* Prices may differ from that shown
The Three Chimneys
Colbost, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, Highlands IV55 8ZT
TEL: 01470 511258
This was my birthday treat which we enjoyed on our trip to Scotland in October last year. Our friends had told us about the restaurant and that it is apparently one of the top fifty restaurants in the world according to "Restaurant Magazine ".
We had heard of it but thought it would be stupidly expensive so had discounted it as a possibility but at lunch time it was actually quite reasonable for the service and food and experience we had.
Bear in mind this is a tiny restaurant in an old crofter's cottage stuck out in the middle of nowhere on Skye. You have to drive a long way down a road that leads to a dead end and nothing else so it really is the last place on earth that I would have thought of starting a world class restaurant but they seem to have made a huge success out of this. People book for months in advance and the rich and shameless fly in helicopters to a nearby helipad for their meals here. We drove in our car along the long winding road and parked on the road outside the restaurant.
From their website:
"Since opening in 1984, we have overcome our remote location to deliver an incomparable experience for our diners. Our passion and desire to continually develop and improve our customers' experience has gained international recognition and respect.
We believe the authenticity of our offer and our ability to deliver inspirational dishes enables our guests to feel at one with their stunning surroundings."
AWARDS AND PRAISE
These were taken from the website:
"Frank Bruni (New York Times) Personal Top 5 restaurants in the World
Twice included in Restaurant Magazine's 'The World's 50 Best Restaurants'
The Sunday Times - Top 100 UK Restaurants 2011/13
Visit Scotland - Gold 5-Star 2012/13 'Restaurant with Rooms'
AA - 3 Rosettes & 5 Gold Star Award 2012/13 'Restaurant with Rooms'
AA - Inspectors' Choice 2012/13 and Notable Wine List Award
Scotland the Best (Peter Irvine) - Highly recommended
Which? Good Food Guide 2013 - Awarded '6' & in guide for 27th year in succession"
We booked about two months in advance but in fact at the time of year we went you could have just turned up but in the summer it does get very booked up so if you do fancy going I would not risk it and I would book in advance.
OPENING TIMES AND DATES
The restaurant is open daily for dinner for the 'Seven courses of Skye' showcase menu or 3-course dinner menu.
The 2-course/3-course lunch menu is available Monday-Saturday 12.15-1.45pm, mid-March until the end of October, plus Easter Sunday and every Sunday from the end of May until mid-September.
I believe we paid
ARRIVING AND WELCOME
When we arrived we were welcomed by a young man smartly dressed and then taken to our table. We were asked what we would like to drink and as my husband was driving he said he would stick to tap water and so I joined him. We have also discovered that drinks can often cost as much as the meal and so as we were here to enjoy the food we thought we would do that and just have the free tap water.
The staff were all very friendly and we chatted about where we were from and the weather, their training and experience working at the restaurant and so on. We had different waiters serving us at different times so got to chat to a few of them. I think we might not have had this opportunity had it been packed but there were only four tables being used so it was far from full really but having some others in the place did make it feel a bit more atmospheric.
We were sitting at a table beside a window which had a view over the bay or loch and the hills beyond. We could see the other tables but they were placed in such a way that you felt totally unbothered by the other diners but still felt that you were in a restaurant with a bit of atmosphere.
Even though we only had tap water this was brought in a nice glass jug with lemon and poured for us into our glasses.
We were given our menus as we sat down and had plenty of time to peruse them. We had questions to ask about some of the dishes and they were answered knowledgably and then after some discussion we chose our food.
My husband chose the "Andy Race Smoked Haddie & Ham Terrine with Brunigill Farm Quail Egg, Braised Chicory, Orange & Nasturtium" which he said was delicious and came looking lovely with the quails egg on top and the nasturtium leaves to garnish all different colours.
My choice was the Skye Shellfish Bree which I had to ask about as I had no idea what the bree was,it turned out to be a delicious soup. I was in a bit of a quandary as I was having the seafood for the main course but didn't really fancy either of the other choices and the one my husband had chosen had the quails egg which put me off. The tongue put me off another and the Dunsyre Blue Cheese, Pear & Pumpkin Seed Salad with Radish Leaf, Shallot & Thyme Dressing did quite appeal but I was tempted by the Scottish sounding bree. It was a very fine soup, tasty and a bit like a chowder.
