Posts for Crannog

Fort William’s Town Pier to Stay Open

Friday 16th May 2014

“A Fort William cruise boat operator yesterday said the condition of the Lochaber town’s pier would not affect his business, which is a major tourist attraction in the area.

Waverely would not be able to visit Fort William  

Waverley at the busy pier lo-resHowever, Finlay Finlayson, who operates Crannog Cruises and owns Crannog Restaurant, said it was a shame the world-famous Waverley paddle steamer – which also attracts hundreds of tourists to the town – would not be able to visit this year.

Mr Finlayson’s comments came after Highland Council told paddle steamer operator Waverley Excursions that the ship, which has visited Fort William for around 30 years, could not use the Town Pier because its wooden fenders had “become dilapidated”.

No danger of the Town Pier closing

He said: “There is no danger of the pier closing.  We are fully abreast of the situation with the pier and are working with Highland Council.

“It is an old pier and it is only sensible to stop ships that are heavier than 100 tonnes using it until the work has been done.  Souters Lass is 65 tonnes so it is fine.”

He added that Highland Council had been quick to repair any damage to the pier caused by storms.”

Thanks to Sue Reston from the Press & Journal for this article, which featured in the paper on Thursday 15th May.    

If you have any questions about the Town Pier or our cruise boat, Souters Lass, leave a comment below, or contact us on 01397 707115 or email


Celebrating 25 years of Crannog!

Friday 9th May 2014

Since 5th May 1989, Crannog Restaurant has been serving the finest Scottish seafood to locals and visitors to Fort William; 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of this well known, family-run business.

From a bait shed to a Seafood Restaurant

Local fisherman, Finlay Finlayson, found it frustrating to see his catch heading to London markets, instead of being served in the beautiful loch-side setting of his home town.  Finlay decided to convert the bait shed on Fort William Town Pier into a restaurant, and fulfil his dream of serving his catch directly to customers.

Due to the restaurant’s increasing popularity and to make the most of the spectacular views he added a conservatory area to the building, and it boasts one of the finest views up and down Loch Linnhe from the ladies loo!  The Town Pier itself has an interesting history, having been used both as a World War II lookout point and a Caledonian MacBrayne office.

Fishing – a vital role in the community, and Fort William

New FlagsThe name Crannog was chosen by Finlay’s wife Lorna, a history graduate, with an interest in crannogs, which were built in Celtic times as fortified loch dwellings; fishing played a vital role in the crannog community.  The name fitted perfectly with the restaurant’s location and the idea behind the restaurant.

Fresh, local seafood for locals and visitors

Finlay’s ethos, on which the restaurant was created, remains the same to this day;

“Although I no longer fish myself, we still make sure that the fish we serve is landed locally, mostly in Mallaig, and is of the freshest quality.  Our specials board, which is served in addition to our main menu, changes daily depending on the catch landed.  This provides our guests with a great choice of seafood, and also keeps our chefs creative too!

“Lorna and I are incredibly proud of the Crannog ethos of serving fresh, local seafood to locals and visitors in Fort William and are immensely proud of our enthusiastic and loyal staff who continue to make it possible.

“25 years has gone by in a flash, so here’s to the next exciting period!”

Crannog 25th Anniversary

As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, Crannog Restaurant gave the 25th diners in the restaurant, at lunchtime and in the evening, a complimentary meal!  The above picture shows one of the lucky diners – Anne & Edward Jones from Wales, picture with Finlay and Lorna Finlayson.

Share your memories of Crannog in the comments below; maybe you have been a member of the front of house or kitchen staff? Or perhaps you’re a regular guest – we’d love to hear from you!

