Had a great dinner at Ardshiel Hotel. The food was rather classic, but clearly prepared with a lot of care. The turbot I ordered was perfectly cooked and I loved the fact that the vegetables were served separately so everybody on the table could pick what they liked. The crumble I had as dessert was really just the perfect way to end the meal. Very good!
The ambiance in the dining area is very nice. I loved the fact that the ceiling is decorated with whisky bottles, illuminated by blue lights. Gave a modern feel to the classic interior. It was a bit chilly where we originally sat, because the door to the kitchen area swung open lots of times. But not to worry, we just moved to another table, which was no problem at all for the staff, who were very friendly and accommodating.
The bar also offers an excellent whisky selection, which we were very happy to try. A really great evening!
Campbeltown PA28 6JL
+44 1586 552133
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Ardshiel Restaurant also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 4/5, service 4/5, food 4/5.
Yan’s Kitchen is a nice restaurant with big windows looking over the bay. The Chinese chef knows how to prepare seafood, so if you want to eat here, make sure you have reservations. I was so impressed by the grilled Islay hand-dived scallops that we came back to eat here for a second time. You also have to try the oysters, which are really good. My second visit, I ordered the catch of the day, and again, very, very good.
Really this place is a must visit if you like seafood. The best I had on Islay. The friendly atmosphere and the warm fireplace just add to the charm. No wonder I saw a rainbow on the first visit!
Restaurant Yan’s Kitchen
Main Street (Opposite the Islay Museum)
Isle of Islay
Argyll and Bute PA48 7UD
+44 1496 850230
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Yan’s Kitchen also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 4/5, service 4/5, food 5/5.
Davaar is a beautiful rocky island that you can only visit when the tide is low. So make sure to check first at the tourist information center when it is safe to walk there. The island isn’t very big, but the loose rocks make the walk kind of challenging.
When we visited Davaar Island it was really cold and a strong wind almost blew us away. Nonetheless is was an unforgettable experience. Make sure to visit the cave with the wallpainting of Jesus Christ.
Campbeltown PA28 6RE
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Davaar Island Cave Painting of the Crucifixion also on TripAdvisor.
I called Port Charlotte Hotel Restaurant in advance to make sure there was a table for four available. The friendly lady at the phone said there would be a table available at about 8.15 pm. This turned out to be a little too optimistic: when we arrived at about 8.05 pm the restaurant was fully booked and the lady who welcomed us, said our table wasn’t ready yet. While we waited, they offered us seating in the bar, which was also quite crowded. Since we knew finding another restaurant at this hour wouldn’t be that easy, we decided to wait it out while studying the menu and enjoying a glass of white wine.
We all ordered some fish dishes. Finally our table was ready at about 9 pm. A bit later then we had hoped, but by that time we were so hungry that any meal would have been great. I had ordered the Chef’s Hot Seafood Platter, which was a bit on the expensive side, but really value for money. The fish was great and I loved it very much. Service was also really friendly.
In the future I guess, I wouldn’t make any last minute reservations at ort Charlotte Hotel Restaurant and try to go for an early dinner.
Port Charlotte Hotel Restaurant
Port Charlotte PA48 7TU
Isle of Islay
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Port Charlotte Hotel Restaurant also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 4/5, service 3/5, food 4/5.
Very beautiful falls you shouldn’t miss when on Arran. The walk to the falls takes about 2 hours when you walk slowly. The path is easy and takes you through a beautiful forrest. There is a lookout post from which you have the best views on the falls. Highly recommended on an sunny day!
Isle of Arran KA27 8PZ
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Glenashdale Falls also on TripAdvisor.
The Bluebell café can get rather busy. When we wanted to have lunch there we had to wait in line for about ten minutes. When the wait was over our waitress brought us to a nice table at the window.
