Accommodation review: Loch Melfort Hotel, Arduaine, by Oban, Argyll, PA34 4XG

 A room with a view

19 miles south of Oban located right next door to the National Trust for Scotland’s Arduaine gardens on the shores of scenic Loch Melfort (technically Asknish Bay at the cove) you will find the aptly named Loch Melfort Hotel. It’s unassuming from the car park but once inside it’s another story!

Loch Melfort Room

This is the gorgeous spacious and bright suite which greeted us, complete with: TV and couch, Senseo coffee maker, DVD player, separate tea/coffee making facilities, fresh fruit, water and a bookcase stacked with an eclectic selection of books – from Danielle Steele and DH Lawrence to George Orwell’s 1984 and Albert Camus’ the plague! Navy themed stories by Alexander Kent were the most popular books on display.

Loch Melfort Balcony

The Master Room even has a private balcony with table and chairs which looks out onto…

Loch Melfort View

This stunning view!  There are even binoculars provided to look out to sea. There’s a path which takes you down to the water past the Highland cows, where will you find a rocky beach and boathouse with a small sandy beach a little further walk away. Don’t worry if you can’t get the Master Room as all 25 bedrooms have sea-views!

loch melfort bathroom

Bathroom

Well-equipped en-suite with a huge bath and shower, toiletries and his n’ hers robes.

Loch Melfort StairsMain stairway

Tidy and well maintained interior staircase and hallways.

Loch Melfort view from LoungeView from the lounge

There’s another set of binoculars here – this time huge ones which were used by the Royal Highland Yacht Club from 1881 – 1981! There’s also a fairly large outdoor seating area just outside.

Canapés

loch melfort appetizerWe were given some appetizers in the lounge whilst perusing the menu and wine list.  We chose a South African Pinotage 2011 Franschhoek Cellar at £21.00 which was smooth and fruity.

Loch Melfort RestaurantDining Room – a restaurant with a view!

The fine-dining 2AA rosette-awarded Asknish Bay Restaurant has local seafood and meat on the menu and provides sea-views over the bay. For less-formal eating and drinking the Chartroom II bar/bistro is next door.

Loch_melfort_TDH_menuRestaurant Table D’Hote Menu

We thought this looked good so we both opted for it!

Loch Melfort BreadBreads

2 thick slices each of fennel & caraway seed bread and tomato bread. Absolutely gorgeous; both were fresh, warm and so so soft. A choice of butter was also provided: regular and rosemary & olive.

Loch Melfort Veal Sweetbreads

Veal sweetbreads Pea and mint fricasse

Tender light meat in a red wine jus which was very strong, tangy and salty – a bit like Bovril! It provided a meaty contrast against the light meat inside.

loch_melfort_SorbetOrange and passion fruit sorbet

A chilled refreshing fruity palate cleanser.

Loch Melfort Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl breast and stuffed leg, pom anna, carrot and cumin mousse.

Good portion. Moist, crisp skin.  Mousse  was rather unusual but worked well with the meat and potatoes. Mmmmm, the olive & rosemary mash was not strongly flavoured but was smooth and delicious.

Loch  Melfort Dessert

Millionaire shortbread

Chocolate heaven – mouse cylinders like small chocolate Swiss rolls! One had gooey toffee, one had melting chocolate, Chocolatey, really chocolatey!
It also came with a sablé biscuit and crème fraîche sorbet, which sounds bizarre but was light and cleansing. The ice-cream rested on a bed of crunched pistachio. An excellent dessert full of contrasting flavours and textures: sweet smoothness and a bit of crunch.

Loch Melfort Dessert

Peach

We saw a few other couples who were surprised by this one as it looked a bit like a crystal ball! Lovely poached peach, vanilla ice-cream, raspberry coulis with a caramel “basket” (or crystal ball!) encasing the dessert inside. Absolutely gorgeous!

There was also a good choice of sorbets on offer if you wanted something lighter.

LochMelfortRomanceAward

Awards

The hotel has an impressive array of accolades including: 2013 Romantic Hotel of the year in the Highlands and the proprietors, Rachel and Calum Ross are Scotland’s hoteliers of the year for 2013 as well. The hotel has also won numerous other awards over the years. All well-deserved in our opinion!

breakfast menu loch melfort

 

Breakfast

Loch  Melfort Kippers

 Kippers

Being beside the sea we felt we should take the fish options for breakfast, and with the kippers you have a choice of 1 or 2 full kippers. We opted for 2 but it was a huge portion, so regrettably we couldn’t finish it, but they were well-cooked and tasty.

loch melfort haddock

Haddock and poached egg

Delicious haddock with a perfectly poached egg atop.

loch melfort breakfast

Buffet breakfast table

A good selection of cereals, yogurts and fruit juices was provided.

