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We visited the Highland Apartments in Inverness for a night away and, of course, made the most of our time to explore new areas.
The day that we arrived was busily spent touring the city, what’s new and revisiting some of our favourite haunts. However, on our second day, we left the city and visited the Clava Cairns. These are Bronze Age burial cairns/cemetery grounds which were really interesting until we were caught in a typically Scottish, very sudden, rainstorm. One of those really heavy, really bone-chillingly cold ones.
We knew at that point that it was time to head indoors to grab some lunch and An Talla by Loch Ness was on our list of potential places to visit nearby. Well, on Peter’s list. I had scoped out the places to eat in Inverness itself and he took control of the ones further afield.
I didn’t know what to expect and truthfully, sometimes that’s best. I have this exquisite knack for picking places where we either can’t get a table, or I pick the one meal that’s sold out and leave myself very disappointed after having set my heart on it beforehand.
An Talla was incredibly busy when we arrived as we placed our names on a waiting list but from what I could see of the tables, the food looked delicious. Really delicious. And surprisingly varied. When we pulled up and I initially saw the building, I thought it looked lovely and I was expecting upmarket garden centre vibes if you know what I mean? Lovely soups and sandwiches, maybe a baked potato. Teas, coffees and cakes. Nothing fancy but very comforting and more importantly, satisfying. Especially when coming in from the cold.
We didn’t see the menu as we waited, instead, we were guided through to a gift shop along with all of the other customers waiting, which was a scene so typically British and awkward. It felt like a cattle market, I’m cringing just thinking about it.
We all hovered, avoiding eye contact with anyone outwith our party. Picking up random bits and pieces to pass the time until the inevitable moment came when we were all stood within different areas of the store just.. waiting until we were called by name. I honestly can’t fault An Talla for it, I was glad to be out of the rain and the store was lovely, but nevertheless, it felt very, British.
By the time we were seated, the sun was beaming through the skylight and we were surrounded by windows that left it feeling warm and airy. We were sat at a booth in the corner which felt like our own private nook. I was looking through the An Talla menu as, yes, it had all of the things that I had expected but also offered so much more. I found myself excitedly scanning through to find the dishes that I had seen other people eating before finally settling on salt and chilli chicken stir fry.
Until that knack that I told you about earlier reared its head, the one dish that was sold out.. the salt and chilli chicken. I felt the disappointment sear through me (perhaps a little melodramatic, but you know…) as I scrambled to pick something else to eat. The sausage and mash with onion gravy and seasonal veg. Another comforting dish, not quite what my heart was set on but one that I knew I would enjoy regardless.
Food at An Talla
Peter ordered the barbeque pulled beef brisket burger served in a sourdough bun with red cabbage slaw and smoked paprika seasoned fries. It does sound delicious, doesn’t it?
And oh my goodness, we also ordered a side of cheesy chips. I have no idea why when we both had potato sides with our mains, I can only think that we did this to go with the stir fry. The old adage of everything with chips, you know?
When the food arrived, I was blown away by the sheer amount of it. The extra side of chips was definitely a mistake. They looked and tasted great but definitely unnecessary. Even my seasonal veg (peas and carrots) came in a separate bowl to my main. All of the food was brilliant, very high quality and certainly plenty of it.
I believe that An Talla use local suppliers wherever they can, which is always nice to hear and I believe it with regards to the quality and taste of the meats that we enjoyed. The costs were a little more expensive for the meals that we had, around the £12 mark but if you are in search of a more substantial meal, it is definitely worth it as the quality and taste were so good. Other dishes, such as the soup and sandwiches were a much lower cost, as you might expect.
I’m not sure when I will have a reason to, but I can’t wait to return and try some more of the menu. Hopefully order some of that salt and chilli chicken!
An Talla is 4 miles from Inverness and 3 miles from the Caledonian Canal front if you are walking.
They are also dog-friendly, in case you are looking for somewhere to stop along the walk, and also, for the benefit of those that love to see dogs, like me!
Where to find An Talla