THE MAIN EVENT
Mine was extra special and my husband insisted on me having this as it was my birthday treat. I had the "SEAFOOD PLATTER FOR ONE" - Loch Dunvegan Prawns, Dressed Glencoe Mussels, Loch Harport Oysters, Sconser Scallops, Island Winkles, Potted Colbost Crab, White Fish Salad & Glendale Mesclun. This was an extra £15.00 supplement per person on top of the set price but you only have the opportunity once so I went for it. My husband has to be careful with seafood otherwise I think he would have joined me. I am glad he didn't as I had so much food I needed his help to finish mine!
It came on a lovely tray with everything presented beautifully. I had a special little pin to get the winkles out of the shells, the scallops were melt in the mouth, the oysters came with one plain and the other with a sauce. It was all so delicious but so much food for one person!
My husband had a fish dish that was a Scottish speciality known as Lythe which came beautifully presented with vegetables and special sauce which was really tasty and the fish which I tried a small piece of was so tender and melted in the mouth.
Despite the fact that I had to have help finishing my main course I was very tempted by the desserts but really thought it would have been very pig like to have one so I did manage to say no. My friend who had been twice during her stay on Skye assures me that the 'The Hot Marmalade Pudding' with Drambuie Custard is to die for but I really had to say no.
I asked if I could take a copy of the menu with me as a souvenir and they said of course. I went to the toilet and when I came back they brought back the menu and everyone had signed it including the chef which I thought was so sweet of them
The bill was £28 each for the main lunch of two courses and then £15 extra for my seafood platter so considering that this is one of the top fifty in the world I don't think that is a bad price at all for the meal and the service we had here.
Incidentally the toilets were clean and also with all the needs catered for. The restaurant is on ground level so access is easy once you actually get to the restaurant.
Yes indeed it was fabulous. The food was perfect, locally sourced and beautifully presented and in my view the price for the lunch two course menu was pretty reasonable for the class of restaurant and the food and the service offered here.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
The Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye can be found on the north west coast. This world famous restaurant with rooms is in a remote and spectacular setting overlooking Loch Dunvegan.
The Three Chimneys is owned and run by the Spear family. Shirley is a top chef and has won many awards including the Macallan Taste of Scotland in 1998 and the Drambuie Scottish Chefs Award in 1999. She was also one of fifty top chefs chosen to prepare the banquet at the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Husband Eddie is a wine expert and serves in the bar and restaurant and daughter Sarah is one of the three receptionists.
This is a converted crofters cottage with log fires and a cosy atmosphere, much needed in our early March stay. Dinner offers a selection from a four course menu. The prices are set depending on whether you have 2 courses (£24.00), 3 courses (£30.00) or 4 courses (£34.95). There are also a number of seafood specialities which if chosen incur a supplement. These include Loch Dunvegan langoustines, Skye oysters and Skye lobster. Beef, game, lamb and vegetarian options are also on offer.
What I particularly liked about this place is that all the food is either locally produced or home made. The fish is caught on Skye, the beef from the highlands and even the organic salad is grown in nearby Glendale. There was a choice of home made bread..parmesan, potato and herbs, rum and fruit or just plain wholemeal. During my two night stay I tried them all and they were delicious.
The wine list is extensive and covers New World and traditional regions of France. I thought that Eddie has chosen really interesting wines which he said he had bought from small growers. There are three red and white house recommendations at a cost of £15.00 per bottle. These were excellent.
As well as the wines there is every kind of liquer and being Scotland a vast range of whiskies. These include a thirty year old Macal
len at £9.95 a shot!
The rooms are situated in the house next door, suitably called "The House Over-By". They are absolutely wonderful and in complete contrast to the restaurant. No half measures here: five star facilities with floor to ceiling windows with views of the loch. Scandanavian decor with wooden floors, pine furniture and CD player. I found the room exceptionally comfortable, airy anf light. No stuffiness here.
Breakfast is taken in the House Over-By. Here we watched seals sunbathing while otters played in the stream adjacent to the house. The breakfast menu reads "continental". I was expecting the usual bread rolls and jam but was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of fresh fruit, porridge with cream and local cheeses. On the next table smoked salmon, venison and duck!!! Personally I can't eat such rich food so early and chose the excellent fruit salad followed by home made croissants and bread.
The cost of staying in the rooms was £63.00 per person per night. However as a winter break special if you book two consecutive nights with dinner you will receive a 10% discount. I thought our stay was excellent value.
Our two night stay here was a relaxing and rewarding experience. We ate well, slept well and enjoyed wonderful wild life and scenery.
For anyone touring Scotland, I suggest that you add the Isle of Skye to your itinery and further more eat, stay or both at the sensational Three Chimneys. You won't be disappointed.