Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle, Inverlochy Castle, Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN
Visit: August 9, 2021
Award: 3 AA Rosettes
Set amongst the beautiful Scottish West Highlands scenery, 19th-century Inverlochy Castle is an award-winning luxury hotel and restaurant. Fort William town centre is just 4 miles away. The castle nestles in the foothills of Ben Nevis amidst some of Scotland’s finest scenery. During a trip to Balmoral in 1873, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy sketching and painting, and she wrote in her diaries ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’.
The Michel Roux Jr restaurant features modern British cuisine and they have been awarded AA 3 Red Rosettes. Previously, the restaurant held a Michelin Star from 1998 up until the review of 2014. It also held a star for two earlier spells, between 1994-1996 and 1982-1990. Hopefully, new Head Chef Harvey Perttola will raise the restaurant to a Michelin star again.
The dining experience is served in one of the three elegant dining rooms. The menu is a la carte. There is a dress code for dinner in the restaurant and men should wear a jacket, although tie is optional.
The food and service are of a very high standard. Starter courses included sea trout, served with a watercress emulsion, nori, coconut and lemon grass sauce, or a roasted Orkney scallop served with a apple puree and a sea herb sauce, or baby beetroots with goat’s curd and a beetroot meringue. We tried the sea trout which was very well prepared and perfectly presented.
Next, was a course of heirloom tomatoes, with a tomato and basil consommé, dehydrated olives and basil. The consommé was very refreshing and full of flavour.
There were three main courses to choose from – beef fillet with Pommes Anna and a Choron sauce (made by adding tomato paste to a basic Béarnaise), or duck with cherry, cabbage, pear a duck fat rosti and jus, or roasted cod with courgette, baby spinach, mussel and caviar sauce. The beef fillet was excellent, perfectly cooked medium rare (to order) and very tender, and the Choron sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The roasted cod was also excellent, but the caviar sauce tasted slightly over seasoned.
Desserts included an exotic fruit cheesecake with a mango sorbet, or a chocolate mousse with caramel, hazelnuts and a salted caramel ice cream, or a clotted cream parfait with strawberry and pistachio cake. We tried the cheesecake which was very good and the chocolate mousse with an excellent caramel ice cream.
This was an excellent dinner with very good service.
We stayed overnight. The rooms are located up a flight of stairs and the staff are very helpful with carrying your luggage. The bedroom was very comfortable and spacious, with tremendous views over the Scottish countryside, and the bathroom had a bath as well as a walk-in shower. The breakfast menu was also very good. Exceptionally good pastries were followed by one of the best Scottish breakfasts I have had.
Our stay at Inverlochy Castle was extremely enjoyable. The food is of a very high standard, the people are welcoming and amazingly passionate about the hotel, the accommodation is excellent, and the scenery is spectacular.
I recommend a visit!
The a la carte menu
Following the departure of Head Chef Colin Nicholson (who left to join Mingary Castle, Fort William as Head Chef in February 2021), Harvey Perttola has joined Inverlochy as Head Chef. Harvey is from Birmingham and was previously Head Chef at Maribel restaurant in Brindley Place, Birmingham, that is now sadly closed.
Harvey’s career started at Birmingham’s Opus Restaurant. He worked at Hampton Manor, where he was part of the team who cooked for Michelin when they were awarded their star, and as sous chef at Swinfen Hall, Lichfield. He was a finalist and runner up in the 2017 Chef Stagiaire, and a finalist in the 2018 British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year.
The Restaurant and Gardens
We chose an Alain Girard & Fils Sancerre Blanc 2018 from France to accompany the initial courses. This Loire white wine scores 3.8 / 5 on Vivino:
To accompany the beef, I chose a Vondeling Monsonia 2016 from Western Cape, South Africa. This red wine has plum, dark fruit and blackberry notes, scoring 3.9 / 5 on Vivino: