The Perfect Casual Sunday - The Tullie Inn, Balloch

Although I've moved to the East coast, I'll always be a West coast fanatic.  The air & atmosphere is just different there, and I almost feel like a different person as soon as I cross the Erskine Bridge to head towards Loch Lomond and beyond.

My sister and I, when we were both students and money was no object, used to go for lunch and discover new and amazing places when we were off.  We had been in talks about "the good old days" and decided to go for lunch and drive around to relive those amazing days.  

The Tullie Inn is based in Balloch, and is a hybrid of old and new.  The building has undergone refurbishment, and I have to say it's right up my street.  The outside has an amazing glasshouse which lets patrons gaze out at the world, yet the building has still retained the older style, traditional inn whitewash stone with black beams.  Inside, everything is coastal themed but not too kitsch.

Our waitress was friendly, but quite slow to pick up what we were saying.  It wasn't necessarily bad service, just a bit annoying when you have to repeat everything to her twice over!  Bless her.  Luckily, she got our orders all correct.

To start, I wanted something comforting as it was a freezing cold day.  What better than tomato, red pepper and chilli soup with crusty bread?

I loved this soup.  It was really flavoursome, although there wasn't a great hint of chilli in the soup.  The tomato and red peppers were really prominent and it still made a delicious, rich tasting soup.  The bread was fluffy and perfect for dipping.  Still, it is recommended.

My sister decided to have soup too, but went for the chicken noodle one instead...

Thick, soft noodles bathed in a rich chicken stock.  warm, crusty bread served at the side for dipping.  Two simple starters that were perfect for a freezing Scottish afternoon!

I am a huge macaroni cheese fan, and I am not easily pleased by it.  I thought I would sample how the Tullie Inn did...

Served in a coastal dish, this macaroni cheese was spectacular.  Creamy, very cheesy and mixed with nutmeg, this had a very unique taste that can only be described as luxurious.  The crispy breadcrumbs on top were a nice touch to change the texture up, and the garlic butter toast was a helpful scoop to get all that wonderful gloopy sauce off the dish! 

Sharon decided to go for the mussels in a garlic and cream sauce...

The picture doesn't show how saucy these were, but I can assure you there was a perfect soup underneath the mountain of mussels!  Served with chips, this is a quirky alternative to the standard fish and chips we all know and love!  The mussels were meaty and they were also really big inside the shell, so it was a wealthy portion!  Definitely a must have for the fish fans.

For two starters, two main courses and a couple of drinks, the bill was just over £25.  This is fantastic value considering we were stuffed, the portions are phenomenal and the quality of the food is so high.

 Plus, you are only about a 5 minute drive from Loch Lomond...

Man, I love Scotland.

Contact Details:
The Tullie Inn
Balloch Road
G83 8SW

Tel: 01389 752052

Wheelchair access: Yes 

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