The BBC Good Food Magazine recently asked the Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin to describe his ideal meal.
The Great British Menu chef replied that he would visit the Royal an Lochan in Tighnabruaich and order the locally landed langoustines with a glass of wine.
If you would like to follow in Chef Kitchin’s footsteps then today’s Big Deal is the perfect introduction to the Royal an Lochan and its marvellous seafood.
Situated in the serene heart of Argyll and Bute, the Royal an Lochan offers lapping waves, stunning scenery, open fires, excellent cuisine, good wines and malts plus unrivalled service.
‘You’re not a room number, you’re a person’ is their motto and this offer is a brilliant way to experience just what that means at this welcoming, loch-front hotel.
The offer is for a one or two night stay with a full Scottish breakfast each morning of your stay. In the evenings, guests are offered up to £60 per room towards the cost of dining in the Royal an Lochan restaurant – a sum which should comfortably cover most of the cost of a three course meal for two.
All eleven of the luxurious, individually decorated bedrooms are ensuite with either a garden or sea view.
If you want to get your stay off to a specially romantic start then you can arrange for a chilled bottle of champagne to be waiting in your room when you arrive. This is charged at £39.95, payable directly to the hotel.
The restaurant at the Royal an Lochan looks out on to the Kyles of Bute but the views on the plate are just as stunning.
Locally sourced produce, especially seafood such as the langoustines that Mr Kitchin was so enthusiastic about, form the backbone of the menus.
The kitchen changes the menus regularly but typical dishes might be starters such as the langoustine and clams poached in a Pernod, Parmesan and basil cream or the carpaccio of peppered beef fillet served with a blue cheese soufflé and a Hendricks gin and tonic soaked raspberry purée.
Popular main courses include the pan-roasted duck breast with marinated roast cherry tomatoes, plum purée and buttered ratte potatoes or the lightly spiced pan-seared scallops served with a white bean purée and a Champagne and mussel sauce.
The tranquil Argyll countryside surrounding the hotel offers some of the best scenery on the West Coast of Scotland as well as fantastic bird-watching opportunities. The hills above Tighnabruaich boast three well-stocked trout lochs and, if you are feeling energetic, the nine-hole golf course nearby has possibly the best views in the world.
The less energetic may prefer to relax with a malt and a book in the hotel’s atmospheric Shinty Bar.
The Royal an Lochan has built an enthusiastic fanbase. Here’s what one guest had to say on TripAdvisor:
‘If you want a break where the staff are genuinely welcoming and accommodating… fabulous scenic views from your bed, lovely food and breath-taking beauty spots all around, this is the place to go. The hotel itself is old and full of character but beautifully maintained and the various lounges are very tastefully decorated, comfortable and a good place to relax. Our room was nicely decorated, huge comfy bed with a breath taking view. I cannot fault the hotel. I cannot sing the praises more for the staff and hope to return. Treat yourself and book up.’