Inver Lodge reopened this week as an independent property no longer under the management of Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI).
After closing over the winter for five months the 21-bedroom hotel in Sutherland reopened on Monday having dropped the management company after 10 years and revealed a new, more informal restaurant would replace Chez Roux.
Speaking to The Caterer, general manager Janet Boyd, who joined the property last year, said: “It’s been 10 years, it’s time for a change, time to see what’s the next level we can take Inver Lodge to.”
The property has been owned by the Vestey family for 30 years and was home to the first Chez Roux restaurant, Albert Roux’s brasserie concept which opened at the hotel in 2010.
Patryk Stanalowski, who has been with the hotel for four years, will remain to oversee the new food and beverage concept, which will simply be known as Inver Lodge restaurant. It will focus on local, seasonal produce, particularly seafood, fish, venison and meat from the estate or Donald Russell butcher in Aberdeenshire.
Boyd said: “He’s been given his brief – local, seasonal, land and sea – and taken it away. So far the new menu, just with two days in with the regular guests that have been here, they’ve been delighted…
“We had a very, very formal style of dining, which just doesn’t sit in with being up in the Highlands. You want a nice big plate of food when you come home at the end of the day after hillwalking or birdwatching or fishing, and that’s what we want to bring back again… It really is about going back to basics.”
The restaurant and hotel have undergone slight aesthetic improvements, such as local artwork planned for display in the restaurant, but Boyd added: “We are not going to change it too much.”
ICMI manages 10 hotels in Scotland including Inverlochy Castle in Fort William and Andy Murray’s hotel Cromlix in Dunblane.
Credit The Caterer