Loch Lomond is only an hour and a half drive from Edinburgh and the best medicine for the soul. I spent a long weekend In September 2020, climbing Scotland’s most southerly Munro ‘Ben Lomond,’ paddle boarding on the loch and tucking into local produce on Inchmurrin island.
We stayed at the very lovely Loch Lomond Guesthouse which also has lodges if you prefer. We enjoyed the cosiness of the guesthouse with its Scottish touches.
We ate cake from a local cafe called The Ginger Breadman In Helensburgh (I love the play on the name, especially being ginger myself)! The cake was delicious, a lemon and lime butter cream slice washed down with some Prosecco that we received as an engagement present, sat on the patio outside our room.
We ordered our breakfast each night and posted it through the reception letter box. We filled up on a full Scottish breakfast on the first day before our Munro ascent and finished with a veggie breakfast on our last day. In-between times we had smoked Salmon and scrambled eggs. Lots of choice to cater for any dietary needs including gluten free sausages. Cafetière coffee, tea, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal and toast to accompany your breakfast.
We pre-booked our meals ahead of our trip. We ate at The Cruin on our first night which is in the grounds of where the guesthouse is and lots of other lodges so it was really handy and no need for a designated driver.
Stornoway black pudding fritters to start which we shared and a good sized portion. I had a very intriguing main course, I was licking my lips reading the description ‘roasted chicken supreme puff pastry stuffed with mushrooms, Brie and cranberry served with chips.’ It was every bit as delicious as it sounded. Gavin went for the traditional beer battered haddock, chips, salad and chunky tartare sauce accompanied by one of the many Scottish beers they had on offer.
We shared a salted caramel cheesecake with honeycomb ice cream for dessert accompanied by a glass of Prosecco overlooking the stunning loch.
The next night we set sail for Inchmurrin island for dinner at the Inchmurrin restaurant which I thought was such a quirky idea recommended to me by my brother’s girlfriend.
My starter had a great balance of sweet and savoury flavours – Toasted brioche, foraged mushrooms, peas and truffle oil. I also ordered a large glass of Pinot Grigio to watch the sun go down.
Gavin opted for the hot smoked salmon, potato salad, oat cakes and pea shoots for starter, he said it wasn’t what he was expecting, it looked more like a terrine but he said he really enjoyed it. He went all out Scottish and chose the baked chicken, haggis, fondant potato, seasonal vegetables and tarragon jus for main.
It was my turn for fish tonight, and what a daddy of a fish it was! I felt starving after our hike up the Munro so I dug in hard, the chips were slightly crispy and perfect for dunking into the chunky tartare sauce. We had a cheeky sticky toffee pudding with tablet ice cream for dessert before setting sail again in the dark back to the mainland. It was so peaceful sailing in the dark and we were the only passengers as there is accommodation on the island.
Our last meal during our Loch Lomond getaway was at Colquhoun’s Restaurant in Luss. Post paddle boarding over to Inchconnachan island to see if we could spot the infamous wallabies that are reported to live on the island, yes it’s the truth, google it if you don’t believe me 🙂 Unfortunately it wasn’t our lucky day and we left having not spotted our bouncy friends. The burger was welcome sustenance after a few hours paddling around the loch, we both found it to be quite crunchy in parts but neither of us were opposed to it and we both munched it all.
A wee bit of the Scottish countryside and hearty Scottish food does you the world of good and being only an hour and a half from Edinburgh, a trip to the bonnie bonnie banks is a no brainier.