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The Port Royal Hotel & Russian Tavern, 37, Marine Road, Port Bannatyne, Isle of Bute, Argyll, Scotland

Hotel - Sleeps 9

Welcomes adults, children,

Average Rating from 2 reviews: 5.00
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Review Review No. 2 of 2

Recommended by:

Sally Godwin from Glenalmond

Our party:
  • Adults:
  • Ages:
  •  
  • 2
  • 26 & 61
  •  
Stayed:

3 Nights
September - 2009

Wanted:
  • Relaxing
  • Touring
  • Beach / Sea
  • Local Food
  • Peace & Quiet, Good Food
  • Walking
  • Shopping
  • Entertainment
Summary:

“Magical, beautiful countryside, and beaches, clean sea, kindly, friendly, courteous people, peace, quiet, plenty of top-class food made from fresh local ingredients - fish is caught and brought in to the restaurant in the morning from the harbour right across the road and the sunsets are fabulous.”

The room was very clean, with a TV, hairdryer and heater. Beds very comfy - I have back problems so this is high praise from me! Shower only, en suite.

We stayed in one of two rooms at the side of the Inn and with our own door onto the harbour with a marvellous view of the sea and mountains.

There is a tiny Post Office with a cafe and decent coffee which sells local produce. Internet free of charge.

A lot of people sail over for the day - the food is excellent and there are specialist beers and organic soft drinks, herbal teas, good coffee in the tavern.

Specifically Recommend:

The food! My daughter is a vegan and has coeliac disease, which means no grains of any kind or she will be very ill. Olga grasped the problem immediately with no fuss, discussed what she could offer and presented (my daughter says) the most tasty vegan & gluten-free food she has ever had.

As for myself - I loved the food! I recommend the beef stroganoff, and the latkes, the red cabbage, the langoustine soup, the blinis, salad with strawberries and black olives (which I thought I would not like, but it is delicious). I would have liked to work my way through the whole menu.

Warning - you will NOT need lunch - breakfast is very hearty!

Be Aware:

I come from the South coast of England originally and still get caught out by how much colder it is even in the summer up in Scotland. The room was well-heated though.

Only improvement would have been more checks on soap and toilet roll supplies during our stay.

Local Gems:

Mount Stuart House, home of the Marquesses of Bute - worth the entry fee - a real gem

En Route:

The ferry from Wemyss Bay, South West of Glasgow to Rothesay, Isle of Bute (CalMac ferries) was excellent, with a good gift shop and hot soup, good coffee. It takes about half an hour, no need to book. There is a lift and disabled passengers are given a hand if needed. Very clean and attractive ferry.

Overall Rating:
Comfort
Cleanliness
Meals / Kitchen
Bathroom Facilities
Quality Of Items
Useful Info

recommended place to stay

Recommended on 17/09/2009
By Sally Godwin from Glenalmond

I CONFIRM that this review is authentic, having been written by a bona-fide paying guest, and is factually accurate at the time of posting - Olga, owner
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Review Review No. 1 of 2

Recommended by:

Dr Victor L from Edinburgh

Our party:
  • Adults:
  • Ages:
  •  
  • Children:
  • Ages:
  • 2
  • 35
  •  
  • 1
  • 2
Stayed:

3 Nights
June - 2009

Wanted:
  • Relaxing
  • Walking
  • Touring
  • Beach / Sea
  • Shopping
  • Local Food
  • Good Beer!
  • Entertainment
Summary:

“We were looking for fine views and nature whilst out and about, and good food, beer and good company with intelligent conversation in the evenings - we found it here”

Found Via By walking through Port we found it here We found this place by accident, on the seashore at Port Bannatyne in a tiny stone village around a bay of fishing boats on the Scottish Isle of Bute. We were looking for a decent pint and fresh seafood....and we found it here.

The Russians running the place made us feel really welcome and other clientele made for merry evenings in the tavern. Clientele were yachties, hikers, foreign touists French, Italians, Dutch, Swedes, and some Polish workers. Scotland has much to offer in scenery, wildlife, open spaces....but finding a good restaurant that has an unforced natural hospitality as you might find in the Mediterranean is very rare. The guestrooms were small, clean and cosy...and cheap

The food was exceptional for this part of the country dedicated to fast food and cheap confections. The fishing boats tied up just outside and we experienced the live fish taken into the kitchen. The local speciality are langoustines, crayfish, and they were served straight from the pot and still hot on large platters and served with hot fresh bread. Excellent.

The Russian breakfasts, included in the price of the room - 64 GBP (at time of stay) - were substantial and very varied fresh - fruit sald in large amounts, cereals, yogurts and honey, freshly baked croissants and bread rolls. A hot plate. On a bed of wild garlic leaves tomatoes stuffed with onion, basil and garlic, marinaded peppers wrapped in smoked ham, hot, Russian-style chipolatas served with cherry compote, a minature quiche with wild fungi, and tiny sauted potatoes. Miniature puff pastries filled with cream cheese and spinach - simply stunning

The west coast of Scotland is rather weather dependent - when its sunny or even with light showers, the countryside is very beautiful, open and empty of people. But often the clouds descend and meet the water, and those days are best spent looking around a castle or stately home. The Isle of Bute, just north of the better known Isle of Arran has both Rothesay Castle and Mount Stuart House www.mountstuart.com. But when the weather breaks youre able to explore empty beaches, photograph the basking seals, discover the Standing Stones and admire the spectacular scenery.

Port Bannatyne is an ancient stone-built village around a yacht bay, with fishing boats, a little harbour, a couple of pubs, a very useful village shop and Post Office, and The Russian Tavern right in the centre. There is a kids’ playgournd, a pitch for playing French Petanque, an eccentric ancient golf-course up the hill behind the village, and miles of long sandy beach just a mile away. There are regular service buses each half hour to the ferry and an open-top tourer bus right round the island four times each day. A ticket lasts three days, get off wherever you like.

Specifically Recommend:

Hiking, bird-watching, golf, petanque, fishing - freshwater and marine, wildlife - seals, deer, hares, goats, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks.

Standing Stones and prehistoric settlements, beaches, scenery ie photography

Rothesay Castle, Mount Stuart House, The Russian Tavern, Rothesay Museum

Be Aware:

West of Scotland weather is changeable, bring rainproof jackets.

Local Gems:

www.lochfad.com
www.portbannatynepetanque.org.uk
www.portbannatynemarina.co.uk
www.mountstuart.com
www.ascoghallfernery.co.uk
www.portbanntynegolf.co.uk

En Route:

The ferry from Wemyss Bay a little port on the A78 between Largs and Greencok to the Isle of Bute sails every 45 minutes, sailing time 35 minutes. Very pleasant ships with panoramic views, a bar and deck seating

Dr Victor - Edinburgh - June 2009

Overall Rating:
Comfort
Cleanliness
Meals / Kitchen
Bathroom Facilities
Quality Of Items
Useful Info

recommended place to stay

Recommended on 19/06/2009
By Dr Victor L from Edinburgh

I CONFIRM that this review is authentic, having been written by a bona-fide paying guest, and is factually accurate at the time of posting - Olga, owner
If you found this review helpful, please like Rated Places on facebook.
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