Great food, great beer, great stay
The Tullie Inn in Balloch on Loch Lomond is quickly becoming a favourite of ours since their recent revamp - we visited before years ago and it was a bit dark and uninviting but they've since had a paint-job and taken away the walls at the front of the building and replaced them with a continuous row of windows creating a conservatory-style area which lets in a lot of light through the glass and brightens the restaurant considerably.
For this visit we were having dinner, bed and breakfast.
2 half pints of lovely Schiehallion beer from the Harviestoun brewery to get started.
Bread & dips
A selection of flatbreads and traditional bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
We both love a good bowl of Cullen Skink and this was a thick soup that had all the usual ingredients plus a noticeable amount of celery and a pleasant taste of coriander too.
3 slices of toast, and enough provided for a good bread to pâté ratio!
A thick coarse pâté and rather tasty!
All the trendy places seem to be doing pulled pork these days, and this one smelled good and tasted great! The bowl of pork was surprisingly bottomless, and the cooked apple worked well with pork as you'd expect. The chips were crispy and cooked with skin-on, just the way we like them and the Barbq sauce was an ideal accompaniment for both the pork and chips. A filling portion.
Moroccan lamb stew
A fragrant stew with plenty of lamb but all small pieces. Served with rice and flatbread. Very tasty but all a bit too samey, it could've done with bigger/more varied chunks of lamb and some juicy apricots to liven things up a bit.
We would have loved some dessert next but we were both totally stuffed so opted for coffees instead which the lovely Cheryl made for us and kindly brought up to our room. The coffee is supplied by Matthew Algie in Glasgow incidentally.
A clean modern room with en-suite shower/bathroom overlooking the main road, which isn't that busy but has occasional spurts of traffic, thankfully no traffic (or any other kind of) noise could be heard from inside. In-room info was plentiful with plenty of leaflets provided, the dinner Menu, paper, envelopes and fire-evacuation info - so everything that we needed.
The bed was comfortable with beside lamps and tea and coffee-making facilities also provided.
The en-suite had both a bath and a shower - we didn't have a bath during our stay but the shower was hot and easy to operate.
Breakfast is served in the glass-fronted conservatory area. Here's the buffet area with a selection of cereals, juices and newspapers.
Full Scottish breakfast
A great fry-up with plenty of items - haggis AND black pudding on the same plate! All well-cooked and not dripping in oil, in fact the smokey bacon, lorne sausage and potato scone were all char-grilled. It almost tasted healthy!
Freshly-made Scottish pancakes served with chopped strawberries & banana with maple syrup. A sweet way to start the day!
The Tullie Inn is a great wee inn a short distance from Glasgow but far away enough for a night or two away. It's cosy but with a nice open ambiance since the re-fit. The food is great; the drinks selection impressive and you can sit outside in the good weather (may have to wait until next year for that now though!) The staff were very friendly, helpful and accommodating to our needs. The bar and restaurant is popular with locals and we heard a lot of foreign accents at dinner and breakfast so they're doing ok with tourists too.
Balloch castle is a short walk away, as are the shores of Loch Lomond - both the actual loch and the Loch Lomond Shores shops, and don't forget the fortnightly farmer's market (1st and 3rd Sunday of the month - see here for dates). There's world class golfing nearby, boat trips, hills and hill-walking etc. There are a couple of other pubs and restaurants on the same street as well if you want a less active break!
Criticisms? The weighting of the Gent's toilet doors is a bit odd, the first is really stiff so you give it a good push only to do the same to door number 2 and have it swing open and slam against the door stop! But that's not really much of a criticism and you get used to it after a while!
So near yet so far - the Tullie Inn is physically located right next to Balloch train station, which is only 47 minutes away from Glasgow city centre (Queen St station) , or a mere 36 minutes by express train (there are only a couple of these each day though). and you can also change at Partick for the subway, buses or a train to Central (53 minutes total journey time to/from Balloch). What are you waiting for?