 

Conclusion

If you’re touring the west of Scotland, simply after a relaxing break away from the city or even looking for the perfect honeymoon destination then The Loch Melfort Hotel is ideal. Location-wise within driving distance of Glasgow etc but far-away enough into the countryside on a secluded bay off the main road (A816) midway between the nearest big towns of Oban and Lochgilphead.

Our room was clean, modern and well-looked after and the bed was huge and comfy. All rooms look out to sea west-facing towards the islands of Shuna, Scarba and Jura so you can witness some spectacular sunsets. There’s a National Trust for Scotland garden next door (which was threatened with closure but kept open thanks to the efforts of Rachel and Calum) so there is plenty of greenery and wildlife on the doorstep; in fact there are Highland cows in the field beside the hotel and there are a couple of well-behaved hotel dogs, so the hotel is dog-friendly too!

The food, courtesy of Head Chef Peter Carr and his team is excellent, inventive and well-deserving of 2AA rosettes. The waiting staff are also friendly and helpful, and for the location the drinks prices are good too. Note that all spirits come in doubles (50mls). Local real ales from the Fyne Ales brewery are also available.

We found our stay to be very calming and rejuvenating and the area around Loch Melfort is picturesque. There are nearby historical sites at Kilmartin and other sites of interest include “the bridge over the Atlantic”, the humpbacked bridge onto the island of Seil which is next to the interesting “Tigh-An-Truish” (House of the Trousers) pub which is worthy of a visit and pretty much every other pub on, or off the A816 is worth popping into.

All-in-all an excellent place to stay in a beautiful part of Scotland and somewhere we shall hopefully re-visit soon!

two rosettes

 loch  melfort outsideView from the beach

View from loch melfort hotel from Food and Drink Glasgow on Vimeo.

 

Glasgow Foodie

Likes to sleep and cuddle cats.

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WIN Christmas Giveaway Day 1 – Antipasti Platter for Two at Billington’s of Lenzie

Find out about Billingtons of Lenzie and WIN

We love Billington’s.  Its a foodie tardis, with a cosy seating area at the front of the shop serving everything from brunch to cocktails (menu here) and they have cold meats, baking, chocolates, ice cream and a tempting selection of craft beers (even Mr Foodie finds beers here he hasn’t tried!)  speciality spirits and fine wines. In fact, it has everything you need.  Hence our love (and the staff are all lovely as well).

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They have just launched a new website where you can buy all sorts of goodies from beer to wine to macarons.  A handy section for Christmas is their Hampers & Gifts page.  Billington’s staff will make bespoke hampers or you can order them online.  As the wee meerkat says, simples!

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It’s located a mere 2 min walk from Lenzie Railway Station, so it’s a short skip really by train, or car, from Glasgow.  Since opening in 2012 they been named the winner of the BBC Good Food ShowGlasgow’s Best Deli’ twice, in 2013 and 2014 – as well as being voted ‘Best Independent Retailer 2015’ at the East Dunbartonshire Business Awards.

Billington’s of Lenzie, 114 Kirkintilloch Road, Glasgow, G66 4LQ, www.billingtonsoflenzie.co.uk

Fancy winning an Antipasti Platter for two? Get together with the girls, have a late lunch… Then get entering below!

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Click here to enter the draw

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Mac and cheese with Haggis and cracked black pepper crisps? Or do you want to know what cheese goes best? It’s all in this new book.

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Mentioned in this post

Today\’s prize is a meal for two at Bella Napoli

Located in the heart of Shawlands, Bella Napoli has been around forever, but it\’s not one of those jaded Italian restaurants. Owner Domenico obviously loves his bling and style. Have you seen their 24K Gold covered pizza oven?

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The restaurant is in two parts with the front area containing cosy booths, bar area as well as take-away area. (try stopping yourself buying some of the cakes to take home!)

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Its the kind of place that is comfortable to pop into for a coffee, a quick lunch or a full blown family celebration (Italian restaurants are good for that aren\’t they?)

Have a look at some of their dishes:

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Location:

Bella Napoli, 85 Kilmarnock Road, Shawlands, Glasgow, G41 3YR
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0141 632 4222

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