If, like me, you are a regular visitor to Balloch, you’ll know it is one of the prettiest places in the west of Scotland. Situated where the River Leven runs into the waters of Loch Lomond, the village is a gateway to the stunning Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
In summer it is teeming with tourists from all over the world, as well as city daytrippers, hopping on and off boat cruises, picnicking in the park or, for the brave, paddling in the freezing cold amber waters of the Loch.
When I alighted the train from Glasgow last week, though, there were only a few dog walkers, wrapped up against the wind and rain.
I was pleased to see the abandoned restaurant across from the train station, which has been boarded up for years, has been transformed into a smart hotel and restaurant.
As is my duty, I enquired inside the Loch Lomond Hotel, and was delighted to hear they had a fresh batch of scones to try.
First though, to the lunch menu which is designed around local, seasonal produce. We choose from a selection of deli sandwiches, burgers, salads and other mains, from fish and chips to haggis, neeps and tatties. My friend opts for a Cajun chicken quesadilla while I decide on chicken breast served on a bed of haggis mash, covered in a peppercorn sauce. My friend said their Mexican-inspired dish was “delicious” and mine was warming and moreish, the perfect meal for a winter’s day.
And so to the scones. There are two choices: plain or fruit and I opt for the former. When it was placed before me, I was instantly gladdened by the sight of cream and strawberry jam in pots on the side (so much nicer than those plastic portions). It is warm and delicious – and huge! I admitted defeat and shared it with my friend.
As we enjoyed our sweet we admired the decor which is traditional but with a quirky twist – animal lovers will enjoy the dog portraits.
And we both agree we will come back soon.
A beautifully baked scone in beautiful surroundings. 10/10
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