Restaurants

Eating out when staying at Big Sky Lodges

The Big Sky team has extensively tested all that Inverness and the Black Isle has to offer in terms of delicious local food and drink. Below are a few of our favourite bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Scottish produce – particularly its beef, fish, shellfish and game – can be outstanding, and in whisky the country lays almost complete claim to one of the world’s most popular and sophisticated drinks. With only a limited range of traditional foods and recipes to draw on, Scottish cuisine has welcomed a host of foreign influences, from classic French cooking to the Italian, Indian and Asian ideas brought by immigrants. In what is generally described as Modern Scottish cooking, these influences join forces with fresh, well-sourced local produce, with results that can be a lot more impressive than visitors expect.

→ What to eat

Tulloch Castle Hotel

Our top chef takes full advantage of nature’s abundant harvest from nearby sea, lochs, rivers and our rich farmland and manages to combine simplicity with sophistication to ensure that you enjoy the very best of Highland cuisine.

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Kinkell House Hotel

We operate a Table d’hote menu which changes daily, along with an A la carte menu based on traditional Scottish and Seafood dishes.

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Lovat Arms Hotel

A mere stone’s throw from The Square, the hub of the village, the Lovat Arms boasts an award-winning restaurant that majors in traditional reared local beef, lamb and venison.

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The Priory Hotel

The Square, Beauly IV4 7BXThe quality of the local produce is reflected in every dish served here.

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Takeaway - Muir of Ord

Beauly Tandoori Restaurant

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Ord House Hotel

Country-house hotel with an elegant dining room where wide-ranging, creative menus are offered. Awarded one AA rosette.

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Muir of Ord

Our extensive menu offers choices to suit most tastes and are freshly made to order.

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Bad Girl Bakery and cafe, Muir of Ord

New to Muir of Ord, the closest village to Big Sky, Bad Girl Bakery is all about cake. Cake that tastes really, really good.

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Cafe India, Dingwall

Situated in the heart of Dingwall, a Highland town 14 miles North of Inverness, Cafe India has encompassed the authentic taste of India for over 20 years.

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The Storehouse of Foulis, near Dingwall

Situated in the Highlands of Scotland on the shore of the Cromarty Firth with outstanding views over to the Black Isle, The Storehouse offers relaxed dining throughout the day and a fabulous shop packed full of local farm produce and gifts.

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The Riverhouse Restaurant

Located right on the banks of the river Ness the River House sources the finest seasonal and sustainable produce from around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

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Cafe Artysans, Inverness and Muir of Ord

ArtysansCafé is an ideal place for breakfast before shopping or work, light lunches, teas, coffees and great baking – all available and freshly made on site.

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Rajah, Inverness

The Rajah is the longest established Indian Restaurant in the Highlands (since 1982). Providing superior quality food and service to locals and visitors alike.

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Eden Court Theatre, Restaurant and Cinema

Eden court is a fabulous local venue and the main Theatre in the Highlands. Right on the banks of the River Ness it’s a striking piece of architecture.

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Velocity cafe and bicycle workshop

Velocity cafe is a homely place with local food, hand baked cakes, steamy soup and big hunks of bread. Kick back with a bicyclatte, campagcinno or china cups and chunky mugs of tea.

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Sutor Creek and Couper’s Creek Cromarty, Black Isle

Big Sky recommends Sutor Creek for pizza with a view!

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Zizzi – Inverness

Italian restaurant serving tasty, authentic dishes from pizza, pasta and risotto to salads and indulgent desserts – Zizzi Inverness has a great view over the river Ness and uses local themes as the inspiration behind the design of the restaurant: the historic River Ness, boats, whisky distilleries and the Highlands.

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The Mustard Seed Restaurant

Situated on the banks of the River Ness, The Mustard Seed is a relaxed and informal, modern style family restaurant. Located in a former church, The Mustard Seed retains the feel of its former existence with its high, vaulted ceilings and mezzanine floor.

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The Allangrange Arms, Munlochy

The Allangrange isn’t far from Big Sky in the small village of Munlochy. A stylishly rustic gastropub they serve real ales, fine wines and locally sourced gourmet pub food. The Big Sky team recommends their delicious Sunday roast.

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Hootannany’s pub – Inverness

If you’re keen to hear some live Traditional Scottish music then Hoots is the place for you. A bright and busy, high-ceilinged pub with live, traditional Scottish folk music programme and weekly ceilidh.

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The Black Isle Bar, Inverness

Brought to you by our local Black Isle Brewery just along the road from Big Sky Lodges.  

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The Anderson, Fortrose

Great for a Sunday afternoon dram or pint next to a toasty woodburner (they have an extensive whisky and beer selection.)

