A restaurant at the end of the road to the village of Diabaig in Wester Ross which only opened in May last year is delighted and surprised to have been shortlisted in the ‘best eatery’ category at this year’s Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.
Gille Brighde Cafe and Restuarant (pictured) is owned by Amanda and Aart Lastrager, who ran a cafe on Canna for three years and were school dinner cooks in Perthshire before buying the old schoolhouse in Daibaig.
“It is unbelievable that we were shortlisted,” said Amanda. “I think people are amazed when they reach the end of the road to see our place because it’s so remote. Perhaps that helps explain why we’ve been so successful.” While husband Aart took on the renovation himself — which included incorporating parts of an old fishing boat in the bar — Amanda, whose background is in hospitality management, took on the task of being the chef. “We use as much local produce as we can, and the scallops and prawns are caught out in the bay,” she said. “We hope to have our own vegetables ready for next year.” Also in line for an award are Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd in the environment and export sections; the Skye Farm Shop in Armadale and Buth Bheag in Kyle in the independent food and drink retailer category; and Skye Farm Shop in the healthier food and drink section. Applecross Smokehouse is on the shortlist in the new produce section.
The award winners will be announced tonight (Friday 23rd October).