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Recipe: Scottish Salmon Fillet with Smoked Salmon Scones

Thursday 20th Mar 2014

If you’re a fan of our Facebook page you’ll know that we regularly post about the range of seafood dishes we serve at Crannog Restaurant in Fort Seared Salmon (cropped)William (alongside photos of the fabulous loch views of course!).  Now that we’ve got new customer wifi installed in the restaurant our guests have also been sharing their favourite dishes from our seasonal menu, as well as requesting hints and tips.  We recently had a request for one of our salmon dishes, so our Head Chef Stewart has kindly shared his recipe for Seared Salmon with Smoked Salmon Scones:

Serves 2


2 salmon fillets with skin on

300g mashed potato (e.g. King Edwards or Maris Piper)

75g plain flour (plus extra for rolling)

120g smoked salmon

1 tablespoon chopped dill/parsley

100g butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Cool mash until warm (this makes it easier to work with).
  • Roughly chop the smoked salmon, and add with the herbs to the mash. Mix thoroughly.
  • Sift in the flour, continuously mixing the mash.
  • Flour a cool surface  and tip out mash.
  • Kneed for approximately 2 minutes to incorporate all mix.
  • Flour a rolling pin and roll out the mash to 3cm thick.
  • Use a round cutter to cut out the scones.
  • Fry the butter and oil in frying pan.
  • When butter starts to froth add the potato discs.
  • Cook both sides until golden brown.
  • Warm another frying pan with a little vegetable oil.
  • Add the salmon to this pan, skin side down first until golden brown, then turn until all 4 sides of the salmon fillet are golden brown.
  • The fillet should be cooked but can be transferred to the oven (in a hot ovenproof pan) for another few minutes if needed.

Click here to download the recipe as a pdf.

We hope you enjoy cooking this taste of the Scottish Highlands in your own kitchen; if you’d rather have Stewart and his team cook it for you in the restaurant then just give us a call to book a table on 01397 705589 or email


Celebrating St. Valentine Day the Highland Way

Thursday 13th Feb 2014

As you’ll know, it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and it’s an event we look forward to every year.  It’s a very special menu to prepare:  Stewart, our Head Chef, enjoys rising to the challenge of creating a menu that will Crannog Seafood Restaurant Log Fire Fort William Highlandstantalise the taste buds on the most romantic day of the year.  Front of house, Restaurant Manager Sarah-Louise is stoking the log stove, plumping the cushions and lighting the candles to ensure that Valentine’s Day really is a special evening for our guests at Crannog Restaurant.  That’s how we do it here in the Highlands; how is St.Valentine celebrated in other parts of the world?


Oysters and Champagne at Crannog Seafood Restaurant Fort WilliamIn the Italian city of Turin it was customary for an engaged couple to announce their engagement on this day. For a while before the day shops would be decorated and filled with all sorts of bon-bons.  We’ve been known to have a few engagements over the oysters and champagne at Crannog Restaurant, so fingers crossed for this year!


In Spain it is customary for courting couples to exchange gifts and for husbands to send their wives a bunch of roses.  If your significant other isn’t a fan of flowers we’ll bet they’d love a chocolate and almond heart from Crannog.


In Australia during the gold rush, miners who were flushed with new found wealth from the Ballarat mines were willing to pay a pricey sum for elaborate Valentines. Merchants in Australia would send orders of a thousand pounds at a time.  We can guarantee our £29.95 St.Valentine’s menu is better value. ;)

Do you have any special Valentine’s traditions that are a bit different?  Will you be joining us this weekend for a seafood treat?*

*We do have wonderful beef and vegetarian dishes if you or your partner prefers.



25 years of Crannog

Monday 23rd Dec 2013

In 1989 fisherman Finlay Finlayson fulfilled his dream by transforming the little building on Fort William’s Town Pier into a seafood restaurant. The building, once used as a lookout point during World War 2, was used as a bait shed until the conversion. Here are a few photos of Finlay and his wife Lorna with construction in progress.

Lorna and Richard 1989Lorna and Finlay 1989









Crannog Restaurant has now been serving meals to locals and tourists in  Fort William for 25 years and this is how our unique building looks today!

Restaurant 2013Restaurant









The restaurant prides itself in sourcing the finest ingredients from the waters around the West Coast of Scotland.

Restaurant dRestaurant on Pier









To see more of our past celebrations take a look at our Facebook page. Look at our timeline from previous years and you will see past big birthday celebrations including cakes to celebrate 10 years and 20 years of Crannog.

We will have more events during 2014 to celebrate our 25th year. Keep up to date by following us on Facebook and on our blog or feel free to comment below.



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