Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Old Forge, Knoydart

With no roads in or out, The Old Forge in the tiny village of Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula is the most remote pub on mainland Britain (as certified by the Guinness book of records). Known as the last wilderness area in Great Britain, getting here involves an 18 mile hike over the peninsula's munros or a 7 mile scenic sea crossing. We opted to take one of the passenger ferries from the port of Malliag.

After a rather damp and misty crossing we landed at the pier in picturesque Inverie. Situated right on the seashore, The Old Forge looks out over stunning Loch Nevis to the Outer Isles.

Inside the pub is cosy and comfortable; a welcome respite from the miserable weather. There is often live music here and, I imagine, a great atmoshphere, but on a wet Saturday afternoon there were just a smattering of brave folk who had made the trip.

Looking out through the big windows there is little doubt where the seafood comes from; it is all caught locally within a 15 mile radius - Loch Nevis, Loch Nan Uamh, Sound of Sleat, Isle of Skye and Rum waters. Scallops are hand dived, usually from Loch Nevis or Arisiag. Langoustines are creel caught of the local fishing boats. The mackerel is line caught and the mussels are rope line farmed locally. Deeper water fish come from Andy Race fish merchants in Mallaig.
There are also a selection of real ales on offer, from Glenfinnan Brewery and Isle of Skye Breweries, as well as national breweries when the limited micro brewery supplies are not available or the Skye ferry is not operating on schedule.

I had to have The Old Forge prawn platter; fresh Loch Nevis langoustines, mixed salad, homemade marie rose sauce and brown bread. Served simply, whole and shell on with a lobster cracker and fork, the lanugoustine were a feast of huge succulent, sweetness. Cooked simply and as fresh as this they were amazing.

Dave needed warming up after the chilly ferry crossing and went for the mussels in cream and white wine. The mussels were fresh, plump and juicy and the lovely thick chunks of bread perfect for mopping up the plentiful sauce.

For dessert we both opted for the sticky toffee pudding, which was comforting and delicious.

We tried to take a walk along the shore after lunch, but the rain came lashing down and we had to take shelter before we caught the return ferry back to Mallaig.

Although the Scottish weather left much to be desired, The Old Forge did not. It's spectacular out of the way location and fresh, simply cooked seafood make it well worth an excursion.

The Old Forge
Inverie, Knoydart, Mallaig, PH41 4PL