful area is a true haven for plants, birds and animals. Sadly, it is also an example of Britain’s lost wilderness areas as it was untouched by humans for centuries up until about 200 years ago.When sheep farming was introduced this area started attracting more deer which meant that trees and sensitive plants didn't stand the chance. The woodland virtually disappeared and grassland expanded. Deer population now needs to be controlled, wolfs are gone, and sheep roam the world. This makes me so incredibly sad as I really wish human hands were less invasive. 


We decided on Corrie Fee as the weather was shaping beautifully but we had very little time. First stop was the Ranger’s Office. Did you know you can check in before you embark on your walk and check out afterwards for added safety? This way if you won't come back they will know by sundown and send a rescue party. 

Once you start walking the route crosses White Water and follows the bewitching Fee Burn into the nature reserve. It's a stunning site with the magnificent bowl shaped valley backed by a impressive waterfall. We came here when the waterfall wasn’t too dry just yet so the pictures are exceptional. As we started so early, the whole way up we were alone and this quiet, remote landscape was literally filled with roaring, tumbling noise of only water and sounds of the nature – here you can really understand why corrie in Gaelic also means ‘cauldron’.

Look at the difference between March and May…stunning !

Finlay managed to climb all the way to the top of the waterfall which you can watch on our video below. I stayed with the kids (aka pups)  keeping them safe and calm (and saving my fear of heights for another adventure)

One of my favourite drinks to take for a sweaty, exhausting hike is my chai latte (aka. toxic coloured broth), filled with nutritious fats and energy…if you eat to learn how I make it then jus follow this link. 

Now, the big thing about this trip is that we finally got back to our aero sessions! Finlay and I used to do it literally every day, creating those wee videos from the gym, parks, studios. Two years ago when my husband and I decided to open a wellbeing studio in Broughty Ferry our whole energy was literally poured into creating this space and we both got a little bit lost in the amount of work and challenges a new business brings. As I was entering into 2018 I made a pledge to myself to come back to all those things that used to fill up my heart and let go of those draining me. Acro was one of them. 

When was the last time when you had to trust the person that is literally holding and balancing you over the edge of a cliff! ⠀

Strength and independence have been the backbone to my identity since the first day I walked into nursery and was confused by all the tears of other kids pleading their mums not to leave them for just a few hours. The same thing happened at 18 when I became a fully independent young adult living alone. Yep - strong and independent - but I really had to be! How else would I conquer the world and make any sense of my life?! ⠀

And then the AcroYoga happened. In Acro the roles are reversed, the submissive role (flyer) can’t just go and exert the dominance. I’m literally folded in half and perched upon my partner’s feet. And need to listen really carefully! I’m a meter or more off the ground (on this video a hell a lot of more!) and I can easily imagine how much it would hurt to smack my face on the ground. 

It really did make me think why have I always felt like I need to be the strong and independent and why it’s sooo hard for me to just let go and trust. I have neglected AcroYoga for a few years and just recently begun peeling back my negative connotations from dependance and weakness. It takes time but it feel really liberating to just trust somebody else and let them hold you. 


Subscribe to Finlay's You Tube channel for more videos to come!


Scotland... 'It's like the whole country is built just to fall in love with.'


Scotland... 'It's like the whole country is built just to fall in love with.'

Today I have a wee treat for you guys, an interview with my pal Danielle who I used to work with and literally run the Fulbright Summer Institute back in the days. She is a Californian chick with a pen and a brilliant mind. Read her bio on the bottom of this page and follow her writings. 

Tell us a little bit about your stay in Scotland: why did you come here?

I came to Scotland to attend the University of Dundee in 2011, I lived in Dundee, Scotland until I graduated from uni in 2014. I've been back once since I graduated to visit the old stomping grounds. I was initially drawn to the culture and magicalness of the country, and now hold Scotland very near and dear to my heart. 

What was most striking thing you discovered when you moved here from California?

Trying to understand the thick accents when I first moved to Scotland was so difficult, I remember sitting in an english lecture and not being able to understand a word of what the professor was saying. I went and transferred out of the class right afterwards;-). After the initial shock, I quickly learned what "taking the piss" and "taking the mick" meant, and when I would visit California on break I would always get asked where I was from. 

Another pivotal moment was when my British friends taught me to make a perfect cup of tea. They used to recoil when I first made them tea, incredibly uneducated I would leave the tea bag in for way too long, drown it in milk and use completely the wrong spoon! The horrors;-)  

What made your heart melt? 

Scotland is a gorgeous country. The green hills and fields, crisp mornings, cold rough oceans and rugged landscapes. And that's not even mentioning the ancient castles scattered about the place. It's like the whole country is built just to fall in love with. 

