NC500 Foodies Guide
The North Coast 500 is renowned for its breath-taking beauty and spectacular driving, but no-one should be foolish enough to take on the challenge on an empty stomach. We have put together a NC500 foodies guide to a few of the route’s best eateries, from fine dining to casual comfort food.
The Torridon Inn, Torridon
The family owned former shooting lodge is situated in 58 acres of parkland at the head of Loch Torridon and home to the famous Torridon Inn NC500 burger.
If you want to soothe the stresses and strains of modern life then The Torridon in Wester Ross is the perfect stop. It’s location is ideal for those with a desire to explore the great outdoors while providing all the creature comforts that you could possibly expect.
For travellers looking for a more luxurious option, 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.
The Torridon Hotel & Inn, by Achnasheen, Wester Ross, Scotland IV22 2EY (thetorridon.com)
Photo property of thetorridon.com
The Seafood Shack, Ullapool
People travel far and wide to come to this little kitchen trailer at the edge of Ullapool for takeaway to get incredible seafood dishes without the fuss, formality and price of a formal restaurant.
Choose from the daily menu, chalked up on a large blackboard, of sustainable and local seafood. Then get in line, place your order and they’ll shout when it’s ready.
This BBC Food & Farming award winner is certainly worth the hype.
The Seafood Shack, 9 West Argyle Street, Ullapool, Scotland IV26 2TY (seafoodshack.co.uk)
Photo property of seafoodshack.co.uk
Loch Ness Country House Hotel, Inverness
Set in extensive grounds and well-tended gardens less than a mile from the centre of Inverness , this fine Italianate mansion inhabits its own cosseted world of seductive opulence and traditional hospitality.
The high-quality dining experience carries an AA Rosette rating, with chefs serving up only the best locally sourced and seasonal produce. The dinner menu might feature diver-caught scallops with a glaze of Champagne mustard and raspberry red wine, fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef with Old Inverness whisky sauce or grilled Ness salmon on spinach and watercress purée. The extensive wine list features a comprehensive collection of more than 200 malt whiskies.
Loch Ness Road, Inverness, Scotland, IV3 8JN (lochnesscountryhousehotel.co.uk)
Photo property of lochnesscountryhousehotel.co.uk
Lochinvar Larder, Lochinvar
If a visit to Lochinvar is on your itinerary, it would have been rude not to stop at the famous pie shop, the Lochinvar Larder.
Providing celebrated bistro food, from outstanding venison pies to a delightful mackerel paté.
If you are as taken by their offerings as we are, they even offer a “pies by post” service.
Lochinvar Larder, Main Street, Lochinvar, Scotland IV27 4JY (piesbypost.co.uk)
Cocoa Mountain, Durness
Despite its remote location, this bespoke chocolate shop and café have earned international fame.
Cocoa Mountain’s shelves are stocked with exotic-flavoured truffles: chilli and lemongrass, peanut butter and cranberry, ginger and cinnamon. The show-stopper, however, is the hot chocolate, frothing to the brim and oozing with melted white and dark chocolate.
Cocoa Mountain, Balnakeil, Durness, Highland, Scotland, IV27 4PT (cocoamountain.co.uk)
Captain’s Galley, Scrabster
Once crowned the UK’s most sustainable venue by the Sustainable Restaurant Awards, The Captain’s Galley has been roundly praised for its green credentials. This takes many forms: minimising waste, maximising recycling, foraging for razor clams on local beaches and only using fish from healthy stocks.
Visitors to this atmospheric former ice house can enjoy sashimi-grade fish cooked ‘medium’ to preserve its character.
Captain’s Galley, The Harbour, Scrabster, Scotland, KW14 7UJ (captainsgalley.co.uk)
Photo property of captainsgalley.co.uk
Kylesku Hotel, Lairg
Located in Assynt, a beautiful, remote region of the Highlands, perfect for those who love hillwalking and birdwatching.
Aside from the views, the thing that stands out about the Kylesku is its restaurant, which showcases the best of local produce.
Crab, lobster and mussels are caught daily from the loch, scallops are hand-dived around the Summer Isles. The seafood tapas are startlingly good.
The Kylesku Hotel, Kylesku Bridge, Sutherland, Lairg, Scotland, IV27 4HW (kyleskuhotel.co.uk)
Photo property of kyleskuhotel.co.uk