The Inn on The Tay, Grandtully, Perthshire

OH and I had went out for a run in the car and had been touring around Perthshire with the roof down enjoying the rare Scottish sunshine. We’d had a big breakfast and weren’t hungry but by half 2 we were starting to get peckish. OH suggested stopping off at Grandtully as there was a pub with a great view of the white water on the Tay – the appropriately named The Inn on the Tay. When we drove into the car park OH commented that it was different from the last time he had visited. It turned out he had last been there in 2001 when he had kayaked down the Tay so it wasn’t surprising it had changed and the car park had been upgraded.

On the way in I noticed they stopped serving food at 3pm (it was 2.45pm). I also noticed they did Cullen Skink, which is one of OH and I’s favourites so it was a quick and easy decision to order the haddock, leek and tattie soup and not annoy the chef by placing a large food order minutes before he was due to finish. I placed our order for food and drinks at the bar, paid for it and took the offered cutlery and napkins outside to a table on the deck. I’m assuming it’s normally waitress service and this only happened because it was 2.45 and I had went straight to the bar to order. 2015-06-27 14.57.21

OH was right, the view from the deck is stunning and looks directly on to the spot on the Tay that kayakers and rafters brave the rushing white waters.

The Cullen Skink arrived almost immediately (I think I was right about the chef wanting finished promptly). To be honest, I was a little disappointed as it wasn’t the biggest of bowls – at £6 for a bowl of soup you do expect something that will fill you but then maybe I’m just greedy.2015-06-27 14.46.30 The Cullen Skink itself was a little thin and could have had a tad more cream but it was good enough.  I could see the orders the other diners were having and it all looked good and well displayed.

As we sat 2 teams of white water rafters paddled past. From their screams and shouts it certainly sounded like they were having fun. Free entertainment when you’re dining is rare and it certainly created an exciting buzz on the deck as everyone stopped talking/eating and watched the water.

The location is amazing and that alone is worth visiting The Inn on the Tay for. You can check out the lunch menu for yourself here – the other meals certainly looked good.

2 Cullen Skinks, a pint of cider, a soda water and lime and a great view of people taking on the white water = £17.50

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Chez Acchiardo, Nice, France

On holiday on the Côte d’Azur, OH and I had been wandering around Nice taking in the sights and smells of the old town, which are dramatically better than some old towns in Scotland. It was too early for us to eat but I happened to look through the window of a restaurant and decided straight away that was where we were going to dine that night. The interior just looked like a good French restaurant – lots of dark wooden tables, white walls, stone arches and bottles of wine everywhere.2015-06-18 19.16.05

It didn’t open until 7pm and when we returned I was surprised to see there was a queue to get in. Fortunately, they could  squeeze us in – when I checked Tripadvisor later every reviewer stated that you had to book so we were lucky, not only to have happened upon it but also to get a seat.

Service was fantastic with good looking waiters and waitresses eager to please and with better English than most tourists. However, that didn’t stop me practicing my French and they very patiently tried to interpret all the French nouns I attempted. The policeman from ‘Ello ‘Ello comes to mind.

We passed on starters today and went straight for the mains. OH had a steak with basil butter (I won’t try to show off with writing everything in French just trust my translation). There was a choice of accompanying side dishes – salad, green beans, chips or a chickpea thing. 2015-06-18 19.25.542015-06-18 19.25.41OH decided on the green beans and I had chips with my duck and fig sauce. I tried some of OH’s rare steak and it did indeed melt in the mouth as he promised. I’m not a big fan of steak but I enjoyed the bite I had. My duck was delicious and the sauce was rich and glossy and didn’t over power the tender meat. The chips were incredible but I passed on OH’s green beans because I hate when they squeak against your teeth. He assures me they were great though. 2015-06-18 19.16.16We washed it all down with a bottle of red and when offered the dessert menu we couldn’t resist. OH had 2015-06-18 20.21.50chocolate mouse with cream and I had vanilla, meringue and hazelnut ice cream, which was bliss. OH finished off his meal with a coffee as I of course, finished the wine.

