A Fox's Favourite - The Smiddy, Lochgilphead

In my previous posts about travelling to the West coast (you can check these out here) I have always said how much better the food is compared to local places.  When I spied that some lovely family members of mine were planning to take a trip up that way today, I immediately booked a day off work to free myself up.  How could I have not blogged about The Smiddy after all this time?!

The Smiddy is a lovely little cafe, set in an old croft-like building.  The outside is whitewashed, but inside has that lovely rubble stonework that you see on rural buildings all over the Scottish countryside.  It can be found on Smithy Lane, which is easy to get to and has ample parking two minutes away.

Croft-like exterior

When you go inside, the lighting is low, yet doesn't make the cafe gloomy.  The boards with all the specials hang on the walls, and the freshly made home baking occupies a table just as you enter the seating area, tempting you before you've even sat down.  The stained glass windows are bright and colourful, adding to the capturing beauty of the place.  A grand fireplace sits at the back wall, and the whole place is small yet cosy.

One of the stained glass windows

Greeted by friendly and happy staff, you can choose where you want to sit.  The place gets really busy, so make sure you get there for about 12pm when lunch starts.  I would recommend that you sit towards the back, to avoid the newest customers bustling around you at the front.

The menu has a great variety of cafe inspired food, but also lots of healthy choices for those persevering with the inevitable New Year diet.  Baked potatoes with plenty of indulgent fillings, baguettes or paninis stuffed with exciting concoctions and salads bursting with fresh ingredients.  Lots of great choices for all types of appetites and tastes, and at great prices too.  Myself and Mark decided to begin with a bowl of their freshly made cream of vegetable soup, served with crusty bread.  I had been craving the home-made macaroni cheese with garlic bread and salad for my main, and Mark decided to get one of the Specials: avocado and Stilton bake with toasted breadcrumbs, garnished with a salad.

The fresh crusty bread was served in a wicker basket.  Soft brown bread, with a beautiful crust on each slice, the bread was thickly sliced and perfect for dipping in the creamy vegetable soup.  You also get some balsamic vinegar dressing and mayonnaise as some dips for your bread, which are absolutely amazing.  Just be careful that you don't over indulge on the bread and dips and spoil your main (which obviously I've never done...)

Soft crusty bread, with the balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise dips

Our piping hot soup was served shortly after the bread arrived.  The soup was creamy and thick, but not too thick that it felt stodgy.  The soup didn't need seasoned at all, and was absolutely delicious.  It was perfect for warming us up on a chilly March day.  The soup changes daily, but it is always absolute perfection, and home-made.

Cream of vegetable soup, garnished with chives

Our bowls were cleared away by a cheery waitress, and within about five minutes our second course was being brought to us.  As I mentioned before, The Smiddy fills up very quickly, however the service is always swift and with a smile!

Avocado and Stilton bake with toasted breadcrumbs, garnished with salad

The portion for this was pre-warned as a starter size by the waitress.  Mark said that the dish was absolutely delicious, and for the bite I tried I'm inclined to agree.  The smell of the Stilton is rather strong, however when you taste the combination it doesn't overpower the dish.  The smoothness of the baked avocado is really great with the toasted crunchy breadcrumbs too!  The side salad was a generous helping of fresh, crispy leaves, sliced onions, tomatoes and a dollop of home-made coleslaw.  Mark said that if he hadn't had the soup, he definitely would have asked for a bigger portion of this.  His plate was cleared, and he raved about the meal long after we had finished!

Macaroni cheese with garlic bread, garnished with a salad

The one thing I truly adore about The Smiddy is their colourful and tasty salads.  They don't just give you some lettuce leaves: I had grapes, peach slices, kiwi, orange, cress, tomatoes, shredded carrot and beetroot too!  There was also a healthy dollop of coleslaw there, which naturally I was ecstatic about.  The garlic bread was nice and hot, and absolutely seeped through with garlic.  The crust of the bread was nice and crunchy, however the fluffy part was nice and soft, and just a little soggy, which helped me mop up the cheese sauce remaining in my bowl - it was phenomenal.  The macaroni cheese is creamy, rich and everything indulgent that I had hoped for.  Covered with a layer of stringy melted cheese, it really is something I could eat every day when it's as cold as this!  It is served straight from the oven, so do be cautious when you start eating - we don't want burnt tongues, which again is something I have never done. Ahem.

Once our plates were clear and our trousers considerably tighter than half an hour prior, we went up to the till point to pay.  For two courses each and two drinks, the bill was £20.  Amazing value for money, especially for the portions and fantastic fresh, home-made dishes they offer.  You should definitely, if you have room, try some of the home baking.  The cakes are absolutely fabulous and again the slices are generous.  Why not team it up with a nice hot chocolate or cappuccino?

We did notice, when we left, that they have a delivery van.  Imagine the damage that could cause if they were generous enough to deliver down to me in Lanarkshire...

Deliver to meeeee!

Contact Details:

The Smiddy
Smithy Lane
PA31 8TA

Tel: 01546 603606

Website: No

Wheelchair access: No