This morning I ate a piece of toast in the Oban Backpackers Plus hostel. The toast was made from a lovely handmade brown loaf and not at all what I expected from the breakfast included with our accommodation.

But of course it turned out that it wasn’t. It was the bread that two fellow travellers were eating for their breakfast in preference to the white sliced loaf provided. Awkward.

And this loaf that I had been egregiously scoffing was no ordinary loaf. Not at all. This bread had been lovingly baked by the owner of the B&B they had been staying at on Islay, a colleague of mine.

A breakfast improved by the quality of toast was further enhanced by chat: stories of island visits and the utterly charming Loch Gruinart House B&B, which I had also stayed in when I visited Islay for work.

Really. Go there. The welcome is warm, the rooms beautifully decorated and cosy and the views over the spectacular countryside are amazing. When I visited in October the fields opposite the house were filled with thousands of geese and a barn owl sat on a fence post metres from the door. Oh and the bread they bake for breakfast is second to none.

Loch Gruinart House B&B

Backpackers Plus Oban may have a logo that weirdly makes it look like a tyre repair firm but the family room was large, quiet and in a separate house from the rest of the (youth- orientated) hostel. The room had a double bed, single and a bunk and was £69 including a toast and cereal breakfast in the shared kitchen and dining room.

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