The Applecross Inn is an incredibly good pub restaurant in a tiny village in Wester Ross, Scotland. Writing this review ten days later and I am getting very hungry just thinking about this fantastic restaurant.
The location is a picturesque village on the edge of a loch, and the inn is really very pretty indeed, there is only a post office, a handful of holiday homes and little else.
The food is incredible. Everything is cooked to perfection, locally sourced whenever possible, and just delicious.
Trying the prawns for a starter; they were really langoustines Judy the landlady, originally from Yorkshire gave me a lesson on how to get the best meat out, without ever being patronising or intrusive. This was followed by scallops, whilst chatting with a couple from New Zealand she also tried the scallops and commented they were far larger than she was used to back home!
But despite the wonderful food, and the range of awards that they have won (displayed behind a table in the main bar, for all the world as if they were just photos of the pub), this place is just not pretentious at all.
The bar serves beer and lager, you can order at the bar like it was a pub and the staff are all very pleasant. The menu is written on a large chalk board covering the walls and wearing muddy hill walking clothes seems almost expected.
It has this amazing, relaxed, cozy atmosphere that makes it feel totally at ease. Even though there was a slight wait for tables, nobody complained and there was no hurry to leave. I eventually left my window table to allow others a seat, joining a group of people at the bar for some friendly banter.
You might have realised by now, I love this place. If you are ever on the west coast of Scotland, for any reason, definitely seek it out, it is well worth the drive over the highest pass in Britain and cannot be recommended highly enough.
The Bed and Breakfast is located at the far side of the campsite, which is behind the inn and itself has some excellent facilities. I am sure booking ahead is possible, but I just dropped in at the modern campsite coffee shop and asked Colin, the slightly eccentric owner if he had a spare bed available on a bed and breakfast basis.
He assured me he had whilst treating himself to a pastry from the counter, perks of the job apparently. The house is on the far side of the and required driving through the campsite via a short track. Arriving at the house it became clear that they just had a biggish house and had decided to let out their rooms to people like me, that had decided not to stay in a tent for another night.
The room was cosy and the bed comfortable, what more could I ask for? There were also of course normal bathroom facilities, and although they were not en-suite they were very close. The facilities are exactly what you would expect from a couple just letting out their spare rooms, clean, cosy and exceedingly homely. The smell of fresh baking which seemed ever present throughout my stay was well worth the price alone.
There was not any need to provide me with a key, they do not lock the front door or probably the back door for that matter! As I said the facilities of the campsite were impressive, with a great coffee shop, lots of pitches, some wooden cabins and the usual campsite facilities, showers, toilets and a drying room. They kindly allowed me access to this to dry off my tent.
A full English style breakfast in the ‘morning room’ was the perfect start to the day, and was just superb, as only home cooking can be. There was only one other guest and we enjoyed the convivial atmosphere and a good chat.
Before we left there was the treat of a rant from Colin on the realities and economics of trying to run a business on rented property, and the lack of any attractive qualities in their landowners. He really did seem a little eccentric, but a great character.
A fantastic little bed and breakfast, and worth a stay, certainly worth asking if there is a spare bed if there is not any room at the Inn!