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Aultbea Hotel

Highlands

Sea Front, Aultbea, Wester Ross. IV22 2HX.

Tel: 01445 731201

http://www.aultbeahotel.co.uk

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Our review

The Wester Ross coastline on the shore of Loch Ewe is on the North Coast 500 - one of the best road trips in the world – enticing travellers from far and wide; this is a destination for outdoor adventures, wildlife and a peaceful, relaxing escape from real life. The Aultbea Hotel was originally built as a Hunting Lodge in 1850 for the Lord Zetland, then a coaching inn before being renovated by new owners, Robin and Ballal into a contemporary Bar & Restaurant with eight comfortable bedrooms.

The heart of this 21st century Inn is the cosy, Convoy Tavern, a gin, whisky and cocktail bar furnished with leather sofas and chairs, quirky artwork, industrial lighting, and a welcome log stove. On a wall plaque, read about the World War II history of the Arctic Convoys when Loch Ewe became an important naval base for the ‘Arctic convoys’ travelling dangerous routes to Scandinavia and Russia. This old village pub at the time was known as the Jam Jar Bar, as servicemen had to use jam jars for their pints of beer due to wartime shortages, a name still preserved as part of the hotel’s important heritage.

Lunch and dinner is served in the tavern, homely, gastropub good food based on local produce: Soup, Isle of Ewe smoked salmon, squat lobsters, venison, sticky toffee pudding. The bar is popular with locals, non-residents and hotel guests.  As an alternative, dinner is also served in the The Fat Whippet restaurant with an a la carte menu veering towards classic French cuisine with innovative, artistic dishes. Breakfast is a feast too with creamy porridge, full Scottish fry up, (eggs, bacon, sausage, Aultbea black pudding), eggs Benedict, pancakes – all with a loch view.

The majority of guests stay 3 – 4 nights, especially during the busy summer season with Aultbea as the perfect base to explore the region - Ullapool, Poolewe, Inverewe gardens, Beinn Eighe nature reserve, Munro bagging, canoeing, hiking and biking, stroll along deserted sandy beach walks. Or simply chill out at the Aultbea Hotel with a pint (or a gin) and drink in the loch views.

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