Restaurant Recommendations

Restaurant Recommendations

Eating out in the Highlands is something you want to get right and there are plenty places to choose from. Our favourites are located on the NC500, the Black Isle and in Inverness.

The Rocpool, Inverness £££

A family run restaurant with a very reasonable and delicious set menu for lunch, a larger a la carte menu is also available. The menu often shows a gentle nod to more Asian flavours of coriander, sesame and chilli. Service is slick and efficient, with owner and Maitre’d Stephen running the show. Gin and tonics are served Spanish style in big goblets. Reservations are necessary and easy to do online. Firm favourites of ours are the oriental chicken salad, scallops, crab and sweetcorn soup and pigeon. We go for Birthdays, special occasions and pre-theatre.

+44(0)1463 717274 https://www.rocpoolrestaurant.com/

The Seafood Shack, Ullapool £

A local seafood takeaway perfect distance for a fresh seafood lunch. It is outdoor dining so good weather is imperative. Run impeccably by two local ladies and their team, you walk off the high street into a little seafood oasis with fresh food cooked infront of you. The menu is small and changes daily, we highly recommend the half lobster with dilled potatoes, crab linguine and the tempura haddock wrap.

07876 142623 http://www.seafoodshack.co.uk/

 Kylesku Hotel, Kylesku ££

A firm favourite of ours, quite a drive from Beauly but we always make the effort with friends because the langoustine are incredible. Served on a medieval looking spit, they come hot or cold with chips and lashings of garlic butter or mayonnaise (served seasonally so best to check before setting off). The setting is stunning, recently refurbished the Kylesku has a more modern feel to it with floor to ceiling windows with views onto the pier – where your lunch was landed from only hours before. Favourites are the Ullapool oysters, langoustine on a stick and scallops with kedgeree.

01971 502 231 https://www.kyleskuhotel.co.uk

IV10 Café Bar Deli, Fortrose ££

Newly opened and worth a drive on the Black Isle for coffee, lunch or dinner as the atmosphere is fantastic, a strong design element is at play here and it feels very comfortable. We went recently for John’s Birthday and it was jam packed which was great fun. The wine menu is extensive and carefully put together by the owner who was able to tell us much about each bottle we picked. The menu has plenty to choose from and changes from day to night and on a Sunday. We often struggle to decide as everything sounds great but the Rib eye went down very well. Reservations are necessary. IV10 is also a deli so there are lots of delicious things to purchase and take away with you.

01381 620690 http://iv10.net

Sutor Creek, Cromarty ££

A firm favourite of ours for when friends are visiting, a 45 minute drive along the Black Isle with plenty places to stop for a dog walk including the beach in Rosemarkie or the Fairy Glen. Sutor Creek has a wood fired pizza oven and they make delicious thin pizzas. The Black Isler is a meaty favourite. They also have a daily specials board packed with local seafood. I usually order the mussels with a side of chips and they are delicious, served in a broth with fennel and parsley. Excellent puddings too and all of the staff are charming. Reservations are necessary.

01381 600 855 www.sutorcreek.co.uk

Luigis, Dornoch ££

Luigis is run by a charming couple who have been experts in their field for many years. Book in because it seems everyone in the area goes here, particularly at the weekend. There is a regular menu – the chorizo and prawn linguine is a winner on this menu. But also, a daily special board with treats like lobster thermidor and cheese souffle available. They are very child friendly here and have tolerated many a messy toddler in my time.

01862 810 893 www.luigidornoch.com

Mac & Wild, Falls of Shin, ££

The recent addition to the Mac & Wild Group with two restaurants in London sourcing all of their game from the Highlands, the team have opened at the Shin Falls and are offering a great array of delicious cakes, sandwiches and their full menu including the award winning VeniMoo burger. The site is very child friendly with a great play park and woodland walk right there, as well as the main draw – watching the salmon leaping up the Falls. Recent visits have been with family and we have enjoyed the VeniMoo burger, Wild Bowl and there is a Wee Bairn Happy Meal for £5.

