The Applecross Inn – Scottish dining at its best
The journey is nothing short of petrifying. I don’t recall ever facing a road like it, not even in rural China. Twists and turns, sheer drops, crumbling roads, a constant ascent in second gear at best, sheer babbling terror at the sight of an oncoming vehicle half a mile away…..My definition of hairpin bend stretched to new limits with the Bealach na Ba. If you attempt this drive at night you will very likely die, I’m quite sure of that. Even in daylight I’m astonished its legal. Damn good fun though.
The very fact that this journey is the trade-off necessary to dine at the Applecross Inn says it all. If the end destination was not something special, this journey would be left for the livestock alone. But the tourists and locals travel here in big numbers, swayed by the Inn’s reputation as one of the best eateries in Scotland.
The menu focusses on the best catches from Scotland’s glorious west coast waters. The options are thrown up on the blackboard and the head scratching decisions await. We get a little carried away and order 3 meals for 2 people. Crab, lemon sole with lobster tails and then scallops. Scotland playing to its strengths! The standard really is excellent and it’s food like this that sums up why Scotland holds such a world-leader position in seafood.
The Applecross Inn is just that, an Inn. With such a reputation you initially start to envisage Michelin stars and hefty prices but the place is as laid back and welcoming as any weary traveller could hope for. For this and my previous visit the atmosphere has been bustling but relaxed and there’s no hoity-toity in sight.
If the weather is with you there are few finer spots to park yourself for a pint than outside by the waterside. Across the water the dramatic Skye peaks are tantalisingly close. There’s better news still as the coastal route north to Shieldaig is amongst the most beautiful in Scotland. And a little better for the blood pressure than the Bealach that brought us here.
I am always wary of providing restaurant recommendations as part of my itinerary packages or blogs. Taste, knowledge and expectations are such particular things when it comes to food that it is impossible to please everyone. I do make occasional exceptions though for those that pretty much no-one could possibly quibble about. The Applecross Inn is without doubt such a place.