The Lovat

The Lovat
Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, PH32 4DU
  • Telephone 0845 4561100
  • Seasonal times Closed for two weeks in January
  • Food served Sun–Thu noon–2pm, 6–9pm; Fri/Sat noon–2pm, 6–9.30pm
  • Average price £11 (lunch); £22 (evening meal)
  • Website
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Is it wrong to start a review with ice-cream? If so, special rules must be invoked: the home-made ice-cream at The Lovat deserves headline status, with dreams made of a scoop of the lemon crème fraiche. The restaurant for The Lovat Hotel is a little bit different. There’s a girlie, 'SATC' hint to the décor that’s a surprise in the Highlands, but it's sufficiently funky not to scare your boyfriend off. As oft-claimed as it is, a number of ingredients here do come from near rather than far: Lochaber salmon and venison, West Coast mussels, Stornoway black pudding … these are served with an inclusive vibe that aims to please everyone. The dairy-intolerant aren’t excluded from the ice-cream experience with a home-made soya version available, along with gluten-free options. The slight quirkines of the décor extends to the food: original touches such as a fried poached egg or chicken liver and fois gras brûlée rouse the curiosity but also deliver on the palate. As far as service goes - The Lovat recently won a gold medal from VisitScotland, so no worries on that front either.

  • High point: We may have mentioned the ice-cream already …
  • Low point: … though £5.25 a bowl is a bit steep.
  • Private dining: yes
  • No. overnight rooms: 28
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Varied easy listening
  • Capacity: 40
  • Largest group: 40
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 6
  • House wine: £14.95 per bottle