It’s VisitScotland’s Year of Scotland Food & Drink 2015, and what better way to celebrate then by enjoying the wonderful local fare on offer in Oban and Lorn. There really is a plethora of fabulous places around our area to enjoy all this bounty, and one of the best ways to make sure that your meal is home grown with local love is to look for the “Taste Our Best” seal of approval.
Funded by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland, with support from Scotland Food and Drink, the Taste Our Best initiative brings together the tourism and food and drink industries to recognise businesses that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus. Taste Our Best accreditation ensures that you will eat quality ingredients of Scottish provenance and the freshest seasonal produce. Taste Our Best establishments strive for sustainability, sourcing food locally to ensure they keep food miles to a minimum. That isn’t hard to do when you live in the Seafood Capital of Scotland!
Restaurants, pubs and cafés all over Oban and Lorn proudly display the Taste Our Best badge. Whatever you fancy, whatever the occasion, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the best of the west. Here is a list of some of our favourite Taste Our Best dining experiences.
Bossards patisserie and coffee shop on Combie Street in Oban is popular with locals for a snack or lunch. They make all of their own breads, cakes, soups, quiches and sandwich fillings - we especially love their signature sunflower bread. Enjoy a treat with tea in their cheerful dining room or take advantage of the sunshine on the patio. Bossards is our choice when we want to satisfy our sweet tooth and take a relaxed break out from the hustle and bustle.
The Barn Bar and Restaurant in Lerags is just three miles from central Oban. Here, the MacLeod family serves up everything from pub grub to gourmet dishes featuring the best local produce, such as Caledonian Oysters from Loch Creran and beef from Grants of Taynuilt. Add to that a collection of fine local whiskies and ales, all served up in an old cattle byre, and you’ll see why it’s been a favourite of locals and tourist alike for many years. Set in a beautiful, tranquil glen with a flower studded beer garden, covered patio with a woodstove and play area for the kids, The Barn is our preferred destination when we don’t want to travel far but want to feel as if we are on holiday.
Asknish Bay Restaurant at the Loch Melfort Hotel serves up award-winning fare with stunning views over the loch and gardens. Choose from langoustines, lobster and crab prepared right off the boat, Islay scallops and succulent meat and produce from just down the road. They make all of their own bread, preserves - and even the ice cream and Scottish tablet. No wonder they have been awarded 2 AA rosettes for over the past decade. We love to go on a fine day and stroll through Arduaine Gardens next door, then enjoy drinks outside overlooking the loch before dinner.
Pierhouse in Port Appin is a destination dining experience. As part of the Seafood Trail, they are renowned for their fabulous fresh seafood platters. Their lobster and crabs come from creels right at the end of their pier. For those who prefer turf to surf, there are local meat, wild game and vegetarian options that are just as tasty. On par with the food is the view over Loch Linnhe and the isles of Lismore and Shuna. Pierhouse is our top pick for a romantic night out. Watching the sunset over glasses of fine wine and a wonderful meal- perfect!
Coast (on George Street) is one of Oban’s most exciting contemporary restaurants. Head chef and owner Richard Fowler use fresh seasonal ingredients for yummy dishes such as their own Oban whisky cured hot smoked salmon and Argyll venison haunch. We hit Coast when we are in the mood for a night out on the town - the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is stylish, yet relaxed.
The Creagan Inn in Appin has been a local landmark since the 18th century, but under new owners Duncan and Isobel MacCorquodale, fresh life has been breathed into the restaurant. Their extended family raises the lamb they serve right down the road, and local fresh seafood is always a highlight of the menu. From honest pub grub to something more fancy, lunch or dinner at The Creagan Inn is always a great experience. We love to enjoy drinks and meal on the deck overlooking Loch Creran.