The Anderson

The Anderson

Union Street


What is it: The Anderson is an award-winning inn in the seaside conservation village of Fortrose on the Black Isle. The listed former coaching inn is stunning with parts of the building around 200 years old. They have nine bedrooms and a 50-seater restaurant and, most importantly, a wee pub. The decor is traditional without looking tired. The pub has all the boxes ticked: wood-burning fire, dim lighting and bric-a-brac everywhere.

Interesting fact: The ethos at The Anderson comes from the American background of the owners Jim and Anne who took over the place in 2003 and transformed it. I would go out of my way to visit here again.

Verdict: The small but perfectly formed whisky bar is where I spent my time. I love it when I find these places and they live up to my expectations. This has everything I need from a wee pub: massive whisky list, great beers, decor and atmosphere that makes you feel instantly at home and staff that smile and banter when required. I'm just gutted this great pub is so far from my home.

Drinks: They have more than 260 single malts with some real crackers. They also have a collection of more than 170 beers and a 130-bottle wine list. The pub has won several Camra awards and a Dram Pub of the Year. I enjoyed a Fraoch Heather Ale which is, apparently, brewed to a 1000-year-old Pictish recipe using heather in place of hops, which was good value at £3.

Food: They describe themselves as a gastronomic oasis in the Highlands and they are not far off. They use locally sourced ingredients where possible and I enjoyed the steak and real ale pie made with Black Isle sirloin, oyster mushrooms and a rich gravy of Thornbridge Black Raven Ale, beneath a puff pastry crust, all for £12.

Price: Good prices. Pint of beer from £3.

Alfresco: Great outside area.

Children: Very welcome.

Avoid if: If you are more a cocktail bar type.

Perfect for: Escaping the city life for a couple of nights with some first-class Highland hospitality.