The Westford Inn place has been voted county winner of the National Pub and Bar Awards for three years on the trot from 2016 to 2019 (and it’s in the good beer guide).
On the main road through the Isle of Uist in the far north-west of Scotland. The inn is close to the community of Lochmaddy and Balivanich Airport.
The inn sits back from the road in a building that could pass for a manse. We arrived unannounced on a Friday blustery, ink-black night. We stepped into an oasis of light and laughter. With the restaurant full to overflowing.
Highly accommodating. A smiling waitress led us to our table and took our order. We had to wait a while for it to arrive – the place was packed and meals are cooked from scratch – but it was worth the wait.
We were tempted by the Crofters Board – a selection of meat, local smoked fish, cheeses, bread, salad and red onion marmalade – and were also lured by the seared scallops and smoked cod cheeks but decided to save ourselves for the amply portioned mains.
Off-the-scale delicious. My guest went for the monkfish scampi with panko breadcrumbs and chips. It came with homemade tartare sauce and crushed peas while I chose a pan-fried haddock on a mushroom risotto, with butter sauce. The scampi was huge and succulent and the haddock bursting with flavour. They were among the best fish dishes we have savoured. Our deserts – pancake stack with syrup and ice cream and a warm whisky and marmalade bread and butter pudding – were lip-smacking good.
The bar area is earthy and rustic with a natural stone feature wall, a roaring log burner, roughly hewn wooden benches, and a long, welcoming bar. The restaurant, though more formal, is a cosy affair.
Given the quality and the location, we thought the prices were fair. Our mains were £16.50 and £18.95 respectively, while deserts range from £4.50 to £7.50.