When I was a kid we used to go for “drives” to nice places for picnics and ice cream and I used to hate it.
It was boring, the drives were too long, the car was too hot and the places we went to held no interest to me because they had nothing to do with football, which was the only thing that held any sort of allure for me back then.
These days, it’s football that’s lost it’s sparkle and I can’t get enough of these “drives” to picturesque parts of Scotland. We really have one of most beautiful countries in the world if you can take the time to see it.
My girlfriend and I booked into an apartment for three days in Kenmore, which is the other end of Loch Tay from Killin.
On the way up we stopped off the Falls of Dochart for a few photos before settling into the Killin Hotel for some lunch.
I’d had a few beers in the place on previous visits on hillwalking expeditions up Ben Lawers – the tenth highest Munro – and Beinn Ghlas, about halfway up the road to Kenmore from Killin along the loch and it was always somewhere I wanted to stop in to for some eats.
It’s a grand old whitewashed building that sits at the foot of Loch Tay, with plenty of surrounding scenery.
It’s well maintained with a traditionally decorated bar adjoined by two large eating areas which, if memory serves me correctly, have recently been refurbished for a more modern feel.
We were seated in the front dining room next to the window which looks out onto the village. It’s a big, bright space in a conservatory on the side of the building which has an eclectic feel to it.
The menu looked great with lots of fresh local produce and tasty descriptions to whet the appetite, which was bursting enough by this time following an early start that day.
I felt the starters were quite pricey so just opted for one of the main meals and then see if there was any space for a dessert afterwards.
I opted for the venison burger with chips which proved to be an excellent choice.
Venison is my new steak, it’s healthier as it’s very lean but gives you everything a normal beef burger would.
First impressions were good when it was laid down in front of me – it was a fair size and came with melted cheese, salad, onion, relish, the works, exactly what I was looking for and it tasted superb. I didn’t say much until I was halfway through it, just a few nods and mmmms to answer Karen’s questions and observations.
The chips weren’t anything different from most other places I’ve dined in but they were firm and crispy. Anything less is a disappointment for me.
I did have slight food envy with Karen’s choice. She had the ‘ultimate’ steak ciabatta, something I usually avoid on menus as the meat is often too chewy, but Karen said it was quite tender and wasn’t up for sharing a sliver (for review purposes) so it must have been decent.
The dish filled us up nicely for the last leg of our journey up to Kenmore and we felt a dessert would be over indulgence so we stopped at that.
The food here is good quality with efficient service in relaxing and earthy surroundings. Well worth a trip up the high road as part of nice “drive” amid stunning scenery.