Scotland: Northern Highlands
I am traveling through Scotland's Northern Highlands this summer and seek dining advice. I have searched this board and found some good referrals and any additional places and opinions are appreciated.
Inverness: Rocpool is recommended, but the fine dining restaurant at the hotel or the bistro? The Mustard Seed and Contrast Brasserie are also well liked and sound very good, has anyone tried either of these spots recently?
Dornoch/Brora: I understand the Quiet Piggy is not to be missed, and Luigi's in Dornoch is also a must stop that we will be visiting.
Caithness: Going north on A99/A836 are there any places worth visiting? Has anyone dined at the Forss House or Melvich Hotel in Thurso? Orkneys?
Sutherland: Along the coast west through Sutherland -any advice?
Wester Ross: Staying at the Summer Isles which has much acclaim but little chowhound comment. Ullapool advice also appreciated. I understand the Applecross Inn is excellent, but is the drive treacherous? Which is the favored restaurant in Plockton - the Inn or the Hotel?
Skye: Lastly we will be in Portree for a week. We have tried 3 Chimneys and were a bit disappointed with a just okay but not special meal. We did enjoy the meals at Kinloch Lodge very much. I heard that there is a special place for seafood on the west coast of Skye, but do not know the name of the restaurant.
We are up for anything from a seafood shack, fish and chippery, cafe or fine dining. I listed quite a few locations, but hope that someone may be of assistance for any of them on this London-centric board!
Hi, I'm from the Highlands and can definitely recommend The Mustard Seed Restaurant. The food is delicious and the service has always been very good every time I've eaten there.
I would recommend eating at Kinloch Lodge again. I don't know when you last ate there but they introduced a new head Chef (Marcello Tully) last April and since then he has developed the menu under a radically new framework. Definitely one of the best fine dining experiences in the UK!
Passing through Alness on the way North from Inverness, there's a very nice place to eat lunch - Tulloch Castle (http://www.tullochcastle.co.uk/) You chould go through Invergordon on your way, it's just off the A9 but it's got one of the deepest harbours in Europe and was named one of the top cruise ports in the world. It also has a fantastic history and some beautiful scenery.
La Mirage is supposed to be a superb chippy in Dornoch and I forget the name but there's a brilliant place to stop for a coffee in Thurso, they do fantastic home baking!! I'm a huge cheesecake fan and they had a blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake when I visited. DIVINE! All I can tell you is that it's beside a pub and close to a sharp corner. It's not a big place so you shouldn't have much trouble. I think it might even have an italian name but don't take my word for it.
Make sure you check out these beaches - Oldshoremore and Sandwood (near Kinlochbervie) and Achmelvich.
Enjoy your trip!
Many thanks for all of your recommendations! The Badachro Inn looks lovely and I have never found any reference to it before. I have heard of the famed Plockton prawns and now note the Plockton Hotel is the place to get them. La Mirage looks and sounds very good, and we will have to book the Kinloch Lodge to try the new chef.
All the advice is very much appreciated!
Haven't been to the Plockton Inn, but the Hotel is a great place to stay and the prawns are to die for. We actually enjoyed eating in the pub more than in the restaurant though, which was sort of blandly modern decor.
The mountain drive to Applecross isn't all that bad, but visibility will depend greatly on the weather. Our views were sadly clouded over to a great extent. We didn't eat there, but would love to go again and stay the night so I could enjoy what looked like an excellent, daily varying menu.
I have been in Dornoch for the past 3 weeks. Here is a brief update:
1) Luigi's in Dornoch is still a good spot for dinner or lunch.
2) The Quiet Piggy, which was in Brora, moved to Helmsdale a couple of years ago. It changed ownership within the past year and is now called the Green Stag. I have not heard any reports about how it is.
3) An Italian restaurant called "Il Padrino" took over the Quiet Piggy space in Brora. I have not been but have heard positive comments on it.
4) There is a well known fish & chip shop/restaurant in Helmsdale that is worth visiting. I think the name is La Mirage.
5) On the west coast of the Highlands, the Badachro Inn, in the village of Badachro (south of Gairloch) is a very nice, scenic spot to stop for lunch.
6) In Inverness, the Contrast Brasserie in the Glenmoriston Hotel serves a very good 2-course set lunch for 7 pounds. We were there 10 days ago and enjoyed it.
7) We had diner at the Forss House Hotel 9 years ago. I remember it being a very nice place and the food being better than average.