The great outdoors of the Scottish Highlands is a place to lose yourself in the undulating panoramas, majestic heather-clad peaks and misty Lochs. For small restaurant Eòlach, the sweeping landscapes are a source of inspiration for their eight-course tasting menus which are made up of local ingredients, foraged food and wild coastal plants.
Cradled in some of the country’s most stunning scenery, Eòlach has the backdrop sorted. The small communal restaurant, located in Glenelg Bay, looks out onto Isle of Skye where other smaller islands also dot the seascape including Eigg, Sandaig and Ornsay.
Between them is the strait of Kyle Rhea where porpoises, dolphins and seals make themselves known, and the coastline reveals surprisingly white, sandy beaches, and perhaps unsurprisingly – rather cold water for those that choose to dip a toe.
Located in good company of one of The Aficionados’ favourite Highland heroes, boutique, off-the-radar hideaway 57 Nord, Eòlach channels a similar appreciation and respect for the elemental environment. The eight-course tasting menus present a moodboard of Highland delights and delicacies, many of which may be little-known to the diner such as the coastal green salad featuring sea campion, aster and arrowgrass, or a soup with seaweed and cep, or ancient grain tartlets.
Paired with more familiar favourites such as home smoked mackerel, lamb from the local Ben, lemon tart dusted with marigold petals, Highland beef, locally caught and cured hake, freshly shucked oysters, the dining experience at Eòlach is one which is made for sheer enjoyment. There is a huge emphasis on how the food is presented – where plates resembling a Jackson Pollack painting turn into foodie wonders where every mouthful is a zingy taste sensation.
Such attention to detail shows a deep level of respect for the surrounding environment and a desire to educate diners on the benefits of eating locally, without the need to compromise on choice or flavour. Come for four courses or eight, Sunday brunch or visit the newest branch of the Eòlach empire: The Shed BBQ where you can take away their mouth-watering smoked meats, chargrilled fish, veg platters and homemade ice lollies - perhaps enjoyed from the comfort of chic outpost Nord 57.