More bold than old
The Old Mill Inn is tucked away just off the main road in picturesque Pitlochry. It was the winner of the Scottish Hotel Awards’ national Inn of the year in 2016 and has won a host of other awards since the building was revived under new management just a few years before – and they just won reception team of the year at this years Scottish Hotel Awards! We can confirm that the reception team were excellent, see our review of the accommodation here.
But what about the food? We’d had drinks in the bar years ago but hadn’t eaten, so as part of our stay at the Old Mill Inn we decided to have dinner there as well (they are also open for breakfast and lunch).
The main bar is L-shaped with a cosy real fireplace, where you can relax before or after your meal, and the dining area is just behind here.
To get us started the Mrs ordered a glass of Piesporter from Michelsberg, Germany (£5.95 175ml / £7.45 250ml) while I opted for a half pint of their namesake Old Mill Inn ale which is brewed by Belhaven.
What on earth is a tureen you might be asking? “A deep covered dish from which soup is served” from the French word “Terrine”. Ah, one of those round casserole dishes with a lid! You might be put off by the price at £7.25 however, this is one of the best Cullen skinks we’ve ever had, it had massive chunks of haddock and was incredibly creamy!
The salmon is supplied by nearby Dunkeld Smoked Salmon so we knew it would be great. It also came with capers, rocket and brown bread for £7.95. It’s difficult to do it justice in photo but there’s a noticeable difference in taste between mass-market supermarket salmon and the good stuff, which this was – a good portion of non-fatty tasty salmon with zingy capers and fresh rocket.
Keeping in theme with the good quality stuff, the pork belly was from Ayrshire with black pudding from Stornoway (£14.95). It looks a bit of a mish-mash on the plate but you could see there was a lot of food – smooth and creamy mash, melt-in-the-mouth pork belly and meaty black pudding to give the pork some oomph. This was a huge portion and Mrs Foodie was quiet, so it must’ve been good!
Although we were there for dinner, our server informed us that as it was a Sunday a roast was also still available. Well, if you insist..! This roast of the day featured thick cut slices of roast beef, a massive Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and seasonal veg with gravy for £13.95. The beef was delicious and the veggies cooked to perfection. It was a cold night so this hearty dish was most welcome.
With such large mains we could only contemplate one dessert between us and so we shared an Eton Mess meringue (£6.45) with crisp meringue and layers of cream and fruit. It was lovely and sweet, and just the right size for sharing.
The Old Mill Inn is, despite the name, actually quite modern inside with modern cuisine too, sure there are traditional dishes but overall there’s a comprehensive and mixed menu to suit all tastes.
Local and Scottish produce features prominently e.g. in the haddock in the Cullen skink, the Stornoway black pudding and Dunkeld salmon. Not only is the food great, the portions are big too, the only slight criticism is the presentation of some of the dishes which maybe was a bit “old”.
We’ve eaten in around 20 places in the greater Pitlochry-Aberfeldy-Dunkeld area and the Old Mill Inn is easily in the top 3 so the food is really restaurant quality, or perhaps “gastro-inn” (the rooms are great too!) and now that it’s getting sunnier they have seating for eating or drinking outside as well.
Service was excellent on the night, toilets were clean and well-maintained plus they have free WiFi. They also have live music in the bar on weekends too.
+ High quality food for an inn
+ Top notch service
+ Cosy atmosphere
+ 5 min walk to train station/bus stop
– presentation could be better
Open for breakfast from 8am every morning
Meals are served between 12 – 9pm
Old Mill Inn, Mill Lane, Pitlochry, PH16 5BH (just off Atholl Road).
The bus stop and train station for buses and trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh are a 2 – 5 minute walk away and Scotrail were doing £5 single fares from Glasgow last time we checked. The journey by direct train from Glasgow takes just over 90 minutes. Travelling from Edinburgh is closer to the 2-hour mark.
telephone: 01796 474 020
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary meal at the Old Mill Inn but Fred says you should trust us because even he likes the looks of this hoomin food.
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