“ Address: Kildary / Invergordon / IV18 0NZ / Scotland „
As you probably all know I live in the Highlands of Scotland in a wee town called Tain. It's about 40 miles from Inverness which is the main place for a good night out or a big selection of restaurants.
But with living in Tain I always try to stay somewhere local when we go out for a meal to save on travel and for convenience. The Shandwick Inn is my favourite pub around for a nice meal.
It is located just off the A9, approximately 30 miles North of Inverness. But just 6 miles South of Tain. As you drive along the A9 you can see it on your right handside when heading North. The location isn't great if you wish to stop for a few drinks as it's not close to any hotels or house but there is a bus stop just opposite so you can leave the car and get a bus to a local village. They do offer B&B but it's not something I have ever needed to look into.
From the outside The Shandwick Inn just looks like any other local pub and to be honest doesn't look spectacular. Driving into the car park is a bit of a mission as it is full of pot holes and maintenance hasn't been kept up in it so just watch where you drive. The car park is very large with more than enough space for you to park.
Walking into the pub is in a side entrance and it takes you to a small room with sofas. This is mainly because they are always busy so sometimes if you haven't booked then you would need to wait for a table. On weekends I would recommend you phone and book a table in advance.
There is two dining areas which are both quite small with about 12 tables in each part, in the winter they always have the fire on so it's nice and homely. It is decorated quite plain but looks better as the pub is so dark, the cream walls brightens it up for you.
As well as the dining areas there is a small bar area where you can sit for a few drinks. For any functions they have a bigger room at the back of the pub. When looking at this before I would say you could only fit up to 60 people in here and that's without fitting in a band.
Onto the meals - Once you get seated you get your menu which is pretty much like most other pub menus. Including steak, macaroni, scampi and much more to choose from. I always choose the same starter and I would recommend the following;
Garlic Mushrooms - These are large mushrooms in batter in a creamy garlic sauce. I think these are absolutely amazing and never found any that taste as good as these. Most people I talk to love these.
The other favourite starter is Shandwick Mushrooms - These are mushrooms in a creamy cheese, bacon and garlic sauce. My partner always chooses these and they are lovely but just not as good as the garlic mushrooms in my opinion.
For main course I always vary what I choose but my recommendation would be their macaroni with chips and salad. The macaroni is so creamy and to me tastes perfect. I am usually fussy with macaroni and only like my mums but this I have to say comes very close to hers. I was also told by many people the steak is fantastic but I'm not a steak fan.
I couldn't possibly choose a dessert to recommend but I always try to have one even though I find it difficult to have 3 meals in here as all the servings are so big. I find by the time I've eaten my starter and my main course I am full.
The desserts include; Sticky Toffee Pudding, Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake, Ice Cream and much more.
All the staff are friendly and very helpful. I find they also like to chat to customers which makes your experience in here very pleasant. If you have any complaints about anything they will ensure that they can do all they can to solve the issue.
I will say that sometimes if the pub is busy you will be waiting about 15 minutes between each course, this can be good to give yourself a rest before you start the next large serving!
You would expect to pay about £30 for two people on here for a 3 course meal. I think it is a great price for a lovely meal in a nice setting. It is certainly one of the favourite places to eat in the area.
Overall I would highly recommend this pub as a place to eat if you are up in the area. Don't go here if you are expecting a 5 star meal like you get in a top London hotel but it is a place for good basic food which is all home made.