Guest post by Kirsty Allan
After a recent revamp, the Taynuilt Hotel have returned to business with their “ideal bar and restaurant”. Offering a menu full to the brim of local fare, Chef-Patron, John McNulty has created a selection providing the classics you would expect, with a carefully cultivated Scottish twist.
We arrived to Taynuilt late on Friday evening after a long but enjoyably scenic drive, catching the sunset just as we drove into the village. The reception team welcomed us warmly, showing us to our bedroom, the Loch Sween room and inviting us to come downstairs for dinner in the restaurant when we were ready.
The room, traditional in style, featured a beautiful, antique wooden bed with ornately carved headboard. A scattering of carefully chosen furnishings made the suite inviting and homely. This, along with a generous welcome pack – including local chocolates – was greatly appreciated after our long journey.
The menu offered some fantastic seafood dishes and proudly shouted about where the ingredients hailed from. To start, we opted for the Peterhead Squid with Hebridean Seaweed Infused Sea Salt and the Surf Clams & Cockles to start. The squid came recommended by the team and it didn’t disappoint; cooked to perfection with just the right seasoning. A large bowl of fresh clams and cockles were served in a Scottish cider sauce with bacon and were enjoyed immensely, with artisan bread rolls to soak up the remaining liquor.
The meat pie of-the-day was Scotch Beef and could have fed two easily. Served with mash and long stemmed brocolli, the presentation was grand with a beautifully rich tasting gravy and slow cooked meat to match. The traditional Fish and Chips offering was complimented with a Gin & Tonic batter and a generous serving of crushed peas.
General Manager, David Lapsley, shows a clear passion for what he does, explaining in the cosy log-fire-warm bar after our meal, their decision to offer guests a carefully chosen selection of wines and spirits. Providing produce from Scotland or Scottish producers wherever possible, the Taynuilt team are collectively, extremely knowledgable with regards the tasting notes and background of the bar’s stock. Indeed during our meal, David was actively discussing wine choices with fellow diners and providing samples to those that were undecided which to go for.
With plans to open a specialist wine store alongside the hotel in the near future, the team at Taynuilt Hotel are well on their way to putting Taynuilt on the map as the place in the area to head for a meal which loudly sings the praises of Scotland’s produce.