A FORMER crofter’s cottage on the shores of one of Scotland’s renowned sea lochs has been named the best restaurant in the country.

Inver on Loch Fyne, which sits on the shore opposite Old Castle Lachlan on the Cowal peninsula, was given the honour at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards on Monday night.

Carnoustie-born chef Pamela Brunton and her restaurant manager partner Rob Latimer opened Inver in 2015.

Announcing their win, the awards wrote on Twitter: “The Best Restaurant in Scotland goes to @inverrestaurant.

“Pamela Brunton’s small, characterful restaurant with rooms on the shores of Loch Fyne offers a contemporary and progressive take on traditional Scottish food.”

The National Restaurant Awards website further says that Inver offers “an emphatic celebration of Scotland’s larder that displays great reverence to the provenance and quality of its local ingredients”.

It adds: “Brunton’s CV is weighty, and includes stints at revered, trend-setting establishments including Noma in Copenhagen; and Faviken in Jarpen, Sweden. Given that pedigree, it’s unsurprising that Inver bears the imprimatur of the New Nordic principles.”

While Inver does not have a coveted Michelin Star, it beat out the ten Scottish restaurants which do to take home the industry prize – which is voted on by chefs and food experts from across the UK.

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However, Inver does have a Michelin “green star”, which “recognises sustainable gastronomy and distinguishes restaurants taking responsibility in the conversation of resources and the protection of biodiversity”.

The Michelin website says of Inver: “A former crofter’s cottage and boat store in a beautifully isolated spot on the loch shore.

“Enjoy afternoon tea sitting in sheepskin-covered armchairs in the lounge-bar or take in the view from the vintage-style restaurant, where concise modern menus are led by the finest local and foraged ingredients. Luxurious bothy-style bedrooms in the grounds complete the picture.”

Across the UK, the Argyll and Bute restaurant came 23rd. London dominated the list, winning seven of the top ten positions, but the overall winner was a restaurant in Wales.

Ynyshir, in Machynlleth in Powys, took home the overall crown, with praise going to head chef Gareth Ward’s “explosive cooking”.

The awards described the winning restaurant as offering “a peculiar but effective marriage of top-quality produce, Asian flavours and unusual technique served in a succession of tiny bites”.

On the night of the awards, a list of the 100 best restaurants in the UK is revealed – as voted for by an academy of chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.

Organised by industry-leading title Restaurant magazine, The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards are an annual summer celebration held at London’s exclusive Hurlingham Club.

The awards night also signals the start of the National Restaurant Awards programme, which involves a series of meals and networking events held throughout the year.

Estrella Damm’s country manager for the UK James Healey says: “This year’s list includes a huge pool of incredible talent that deserve this recognition for being the best in the UK.

“We hope this list encourages everyone to get out and support the top restaurants while celebrating the success of the industry.”