Expectations are high when so many people visit a place, sadly those weren’t met. The jacked potato with prawn Marie Rose I ordered was mediocre at best, the shrimps were drowned in so much sauce they were hardly visible. The little salad with dressing was nice though. The ham and cheese toast and the burger my companions ordered were nothing special either.
Very plain food, to be honest. And the service wasn’t as friendly as we’ve gotten used to in Scotland.
Cafe Bluebell, 6 Hall Street, Campbeltown PA28 6BU, Scotland
+44 1586 552800
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Cafe Bluebell also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 4/5, service 3/5, food 3/5.
Springbank distillery established in 1828 sure has a lot of history. What makes this distillery definitely worth a visit is the fact that Springbank uses traditional production methods and 100% of the whisky making process (including the malting) is done on site. It was very nice to learn more about the malting process and see how the barley is processed with our own eyes. The distillery has a real old and authentic vibe, which a liked a lot.
The guide was really nice and very knowledgeable. I could hardly believe he was 78 years old! He told us he was thinking about retiring as a guide, but I doubt he will do this anytime soon, since he was so passionate when speaking about Springbank.
After our tour in the Springbank distillery we visited the Glengyle distillery (we bought a combi ticket). This site was brand new and not as interesting as Springbank. Not really worth the extra money, if you asked me. Just stick to Springbank.
When the tour ended we had a little tasting in the shop. The shop was a strange mismatch of different rooms joined together throughout the years, which gave an special feel to the place.
Campbeltown PA28 6EX
+44 1586 552009
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Springbank Distillery also on TripAdvisor.
We had an excellent meal at Fiddlers’ Music Bar & Bistro. The food that Fiddlers’ serves is fusion, with influences from all over the world, but also with a local touch, because they use local produce in all of their dishes. One of the dishes on the menu was balontine of chicken filled with haggis and wrapped in Parma ham. The menu options are rather limited, but even so I found it hard to choose between the different options, everything sounded nice.
When our main dish arrived we weren’t disappointed. My parmesan and herb-crusted haddock fillet was lovely presented and very tasty. Really excellent! The other dishes were equally as good. We loved the food so much that we simply couldn’t resist ordering dessert. The panna cotta was nice, but a little bit of a disappointment after the really outstanding main course. Should have gone for the Arran cheeseboard! I finished off my meal with a rum (the fact that I ordered it straight was kind of confusing to our waiter).
Service was excellent and very friendly!
We sat at a lovely table at the window, my only complaint is that is was rather chilly sitting nearby the window. Wouldn’t have mind some better insulation!
Fiddlers’ Music Bar & Bistro
Isle of Arran
+44 1770 302579
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Fiddlers Music Bar & Bistro also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 5/5, service 5/5, food 5/5.
Sadly when we visited, Brodick Castle was closed for renovation, so we only could visit the gardens. The gardens in itself were very lovely though. Really worth a visit. We went in April so there were lots of daffodils blooming. The little pavilion on the inside from walls to ceiling decorated with pineapples was very charming. Loved walking around in the gardens, enjoying the scenery and the sea views. The castle itself is also very beautiful. It’s too bad we didn’t get to visit the interior of the castle.
Tip: there are some nice picnic tables right in front of the castle. An ideal place to stop for lunch and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park
Brodick, Isle of Arran
+44 1770 302202
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park also on TripAdvisor.
The Wineport is a friendly pub which serves local pubfood with an emphasis on local produce from Arran. We went here for a quick lunch. I had the creamy garlic mushrooms on toasted homemade bread topped with goat’s cheese, the men in our company really enjoyed the pork & chorizo burger with arran cheese and my female friend had the crab roll with lemon mayo. The food was decent and the service really welcoming. You can also try the local beer, brewed in the Arran Brewery next door.
Wineport Bistro, Cladach Brodick, KA27 8DE, Scotland
+44 1770 302101
Visited April 2017. You can find my review about Wineport Bistro also on TripAdvisor. My scores: value 5/5, service 5/5, food 4/5.