Thursday, 31 August 2017

Coach House Cafe - Tomich (Scottish Highlands) and Plodda Falls

The Coach House Café, as its name suggests, is an old coach house turned café in the Victorian Conservation Village of Tomich in the Highlands of Scotland. We happened upon this quaint little village out of luck as we passed through when going to see Plodda Falls.

The village was created by the Tweedmouth family, who built a large manor house (now in a ruined stated), and was to serve the Guisachan Estate. The estate covered around 1600 acres and much of the forna and flowers that were planted by the estate still remain.

The buildings in this small and unassuming village are beautiful. I was fascinated by its multi-coloured door cottages, country gardens and gentle atmosphere. Had we had not had decided to visit Plodda Falls we would never have known this gorgeous little village was here.

One of Tomich’s claims to fame is that it was the first place to breed the Golden Retriever, a statue was erected in 2014. I hear it’s not well loved by the locals.

We stopped for lunch at the Coach House Café (which also doubles up as a post office) on the way back from visiting Plodda Falls. The café serves a range of homemade cakes, light lunches and refreshments. I was particularly pleased, being a coffee snob, to see that they served independent artisan coffee.

The Coach House Cafe and Post Office 

The other half treated himself to a bacon roll and I decided that the carrot cake looked too good not to have, cake for lunch? Well, we were on holiday after all.

Bacon Roll 

The coffee, cake and bacon rolls really hit the spot. From all the research I do in to eating out its always quite refreshing to find hidden gems such as this. Unfortunately, I struggle to find recommendations for Scotland outside of the main cities.

Check that crumb

To be fair that's better latte art than mine

The lady that was serving us that day went over and beyond with her excellent customer service. She told us all about Glen Affric (on the other side of the river) and a few tips to help us with our trip there (including how to park for free!). They've also got free wifi, something that is a god send in the Highlands!

Glen Affric on the other side of the loch 

Glen Affric, beautiful in all weathers 

If you’re visiting Loch Ness or the surrounding areas, make sure that you take time to visit both Plodda Falls and the cute village of Tomich. Further details about the falls is below:

Plodda Falls 

During the 1800s Plodda Falls became a significant attraction for the area. There was once a walkway that ran to the other side of the falls (from the newer walkway that exists today), if you look closely you can still see the metal railings of where it once hung.

Plodda Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the area, it is over 40 metres high and has a dramatic drop in to the river pool below. The walk around the falls and surrounding wooded area is not too difficult although it’s not wheelchair or pushchair friendly.

As with the Highlands, the weather can turn quite quickly so be prepared for all eventualities and definitely be prepared for rain and mud. The road up to Plodda Falls is a mix of single track road and dirt roads, in wetter months the dirt turns to mud and in snowy winter months access may be limited.

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