The Galley of Lorne Inn is full of surprises, and the most surprising element of all is the bright, airy and unusually large restaurant tucked away at the rear of the inn, completely hidden from the view of anyone passing along the road through the village. You can read our hotel review for The Galley of Lorne Inn here.
It would take a high standard of food to live up to the "wow" factor of the restaurant itself, and the good news is that the food is as classy and enjoyable as the surroundings it is served in. It is worth noting that you have a choice of dining venues at the Galley of Lorne Inn. The restaurant itself is bright and airy and offers beautiful views through a glazed wall over Loch Craignish to the island of Eilean Mhic Chrion. Those wishing to be in the view as well as enjoy it can choose to dine out on the wooden decking area beyond the restaurant. It is also possible to dine in the lounge bar with its pleasant contemporary styling, in the public bar with its very traditional feel, or on tables on the lawn beside the public bar.
Wherever you decide to dine, the choice and high quality of food on offer is the same. Menus are seasonally variable, and are more extensive during the height of the season. In autumn and winter the inn tends to offer a slightly more restricted core menu supplemented by daily specials: thereby reflecting the reality of a climate that will sometimes, for example, not permit hand diving for scallops from Oban.
An area of particular strength for the Galley of Lorne Inn is the emphasis it places on sourcing its ingredients as locally as possible. Much of the meat comes from nearby Barbreck Farm, and seafood comes from Loch Craignish, from Oban, or from other Scottish suppliers.
When we visited, the "restricted" menu coupled with the daily specials offered a truly enticing range of options that left us wondering how much fuller the high season menu could possibly be. Seafood and meat dishes are at the core of the inn's menus, though the interests of vegetarian diners are not overlooked. Starter options ranged from gravlax, mussels, scallops and a half lobster to venison pate and goats cheese. The gravlax and the scallops were both superb.
Main course options included ten meat or vegetarian core choices, combined with the six seafood dishes available on that day. The fillet steak Bordeaux with wild mushroom, cream and claret was outstanding: as was the venison fillet, comprising venison from the isle of Seil, roasted rare and served with game and red berry sauce. The mains were accompanied by a shared plate of veg and new potatoes, which complemented both dishes very well indeed. For dessert we went for the pot of chocolate and the Scottish cheese board. This was a meal to linger over and enjoy, and that was reflected in the pace of service, which left no-one feeling rushed.
Breakfast at the Galley of Lorne Inn is served in the lounge bar, as six rooms of guests would probably feel a little lost in the main restaurant. The starter course was self service cereals and fruit juice, while the main course options included "The Highlander" cooked Scottish breakfast; scrambled eggs and salmon; smoked haddock; vegetarian sausage; or eggs cooked in a variety of ways. Service was again unhurried and the food when it arrived was excellent: high quality ingredients matched with perfect preparation exactly to order and all served on a plate hot enough to ensure nothing went cold. You can read our hotel review for The Galley of Lorne Inn here.