Eat Here Now: Badachro Inn

by Keith Savage · 3 comments

Badachro Inn, Badachro, Wester Ross, Scotland

Scotland’s northern highlands are a gorgeous wilderness filled with high mountains, sea-scoured cliffs, vacant beaches, and secretive wildlife. There are some humans, too, but the largest town on the northwest coast, Ullapool, has all of 1,500 people. As visitors to this special region we need to calibrate our expectations in the realms of tourism infrastructure and services. There’s just not much out here — that’s a large part of why those of us who like such places like them — so when I find a pub or restaurant out on the edge of Scotland I usually tamp down my expectations.

Such was the situation I found myself in after a journey out to isolated Red Point Beach southwest of Gairloch. We’d had a long day out driving around Wester Ross and finished it with a visit to the beach at sunset. The road actually ends at Red Point Beach, so we turned around and began driving the winding, single-track road back to Poolewe. We were all quite hungry (and thirsty) by this time, and luckily I’d done my homework, which usually consists of checking CAMRA’s recommended pubs, prior to the outing. I knew there was a pub/restaurant in the small outpost of Badachro on the south side of Loch Gairloch.

The Badachro Inn bills itself as a place for “real ale, fine wine, delicious food, and spectacular views,” and upon wandering to the inn I couldn’t disagree with that last point. It looks over sheltered Badachro Bay where a host of sailboats bobbed at anchor among colorful fishing buoys. A line of green hills rose up in the distance, clouds scudding over their summits.

On the outside, the Badachro Inn looks much like a white-washed house converted into a pub, but there’s a great deck for eating and drinking on good weather days (like this day) and the interior has been expanded with a bright conservatory looking out over the water. The old pub has that special feel with a low ceiling, a bar burnished with the tread of many pints and drams, and blackboards with the day’s specials. This small area was crowded with folks deep in conversation, and we were lucky to secure a table for our party of four. It seems the Badachro Inn is a popular stop for all kinds: Travelers, locals, and even their canine companions.

Our table stood in the conservatory next to a wide window, and we had amazing views over the water as the sun set. I ordered the salmon with tomatoes, green beans, and a potato cake, and as you can see in the picture below this is not your ordinary pub food. The salmon was cooked perfectly, and the vegetable sides provided nice a textural and flavor contrast. I enjoyed a pint of the local An Teallach ale, but the Badachro Inn had an extensive wine list that I was very surprised to see out here in the wild northwest highlands.

My dining companions were similarly wowed by the classy food, and of course, since I was traveling with Sarah, we couldn’t pass up the Badachro Inn’s take on sticky toffee pudding. The pudding was a rounded cake doused in delicious toffee sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was delicious, and sticky toffee pudding more generally is becoming one of my favorite desserts. It’s rich without being too sweet. I should mention here that the Badachro Inn has chosen quite tasteful crockery that adds to the visual appeal of all their dishes.

Dinner was wonderful, the view was fantastic, and I think we were all suffused with the giddiness of serendipitously finding such a fine pub. We stretched out our evening with a dram before heading back to Poolewe, but knowing the Badachro Inn is here, now, I wouldn’t hesitate to make it my local on subsequent trips to Wester Ross.

The Badachro Inn is one of those gems that adds to the experience of a place. With great food, beautiful views, free wifi, and an excellent drinks selection, you would be foolish to pass up this oasis on the southern shore of Loch Gairloch.

Tina Somberg-BuiksNo Gravatar September 26, 2016 at 5:51 AM

Hi Keith, I fully agree with you that Badachro Inn is a wonderful place: beautiful location and view and very tasty cakes, sandwiches and dinner dishes. I visited with a small group of 10 and everybody was so pleased!
Tina Somberg-Buiks

Patsy TartNo Gravatar September 22, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Keith, are you trying to drive me crazy with longing to revisit Scotland and to see many of the places you have. I also love the wonderful pubs you find there. Haven’t been disappointed yet by their food offerings. I’m another who discovered sticky toffee pudding and tried it at several different places and found it amazingly different from one place to another. But, it was always delicious.

Still thinking of returning next summer, or possibly 2018.

Patsy Tart

Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 22, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Sorry, Patsy. Blame Scotland! It’s just too beautiful. Yeah, I think another trip next year or the year after makes sense 😉

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