Good company, good weather, stunning location, first class accommodation and amazing food –all of these were on the menu for me on a weekend break in Kenmore.
I’ve said many times before that if Scotland could count on good weather we’d be a rich nation as we have some of the most stunning scenery on the planet that tourists would flock to if it wasn’t for those pesky midges and frequent rain.
However, when the picturesque Highlands is sunning itself in all its wild glory, there’s no place like it.
My girlfriend’s boss owns a luxury lodge at the Mains of Taymouth estate and kindly gave us the use of it for a weekend (thank you, Paul Collins) so we decided to eat out at the on-site contemporary restaurant, The Courtyard, which sits right at the tip of Loch Tay.
All the food is locally sourced using quality Scottish fare offering a real taste of the Tay in a varied menu which is unpretentious, creative and traditional. A bit like us Scots, I think.
The menu warned us to allow time for the meal’s preparation, but it didn’t take long at all to reach the table despite the Friday night rush.
For starters, I had the soup of the day, creamy potato and leek, and being in a posh place I didn’t dunk the accompanying bread, opting instead to take a bite after a spoonful.
Karen had the smoked salmon, prawns and crab trio and both our dishes were delicious, especially Karen’s which came with salad and a seafood sauce.
For our mains, Karen had chicken breast with haggis, smoked bacon, buttered mash and gravy while I chose the Angus beef shin, blade beer casserole with Yorkshire puddings, spring onion and beetroot.
Each dish was expertly presented and prepared. The tender beef crumbled at the touch of my over-worked fork and each ingredient complimented the others, charging their own unique flavours.
We didn’t have room for a dessert, but I’m sure they are just as exquisite.
The night didn’t end there either. Afterwards we retired to the patio then back into the bar to sit round its homely wood-burning fire with more drinks.
With a name like mine you’d expect me to be patriotic and I’m certainly going to struggle with my heart and my head when it comes to the independence referendum next year, but if my brief stay in Kenmore was a glimpse of a future Scottish utopia, then it’ll be a big ‘yes’ vote from me.
The Courtyard will be seeing me again.