Torridon Inn – our last stop on the North Coast 500.
The Torridon was waiting for us at the end of our final leg of our North Coast 500 tour and looked a magnificent and welcoming sight as we arrived a bit weary late in the afternoon. The family owned former shooting lodge is situated in 58 acres of parkland at the head of Loch Torridon and comes complete with its very own stag statue and herd of very cute Highland cattle. We were staying at the less formal Inn situated in the grounds of the hotel which offers high quality comfortable rooms based around a courtyard with a lively restaurant and bar nearby.
We hope to return in the future to sample the delights of the luxury main hotel which has a 3 AA rosette restaurant “1887” offering a 3, 4 or 7 course menu from award winning chef David Barnett. He uses the freshest of produce from the kitchen garden, beef from their own herd as well as seafood and game from the nearby lochs and glens – he must be in chef heaven at the Torridon. Another reason to visit is the award winning whisky bar and the fact that they are the only hotel to date to have won AA Scottish Hotel of the Year twice – a fantastic achievement.
Our accomodation was warm, cosy and very welcoming with each room having its own cottage style front door and with parking at the door, you don’t have far to carry your gear. The Inn was busy with visitors’ cars crammed full of canoes, bikes and outdoor gear ready for an action packed weekend in the stunning Wester Ross wilderness.
The room had a huge bed, deep windowsills, tunnocks wafers, lovely toiletries and a massive bath – it really is the perfect home from home after a day out on the hills. Kettle on, Tunnocks wafers eaten and bag unpacked we decided to wander down to the lochside to watch the sun set. This really is such a peaceful corner of Scotland and we were so fortunate to see it in all it’s golden sun kissed autumnal beauty.
We took hundreds of pictures of the Highland cows and the fabulous sun setting across the loch then headed back to chill out before dinner. You can choose to either dine in the “1887” restaurant or the Inn restaurant and it’s recommended that you book ahead as both get very busy. We fancied hearty food and local beers so after a long soak in the peaty bathwater (I love peaty bathwater), we were ready to head for a bite of dinner. The bustling bar with its welcoming log fire is at the heart of the Inn and then the glass fronted dining area wraps around the outside of the building. Local ales including some of Dave’s from An Teallach Ale are on the pump so we chose Ben Dearg and An Teallach to get us started and it’s fair to say they hardly touched the sides! Whisky lovers won’t be disappointed either as there’s a great selection of drams available here too.
What did we have for dinner at the Torridon Inn?
To start, we decided to share a plate of delicious crusty sourdough bread and olives (£4.50) which turned out to be plenty for two hungry folk. The olives, peppers and balsamic infused oils briefly transported us from Loch Torridon to the Med but a swig of An Teallach Ale brought us right back to the Highlands ready for our mains.
As this was our last night on the NC500 and we hadn’t bought the T shirt (there’s lots of places selling them now), to mark our journey I decided to choose the Torridon Inn NC500 burger (£13.50). There’s the the option of a single or double burger, served in a soft bun with Blue Murder cheese or Clava Brie. I chose a single burger with the Brie and it was huge but I’m sure you could manage a double after a days exploring. The pickled garden shallots and chive mayo with melting cheese were a great addition to the meaty close textured patty. It was definitely worth driving 500 miles for!
Raymond chose the ‘Pie of the Day’ which was Steak and Ale (£12.00). The generous pie with tender chunks of steak and thick tasty gravy is served with chips, broccoli and cauliflower topped with a golden puff pastry lid. It really hit the spot and was the perfect warming dish on a chilly autumn evening.
After finishing our mains our cheerful waiter offered us the dessert menu and we couldn’t resist. All along our NC500 route we had spotted signs declaring “Black Isle Dairy Ice Cream sold here” but even with Raymond’s ice cream addiction somehow we hadn’t sampled any yet. Thankfully The Torridon Inn didn’t let us down and we happily scoffed a selection of delicious Black Isle ice creams to finish off our meal.
The night was crisp and clear so after dinner we went for a walk down the drive to enjoy the starry skies. Before we arrived at Torridon, we weren’t sure how it would work having the two quite different styles of accommodation so close together but in reality it works perfectly. Guests from The Torridon and The Torridon Inn can mix and match dining options and take part in any of the outdoor activities available on site. Archery, gorge scrambling, sea kayaking, rock climbing and guided walks all feature on the activity timetable and are free to guests staying at The Torridon with a supplementary cost of between £25 and £50 to Inn and non-residents.
Breakfast at Torridon Inn
The Torridon estate provides access to 16 Munros so you will be glad to hear that they also provide a full breakfast menu including their hearty full cooked Scottish breakfast to set you up for a day on the hills. Since we were planning a seafood lunch rather than climbing a Munro, we were hoping that they would have a wee bacon roll on the menu. Not so much a wee roll but a hearty bacon sandwich filled with tasty bacon and your choice of sauce. Perfect!
If you want to check out of the stresses and strains of modern life then The Torridon in Wester Ross is the perfect spot. It’s location is fantastic with access to as much outdoors as you can handle while providing all the creature comforts that you could possibly want. We stayed for one night but could have happily stayed a while longer as there is so much to explore in Wester Ross and enjoy at The Torridon.
How do I find out more information and book a stay at Torridon Inn?
The Torridon Inn
Tel:01445 791 242[/su_gmap]
Many thanks to Dan for our invitation to stay at Torridon Inn as part of our North Coast 500 trip. All food and drink during our visit was paid for by us and all views are as always our very own.
More ideas from Boys Eat Scotland.
Check out all our other Scottish restaurant and hotel visits here