AN exquisite setting combined with fine food and drink have won a Sutherland restaurant a place on an elite list of eateries in a glossy monthly magazine.
The Caberfeidh in Lochinver’s Main Street is the sole Scottish entry among 12 of Britain’s best al fresco restaurants commended in the latest edition of Conde Nast Traveller.
Revelling in its quality and setting, the monthly publication states: "Just beyond the beer garden, the River Inver snakes towards the Atlantic, obligingly turning liquid orange at sunset.
"Admire its fiery loveliness from a trestle table beneath a parasol, a pint of Hebridean Gold to hand. Then feast on salmon smoked on the premises, a fat burger or local scallops with black pudding."
The Caberfeidh’s owners Simon and Jennifer Allen bravely ventured into catering six and a half years ago, having not previously visited the village and with no experience of running a restaurant.
Simon, a carpenter and former project manager, said: "This recognition is fantastic. It’s obviously good for the area, good for the pub, for the restaurant and for the staff.
"Our ethos is to run a pub that you would like to go to, that’s what we do."
He reckons the unannounced Conde Nast diner probably paid a visit around Easter time, judging by their choice from the menu.
"There are some fantastic places to eat in the Highlands, with some great views, so we’re really happy with the accolade," Simon said.
"Having a Conde Nast acknowledgement is special. We’ve not applied for this. It’s not a contest. It’s a lovely compliment."
The couple are equally delighted that despite the recession trade is up on last year.
The Caberfeidh has also built a good reputation for its accompanying selection of draught beers and real ale from Skye Brewery, its wide selection of wines and a friendly atmosphere.
Its riverside setting and spectacular loch views from picture windows have been heralded by the popular magazine.