Lunch at one of the oldest pubs in Britain
It was a cold and windy afternoon in Loch Lomond in August 2011. I was on a holiday and was travelling on a tour bus with 20 people from various countries. It was the last leg of our holiday and we were returning to Edinburgh. We were all hungry and eagerly looking forward to eat a scrumptious meal. Our MacBackpackers Coach tour guide/bus driver Ruth Penman, stopped by at The Drover’s Inn for lunch. Before we got down from the bus, Ruth gave us a gist about the pub and its history.
The moment we stepped out of the bus, we saw this beautiful and old building with stupendous architecture and authenticity. As we entered the pub, the lights were dim, it was cold, the interiors had stuffed grizzly bears & birds, big coal fires, patina to the walls, and on the contrary there were young and beautiful staff.
I wanted to have a traditional Scottish meal with a single malt whisky so ordered for a glass of 16 year old Lagavulin and Haggis, Neeps & Tatties for main course. I had never eaten Haggis before and wasn’t aware what it was too until I ordered then. “Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.” I decided to eat the dish without getting into to much details. After sipping on the whisky, I had the first bite of Haggis and it was heavenly. After that meal, I was interested to know how the chef mixed those ingredients to cook and produce such a tasty dish. Every spoonful was worth it. Since it was a budget holiday, I decided to stick with just the main course and not a full 3 course meal which I usually prefer eating at a restaurant.
“Lagavulin Single Malt Whisky is characterized by its strong peat flavour and iodine overtones. The iodine flavour tends to divide tasters into love it or hate it groups with no middle ground, and it may not be suitable for new Scotch drinkers.” – Islay Info
Some Pub favourites: “Steak and Guinness Pie and Fish and Chips, as well as contemporary classics, like our Loch Lomond Monster Burger (not for the faint hearted!) and Venison Casserole.” – The Drover’s Inn Food Menu
The Drover’s Lodge could be a great place to stay after a long day. For those of you who like hiking or walking or mountain climbing, this lodge could would be an ideal place to start and challenge yourself to a 87 kms walk from Inverarnan, leading northwards to Fort William, beneath Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. I was told by a staff member that the rooms have white-linen and are filled with antique furniture, oil paintings and rich colours, but equipped with today’s modern comforts, including central heating, tv, wifi and tea and coffee making facilities. A room per night could cost from GBP£ 35.00. You can check out the reviews posted by some of the travellers on Tripadvisor.
There is even an Haunted room at The Drovers Inn
There is Live Music too on every weekend at The Drovers Inn. So, for those of you who like to have a nice evening with quality food, whisky and music, you must stopover to experience it.
Here is a Promo Video of The Drovers Inn
A small history about the Cattle in the Scottish Highlands
In the Highlands, the cattle played a vital role in the economy. And people were measured by the number of Cattle. Rent to a feudal officer was paid in cattle. Across Scotland, cattle is being used as meat. Centuries ago, people mixed the blood of the cattle (without killing them) with oatmeal to prepare black pudding. Many farmers and their families used this methodology predominantly during winter as stepping out of the house would be difficult or impossible as the snow could reach up to 10 feet above the ground nearly covering their houses.
Here is a picture I had taken of the cattle near the inn
The Highland cattle have a longer expected lifespan than most other breeds of cattle, up to 20 years. The bulls can weigh up to 800 kgs and the cows can weigh up to 500 kgs. During my entire trip, I saw many of these hairy coos and once even had the opportunity to touch it. Though they look extremely dangerous because of their horns, these hairy coos or bulls are very friendly.
Take a look at my Itinerary – 5 Day Trip – Isle of Sky and Highlands
If given an opportunity I would relocate to the Highlands and live there indefinitely. It is also a heaven for those who like walking, hiking, mountain climbing, cold weather, quiet places, beautiful sceneries, Malt Whiskies, Castles, Celtic Music and Scottish way of life. Other things I love in Scotland are:
- Public transportation – amazing and cheap
- Historic Buildings – the Scots never bring them down
- Sausage rolls as it melts in your mouth
- Fresh fruits and Jams – they’re sold on the streets by farmers and/or their families
- Nudity – The Scots love being naked and swimming in cold lakes. I tried once too in the Lochness Lake
- Hairy Coos
- The Scottish Accent
- The Scottish People
- The Scottish Kilt
If it was not for the Macbackpackers Coach company, I would not have visited The Drovers Inn. If you are visiting Scotland for a few days, tour with the MacBackpackers and you will never regret as I enjoyed my 5 day tour with them.
Check out my post on Fringe Festival, a Scottish Festival that happens in Edinburgh every year.
Adding the following post on 12th October – Thanks to The Drovers Inn for posting my blog post on their facebook page on 19th September 2016.