Arty dining in Highlands retreat

Boath House, the Georgian mansion in northeast Scotland run by the team behind Sessions Arts Club in Farringdon, this week unveiled its new, local and sustainable Dining Room.

The imposing 1827 property near Nairn, half an hour’s drive from Inverness and close to Findhorn Bay, was launched last year as a “sanctuary for creative people” by artist Jonny Gent’s Cabin Studio. Meals were served in a ‘Garden Café’ within the Victorian walled garden.

The new Dining Room has taken over the former breakfast parlour and features custom-made plates by Dunkeld-based potter Cara Guthrie, who blends ash from burnt vegetable trimmings into the clay, embodying the no-waste ethos of the kitchen.

Chef Philip McEnaney, who brings influences from his experience in high-end Japanese and Belgian venues, as well as at Trinity in Clapham and Whatley Manor, says he is thrilled to be launching the new restaurant. “Relocating to the heart of the Highlands has been a long-held dream, and now we have the chance to celebrate the art of food in a setting as inspiring as the ingredients we use.”

Sous-chef Katie Austin added: “Our excitement comes from the opportunity to showcase the finest Scottish produce, collaborating with Jonny and the team to create a menu that brings together art, design and food.”

Prices range from £28 for the Artist’s 2-course menu to £95 for the Experience 8 courses, while an early candidate for signature dish is the ‘Beef fat bread and butter pudding’, with homemade sourdough soaked in beef fat from Macduffs in Edinburgh, baked with custard, and served with pickled billberries and homemade ice cream.

Boath House won kudos when its previous owners announced they no longer wanted a Michelin star because it put off potential diners. The tyre men ignored their wishes and renewed the star.   

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