Mingary Castle – a unique restaurant with rooms in a 13th century Scottish Castle, on the remote Ardnamurchan Peninsula was awarded 3 AA Rosettes last night at the AA Awards at RAK Ceramics Design Hub, London. Run by chef owner Colin Nicholson, and co-owner Jessica Thompson, Mingary Castle was one of just two restaurants awarded 3 AA Rosettes last night.

Mingary Castle receiving the Rosettes coincides with the publication of the AA Restaurant Guide 2024. Three Rosettes is given by the AA to restaurants that have “achieved culinary standards that demand national recognition well beyond their local area. The cooking will be underpinned by the selection and sympathetic treatment of the highest quality ingredients. Timing, seasoning and the judgement of flavour combinations will be consistently excellent. These virtues will tend to be supported by other elements such as intuitive service and a well-chosen wine list.”

Receiving the award is a huge achievement for a restaurant, with Mingary Castle being one of only two Scottish restaurants to gain such accolade this year. Taken together, restaurants with 3, 4 or 5 Rosettes make up the top 10% of venues with an AA award. 

The 13th century Mingary Castle was restored to its former glory in 2016 and in 2021 its drawbridge dropped and reopened as a stunning restaurant with rooms, with seasoned hospitality professionals, Colin and Jessica, at its helm. It was awarded 5 gold stars by AA in 2022 and recognised in The Times Top 100 Places to Stay in Britain’s list. This year it won Best Restaurant Newcomer at the Scottish Excellence Awards and winners of the Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice Awards for Restaurants with Rooms. Jessica has recently been awarded CODE Hospitality’s Pioneer Award, and a prestigious Acorn Award.

Upon achieving Three Rosettes, Colin Nicholson says,
“We are both delighted to have received such a prestigious accolade.  It means so much to be able to bring this award home to Ardnamurchan, helping to place this remote part of the country firmly on Scotland’s culinary map. To be listed amongst some of the UK’s most renowned restaurants is such an honour. I want to extend my thanks to the hardworking team here at Mingary Castle, whose ambition and passion for hospitality has helped us reach this goal, as well as our loyal customers – both local and from afar – who have supported us ever since we opened”.

Chef patron, Colin Nicholson’s, restaurant serves a five or eight course tasting menu in the intimate 20 cover dining room. The daily changing menu showcases the best produce that the west coast of Scotland has to offer. Fruit, vegetables and herbs are sourced from the local community garden that Colin and Jessica are involved in, fish is sourced from Tobermory Fish Co and Iain Stewart’s in Fort William and a local fishing boat for langoustines, crab and lobster, and Highland based Great Glen Charcuterie is used for cured meats. They work with a local farmer who provides the pork for their homemade sausages for breakfast. Colin’s tasting menu is designed to use the ingredients to their full potential, simple dishes bursting with flavour are at the heart of the cooking. A complimentary wine pairing, featuring old and new world wines, is available.

Jessica has skilfully curated the drinks menu and wine list. All of the gin is sourced in Scotland, including three gins from her home, the Isle of North Uist; there are plenty of whiskies on the menu sourced from across the country, from the Highlands to Lowlands and the Ardnamurchan estate’s own distillery. 

Mingary Castle’s restaurant is open Tuesday-Sunday between 6.30pm-8.30pm for residents and non-residents. Guests can select either a five-course (£60 per person) or an eight-course tasting menu (£90 per person, or £140 including paired wines). A  lunch menu is served on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and a table d’hote lunch is served every Sunday from 12pm-2pm (two courses for £36 or three for £46).

You can read more about Mingary Castle’s listing in the AA Guide here.

High-res images can be accessed here

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