Satisfaction Very Good
Value Score No Data
Good For Business
Lacking in value for money
Please note, these comments apply to the restaurant - Peatstacks (at Mackays Rooms, Durness) only.
Image-conscious, London City types with money to burn, or journo’s on paid for promo visits, will no doubt rave about this place, while other mere mortals who feel there's little choice, restaurant-wise in Durness, could well end up here only to leave feeling unwelcome and that they have been rather clinically fleeced.
Booked 'on the day' for an early evening meal mid-week. Menu and surroundings look the business, but in the event they did not deliver value for money, and I did not get a real sense of 'rare Highland dishes', or a true Highland welcome.
Above all, beware of all the extras that might not be obvious, or communicated well by your waitress, or via the menu. A small, elderly group on one table dared to ask to share a starter and main - perhaps because they were elderly with reduced appetites, or simply wanted to sample a range of things? - but this was strictly forbidden in no uncertain terms by the waitress who said something about it not being viable for the kitchen unless each 'guest' - I'd like to think that's how they see their customers here, but perhaps not? - would be partaking of a main course each. Surely this well-heeled place could take 'the hit' (£5-£10 methinks) for once, but then this is Scotland, I suppose! (I was once asked to send on an extra £10 to a luxury B&B owner near Beauly after a New Year break to cover the cost of some electricity they had not 'accounted for', yet for a day or so there was no heating!). But I digress.
The obviously accountant-trained waitress here seemed to alternate between being a genial 'mein host' and a stingier kind of chief cost/extras charges controller. Mustard with your steak might come as a standard option in many restaurants, but here an equivalent miniscule pot of pepper sauce will cost you £3.
At the time, The Best Chocolate Cake You will Probably Ever Taste featured on the dessert menu, but don't become a hostage to fortune here (asking for an accompanying spot of cream could cost extra, by the way, the kitchen will decide). You are strongly advised to sample the Balnakiel Craft Centre’s cafe's (first building on the LHS as you enter) homemade and far more sumptuous and competitively priced equivalent first.
Obviously, not being a resident guest (sorry, cost centre) at Mackays Rooms, I didn't have breakfast, but suspect that the Balnakiel's could well be far better too (it will definitely be far better value for money, I'm sure - as is all of their menu - all served up in a bookish atmosphere).
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