Posts for Crannog

Crannog Welcomes Fort William’s Chamber of Commerce

Monday 2nd Dec 2013

131128 Chamber of CommerceLorna was delighted to welcome members of Fort William’s Chamber of Commerce to the restaurant recently. The Chamber has been holding its regular networking meetings at different venues throughout Lochaber in 2013, and this month it was our turn!
With 36 members in attendance, the restaurant provided an ideal location, with plenty of space to network and catch up beside the cosy fire. The fire certainly warmed guests on what turned out to be a rather chilly Autumn day!
Chamber members were welcomed with a drink on arrival; a choice of alcohol free cocktails – Lemon & Ginger Spritzer or Orange & Cranberry, or tea or coffee for those feeling the cold!  As always, head chef Stewart MacLachlan produced a fantastic selection for our special lunchtime menu for the chamber members to choose from:

Starters231128 Chamber of Commerce Event
Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup with Basil Pesto
Smoked Mackerel and Beetroot Salad
Crab and Apple Timbale with Salsa Verde
Roast Pork Belly with apple puree and garlic & pancetta mash
Smoked Salmon Penne Pasta served with Spinach & Parmesan
Spiced Lentil Cakes served with a chilli chutney

Interestingly, the Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup and the Roast Pork Belly were the most popular choices, showing you don’t have to be a big seafood lover to enjoy a meal at Crannog!
131114 Chamber of Commerce Event

If you have any questions for any of our restaurant team or are looking for information on how to book our restaurant for a large group, please leave a comment below and one of our team will get back to you.



Crannog Head Chef: Stewart MacLachlan

Thursday 7th Nov 2013

Crannog Head Chef StewartHead chef Stewart has been leading the Crannog kitchen team for almost 6 years now, after gaining great experience chefing abroad.

Having spent time ‘down under’ where he worked in both Melbourne and Sydney,  he returned to his birthplace in Ireland for a time, working in various venues in and around Dublin.

We are glad to say that in 2008 Stewart returned to his beloved Fort William, where he now lives with his wife and young son.

Chanterelles“I love to source and forage for ingredients close to home. I have a few places I have discovered where I can guarantee to pick a feast! Chanterelle mushrooms, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries can all be found right here in Lochaber.”

Fortunately, Stewart also likes a spot of fishing! Stewart used to have a small boat which he loved fishing from, but these days he’s more likely to be seen catching a few mackerel from the basin at Corpach.

Demonstrating the Capabilities of a Professional Chef

Crannog Head Chef Stewart in Lochaber High SchoolIn order to help school children discover an enjoyment for cooking and to demonstrate how easy cooking can be, Stewart was invited to take part in the “Seafood in Schools” event at Lochaber High School. Throughout his demonstration, his rapport with the children and his flair in the kitchen made a great combination; young talent from the school were definitely enticed into the world of cooking!

Stewart is passionate about minimising waste, so when asked which part of cooking he enjoys the most he was not the least bit hesitant:

“I love to use the entire fish; I don’t like anything to go to waste. One fish can be used to create so many different dishes. Take a monkfish; I can firstly use some of the innards and bones to create a stock; next I can use the flesh to make a main dish such as Pan-Fried Monkfish and Salmon; then part of the monkfish can be combined with other ingredients along with the flavoursome stock to make a bouillabaisse. The fish stock is used to flavour various sauces including accompaniments such as the creamed leeks served with the Pan-fried Monkfish and Salmon.”

Crannog Head Chefs Pan-Fried Monkfish & Salmon and served with creamed leeks, spinach and clapshot

Pan-Fried Monkfish & Salmon served with creamed leeks, spinach and clapshot




Crannog Bouillabaisse - poached seafood in a tomato-based broth with rouille

Crannog Bouillabaisse – poached seafood in a tomato-based broth with rouille




“My favourite desserts are always citrusy and fresh. For example, I really love the Lemon Sponge on the Autumn menu just now. It incorporates a traditional dish of Lemon Sponge and then we add a twist by serving it with lemon curd and basil ice cream.”

Lemon Sponge – steamed sponge with lemon curd and served with basil ice cream

Lemon Sponge – steamed sponge with lemon curd and served with basil ice cream




Lemon Tart with orange mousse and candied fennel

Lemon Tart with orange mousse and candied fennel




Typical of a chef, Stewart thrives under the pressure of a busy day in the kitchen:

“During the day the most pressure is getting ready for service. Preparation between 8am and 5pm is the busiest time. Mornings start with filleting and stock making; preparing mousse and pastries. Soups are prepared next before moving on to sauces and the main dishes. This ensures all our food is as fresh as possible for both lunch and dinner service”.

