A celebratory meal for 75% completed

To celebrate reaching the three quarters stage of our mountain climbing challenge, that’s 213 out of 283 Munros ‘bagged’, we treated ourselves to a meal at the restaurant Grants at Craigellachie in Ratagan near Glen Shiel. We came across a sample menu for this place when we visited the Attadale Gardens the other day and it looked wonderful.

I’m not really sure why, but I imagined the restaurant to be a reasonable size: perhaps an impression gained from seeing the sample menu or the fact that it also hosts some lovely sounding accommodation. However, in contrast to what I had envisaged, on arrival we found that there were just four tables in an adjoining conservatory. Inside, the décor was light and airy (especially given its conservatory location), and was warming and tastefully decorated. We were welcomed by Liz, who we later found out runs the business with her husband, Tony, who is the chef.

The menu was mouth-watering: I found it especially difficult to choose my main course, but eventually plumped for the same as Cameron. In fact, we ended up having the same for all three courses! To start with we had mussels in a Thai-style sauce, which had just a hint of spiciness (chillies) and coconut milk to take the edge off the abruptness of the chillies. The starter came with homemade bread rolls. It was a delicious course. We then had breast of duckling with a black cherry and Amaretto sauce, served with vegetables and small cubes of roasted potatoes stacked neatly in a circular tower topped with fresh broad-leaf parsley (the combination resembled the look of a pineapple). I think the fact there wasn’t anything left on our plates says it all! The duckling was perfectly cooked with just a hint of pink inside, and melted in the mouth. Finally, the dessert was a work of art. Finally, the double Belgium chocolate tart, warmed and topped with vanilla ice cream, then decorated with a physalis (cape gooseberry) and broken chocolate flake and surrounded by a swirl of warm chocolate sauce was just heaven! I think my chocolate loving friends would understand my desire to have wanted to lick the plate!!

While we were having coffee, Tony, came out to speak to us. We chatted away for quite a while about our adventure and about how he and Liz came to own this lovely building and gardens.

We had a fantastic evening and can highly recommend this lovely little restaurant for its fabulous food, its warming and relaxing atmosphere, and the friendliness of its owners Liz and Tony. We found it excellent value for money and are already looking forward to a return visit one day.

About Elaine Speirs

Elaine comes from Hamilton near Glasgow and her interests in the outdoor scene began at University. She is a keen mountaineer, climber, cyclist and skier. Her first mountaineering exploit was going up the North Face of Ben Nevis after which she was “hooked” on the mountains. She has also climbed outside of the UK, particularly in the Dolomites, Chamonix and Majorca.
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