It was a lovely dining experience – very French, very friendly and very affordable.

2 mains, 2 desserts, a bottle of wine and a coffee came to a very reasonable €65.

Chez Acchiardo, 38 Rue Droite , 06300 Nice , France.  33 4 93 85 51 16

Cobbies Bar and Kitch Inn, Tayport

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Tayport Harbour

It’s been a while since OH and I ate out at the weekend and as I was on call, it was time to have a look on Tripadvisor to see what was hip and happening in the Kingdom of Fife. A new place I hadn’t noticed before, which had received a number of positive reviews, caught my interest. It was The Cobbies Bar and Kitch Inn in Tayport. I looked up the website and thought it looked worth a visit as it had an intriguing menu with very reasonable prices.

Cobbies was simple to find as it was just meters from the picturesque harbour and we found a parking place with ease. When we first went into the building it was obvious we were in the bar area and we received a few odd but friendly looks from the regulars who knew we were visitors to Tayport. We were quickly shown where the door to the lounge was and were able to wander through and find a seat.

The lounge was an odd mismatch of themes. To me it looked like someone had a vision of how they wanted it to look – with shelves made from pallets, decoupage on the bar and tables, suitcases scattered around and the appearance of book lined walls – but had been told they needed to keep the pool table, darts board and framed British Legion Flag. This was a shame as I was really liking the vision. 2015-06-07 13.31.41

We were given photocopied menus, which would have greatly benefited from a bit of laminating as they looked like they had been in the hands of many a diner before us. The food on offer differed from the usual pub grub as it described things in stacks. Yes I can see your puzzled look and this is what had made me initially intrigued. Imagine your carbs layered between your proteins instead of laid out flat on a  plate and you’ll get the picture. If this puts you off don’t let it as there were unstacked dishes as well. Unusually, there was also a number of vegetarian options too (bonus points!) and a children’s menu.

2015-06-07 14.02.46As I hadn’t eaten yet I decided to go for the Big Breakfast Stack – Sausage, Bacon, Black pudding, & Haggis layered between potato scones, topped with a fried egg & served with a jug of baked beans. It came in a deep brown dish (I’d have prefered a more flat plate)  and a jar of beans rather than a jug but in among the stack I discovered 3 sausages!  The accompanying chips were complete overkill and it was pure greed that I tried to eat them. As much as I tried I couldn’t finish the meal. It was a big hearty breakfast and hit the spot completely.

OH decided on the Steak Stack – Thinly sliced succulent steak, stacked up between warm crusty bread with fried onions & 2015-06-07 14.02.06melted cheese. It arrived on an impressively large platter with salad in a little china bowl. OH really enjoyed it and his only comments were that it would have been better with homemade bread and blue cheese would have given it a little more flavour. Later he also said that the Kitch Inn would be perfect if you had been out sailing or walking the Fife Coastal Path and were looking for a delicious and substantial meal to refuel with.

All the dishes that I saw the other diners in the lounge enjoy looked great and I was even more impressed when I chatted with the chef later and discovered that it was a joint venture with him and his wife, who had been waiting on the tables. They have taken on the restaurant side of the pub and have nothing to do with the bar, which now makes total sense with regards to the decor. They have only been open for around a year and with a toddler and another on the way it is fantastic that this young family are trying something new in Fife. My hat is well and truly off to them.

A diet coke, 2 pints of Guinness and 2 main meals came to £23.30.

As we were ‘stappit fu’ we retired to the sheltered beer garden to finish our drinks as for once the sun was out (more bonus points!)

It’s quirky, its very reasonably priced and I’d really like to see this friendly, young husband and wife team make a success of this so please go and give them a visit.

Cobbies Bar and Kitch Inn, 

32 Tay Street, Tayport, Fife. Scotland.

Telephone: 01382 552011