We spent half term in the Scottish Highlands. I knew it would be beautiful, but I did not imagine I would love the Highlands so much that I would want to stay there…
So after a few months planning our road trip, it finally happened! We left home as soon as half term started and spent a day in Liverpool to catch up with Hubby’s Nana and pick up beau-papa (my father-in-law extraordinaire). We then left Liverpool early on Jumpy’s 3rd birthday (Sunday 25th).
After 6 hours in the car, we arrived in Pitlochry, a popular stop on the way north. The picturesque village is a very pretty place with a timeless feel and gorgeous traditional shops (sweets, flowers). It definitely is worth a stop.
As we arrived in Pitlochry, we were hungry and desperate to stretch our legs. We immediately spotted Victoria’s Restaurant on the high street and found a space in the tourist information car park.
The children were pretty restless after being stuck for so long in the car so I was relieved when Victoria’s, the restaurant we had booked for lunch, was child-friendly. You know that moment when you have a bunch of wild children in your hands and you are hoping for a place where they can be themselves? That was us!
Victoria’s was a really nice place. It was not pretentious and no one frowned at us when we arrived. There were quite a few people with pushchairs and young children so we did not feel like we were standing out.
As soon as we entered the family-owned restaurant, we were shown to our table, in a nice spot by a large window overlooking a park. Before I even had time to ask, a waitress brought a high chair for Wriggly, a few colouring pages, quizzes and crayons for the older three. That was exactly what they needed!
We were given menus straight away and the waiter remembered exactly what Jumpy’s allergies were, although I had only mentioned them quickly over the phone. At the same time as the regular menus, we were also given the gluten-free menu, which was rather impressive, with a wide range of options for starter, main, dessert, sandwiches as well as breakfast. If you are on a gluten-free diet, I highly recommend stopping there.
Because Jumpy is egg and nut-free as well as being wheat-free, I was also given the list of allergens contained in the menu. My little girl went for steak, beans and roasted potatoes with tomato sauce. Anything for our birthday girl!
Options for the children were varied and better than what you would normally have on a kids’ menu, ranging from Aberdeen Angus Steak Cheeseburger to Grilled Prime Scottish sausages to Scottish Scampi, Crispy Chicken Fillets, pasta or pizza.
I had my dream starter; goat’s cheese salad. It was quite simply perfect, with grilled creamy Ayrshire goat’s cheese on a bed of leaves, cherry tomatoes, almond flakes, cooked beetroot and walnuts served with light honey and mustard dressing. Hubby had bruschetta and beau-papa (my father-in-law) went for the soup of the day (lentil and bacon).
I then had a beautiful 8 oz prime Scotch sirloin steak, cooked to perfection in a charcoal grill, accompanied by grilled tomato, mushrooms and a baked potato.
The men had Haggis, Neeps ‘n’ Tatties, McSween of Edinburgh’s award-winning haggis with creamy mashed potatoes and turnips.
I really loved the stylish yet informal feel of the restaurant. As I was having my latte, I looked around and had a chat with one of the waitresses to find out a bit more about the restaurant. It is a relaxed coffee house during the day and after 5.30 p.m. a bistro style menu is introduced.
At Victoria’s, they take pride in serving quality ingredients from Scotland and the freshest seasonal produce they can get. All the beef they serve at Victoria’s comes from fully accredited Scottish farms. The beef is aged traditionally for at least 21 days on the bone and hand cut by butchers. Their chicken is free range and corn fed. They get all their fruit and vegetables from Mark Murphy & Partner, who source the finest Scottish seasonally grown produce and support local farmers and producers. They have a really nice range of cakes and fine teas there.
Jumpy and Wriggly had some ice cream, and the big ones went for chocolate fudge cake with ice cream.
After such a copious lunch, we needed a walk to digest and give the children a chance to run around before the last leg of our journey. We were not disappointed by Pitlochry’s beautiful riverside.
The dam was an impressive sight, and we enjoyed learning about the fish ladder.
We did not see any salmon swimming up the fish ladder, but it was an interesting walk and we were all ready for the last leg of our journey to Inverness after that.
If you fancy a visit:
Pitlochry Tourist Office, 22 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire
More about Pitlochry here.
Victoria’s Restaurant & Coffee Shop, 45 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5BX
Tel: 01796 472670
Disclaimer: Our lunch at Victoria’s was complimentary but I was not asked to write a review. All opinions and photographs are my own.