“We want An Talla to be a place for tourists and locals alike, somewhere to share stories and learn about Loch Ness and the historic Dochfour Estate."

Local school kids give new Loch Ness destination seal of approval

New £2.5 million retail destination and café, An Talla, now officially open

A new multimillion pound retail destination and café on the banks of the Caledonian Canal has been given the ultimate seal of approval from a group of discerning inspectors.  

Pupils from Dochgarroch Primary School took on the role of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry as they were invited along to taste test the menu at An Talla before it officially opened its doors to the public.

On hand to serve the pupils was general manager Robert Day, who previously held the role of general manager at The House of Bruar, where he spent thirteen years. Robert was joined by head chef and Black Isle native Stuart Matheson, who has spent the last few years working in Shetland.

Robert said: “I am so excited about the potential of An Talla and the role it will play as a destination for both tourists and locals to enjoy. We all know that children can be brutally honest, so it was great to hear our menu has had the seal of approval from Dochgarroch Primary School.”

Both tourists and locals alike are now able to taste some of the kids’ top recommendations in the modern café – which include freshly baked cakes and homemade soup – as well as explore the luxury retail offering as part of the £2.5million refurbishment of the former Dochgarroch Village Hall.

Primary 5 pupil Hugh commented that he “liked how big An Talla is and I’m excited to come back and try some more goodies. I give An Talla infinity out of 10!” His sentiment was echoed by P6 pupil Charlie, who tried jammy crumble and it said it was “yummy!” Charlie scored An Talla “100/10” and “would like to come back for some more yummy cakes.”

Freda Newton MBE, managing director of Loch Ness by Jacobite and founder of An Talla, said, “The pupils at Dochgarroch Primary have seen the whole restoration process from beginning to end, so we couldn’t think of anyone better to invite along for an advance preview and to sample the menu. It really was very insightful to get their comments, which luckily were all very positive!”

As part of An Talla’s commitment to sharing the best quality Scottish products, partnerships with some of the region’s best loved brands include Bad Girl Bakery, which will provide freshly baked cakes daily, and award winning artisan chocolatier Iain Burnett, the Highland Chocolatier.

Freda continued: “We want An Talla to be a place for tourists and locals alike, somewhere to share stories and learn about Loch Ness and the historic Dochfour Estate.  As well as providing delicious food and great coffee, we’ve spent many months selecting products from brands and suppliers who share our passion for exemplary standards of design and attention to detail to showcase the best of what Scotland has to offer.”