On Sunday we decided to take a drive to Loch Lomond and have lunch at The Boathouse at Cameron House. We knew the farmers market was on at Loch Lomond Shore, so we were going to swing by there on the way back.
I’ve been to The Boathouse quite a few times and I have to say the food has always been good, but I find it over-priced and the service has never been five stars. I’ll always give somewhere more chances though, especially when the setting is so beautiful.
I worked out of Cameron House for two full weeks a few years ago when Aura was working with Lotus to deliver the international first drive of the brand new Evora. I admit, the pizzas were what I lived on for two weeks, as it was difficult to get time to eat amongst meet and greets, coordinating the cars and seating guest for dinner.
Driving to Loch Lomond I suggested to my hubby that he calls to book, just in case it’s busy. It can sometimes be heaving!
He tried to call twice but the phone rang out. So either it was a sign it was so busy they were ignoring the phone or they weren’t on the ball. Either way, we were dicing with being let down!
Anyway, we arrived at the stunning Cameron House and drove down the drive along to The Boathouse. The carpark was very busy! I suggested we just head in anyway to see what was what.
On the right as you enter there is a comfy bar area. It was pretty busy. We asked for a table for two and were very surprised to go through to the restaurant where there was only one other table!
The restaurant seats circa 80/90 people. It’s been redone since I was last there. It’s all open plan now, with the central banquets removed, and more tables and chairs. It doesn’t have quite the same feel as the old look. Not terribly worse, but it’s taken a bit of the atmosphere away.
We were presented with the slimmed down winter menu. It had something for everyone but it wasn’t extensive.
We sat down and order two margarita pizzas, as they have their own amazing clay pizza oven. Hubby ordered fresh chillies for the side.
Our table was right beside the only other table in the restaurant which was odd. We heard all about how the couple beside us, and their kids, were moving country and what a drama it had been. Mmmm…
Anyway, our pizzas arrived, hot and steamy. The base was thin enough to be crispy but thick enough still to have a bit of doughy bite. Just the way I like it!
On top were sun-dried tomatoes. Not my favourite topping for a pizza and it wasn’t mentioned on the menu. They are just a bit tart for a plain pizza. Still, it tasted good and I even left one of my slices, I was so full!
Our waitress warmed up to us at the end, after we ordered two takeaway coffees for our walk. She was asking about Eddie and became more personal, which was nice. We didn’t seem just like any other customer to her.
As some of you may know, I trained and worked in hospitality before I started in PR 15 years ago. Customer service is #1 in my book. If the service is right, I can forgive a minor issue here and there.
I still think some of the dishes are over-priced for an informal restaurant , possibly because I think of the overall offering. Average of £10 for a starter, main courses £15-28 (caesar salad £14!) or pizza £12-15 and side orders all £4.
You get the setting but you need to travel, around 45mins from the city centre or 30mins from the west end. You get nice food, but you do pay a fairly high price for it.
Armed with takeaway coffee we drove up the drive just past Cameron House to the carpark at the edge of the Loch. The sun was hitting the hills, highlighting the winter landscape. Stunning. Eddie decided to go for dip, too!
My rating? I’d give it the following:
Service 3.5/5 (due to the phone not being answered and being sat beside another table in an empty restaurant)
Atmosphere 3.5/5the music wasn’t noticeable if there was any
Toilets 4.5/5 clean, fast working hand drier and nice hand wash