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Rocpool Restaurant – Inverness

Our favourite place to go for a special occasion. Make sure you book in advance as they are always busy!

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What to eat

The quintessential Scots dish is haggis, a type of rich sausage meat made from spiced liver, offal, oatmeal and onion and cooked inside a bag made from a sheep’s stomach. Though more frequently found on tourist-oriented menus than the dining tables of Scots at home, it’s surprisingly tasty and satisfying, particularly when eaten with its traditional accompaniments: “bashed neeps” (mashed turnips) and “chappit tatties” (mashed potatoes). The humble haggis has become rather trendy in recent years, appearing in swanky restaurants wrapped in filo pastry or drizzled with berry sauce, and a vegetarian version is widely available. Other traditional dishes which you may well encounter include stovies, a tasty blend of onion, sliced potato and scraps of meat, or various forms of meat pie: a Scotch pie has mince inside a circular hard pastry case, while a bridie, famously associated with the town of Forfar, has mince and onions inside a flaky pastry crescent. In this cold climate, home-made soup is often welcome; try Scots broth, made with combinations of lentil, split pea, mutton stock or vegetables and barley. A more refined delicacy is Cullen skink, a rich soup made from smoked haddock, potatoes and cream.

Scots beef is delicious, especially the Aberdeen Angus breed, though Highland cattle are also rated for their depth of flavour. Scots farmers, aware of the standards their produce has reached, have preciously guarded their stock from the recent troubles associated with BSE and foot and mouth disease. Venison, the meat of the red deer, also features large – low in cholesterol and very tasty, it’s served roasted or in casseroles, often cooked with juniper and red wine. Other forms of game are quite often encountered, including grouse, which when cooked properly is strong, dark and succulent; pheasant, a lighter meat; pigeon and rabbit.

Scottish fish and shellfish are the envy of Europe, with a vast array of different types of fish, prawns, lobster, mussels, oysters, crab and scallops found round the extensive Scottish coastline. Fresh fish is normally available in most coastal towns, as well as the big cities, where restaurants have well-organized supply lines. Elaborate dishes are sometimes concocted, though frankly the simplest seafood dishes are frequently the best. The prevalence of fish farming, now a significant industry in the Highlands and Islands, means that the once-treasured salmon is widespread and relatively inexpensive – its pale pink flesh is still tasty enough, though those concerned about the environment might want to favour fish sourced from carefully managed farms, while some connoisseurs keep an eye out for the more delicately flavoured (and more expensive) wild salmon. Both salmon and trout, another commonly farmed fish, are frequently smoked and served cold with bread and butter. Herring, once the staple fish in Scotland, is still popular in some parts fried in oatmeal or “soused” (pickled).

Another local product to enjoy an upsurge in popularity recently is cheese, which you’ll find in a number of specialist shops and delis, while many restaurants make a point of serving only Scottish cheeses after dinner. The types on offer cover a wide spectrum: look out in particular for Isle of Mull, a tangy farmhouse cheddar; Dunsyre Blue, a Scottish Dolcelatte; or farmhouse Dunlop, the local version of cheddar.

Scotland is notorious for its sweet tooth, and cakes and puddings are taken very seriously. Bakers with extensive displays of iced buns, cakes and cream-filled pastries are a typical feature of any Scottish high street, while home-made shortbread, scones or tablet (a hard, crystalline form of fudge) are considered great treats. Among traditional desserts, “clootie dumpling” is a sweet, stodgy fruit pudding bound in a cloth and cooked for hours, while the rather over-elaborate Cranachan, made with toasted oatmeal steeped in whisky and folded into whipped cream flavoured with fresh raspberries, or the similar Atholl Brose, are considered more refined. In the summer months, Scottish berries, in particular raspberries and strawberries, are particularly tasty.

One Scottish institution that refuses to die out is high tea, consisting of a cooked main course and a plethora of cakes, washed down with lots of tea and eaten between about 5 and 6.30pm.

As for fast food, fish and chips are as popular as in England, and chip shops, or “chippies”, abound, the best often found in coastal towns within sight of the fishing boats tied up in harbour. Deep-fried battered fish is the standard choice – when served with chips it’s known as a “fish supper”, even if eaten at lunchtime – though everything from hamburgers to haggis suppers are normally on offer, all deep-fried, of course. Scotland is even credited with inventing the deep-fried Mars bar (a caramel-chocolate bar coated in batter and fried in fat), the definitive badge of a nation with the worst heart-disease statistics in Europe. For alternative fast food, the major towns feature all the usual pizza, burger and baked potato outlets, as well as Chinese, Mexican and Indian takeaways.
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