What part of Scotland do you love the most and why?

I loved the people the most, but that's the next question. So I guess the next best thing would be the pub culture, how anytime is time for a pint. But more than the pint, it's just about connecting. After lectures, Friday nights, Sunday mornings, a sunny afternoon—there's always a reason to sit down with good company and enjoy a drink and a laugh. I loved slowing down and taking time to shoot the breeze. 

What did you think about the people? 

The Scottish people are so quick to crack a joke—at their own expense or someone else's—and to throw back a pint. It feels like the entire culture is built around sharing a pint. They are so friendly and welcoming and take SO much pride in their country, whilst simultaneously taking the absolute piss out of it (cue Trainspotting).

Your favourite whisky? :)

I might get in trouble for saying this, but I was really drawn to the Scottish gins over the whiskeys. While visiting different distilleries—especially Oban—was such a fun experience, I feel like the Scottish gins are really on the up and up. Especially the yummy gins from St. Andrews' Eden Mill. 

Are you coming back? 

While I don't have any definite plans at the moment for moving back to Scotland, I wouldn't say it's out of the picture. Scotland will always be a very special place and a second home to me. 


Danielle Ames is a freelance writer who loves happy hour, getting sweaty, and a good sentence. 

A California native, she’s lived in Scotland, Italy, Thailand, and England, and wishes that list was much longer (and included Genovia).

Her accomplishments abroad include a string of bar jobs, and playing a key role in intoxicating the underaged over(fake)tanned Scottish population. 

She writes the blog Not Enough Middle Fingers


More wilds of Glen Tilt


More wilds of Glen Tilt

This was our little Easter Weekend treat - a whole weekend in Blair Atholl and more Glen Tilt. What a stunning area - I may seriously be in love by now. 

Queen Victoria called Glen Tilt 'the prettiest view she's ever seen' - and that says something, doesn't it?

The weather was gorgeous (despite really cold, wintery forecast) and the views over the Beinn Mheadhonach and later on over Carn a'Chlamain were breathtaking.

I was glad though we were safely nested in the Glen rather than climbing any of those big boys as it looked really icy up there. 

If you are interested in visiting the glen, look at WalkHighlands website. if you prefer a shorter walk, just as ours then just start at the Blair Castle, walk up to the Shooting Range and through it, and just follow the river. Walk as far as your legs allow you, preserve your strength for the journey back the same way though. Marble Lodge is around 5miles away from the castle and should take you around 3h to walk. 


Wilds of Glen Tilt


Wilds of Glen Tilt


Glen Tilt is a little gem. Nested next to the stunning Blair Castle, offer you an idyllic woods, clear wild water and lofty peaks. 

This route is just a wee walk but absolutely stunning and worth the journey. The easiest way is to start from the car park just beyond the Old Bridge of Tilt (or just walk from the castle). Walking up the hill you see on the pictures with Cooper looking down can make you feel a little bit like Sisyphus rolling his immense boulder up the hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top. But luckily, once you are at the top, struggle is over and the rest of the journey is down hill.

You will be passing river Tilt as well as many little waterfalls which are just stunning. Be careful in spring as sheep are everywhere and you MUST keep your dogs on the lead. 

The whole route shouldn't take you more than 2hours 30 minutes. The tracks are good with paths. It's about 6km.  


Ben Cleuch - pretty damn good idea for a adventurous hike.


Ben Cleuch - pretty damn good idea for a adventurous hike.

Not a Munro, not even a Corbett but pretty damn good hill to walk. Ben Cleuch may not appeal to many as it's not on the 'list' of fancy pants mountains to climb but to me it was one of the most satisfactory hikes I have done for a while (I'm even eating my celebratory dark chocolate as I type this).

It is the highest point in the Ochil Hills - 721 metres (2,365 ft) high and can be approached from many directions. Today was such a wonderfully clear day, the views were excellent! Particularly those to the north looking towards the Southern Highlands. Ben Lomond and my second favourite - Ben Vorlich were especially prominent. Looking to the south gave excellent views over the Forth Valley region, the Forth bridges (the new Ferry Crossing!) and Edinburgh to the east, Glasgow to the west: almost a coast to coast view but not quite. I swear I could see Dundee at some point. 

I have used WalkHighlands for inspiration - if you want to follow my route just click here. They describe it really well, much better than if I attempted to write all of this down. 

Just be warmed - when they say 'steep' they really do mean freakishly STEEP! I was lucky Cooper the whippet was wearing his new Ruffwear harness as otherwise he would break his back. With the harness I was able to lift him and help him on some of the steeper parts. Otherwise he is a born mountain junkie and did very well for a wee whippet.