The Village Green


Loch Ness

What is it: This multi-award-winning venue has been a family-run business owned by the Beach family since 1996. In 2000 they acquired Oakdale Bed & Breakfast, which sits opposite the Fiddler's and this, together with Fiddler’s itself, gave them seven rooms to accommodate tourists coming to the area. For almost 20 years the family have worked hard to build a loyal following, from locals to people travelling to the area from all over the world. This is not five-star luxury; for me this is five-star Scottish hospitality.

Interesting fact: The restaurant and bar have been going through a refurbishment and with planning application, they decided to apply for a brewery and distillery, and consent was granted by the Highland council. This has been a long-term dream for the owner, which will bring new jobs to the area.

Verdict: In my opinion there are not enough of these gems around Scotland. On paper it doesn't seem difficult to get it right: a good food and drink offering and off you go – right? Well, I know from experience that it's not that easy. You can tell Fiddler's has taken a lot of love and dedication from the owners to get it right. The fact this is a family run place really shows. The staff are all attentive, knowledgeable and you can tell they love working here. This is a must-visit if you are in the area.

Drink: Jon Beach, owner of Fiddler’s, is a huge whisky fan and an avid collector. The famous whisky library here has a massive collection but it is not just thrown together; it has been passionately curated by Jon himself. You will find all the famous brands as well as some incredible bottles that will be hard to find anywhere else. The beer is not just an afterthought, as there's a comprehensive selection of local beers both in draught and bottle to choose from.

Food: The motto here is “good food served simply” and I tend to agree with that. This is proper Scottish cooking and perfect after a long day touring around the area. With dishes like Loch Ness cider and onion pork belly and Speyburn whisky roast salmon salad I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Prices: You will find cheaper prices in some of the other bars and restaurants around but you won't find the same quality.

Children: Great place for the kids but even better for the grown-ups if you are wanting to enjoy the beer and whisky.

Alfresco: There's a fantastic beer garden out front, which is perfect for sitting out in the summer months. The owners also put on a food truck in the summer which runs a basic but delicious menu of fish and chips and the likes.

Perfect for: A wee trip and a night away up to Loch Ness. Be aware though, once you check in here the likelihood is that you will spend all of your time confined to the venue itself indulging in beer, whisky and food – which surely can't be a bad thing.

Avoid if: You are one of those city-dwellers who doesn't dare venture out of their urban lairs.

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