01549 402 888 www.macandwild.com

 

Campbell’s and Eagle Review Partnership

Campbell’s and Eagle Review Partnership

Campbell’s of Beauly are delighted to announce our new partnership with Eagle Review – the no.1 travel advisor for fieldsports lovers.  Advising on prime locations for stalking and fishing, from idyllic countryside retreats to dense jungle getaways, Eagle Review allows you to build your fieldsports holiday based on location, sport and animal to fit your desired needs. Choose from 6,500 fishing, shooting and hunting locations – from Wild Boar hunting in Hungary to Tarpon fishing in Florida. Eagle Review links local guides, venues and accommodation to sports enthusiasts around the world to arrange trips tailored to each specific need.

We want to build awareness of Eagle Review and their fantastic business to our fieldsport-loving customers. Many of our customers are active with guns or rods, and we believe this partnership will be a great link for those who want a quality, tailored experience when booking their next fieldsport venture. Campbell’s of Beauly and Eagle Review will work to share our vision of quality craftmanship in outdoor pursuits, clothing and sporting equipment, to ensure our customers have access to this excellent service when building their next stalking, shooting or fishing experience.

 

 

 

 

The Northern Meeting Ball

The Northern Meeting Ball

The Northern Meeting Ball is taking place at Altyre, Forres tonight and it is wonderful to see so many customers collecting their finished kilts, jackets and doublets ahead of this fine evening of Scottish reeling. The Northern Meeting was founded in 1788 – a time where the Highlands was reaching a low. The 1746 Battle of Culloden, followed by the suppression of clans by the Hanoverian government, made Inverness and surrounding areas drear and lifeless. At this point, roads were limited and traveling was tough – meaning getting out of the area was proven more difficult. This was when 13 men from Inverness gathered together with one aim – to bring the social life and excitement back to the Highland capital. The first Northern Meeting was then created, with Dr John Alves – the first secretary stating  “the Object of the Meeting is Pleasure and Innocent Amusement” – a week long celebration with a restriction on political views, business plans or any other concern at the time.

Throughout the week, men and ladies would participate in their own activities – from spectating the horse racing or sitting for some drinks and a catch up. Every evening, guests would dine at 4pm followed by the Northern Meeting Ball at 8pm in the town hall. Dress code was strictly formal and dancing had to be immaculate. Attendees would dance until midnight until retreating back to their beds, ready for the following day ahead.

Today, the Northern Meeting Ball is still a prominent date in the social calendar – now hosted on one evening rather than 7 consecutive nights. It has developed into a thriving society, hosting annual Autumn and Christmas Balls alongside other, more informal occasions throughout the rest of the year. Black tie dress code involves vibrant highland dress and ball gowns, and no dancers with two-left-feet are to be seen reeling on the dancefloor. It is a grand occasion for “innocent amusement” – a time for celebration and coming together to forget about the worries that the modern day may bring.

You can read more about The Northern Meeting Ball on their website

Established in 1858, Campbell’s of Beauly is an iconic privately owned, family run country tailor and outfitters. Situated in the picturesque village of Beauly, 10 miles west of Inverness, Campbell’s is a thriving retail business as well as busy tailoring workshop.

The business changed hands in 2015, and John & Nicola Sugden have taken over the reins, but their outlook remains reassuringly sympathetic to those who love this “Highland gem” of a store. Maintaining the charming character of the retail store is as important to them as it is to Campbell’s many loyal followers. In an age where in the “rag trade” the all important history and heritage can be easily forged, Campbell’s has no need or desire to overly hype it’s provenance.

Employing two full time tailors and six seamstresses in their tailoring department, all Campbell’s bespoke garments are made on site and the Campbell’s name is synonymous with quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Campbell’s specialise in sporting tweeds and Highland dress, tailoring for many of the Scottish grouse moors as well as further afield in Yorkshire, and their kilts and jackets can be found across many a Scottish reeling dance floor. As a result, we are proud to be associated with the Northern Meeting.

The Highland Cross 2018

The Highland Cross 2018

I entered and completed my first Highland Cross alongside two friends, Gemma and Heather, we stuck together and completed this tough local duathlon in a time of 7.5 hours and we raised £945! The Highland Cross is a 50 mile duathlon comprising of 20 miles by foot, followed by 30 miles by bike from the west to the east of Scotland. It attracts hundreds of participants per year of all athletic capabilities, starting at 18 years old and with no maximum age limit. It is an all terrain route starting in Kintail, snaking through the beautiful Scottish west coast, through Affric and finishing in Beauly – just outside the Campbell’s front door. It is a spectacular day to observe the determination and endurance of all those involved.

