Opening in Ullapool this summer, The Dipping Lugger* is a unique restaurant with rooms overlooking the shores of Loch Broom on Scotland’s West Highland Coast. It will be the first of its kind in Scotland to have interiors by renowned designer Eve Cullen-Cornes and a dining room overseen by head chef David Smith, formerly of Boath House, Nairn.

The restaurant is housed in what was previously the parish manse, dating back to 1789. It was partly rebuilt by Thomas Telford in 1829 and has been lovingly and painstakingly restored into a luxury retreat and restaurant by owners Robert Hicks and his partner Helen Chalmers with grant support from Highlands & Islands Enterprise. Robert, whose background is in hospitality, has worked at the two Michelin starred Altnaharrie Inn, Gleneagles, Gidleigh Park and London’s Four Seasons.

At the helm in the kitchen will be David Smith whose menus are set to showcase the fantastic seafood that Ullapool is famous for, as well as locally reared meat from surrounding farms. David has a stellar cooking CV which includes some of Scotland’s best restaurants, such as Boath House and Ullinish Country Lodge Hotel. A six course dinner menu and four course lunch menu with both be on offer with dishes such as Loch Broom scallop, yuzu, mushroom and Turbot, chicken wing, asparagus.

The 18-cover restaurant also features ‘The Tasting Room’ – an intimate two table dining room that doubles as a gin sampling room, where guests can enjoy a dram of Seven Crofts gin, from Robert and Helen’s award winning Ullapool distillery – Highland Liquor Company. The unusual nooks and crannies don’t stop there; overnight guests can also enjoy a nightcap in their own ‘Sweet Shop’ – a dedicated treasure trove of sweet and liquid treats in the first floor honesty bar.

The attention to detail is evident throughout the property and the owners have ensured that the rooms remain true to their roots by working with local craftspeople, including Highland Stoneware to create bespoke pottery made from the very rock the restaurant sits on, and tableware crafted using local wood.

Upstairs are three stylish and comfortable en suite bedrooms which, along with the dining rooms and guest drawing room are the creative vision of interior designer Eve Cullen-Cornes. Cullen-Cornes specialises in creating memorable dining destinations having worked on The Padstow Townhouse by Paul Ainsworth and Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers.

She’s married the natural elements and opulence, with wooden parquet flooring, velvet and leather upholstery and marble tabletops. Tones of rich red, inky blue and vibrant emerald green, slate and soft greys and golds blend seamlessly, while the rooms are softly lit, with plenty of Highland light and real fires throughout to create welcoming and comfortable spaces.

The bedrooms follow in a similar theme. Crisp white linen is offset by soft tartan wool blankets in muted tones which bring the colours of the surrounding water and landscape into the room, whilst the bright, bold wallpaper and artworks provide a subtle quirkiness. The generous en suite bathrooms pay homage to the past with stand alone roll top bathtubs taking centre stage.

Dinner is served Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm – 9pm. £65 pp, with optional wine pairing for £45 pp.

Lunch is served Thursday to Sunday from 12pm – 2pm. £30 pp

Dinner bed and breakfast for two people starts from £380.

To book call 01854 613344 or visit the website

The Dipping Lugger

4 West Shore Street


*A Dipping Lugger is a sailing vessel defined by its rig, using the lug sail on all of its one or several masts. They were widely used as working craft, particularly off the coasts of France, England, Ireland and Scotland.