The first real glimpse of summer for 2017 and we couldn’t have picked a better weekend for a trip to The Highlands. We set out on our drive to The Torridon with sunglasses in hand, and a lengthy Spotify playlist at the ready. I was going to check out The Torridon Hotel and Inn as I have been working with them as a client for almost 10 months and had only ever seen pictures.
What was meant to be an already long, 4 and a half hour drive ended up over a 5-hour drive after Google Maps took us a detour, (Definitely not my fault..). After a scenic drive through Kilsyth, we were back on the M80 and heading in the right direction.
Having been pre-warned about the twisty road that takes you the last part of the trip and, with the added time to the journey, we didn’t expect to be driving it in the pitch black! However, after a while of guessing which direction the road would turn next and meeting a deer or two along the way, we made it and despite it being dark we got a sense of how peaceful, calm and undisturbed this area of Scotland is.
After the drive, the only thing on our mind was a proper Scottish pub meal, so we went straight to The Inn to see what our choices were. Not so unusually, we both decided we wanted the same thing. We had the best haggis and black pudding I have ever tasted to start and I could only put it down to the fact that it was proper Highland meat! We then followed this by a steak and ale pie which was just as outstanding. Afterwards we headed for the bar where we met Alistair, the Inn Manager who filled us in on how spectacular it is in daylight and everything we had to look forward to.
We were both impressed with the selection of beers, some with the strangest of names but you could tell they were from local, Scottish breweries.
The next morning we went back to The Inn for breakfast, and much to our excitement, there was more black pudding. After polishing it off, we were ready to have a look around The Torridon in the daylight. As first impressions go, The Torridon certainly made a striking and breathtaking one. From the beautiful castle-like Hotel, to the spectacular view of Loch Torridon and the mountains across the loch that commandeered the landscape. We wandered around the front lawn of the Hotel, admiring the views in the great weather and took advantage of some quick photo opportunities.
We met with Louise, who showed us around the inside of the Hotel. We were shown around The Torridon Suite and The 1887 Suite, which had its own staircase inside the room! We noticed that each of the rooms were all decorated uniquely, which was a nice touch as it meant they all had a personal-touch to them. Admiring the enormous bathtubs and the remarkable views that the rooms had, we were impressed and very much in awe.
Dan, the owner and managing director of The Torridon found us and we went for a walk around the gardens. I was looking forward to seeing around the Kitchen Garden and it did not disappoint!
The Torridon grow all their own herbs, fruit, vegetables and flowers for decoration. It was slightly too early for anything to be in season, but it was great to see where the homegrown ingredients came from and to get a feel for how it works. We were able to see inside the polytunnel, which allows crops that require a warmer climate to grow than Scotland can provide naturally.
We learned about the mountain-like pile of woodchips that powers the heating and hot water system for the Torridon Hotel and The Inn, a lot of which is chipped right at the Torridon from the surrounding forest as part of green tourism. Between the Kitchen Garden and the biomass heating system, The Torridon is pretty self-contained and maintained.
It was time to head home with another lengthy drive through the Highlands and back to sunny Glasgow. But we couldn’t leave without saying hello to the Highland Coos’, could we?
With such great weather, the drive home was really picturesque and we actually enjoyed it! We passed Beinn Eighe, which I didn’t realise was quite so nearby to The Torridon and just how massive it is. It was amazing to see it so close up and to grasp just how immense it is!
So, we drove a collective 10 hours in 2 days to see The Torridon Inn and Hotel, but it was definitely worth it for the black pudding, if not the beautiful and charming destination.