The Highland Cross started out as a Charity Challenge in 1983 – back then, titled “The Midsummer Madathon”. The aim was for 3 teams to cross from Loch Duich to Glen Affric, a total of 60 miles to raise money for the Highland Scanner Appeal. The challenge quickly grew and has become a historic route to test your fitness abilities, all while raising money for notably worthy causes. Today, 795 people in teams of 3 enter the race each year, with all sponsors donated to help local causes, those disadvantaged by disability, in ill health or in social need.

This year, the funds raised are being shared between 5 charities: Blythswood Care, Highland Hospice, MS Therapy Centre, Skye and Lochalsh Mental Health Association, and the Abriachan Forest Trust. If you would like to contribute towards these causes, you can do so through the Tough Mamma’s Virgin Giving page linked here – we are grateful for any donation!

Well done to all those who participated! If you are interested in learning more about The Highland Cross, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

An Interview with John: by Rosie Sugden

An Interview with John: by Rosie Sugden

Between being a father, husband and running your own business – it’s very hard to pin John down and interrogate him with some questions. Luckily, his sister Rosie Sugden managed to do some of the work for us, and released it in her journal which you can find on her website. Rosie is a talented knitwear designer, specialising in fashion-forward accessories made from luxurious cashmere. Her ethos states long-lasting, durable accessories in a time of throw away fast fashion – a sustainable focus, with all manufacturing made in Scotland.

Scroll down to read her conversation with John:

Tell us about yourself?

Since a young boy I’ve always loved menswear, so it was no surprise to my parents that I followed my Father’s footsteps into the clothing world, firstly 10 years working for a cashmere and fine woollens mill, and then 4 years at Mackintosh.

After 12 years in London I decided that the timing was right to move away and start my own business. It was a natural decision to move back to the highlands as its where both my wife and I grew up.

 

Where is home? 

Yorkshire. No doubt about it. Through and through. I was born in Huddersfield, schooled in the Yorkshire Dales, and then at Leeds university. But “home home” today is above the shop in Beauly. So proper traditional shop keepers!

 

John & Nicola Sugden

 

What got you involved with the textile industry? 

I suppose my family involvement over the years. Both my father’s and mother’s families were involved in the industry. Coupled with my love of menswear from a young age it was the obvious route for me to follow. That’s not to say that there aren’t some photos of me when I was young in very dubious wares!

 

Tell us about Campbell’s of Beauly?

Campbell’s is a hidden gem. One of the things that really endeared me to it. Untouched since it first started in 1858. Of course we need to tweak it here and there, but the character and charm of the store is what endears it to most who visit. We’re a country-wear specialist in the retail, and then we have our bespoke tailoring workshop above the shop making suits, jackets, trousers etc for all manner of people.

Beauly itself is a lovely little village in the Highlands, just North West of Inverness. It’s an amazing little town with an array of passionate shopkeepers plying their own trades.

 

Campbell’s of Beauly tailoring department

 

What makes Campbell’s so special?

Definitely its our history and heritage. In an age when it can be quite frustrating how the perceived “heritage” of some brands is rather cleverly marketed and ultimately inaccurate, Campbell’s truly is an historic store with a concrete history and heritage dating back to 1858. Not much has changed in store since then!

 

One item from Campbell’s shop that you’re coveting at the moment?

My mens Nehru gilet in navy harris tweed. We sell the style online, and we can also have them made individually in ones chosen fabric. I love harris tweed Hebrides fabric and so a smart navy option was just the number for me. My matching bespoke brief case is also accompanying me to all meetings.

 

CAMPBELL OF BEAULYTom Owen, our now retired Head Tailor

Describe your and Nicola’s typical working day?

Roughly speaking, our roles are defined quite well in that Nicola looks after the retail day to day, I look after the tailoring, and we both do the buying. At this time of year I’m flat out with tailoring appointments for many of the estates we work with, for whom we tailor the suits for the teams that manage the land in their individual tweeds. We’re also flat out doing the retail buying for deliveries from April when the season starts to pick up.