Stewart’s favourite restaurant is The Kitchin in Leith, Edinburgh. This restaurant, led by the inspirational Tom Kitchin himself, saw it gaining a Michelin star within a year of opening.

If you have any questions for Stewart or would like to know more about the ingredients he chooses to use, please leave a comment below


Celebrate Christmas with Crannog

Friday 18th Oct 2013

Getting ready to celebrate the festive season in style? For a fantastic meal in a stunning location think Crannog! Our chefs have created a particularly delicious Christmas at Crannog Menu 2013 which will be served from noon on Friday 6th December up to and including lunchtime on Tuesday 24th December. Our Christmas menu will be a stunning 3 course meal and offers good value for just £29.95 per person. There’s no need to pre-order; chef Stewart and his team are happy for our guests to make their choice on the day. Our chefs can accommodate guests with special dietary requirements too.

Throughout December we will also continue to serve our special menu at lunchtime for just £12.95 for 2 courses and £16.95 for 3 courses.

Our waiting team are here to offer the warmest welcome to you and your party. Groups of 6 or more are recommended to pre-book. All bookings made by 15th November will receive a FREE glass of festive mulled wine!

To enquire about making your Crannog Christmas reservation, give our restaurant team a call on 01397 705589 or email us

Crannog at Christmas

Have you dined with us at Christmas before?  What did you think of the menu our chefs put on?  Leave your comments or feedback below


4 * Visit Scotland Quality Assurance Award for Crannog Cruises

Thursday 26th Sep 2013

It is with great excitement that last week we were awarded a 4 * rating by the Visit Scotland Quality Assurance team. A mystery inspector visited the Town Pier almost a month ago. He remained anonymous as he purchased his ticket and boarded the cruise boat on a 4pm sailing, the last on that particular day. Listening to the safety briefing and following skipper David Mackie’s commentary, he noted everything from staff interaction with guests to wildlife observed and even the cleanliness of the toilets!

David and IainThe inspector was certainly impressed with all aspects of the cruise. Almost 3 weeks later he sent his report to us; he felt the cruises exceeded customer expectations, which we’re delighted to report. Pre-cruise information was described as ‘excellent with an up to date website with a blog and active social media presence’.

David said “I am delighted we have achieved this 4* grading. We all work extremely hard to try and exceed our customer expectations. The live commentary, along with our wildlife watching, provide a great accompaniment to the fantastic scenery and views of Ben Nevis whilst aboard.”

Souters Lass continues to sail up to 4 times per day until the end of October.

Leave a comment below if you think we exceeded your expectations when you cruised with us, or if you’d like to give us a pat on the back!

Pictured above are full time employees David Mackie and Iain MacDonald.


Glenlochy Rare Old Single Malt Whisky Now Being Served at Crannog

Thursday 29th Aug 2013

Whisky CroppedCrannog is delighted to now be able to serve our guests a wee dram of Glenlochy Rare Old Single Malt Whisky, distributed by Gordon & MacPhails; part of the Rare Old Range. This whisky, from a distillery which is no longer in operation, was brewed at the former Glenlochy Distillery, built in 1898 by the Fort William Distillery Co Ltd.

In 1937 Thomas Rankin, a local to Fort William, and who, strangely enough,  had a car hire firm, bought the distillery. He then sold it on to distillers Train and McIntyre, who transferred it to their subsidiary Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd.  This company acquired a range of other distilleries at the same time, including Bruichladdich, Benromach, Fettercairn, Glenesk, Glenury Royal and Strathdee. Glenlochy was in production until 1983. In 1992 the site was sold to West Coast Inns Ltd, and developed it into a hotel complex.

Glenlochy maltingsThis Glenlochy Rare Old Single Malt was distilled in 1979 and is 46% proof. It is pale gold in colour with a medium body. Its cask was a refill sherry hogshead and its style is classic Highland – a bit like Crannog!

Gordon & MacPhail suggested the following tasting notes, both with and without water:

Without Water:

Aroma – Campino boiled sweets and fresh apple pie. Freshly cut green grass and driftwood aromas.

Taste – Initially sweet and salty – toasted digestive biscuits, with a hint of smoke.

With Water:

Aroma – Aromas of Manzanilla Sherry and hot sand on the beach. Dark chocolate and freshly ground black pepper notes emerge.

Taste – A subtle smokiness with flavours of freshly baked shortcrust pastry and oiled wood developing.

Are you a whisky connoisseur? Which is your preferred Scottish tipple? Which would you recommend to our guests at Crannog? Leave a comment below to share your favourites!


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