We caught up with Nicola Sugden from Campbells of Beauly to discuss how the her life has changed since swapping London for the Highlands. In this Q&A we asked Nicola if there are any local businesses and/ or professional services she would like to highlight in her area.
The Bakery Inverness: hands down the best sourdough: world class and perfect texture. I like the original, but they also do an excellent ‘porridge’ sourdough. It’s available to buy at Corner on the Square. See more info on the bakery on Facebook and Instagram.
The Black Isle Dairy: a long standing favourite of mine. Their products are available at markets and local shops, but to get the true selection you need to visit their honesty shed where you can stumble across new creations like Chocolate Orange Jaffa, Amaretto, or Berry Yoghurt flavour. Since lockdown we have visited much more often and with this good weather it’s an essential!
Corner On The Square: as mentioned above, this foodie treat is in Beauly. With their excellent wine selection, quinoa crisps, speciality products, the deli counter with prepared quiche, pork pies and scotch eggs (John’s favourites), you simply can’t leave without a full basket. During lockdown COTS have come into their own and provided the community with an extraordinary service. Jacqui and her team added all the fruit and veg and key products to their website and set up an order and collect/delivery system. The produce is notably higher quality so the fruit and veg not only taste better but last longer. Last weekend we were able to order pizza takeaway which was exciting as takeaways are few and far between up here.
John M. Munro: Munro’s butcher has always been my go-to for meat and eggs but during lockdown they have encouraged customers to place orders in advance. This has made me plan ahead with my food prep and get back into my slow cooker. It is marvellous: find a good recipe, order a kilo of mince, lamb shoulder, rolled pork or a whole chicken, and whack in a load of spices and some liquid: 8 hours later and hey presto you have a scrummy meal and you have batch-cooked a few freezer options for a later date.
The Storehouse: The Storehouse have also created a wonderful click and collect/delivery service. Quintin and Michelle have adapted their business model and helped many households in the wider community. We have very much enjoyed their prepared food range, The Highland Cook House, for evenings when it has been a busy day with kids and web orders. John offers to cook dinner and off he pops to The Storehouse to pick up a delicious dinner for two. My favourite is the Wester Ross Salmon Fillet.
The Seafood Shack: This local seafood takeaway is perfect for a fresh seafood lunch. It’s outdoor dining so good weather is imperative. Run impeccably by two local ladies and their team, you walk off the high street into a little seafood oasis with fresh food cooked in front of you. The menu is small and changes daily. We highly recommend the half lobster with dilled potatoes, crab linguine, and the tempura haddock wrap.
IV10: newly opened and worth a drive on the Black Isle for coffee, lunch or dinner as the atmosphere is fantastic. A strong design element is at play here and it feels very comfortable. We went recently for John’s birthday and it was jam-packed which was great fun. The wine menu is extensive and carefully put together by the owner who was able to tell us about each bottle we picked. The menu has plenty to choose from and changes from day to night and on a Sunday. We often struggle to decide as everything sounds great but the rib eye went down very well. Reservations are necessary. IV10 is also a deli so there are lots of delicious things to purchase and take away with you.
Read our full Q&A with Nicola Sugden here