I will generally split my time between my office and the tailoring department when I’m in and then estate visits when I’m out. Nic will split hers between her office where she manages the website and then the shop floor so she keeps her finger on the pulse of whats happening in the retail.

 

John, Nicola and their Cocker Spaniel, Islay

You travel a lot for work – what is your favourite place you’ve visited?

Stockholm is my favourite foreign city to visit. I’ve a lot of friends there. It’s always nice to visit and see them, and I like the size of Stockholm, a nice manageable size of city. Not too big, not too small, plenty to do. Within the UK when travelling to meet some of the estates we work with, up the Glen from Beauly in Glen Affric is pretty special, or the North Yorkshire moors are very picturesque.

 

What do you love most about living in the highlands?

The peace and tranquility. and its rather nice that people say hello to each other in the street! I missed that in london. And also the space. The acres of space. It’s naturally relaxing.

 

CAMPBELL OF BEAULYJohn & Tom

What have you learned running Campbell’s of Beauly?

Back yourself. People will always, often unintentionally, sew a seed of doubt in your mind or make you change your mind. I’ve learnt not to let this happen and to stick to the plan and what I’d originally thought. If you originally thought something, there must be a justifiable reason, so go with it. And if you are wrong, you learn from your mistakes.

And if you are going to take advice from people, I believe you want that advice to be consistent, and it has to blend nicely with your own views, so there are 4-5 people who I’ll regularly seek out the opinion of, outside of Nic and myself.

And running ones own business is rewarding, but hard work!

 

What aspect of working for yourself do you most enjoy?

Being my own boss. No red tape and the freedom of when to decide to work flat out, and when to decide when to take a break.

 

Campbell’s of Beauly & Lambswool V Neck Jumper

 

Who or what inspires you?

I once heard that John Timpson was on a panel of advisors, answering questions on how to make a business successful. Other panelists answered in many different ways. Mr Timpson said in a matter of fact way that there was one thing that had not been mentioned which he felt above all else was a key factor – hard work. its hard to disagree. I’ve always remembered that. That always inspires me.

Application. Dedication. Determination. with these three ingredients you won’t go far wrong.

 

Favourite cafes or restaurants in the Highlands?

Corner on the Square in Beauly of course! Allangrange Arms for a pub. Sutor Creek in Cromarty for a pizza. The Scourie Hotel for a great night away of great food and peace and quiet and perhaps a spot of fishing!

 

Favourite place in Scotland?

Other than Mum and Dad’s near Lilliesleaf, the Struie viewpoint on the Struie road (B9176). Nicola and I got engaged there.

 

Struie Road Viewpoint

A big thank you to Rosie for allowing us to use her interview – the original post can be viewed on her journal. You can find a small selection of her spectacular knitwear in Campbell’s of Beauly, or you can view the full range on her website.

Visit to Harris Tweed Hebrides

Visit to Harris Tweed Hebrides

In mid June John headed to the Isle of Lewis to visit Harris Tweed Hebrides. In the Campbell’s Land Rover of course, an early start to catch the morning ferry, beautiful skies and a flat calm sea, John arrived in Stornaway and headed for the mill in Shawbost. Harris Tweed Hebrides is a spinning and finishing mill. This is because the weaving of Harris Tweed is done independently by the hand weavers. Once the fibre is dyed, carded and spun into yarn, the warps are prepared and sent to the individual and independent weavers to weave up by inserting the weft yarns. The pieces are then collected by the mill and returned to the factory for QC and finishing. The final part of the process is to insert the Orbel, signifying that the tweed is official Harris Tweed. Harris Tweed has a very distinct look and handle, it is the king of all “Shetland type” fabrics, with a slightly coarse handle and rugged look to it.
At the factory John had a tour of the production facilities and the new state of the art dyehouse that has been installed. It was then onto focusing on design and looking at the many new patterns that have been produced for the new range, selecting which were suitable for Campbell’s, and then taking swatches of this selection back to Beauly for final selection. In the coming weeks, we will finalise which we will purchase and then send in our bulk orders for these cloths. Lead times can vary from 12-16 weeks depending on how busy the mill is, and at this time of year, and on this occasion, the mill is very busy! We also had a special commission of Hunting Macpherson tartan to get remade, last made on the islands in 1992!
Take a look at the photos from the trip below:

Visit to Valverde

Visit to Valverde

In May 2017, John and Nicola took to Seville, Spain to visit the family run factory in which our beautiful Spanish Leather and Suede boots are manufactured. This region of Spain, Andalucia, is where some of the finest leather is sourced and produced into these high quality boots, hand crafted with great attention to detail and care.

