Wish Upon a (Michelin) Star: Scottish Fine Dining at Inverlochy Castle
When planning your Scottish getaway, fine dining may not necessarily be the first thing that pops into your mind; instead you may focus on tracking game over a Scottish moor, taking walks along a misty shoreline, or perhaps casting your line into one of the many fine fly-fishing rivers the country has to offer. But fans of fine dining should definitely not leave Scotland without investigating some of the spectacular fine dining options that are available. One such option is Fort William’s Inverlochy Castle.
Inverlochy Castle is an exercise in complete and utter luxury, and was at one time one of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday spots. The restaurant at Inverlochy Castle is comprised of three dining rooms, each opulently designed with period furniture that was gifted to the castle by the King of Norway. In addition to hosting this gorgeous and renowned restaurant (currently with Chef Philip Carnegie at the helm), this combination of castle and luxury inn offers guests views of some astonishing scenery provided by the Castle’s premiere location; the castle is situated next to a loch in the foothills of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest point of elevation. Despite this idyllic setting, Inverlochy Castle is a mere three miles from the Fort William town centre and rail station.
Chef Philip Carnegie took over the kitchens of Inverlochy Castle in 2009, and soon thereafter won the castle a Michelin star to add to their AA 3 Red Rosettes, a status that Carnegie has proudly maintained ever since. As one would expect, Carnegie makes use of the cornucopia of Scottish ingredients that are part of the local landscape, and Scottish game and seafood feature quite heavily in the menus he designs. Naturally, this is fare that one would expect from a fine dining establishment, but Carnegie has managed to take this typical Scottish fine dining formula and turn it on its head. The result is a rich and classical menu with a thoroughly modern mix of ingredients, creating a surprising, not to mention delicious edge. Past and present dishes have included the likes of Isle of Skye crab served with sorbet and apple salad, black pudding served with truffle scrambled eggs and sweetbreads, and duck confit tortellini with butternut squash velouté and soya jelly.
In addition to full lunch and dinner menus, Inverlochy Castle also serves an afternoon tea and can accommodate private parties and corporate events, which must be scheduled in advance with the inn. Private functions are accommodated based on availability. If you are considering dining at Inverlochy Castle in any capacity, it is advisable to call ahead, as despite the rather spacious surroundings, space can get quite limited for dinner seatings, particularly during the high seasons. Gentlemen are reminded that when dining at Inverlochy Castle, a coat and tie is required in the dining room.
Inverlochy Castle is a truly luxurious dining experience where old meets new, both in the idyllic setting and in the dining room. It offers a unique blend of exclusivity and accessibility that lends itself well to being on the “don’t miss” lists of fine dining enthusiasts who are travelling to Scotland.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel is one option, however if you are looking for a more personal touch Aldourie Castle on Loch Ness can provide fine dining made to measure. This is bespoke top quality dining at it’s best, if you want a Michelin Starred Chef to WOW you, no problem!Scotland