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As well as travel, another of our favourite pastimes is eating out, whenever time permits, of course. We very much enjoy the guidance given by Ron McKenna in his weekly column for the Glasgow Herald. Following his advice, we’ve not yet put a foot wrong.

For us, a good place to eat doesn’t need to be posh or expensive, we just look for good quality food, well served in a convivial atmosphere, which is great value for money.

Our views on the eateries local to us are detailed on the Eating Out page on our site, as you’ve perhaps seen. Moving further afield, though, here’s a list of a few places where we’ve very much enjoyed ourselves. If you are in their neck of the woods, we have no hesitation in recommending that you give them a try.

Scotland - Up North

Cocoa_Mountain- Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

Durness. – Cocoa Mountain.

This is a really nice café in a unit on an old radar station at Balnakiel just west of Durness. They specialise in all things chocolate and serve hot chocolate & coffee to die for, really nice nibbles too, especially all their wonderful chocolate products. Mmmm.

They’ve also opened a new branch in Auchterarder!! cocoamountain.co.uk

Caberfeidh - Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

Lochinver. – The Caberfeidh.

This really friendly wee place, with its cosy dining room and welcoming bar, is now under new ownership. We've not been able to go up and try it yet - fingers crossed that it is at least as good as it was. If so, it'll be a super place to eat when you’re staying at Tigh na Sith, though we do recommend that you book to make sure of your table. thecaberfeidh.co.uk

Seaforth - Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

Ullapool. – The Seaforth.

Sitting where they are, overlooking the harbour & ferry port, they could so easily rip people off here. But they do not. We have enjoyed every single meal we’ve had there – it is a great menu, with a really good choice of local dishes and, you can sit outside, under their canopy with your dog too!! theseaforth.com

Rocpool

Inverness - Rocpool.

Quite why it took us as long as it did to try this restaurant, we cannot say. Pressure of work, we guess. It was, however, well worth the wait. A really pleasant atmosphere, wide ranging menu, well cooked and presented and it doesn't break the bank. The lunch and pre-theatre menus are even better value. rocpoolrestaurant.com

Scotland - Central Belt

Glasgow

Irene’s home city is also home to a plethora of restaurants, some of which have become firm favourites of ours.

Chardon_DOr - Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

Chardon d’Or

As Ron McKenna says, quite why Brian Maule, the chef proprietor here, has not got a Michelin Star is a mystery. He doesn’t need one though, even if he deserves one. Great value, top-end dining, perfect for that special occasion, even in these cash strapped times. brianmaule.com

Mother_India_Cafe - Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

Mother India Café.

There is, of course a vast choice of Indian Restaurants in Glasgow, many of them very well established and very fine indeed – the Koh I Noor & Shenaz come to mind. However, our current favourite is Mother India Café, just opposite Kelvingrove Gallery. In this very small establishment, you’ll feel the buzz the second you walk in. You get to choose from a very wide menu of “tapas” sized dishes and you’ll perhaps get to rub shoulders with the rich and famous who, like you, will have queued to get in as they do not take bookings. Superb. motherindiaglasgow.co.uk

Piccolo Mondo

Piccolo Mondo.

As a real fan of authentic Italian Cooking, Irene knew the Renfrew Branch of Piccolo Mondo very well in years past. Then, just last year, some guests recommended The Glasgow outpost, saying it is seriously worth a visit.

John had his heart set on the Salsiccia con Fagioli but, as we were there just before Christmas, it was not on the Festive Menu. How his face fell. He brightened up considerable, though, a few minutes later, when the Maître d' appeared with a portion which the chefs had made specially!! Great service or what? piccolomondo.co.uk

Edinburgh

 

 

The_Dogs - Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

The Dogs.

Our favourite – The Dogs. This was the very first of the new breed of restaurant bars in Edinburgh, now much imitated but, as yet, not bettered. In this lovely upstairs room, Mr Ramsdens’ chefs champion the use of Scottish & British ingredients in their extensive menu. Super food, very well cooked, tremendous atmosphere, no airs or graces, great service & stunning value – we love it. thedogsonline.co.uk

Bar Frizzante

Bar Frizzante.

Currently our favourite Italian in Edinburgh. Well located for The Usher Hall, Lyceum and the Kings & Festival Theatres, this small restaurant, not very imposing from outside, is well worth walking through the door. The menu offers a wide range of genuine Italian dishes, all very well cooked in the open plan kitchen and pleasantly served by the owner and his staff.

John's favourite, which he had had on every single visit, as a starter, is the Parmaigiana Nonna Carmela. Mmmmm. barfrizzante.co.uk

Scotland - Other

Scotts - Crubenbeg Guest House Newtonmore,newtonmore bed and breakfast, dog friendly accommodation

Troon. – Scotts.

There is a way to “ease the pain” of flying with Ryanair out of Prestwick. We’ve sussed it out -here’s the recipe.

Book to stay at the new Travelodge at Ayr the night before you fly and book your car into Watsons Airpark for the next morning. Then take the short drive up the road and dine at Scotts in the yacht haven at Troon. A touch of civilisation before the mayhem of your flight.

We’ve eaten here 4 or 5 times now (while those "nice folk" at Ryanair still flew from Prestwick to Girona), and every time it gets our break off to a really good start. You can choose to eat in the bar or the restaurant, it matters not, the quality is all the same.

After a lovely meal, you’ll enjoy your few hours’ sleep before jetting off to who-knows-where. scotts-troon.co.uk

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