Well wasn’t that a fine treat for two weary travellers? That whole day was pure Highland bliss. We took the dogs for a lengthy walk around Inverness, visiting lots of dog-friendly local spots. We then spent the afternoon relaxing at The Health Suite in the Aquadome (which was a massive throwback to being circa 20 years younger… ugh send help). A long walk, a sauna and jacuzzi, and then a stroll along the river on a bonnie Spring evening, to a beautiful dinner in gorgeous Scottish surroundings at the 5-star luxury Ness Walk Hotel, on the banks of the River Ness, made for a marvellous day in the Highlands… and two exhausted hounds (exactly how I like them).
We were invited along for a four course tasting menu of new chef, Callum Phillip’s, now available A La Carte menu, before we shot off to the Isle of Skye (literally the same night, I am going to miss my thirties energy). We’d heard the Northern Lights were on show in the East where we had just left, so thought we had a chance of spotting them en route to Skye. But that’s hopeful. The Northern Lights are often spotted in the North of Scotland, but always in the places we have just left. And as in in true typical fashion, we had no luck, but, filled with the warmth of Ness Walk and a grand feed, we spotted a few deer on the roads and a plethora of starry delights in the sky. Nothing ventured.
Ness Walk Tasting Menu
This gorgeous 5-star hotel on the banks of the River Ness enjoys a peaceful position with a majestic view of the highs and lows of the River Ness. It is a short but beautiful walk along the river from Inverness city centre and is perfectly set up for a romantic evening in the Highland capital. The restaurant, Torrish, celebrates fine dining with Highland ingredients. The staff on our visit were the stars of the show, the service was seamless, rehearsed and perfected. They were lovely, welcoming and couldn’t do enough. When we arrived, we were invited to sit at the coorie bar for a welcoming glass of champagne before being taken through to the events space for Supper Club.
Perhaps the loveliest touch was the view out of the french doors, they had lit two chimineas, so we could watch the fires outside on the garden terrace whilst we ate inside. The background music was also ideal; jazzy and classic. Honestly, in terms of ambience, Ness Walk is one of the best places we’ve eaten in Scotland.
The Perfect Starter
The starter was a sandwich of fueille de brick featuring piccalilli and piquillo pepper emulsion, pork crackling, pickled jalapeños, 36 month aged parmesan and dill. Chef Callum came out to introduce the course and he said he was inspired by a humble hot dog. This course was absolutely beautiful, I went with the wine pairing, which was a Rheingau Riesling Kabinett 2018, Schloss Schonborn, Germany and honestly, this was marvellous. I could easy sit out on the terrace at Ness Walk with a bottle of that wine and a large plate of Callum’s hot dog. We loved this dish.
The fish course was Scrabster lemon sole with roasted chicken butter sauce, wild mushroom, dill, pickled apple, roasted macadamia, dill, baby brown shrimp and crispy capers paired with Passobianco 2018, Terre Siciliane IGT, Italy. The lemon sole was cooked beautifully, the dish was tasty, but we needed more crispy capers for texture to just lift it to a new height, so if you’re reading, Ness Walk, we do love a good caper.
The main course, Highland lamb, featured slow-cooked shoulder, a lamb cutlet, rose harissa, preserved lemon, pomegranate, mint, tahini and coconut yoghurt, paired with a Corney & Barrow Reserve Claret 2018, Sichel, Bordeaux. I don’t like lamb. I try. But, I can’t get past it. However, that being said, I actually ate a good bit of this dish, which was a first. I can’t be completely unbiased, due to my general distaste for lamb, but Scott finished mine and all of this, so I am assuming if you enjoy lamb and moroccan flavours, this dish is for you. The wine was a perfect pairing.
And here we have the star of the show, dessert. This was a resounding hit and the dessert wine paired with it has become a new favourite of mine. We enjoyed a dark milk mousse and a flourless dark chocolate sponge with Italian meringue and roasted peanuts, it was perfection on a plate. Paired with Tokaji Blue Label 5 Puttonyos Royal Tokaji Company 2017, this dessert was one of our best yet.
We loved the full experience offered at Ness Walk. The gorgeous romantic ambience is not an easy thing to capture and Ness Walk have done a fantastic job of this, the fine dining food offering is quality, the views are unrivalled and the staff are nothing short of a credit to this higher end Highland Hotel. If you’re looking for somewhere just that bit extra to eat in Inverness, Ness Walk is a natural choice.
This is the kind of Scottish hospitality that makes me proud to be Scottish. Book here.
With thanks to Angus and the team for inviting us along to review, all opinions are my own.