The west is best…and we’re not the only ones who think so! Oban is “The Seafood Capital of Scotland”, but you’ll find award-winning fare at fine establishments outside the city limits, too. Argyll area hotels and restaurants are racking up the country’s most prestigious awards and accolades. No wonder, with famous Highland hospitality, stunning surroundings and access to some of the world’s best local food and drink right here on our doorstep. Explore the West Coast’s award-winning restaurants and see for yourself what the experts are buzzing about.
Ardanaiseig Hotel, Kilchrenan
Ardanaiseig Hotel in Kilchrenan, near Taynuilt, boasts an impressive array of awards that they have been racking up for years, most recently the Scottish Hotel Awards Country House Hotel of the Year for 2015, Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice 2016 awards for Fishing Hotels and Editor’s Choice awards for Romantic Hotels 2016 - not to mention it was named the third best leisure hotel in Britain by Condé Nast Traveller. The restaurant holds 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, and is renowned for its gourmet menu featuring the best in Scottish produce.
This elegant 19th century country manor on the banks of scenic Loch Awe is steeped in myth and history - it is said to stand on a primeval settlement near a magical well of Celtic lore. What a perfect setting for a luxury 5-star hotel and restaurant! The à la carte menu bursts with local gourmet goodness, from house smoked Inverawe fish to fine Scotch beef. Treat yourself to the tasting menu- nine courses of seasonal produce heaven! Sweet endings are guaranteed at Ardanaiseig, from garden fresh fruit crumbles, shortbread and cakes to house made custard and ice creams. ardanaiseig.com
Loch Melfort Hotel, Arduaine
Loch Melfort Hotel is another awards darling. This 3-Star Gold country house hotel situated in 17 stunning seaside acres is the Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice 2015. Owners Calum and Rachel Ross hold past prizes for Romantic Hotel of the Year, Highlands for 2013, Small Country Hotel of the Year 2012 and Small Romantic Hotel Award 2011. The AA 2 Rosette Asknish Bay Restaurant proffers the best of Scottish fare- think freshly caught langoustines, lobster, crab and scallops, as well as Airds Farm beef and game. Loch Melfort Hotel Gourmet Nights are very popular, with a seven-course menu prepared by Head Chef Mike Knowles and his team, who have a passion for sourcing ingredients locally. Chef Jordan Clark was also nominated for the prestigious Young Highland Chef of the Year.
At the Chartroom II Bistro, things are bit more casual, with a kid’s menu and relaxed setting, featuring luscious seafood, burgers, pizzas and other traditional favourites. Loch Melfort is featured on Scotland’s Ice Cream Trail…yum! They make their own ice cream using local ingredients. Enjoy as a snack, après dinner or takeaway- it’s to die for. Whether for afternoon tea, lunch or dinner, just add one of the most stunning sea views in Argyll, overlooking the islands of Islay, Jura and Scarba and Arduaine Gardens next door, and you’ve got two of the finest dining experiences on the west coast, all in one place. lochmelfort.co.uk
The Pierhouse Hotel, Appin
The Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant in Appin tops Alastair Sawday's list of Britain's 20 Most Romantic Hotels and B&Bs, and garnered the 2015 Scottish Hotel Awards Restaurant Regional Winner and Family Hotel Regional Winner honours (not to mention the Trip Advisor Bravo Award 2015, and our own top pick for a romantic dinner!)
With their AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence, The Pierhouse is the northern most point on Argyll’s Seafood Trail. All the seafood is served fresh from the water, literally - caught locally and kept fresh in creels at the end of the pier. Oysters from Loch Creran, mussels and langoustines from Loch Linnhe and Loch Etive, meat and game from just down the road - it’s all about letting the bounty of the west coast shine. Their seafood platters alone are worth the drive from Oban. For those who prefer turf to surf, or even vegetarian, not to worry, there are plenty of options. The views from the Ferry Bar and dining room, overlooking the islands of Mull and Lismore, just can’t be beat. pierhousehotel.co.uk.
Other award winning eateries near Oban:
Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Restaurant and Deli, Clachan, Cairndow - Best Seafood Establishment from the Food Awards Scotland 2015, 2-star Great Taste awards for Kinglas Fillet and Whisky Marinated Smoked Salmon
Stonefield Castle, Tarbert, Loch Fyne- 2015 Hotel Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards Scotland
Taynuilt Hotel Restaurant, Taynuilt- AA Rosette