Scotland is the land of culinary delights, world renowned for being unique, wholesome and traditional, yet with a twist of innovation. We have brought together a selection of ideal destinations on the West Coast to allow you to sample some of the finest food on offer.
Join us at the most Romantic Hotel in Scotland
At Knockderry House, nestled amongst woods on the quiet banks of Long Long, we pride ourselves on our outstanding culinary ability. We offer a wonderfully balanced menu, focusing on locally sourced and seasonal produce, masterfully served by our accomplished two AA Rosette chefs. Relaxing in the dining room, you might choose from the varied delights of Mosaic of Perthshire Wild Game, Braised Oxtail and Beef Cheek Pithivier – if you’re feeling adventurous you may take them up on some of our unique and special offerings such as Parsnip Ice Cream.
Knockderry specialises in providing a comfortable, homely and luxurious atmosphere. The hotel is an excellent place to begin and finish any tour of the West Coast.
After Knockderry, your ideal next stop is situated North West of us at Loch Melfort Hotel
With magnificent views out across the Loch that the Hotel draws its name from, Loch Melfort is both tranquil and welcoming. Taking a step outside the norm, the kitchen team forage the local woods for ingredients to include on their ever changing menu, allowing authentic, seasonal dishes to be created, harking back to a time now almost lost in Scotland’s history. On the menu you can find some delicious things, such as Oven Roasted ‘Kippered’ Fillet of Arduaine Halibut and Tempure Battered Loch Fyne Oysters.
You can continue your journey North by following the Argyll coastal road, a beautiful scenic route, for about 20 miles up to Oban
Oban – historical and welcoming
A welcoming location for tourists, Oban’s bay is perfectly calm due to its characteristic horse-shoe shape, with the island of Kerrera further protecting it. Oban is rich and diverse in food, even having its own whisky distillery and chocolate shop. Indulge yourself in its historical castles and ancient religious sites, underlining that the West Coast is not only about food.
In deciding where to dine, seafood would be the obvious choice. And we mean seafood in its broadest sense, from finfish (haddock, cos, bass, hake, etc) and shellfish (langoustines, crab, lobster, mussels, etc), to more exotic offerings such as such as octopi and sea urchins.
The Eeusk Restaurant specialises in an almost exclusively seafood menu, allowing you to sample some fresh, locally caught produce.
Oban is known as the Gateway to the Isles due to its busy ferry terminal, with multiple destinations all over the West Coast. One fantastic island to hop over to is Mull.
Mull is rich in various kinds of beautiful food. It has some unique local farms and restaurants selling the island’s produce.
Ardalanish Farm is one place of notable interest. Also referred to as the Isle of Mull Weavers, the farm brings together meat production with the intricate creation of their clothing market.
While on Mull, why not stop at The Ninth Wave restaurant. The owners are very proud in their claim of sourcing all of their food themselves – whether grown on their croft, caught by local fishermen, or supplied to them by neighbouring farms. This will give you a true sense of the fantastic produce of Mull’s land and sea.
For a very special and intimate experience, you could also try the Ballgowan. Perched on Mull’s West Coast scenic road, this tiny BYOB restaurant is literally the owners’ front room, offering gorgeous home-made food in a lovely homely atmosphere. Booking essential!
The Misty Isle
Just north of Mull is the world renowned Isle of Skye, another excellent place of exceptional seafood. Lovingly named the Misty Isle after its frequent low-lying fog, the island is still majestic whatever the weather. Visitors to the island are spoilt for choice when choosing where to dine, and it sometimes comes down to where has room! The world-famous Three Chimneys showcases Skye Red Deer, utilises the on-trend ingredient of seaweed and incorporates Marmalade – a popular ingredient in Scotland – into its famous Hot Marmalade Pudding. Or why not try the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge, offering specialities such as Black Isle Lamb Fillet, locally caught cod, and Drumfearn mussels.
From the south, head back over the water at the Skye Bridge, and onto the mainland towards Applecross.
Applecross – seclusion and beauty
Possibly the most secluded spot along the West Coast, Applecross is a beautifully serene location. The road there is high and windy, but offers as spectacular a view at its peak as anywhere else you could find in Scotland. The Applecross Inn is tucked away in the landscape, completely in a world of its own. The menu presents things such as Applecross Bay Dressed Crab Salad and Scottish Chicken Supreme – it really is a breath-taking place to sit and eat.
The view to Skye and the wild Outer Hebrides is utterly spectacular from Applecross, especially during the winter months when the weather is rough and the wind whips up the sea.
Lewis and Harris – windswept and wild
Although given separate names, Lewis and Harris are one connected island, with Harris in the south and Lewis in the north. Tarbert, on Harris, can be accessed by a ferry from Uig, Skye, whereas Stornoway on Lewis can be accessed by a ferry from Ullapool, further up the mainland.
Whilst Harris is becoming well-known for its Harris Gin, Stornoway’s produce has become internationally recognised: Stornoway Black Pudding was granted a Protected Geographical Indicator of Origin, and is now protected as something very special and unique to the Island.
Black pudding is essentially a ‘blood sausage’. Although found across Europe, it is most common in the UK and Ireland.
A close relation to Black Pudding is the Haggis. Traditionally served at Rabbie Burn’s Night, it is made from the offal (heart, liver, lungs), usually from a sheep, which is minced and mixed with onion, oatmeal, spices, salt and stock. Originally it would have been placed inside the stomach lining of the animal it had been made from, but in modern times a synthetic alternative is now used. A good quality haggis is a thing to behold, you won’t regret trying it.
Concluding the Tour
Stornoway offers many different culinary delights, but with Black Pudding being popular all over Scotland it is not surprising that it can be found on the breakfast menu at Knockderry, where you can stop over as you journey back down to the cities of Glasgow or Edinburgh or to the airport.
Scotland is teaming with fresh, local, seasonal produce just waiting to be tasted and discovered. We wish you a happy foodie tour!