Valverde has shown consistent quality in shoemaking since the 19th century. In 1873, the first shoemaker from Valverde won ‘Best Shoe’ at the International Exhibition in Vienna. Today, the shoe industry has developed vastly. From the complex hand-crafting in the shoemaker’s homes in 1912, to the introduction of sewing machines to simplify the production process while still maintaining high standards of care and quality. It was great to meet the talented leather cutters and seamstresses who hand make all of our leather and suede products. There were many similarities between our work room above the shop and this small family run factory in Spain, it was fascinating to see the old tools working so well alongside modern machinery.

Take a look at some of the images of the hand cutting tools and sizers below:

Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen

Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen

HM The Queen Bestows Royal Warrant on Iconic Tailoring and Countrywear Business

Campbell’s of Beauly

One of the oldest established tailoring specialists in the Highlands, Campbells of Beauly, established in 1858, have been granted the Royal Warrant for supply of tailored goods to Her Majesty the Queen.

The workshop in Beauly has for many years been making suits for the Balmoral Estate and the company has held two previous Royal Warrants since the 1960’s. In particular, those for the late HRH The Prince of Wales (later The Duke of Windsor) as well as HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The grantee, Mr James Sugden OBE, has worked in the industry for over 50 years and Campbell’s was acquired by his Son and Daughter in law John and Nicola Sugden in 2013 from the Campbell family. As well as a thriving tailoring workshop the business boasts a unique retail emporium specialising in knitwear and tweed garments, many of which are made in Scotland and the UK.

John Sugden, Director said ‘Nicola and I are absolutely delighted for all the team here at Campbell’s as this is such a wonderful reward for all their hard work and attention to detail. Many of the team have worked here for over 20 years and this is the perfect recognition for their dedication and loyalty. The first people we shared the news with were the Campbell family and Tom Owen our Head Cutter for over 40 years who were all delighted.’

Visit to the Outer Hebrides

Visit to the Outer Hebrides

Following the success of ITVs Tales from the Coast with Robson Green we thought we’d share some pictures from our similar trip to Harris and Lewis at the end of last year, it truly is a magical place to visit. The Campbell’s team headed off on the CalMac ferry in the iconic Land Rover Defender to Stornaway. We were joined by mascot cocker spaniel sisters ‘Islay’ and ‘Sula’ and started our four day trip with a tour and tasting session at the famous Harris Gin Distillery which was fascinating, Informative and executed in an innovative way. You really can taste the flavouring from the hand dived sugar sea kelp coming though the gin, giving a slight saltiness. The sugar kelp is supplied by Lewis Mackenzie photographed below who also took Robson Green out to view the local wildlife, we were lucky enough to also see the stunning Sea Eagle, and I was delighted with my photographs of it mid-hunt.

The main reason for our trip was to find some stunning Harris Tweeds to take back to the Highland Tweed House and share with our customers. Margaret Macleod of Harris Tweed Hebrides looked after us beautifully, with a private tour of the factory we were able to see the entire process unfold in front of us, dyeing, spinning, design and pattern making, to the distribution of the work to the 10’s of local ‘cottage industry’ weavers in the islands and then the finishing process where the woven cloth comes back to the factory where it is washed, pressed and finally stamped with the Harris Tweed orb – all under careful supervision from the Harris Tweed Authority. We caught up with legendary Donald John Mackay of the Luskentyre Tweed Company who gave us a lesson on peddling a single width traditional loom – it certainly is a workout and a half.

Client day out at Balvaird

Client day out at Balvaird

This set of photos is taken from the Campbell’s shoot day back in January ’16. We took some of our loyal Estate teams on a small pheasant and partridge shoot near Tomatin, Inverness-shire. The weather was crisp, with snow on the tops and the sun shone through at times. A great day was had by all. Take a look at our images from the day below: