Every Cloud Has A Grey (Gull?) Lining - The Grey Gull Inn, Ardrishaig

Suffering from a virus and breaking up with someone at the same time should definitely fall into the 'multi-tasking' category.  Feeling a little sad, alone and unwell, my father very kindly arranged for me to be in quarantine in the picturesque Port Ban (where I visited every summer for twenty two years).  You can learn more about them here.

If this view doesn't sell it to you, nothing will.

The Grey Gull Inn is a beautiful white building, situated on the shore of Loch Fyne, and a simple stones throw away from the Crinan canal.  Even in the torrential rain this place is stunning, however my wee rain jacket was soaked inside and out, so I found a sunny photo for you:

Courtesy of Travel Scotland

As I could still be deemed as 'contagious' and have to limit the amount I talk, I required an eating establishment that was modest, quiet and relaxed - the Grey Gull Inn was perfect for me on a rainy Monday evening.  It's also the first time I've ever eaten out alone, so the tranquillity of the restaurant created the perfect atmosphere.

The menu serves a whole host of different treats, but what really caught my eye was the two courses for £15 menu.  The food available on this menu is popular (soup, garlic mushrooms and steak pie for example) but can be very easily messed up.  I'm pleased to confirm that not only was the food phenomenal, but the overall experience was outstanding.

In need of something familiar and comforting, I ordered the pate de campagne with oatcakes to start, and the macaroni cheese with garlic bread for my main.  I would expect the portions to be decent for the price paid, considering in Di Maggio's I can get two courses for £9.95. Well...

Campagne pate with oatcakes and chutney

The portion sizes are quite clearly adequate!  Campagne pate, or 'country pate' is a blend of both chicken and bacon into a smooth pate.  It was bursting with a rich meaty flavour and a hint of spice.  Usually, I'm not a fan of oatcakes, but these were really something.  There was a slight nutty taste with the crunch, and combined with the smoothness of the pate and the sweetness of the chutney, it was an absolute winner of a starter. The menu doesn't specify what the chutney is, although it tasted like ginger.  What I loved about the salad was that it was very fresh and crisp, coated in a light vinaigrette dressing.  There were slices of red and yellow pepper, which made it a bit more exotic than most side salads.  I was ultimately very pleased with the size of the portion, and recommend that if you do take a visit, to try it!

Macaroni cheese with garlic bread

The main. Oh my. Well, the dish that it was served in was just about a foot in length!  The macaroni cheese was laced with red onion, topped with sliced tomato and a layer of melted cheddar cheese crisped on the top.  Served with another beautiful salad, and two slices of home made garlic bread, this was really not what I had anticipated!

The home made cheese sauce was thick, creamy and delicious.  Giant macaroni shells were coated in the sauce, and shared a bed with the sweet and juicy chunks of red onion.  The cheddar layer was gloriously golden and strong flavoured; When combined with the roasted tomato slices, it was heavenly.  A baguette sliced into two bits formed the garlic bread, and had a delicious crunch to it.  Toasted perfectly to a rust colour, the loaf absorbed the glorious garlic butter.  If you order this, dip it into your cheese sauce - thank me once you've done it.

I was so devastated that I couldn't finish my meal, but the portion was literally so big that even if I went with an empty stomach I would still have rolled out.  The bill came to a total of - wait for it - £15!  This 'single' malarkey is proving to be a lot easier on my bank balance.

The waiting staff were friendly, kept their distance until necessary and were always visible if you needed another drink, or anything at all.  The bill, needless to say, won't allow the moths to inhabit your wallet/purse and the view from the hotel is stunning no matter where you sit, and no matter what the weather is.

In all my twenty two years of heading west, this was my first visit to the Grey Gull Inn - I can be certain that it will not be my last.

Contact Details:

The Grey Gull Inn
Glenburn Road

PA30 8EU

Tel:07920 409051

Website: http://www.thegreygull.co.uk/

Wheelchair access: Yes