I’ve had a couple of weeks away from normal life, namely from my computer (which always does the world of good for me, particularly as I spend my working days in front of one too!). The next week or so will be showing you the highlights of what we got up to on our time off, away from Inverness, in Yorkshire and London. However today I”ve got another local lunch post. This is probably on the boundaries of what I would term as a “local lunch”, as the Cawdor Tavern, is in the village of Cawdor and not Inverness, as the name handily suggests, and is 25 minutes from Inverness.
It’s a really pretty small village with lots of woodland to explore, but we were there for Sunday lunch (a real treat for us as we normally eat something quite simple and quick to prepare on a Sunday after Mr B has done his ministerial duties in the morning!) on the last day of our holidays. We had missed breakfast
accidentally on purpose and planned to have a light dinner so we could treat ourselves!
One reason for choosing the Cawdor Tavern aside from it’s pretty location, was that we had a local discount card for restaurants in the area. Using the card, we got 20% off our food bill (and also can get 20% off real ales, the Orkney Brewery range feature heavily). It’s the kind of place that we would spend a lot of time if it was on our doorstep – so it’s probably good in a way, that it isn’t!)
I was surprised to find that it wasn’t busy when we visited – I was expecting both the restaurant area and the bar to be packed out, but not even all the restaurant tables were full when we arrived. However, if we had tried to get a table this Sunday (Mothers Day) I’m sure we would have had trouble.
Our starters arrived. For him, Cawdor’s smooth chicken liver pate -crisp homemade crostinis, apple jelly, and a salad garnish. For me, smoked haddock and cheddar arrancini – hand rolled risotto balls served on a bed of creamed kale.
While Mr B enjoyed his pate, we both agreed that the arancini balls put the STAR in starter. Smoky, salty, cheesy and creamy goodness in one bowl. Really really good (you’ll have to try them!)
We had quite a wait for our main courses, probably around 35-40 minutes, which is longer than we would have waited before enquiring with staff, but we were enjoying a really leisurely time. We both chose from the specials board for our main courses; Mr B chose the pork roast, and I relished a chicken, mushroom & bacon pie with wedges and homemade baked beans. I would have rather had a larger ramekin of beans and a smaller pot of wedges (although Mr B was quick to help me out, so maybe it was the right amount to share!). The beans were good, not as smoky and warming as Mr B makes them, but the cannellini beans soaked up the tomato sauce well. The pie was really excellent – obviously homemade as the pastry had a rustic finish, but the ratio of filling to pastry was just right (although I gave my last bite of pie to Mr B who was eying it up – true love right there!). I did get to taste some of Mr B’s roast pork – it was very tender and the flavour was beautiful.
Finally, we had another short wait before our chosen desserts arrived. Mr B chose the Handmade Treacle Tart, served with orange and brandy compote & vanilla ice cream. I can never resist a Sticky Toffee Pudding, which came in a veritable sea of sticky toffee sauce and ice cream (instead of whipping cream at my request).
The treacle tart had a more sponge like consistency (which wouldn’t be to my taste as I like the old fashioned schooldays type of treacle tart) but the brandy soaked clems were warming and complemented all the flavours on the plate. My toffee pudding was a dream. Light and in no way dense at all.
Using the Inverness Premiercard with the 20% discount, the bill came to £40.16 which is incredible value for the food we ate, but if we didn’t have the discount we still would have been pleased with the value for money at the Cawdor Tavern.