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Scotland’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’: The Pierhouse Reopens

The Pierhouse The Pierhouse

If you wonder where to eat in Scotland in 2024, turn your eyes to Argylle and its culinary gem, The Pierhouse, that has reopened following a winter makeover. 

Argyll's iconic hotel and restaurant, The Pierhouse

Argylls Iconic Hotel and Restaurant the Pierhouse
Argyll's iconic hotel and restaurant, The Pierhouse

In the land of kilts, bagpipes, and occasional sunshine, Scotland’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ has flung open its doors once more at an Argyll hotel so iconic, it almost needs no introduction. The Pierhouse Hotel & Seafood Restaurant at Port Appin is back in business after a two-month beauty sleep and a kitchen glow-up, just in time to welcome the spring and summer crowds. And it’s not just the plates that are pulling in the crowds; fancy a chat with a Highland cow? They’re all ears. 

Location of The Pierhouse Hotel & Seafood Restaurant

Chef Michael Leathley
Chef Michael Leathley

Nestled on the edge of Loch Linnhe, this wee gem of a hotel, with its renowned Scottish seafood restaurant, is led by the culinary wizard, head chef Michael Leathley, and his brigade of kitchen magicians. With a fresh kitchen expansion funded by a hefty investment from the owners, they’re rolling up their sleeves to whip up a new spring menu that promises to be as refreshing as a brisk Highland breeze.

Perched romantically on the shores, The Pierhouse offers views so stunning they could make a grown man weep. It’s no wonder this place snagged the ‘National Restaurant of the Year’ title at the Hotels of the Year Scotland Awards 2023–24, not to mention its two AA rosettes and a coveted spot in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2024.

Menu at The Pierhouse Hotel & Seafood Restaurant

Argylls Iconic Hotel and Restaurant the Pierhouse
Argyll's iconic hotel and restaurant, The Pierhouse

Spring 2024 is looking tasty with Chef Leathley’s latest creations: a piermaster bouillabaisse bursting with west coast fish, mussels, langoustines, and a hint of miso, or a plaice kiev, oozing with parsley and caper sauce goodness. And for those who prefer turf over surf, there is roast Appin deer with a side of braised shoulder ragu and polenta, or perhaps a crispy lamb belly with a quirky fermented barley, preserved lemon, and fennel salad that will tickle your fancy.

Don’t fret, Pierhouse regulars; your beloved langoustines, mussels, and lobsters, fresh from the local lochs, aren’t going anywhere. Neither are those meticulously handpicked oysters from Loch Creran, because, let’s be honest, would it really be The Pierhouse without them?

The Pierhouse champions local suppliers like the Caledonian Oyster Company and langoustine courtesy of Eoghan Black, fresh from Loch Linnhe. And let’s not forget the beef, sourced from Achnacreebeag Farm, courtesy of Grant’s the Butchers.

Chef Leathley, a man of simple tastes but exquisite cooking, believes in letting the food do the talking. “The real luxury in cooking these days is making use of what is here, right now,” he says, emphasising the joy of using local produce.

The UK's first 'Whispering Highland Cow' at The Pierhouse

Special wellbeing programmes at The Pierhouse in 2024 include an intriguing addition: the UK’s first ‘Whispering Highland Cow’ experience. Teaming up with Highland cow farmer, Jane Isaacson, they’re introducing farm-based activity breaks focusing on wellbeing, nature, and, naturally, great-tasting locally sourced food.

For £15 a pop, you can whisper sweet nothings to a Highland cow. Just remember, booking is essential unless you fancy chatting up a cow unannounced.The Pierhouse, a proud member of The Wee Hotel Company founded by the legendary hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray, continues to offer experiences as unique and memorable as the Scottish landscape itself. So, pack your bags (and your appetite) and get ready for a flavour trip sprinkled with laughs and loch-side views.

by Elena Leo, WAWW Director of Editorial

the Pierhouse Reopens