Wester Ross Food Trail - Applecross to Strathcarron (via Kishorn, Torridon, and Diabaig!)
Ok, so you are driving, walking, or cycling around our beautiful region! But WHERE can you go to try the local food of the area - the world famous fish, the home baking, the local venison and beef? Let us tell you!
We start off the trail in Applecross, at the Applecross Inn. This is in a stunning setting, and is busy all year round with locals and visitors alike. Over the years, the Inn has gained a huge and well deserved reputation for its food, and Chefs use local produce when ever possible., this includes of course the seafood from Applecross Bay itself, Prawns, Squat Lobster, Crab and Lobster. Locally sourced Scallops, Oysters, Mussels and Smoked Salmon. Applecross Estate Venison and as much garden produce as possible. Cheeses come in from local Scottish dairies .A recent addition is Applecross Inn-Side-Out - a shiny outdoor airstream , serving their legendary fish & chips , exclusive local Applecross Ices and fresh coffee. A constant stream of awards are testament to the food, the surroundings, and the service. Try it!
Leaving Applecross, you can either go up the coast road towards Shieldaig and Torridon, or over the famous "Bealach" road, with its alpine style hairpins, and a view over many of the Outer Hebridean islands such as Skye, Rum, Raasay and northwards to Harris and Lewis. This is an unforgettable drive, and one of the "must do" experiences of Wester Ross (do NOT try this in a caravan or larger motorhome, by the way. You do this at your own risk) . But along the Coast road, there are endless vistas out towards the Hebrides, with islands such as Rona, Raasay, and Skye sliding past as you drive - in the distance, the mountains of Harris rise up out of the mist (or the heat haze!). There are a number of small communities to be passed - but when you come to Kenmore - STOP! The foodie in you has arrived at the Applecross Smokehouse, where the MacIver family prepare and sell a range of smoked foods, including locally caught seafood - Highland cheeses - shellfish and pate. Delicious!
But over the Bealach route, towards Lochcarron, you go through the Kishorn area - and past yet another multi award winning restaurant....the Kishorn Seafood Bar. Run by owner Viv Rollo, and now in its 20th year, the KSB has a reputation for local shellfish; with Prawns, Crab and Squat Lobster from Loch Kishorn; Mussels and Oysters from Skye and King Scallops, Lobster, Smoked Salmon and Fresh Salmon also obtained locally. These are all simply cooked and served. The premises are open plan so customers can watch and talk to the owner and staff as their meal is prepared, and the ethos and aim is to provide a clean, pleasant, unpretentious, friendly Scottish environment.
After Kishorn, the road takes you to Lochcarron, and The Rockvilla Guest House and Licensed Restaurant. 46 out of 50 reviewers on Trip Advisor rated this "5 Stars - Excellent", with quotes such as "Had the Haggis for a starter and had seafood tagliatelle for mains, big portions, excellent flavour, Wendy even threw in a couple of edible flowers"....and..... "Rope grown mussels were delicious. Veg lasagne was very tasty and the beef linguine was superb. Host was great, cozy atmosphere and stunning setting on the loch." Try it and see - it certainly doesn't sound as though you will be disappointed!
Now towards Torridon, perhaps you feel like trying some local ales or fresh beef and pork that has come from only a few hundred yards from where you are sitting? In that case, we recommend stopping off at the Torridon Inn or Hotel.
Whether you are staying at the Inn or touring the Scottish Highlands, book a table or hop on a bar stool at the Torridon Inn for the best of Scottish pub and bistro food. The chefs at the Inn are committed to using the best local ingredients, carefully cooked and beautifully presented. Local fish, sourced from nearby Gairloch, or the Torridon burger, acclaimed by one Scottish food writer as “the best burger in Scotland” created, when supplies allow, from the Torridon’s own Highland herd. .
Highlights among the Inn’s starters usually include Isle of Ewe smoked salmon, local mussels. Main course? A rich local venison, or perhaps a warming Steak and ale pie. And there are always meat free options for those who prefer vegetarian. Dessert? After a day spent walking in the local hills or a fine drive along the sea loch, how about a deep dive into sticky toffee pudding or a rich ice-cream sundae?
And if you want to experience fine dining and luxurious accommodation, the hotel is the place for you! Have a look at some sample menus - all offering expert cooking and preparation, combined with quality local produce from the Highlands.
And finally (for this part of the Food trail), one of our newest and brightest food experiences - take the stunningly beautiful road along to Diabaig and try the Gille Brigdhe!
"Gille Brigdhe" - Gaelic for "Oystercatcher"
"Gille Brigdhe - Recommended for Food!"
This sits right on the shore of Loch Torridon in Wester Ross where the drama and tranquility meet as comfortably as the mountains and sea. It is a special place, and whether by sea or by road we think the destination is definitely worth the journey! Amanda and Aart serve the very best local produce, fresh and homemade food – seafood, fish, meat, game & venison from neighbouring shores and glens.Through the day there's a selection of light meals, sandwiches, soups and bakes with a ‘Specials’ board for long, lazy lunches. In the evening, you will find a full rustic fine dining menu being served: just great food presented with a little creativity and imagination.
"Gille Brigdhe" - Winners at the 2015 Highland Food Awards
Now carry on towards Kinlochewe and Badachro........