Favourite Pubs: The Lochside Hotel | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Favourite Pubs: The Lochside Hotel

We're spoilt at home having The Sheaf View as a local - a mere seven minute stumble away from the door. Being on Islay is like being in a miniature, more concentrated version of the world, however, and The Lochside Hotel was about 45 seconds stroll away from our little holiday cottage! It became a much-frequented haunt during our stay in Bowmore, with an enormous whisky selection, great food, and an incredible view across Loch Indaal to boot.

Loch Indaal at sunset: view from our table at the Lochside Hotel
The Lochside Hotel, run by a passionate bunch of Ileachs and fronted by the charismatic David Brodie, has a frankly bewildering array of whisky behind the bar. Comprising drams almost solely from the island, the selection includes at least 6 varieties of Port Ellen and a bottle of Bowmore Black aged to 42 years, down to more reasonably priced whiskies, including the core range of all the Islay distileries as well as some of the great blended whiskies that have featured the peaty joys produced here.

Enjoying an Islay Mist 17 and a Bunnahabhain 12
The bar is also stocked with a range of beer from Islay Ales, the only brewery on the island, with 2 cask ales and a larger selection in bottles. This variation is great to see, as sometimes you're just not quite ready for a whisky, especially with food.

Talking of the food, the menu is ever-changing and filled with local and seasonal dishes. The starter we chose was one of the best things we ate on the island - goats cheese topped black pudding. The portions were generous throughout, so it was a good job we shared! Laura went for the steak and ale (Islay Ales Black Rock) pie for main course, with Jim selecting the lamb shank. Absolutely massive, the meat was rich, melt-in-the-mouth, and well complemented by the blackcurrant-doused red cabbage side. A dessert of Islay malt whisky cranachan completed the meal. Neither of us had tried this traditional Scottish pud before, and we were pleasantly surprised by the light creaminess of the dish, and peaty hit from the whisky-soaked oatmeal.
We enjoyed many a cosy evening in this wonderful pub, filled with locals sharing stories about their home town with the whisky pilgrims of Bowmore! Just a shame that it's ordinarily 396 miles away...

Slainte,

J&L

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