May 17, 2024

Since it was first seen in Paris in 1935, the famous blue-and-red Les Routiers symbol has traditionally identified restaurants and bars of individual character – mainly owner managed – offering excellent food and good value for money. In an age of uniformity, fast food and charmless chains, the members of Les Routiers are not only passionate about what they do, they are the best of their kind, too, whether it is a small cafe serving exceptional sandwiches or a table d’hote laid out with silver and fine china in a luxe hotel or a food truck parked at the side of the road. Tobermory is lucky to have all of these options within easy reach, but it’s the last one that keeps drawing me back. Situated at the head of the pier in the exact center of town, Fisherman’s Pier chippie gets its fish and shellfish from the boats as they return each afternoon, so whatever’s the catch of the day is what you’ll find battered alongside handcut chips that evening, be it haddock, pollack, scrod, scallops or lobsters. (The cod is lovely, too, but there’s no way it’s come off a lone dayboat.) In this rare stretch of sunny Scottish weather, it’s a most pleasant meal and at 7 pounds, a fair bargain, too. Feet dangling off the end of the dock, the only thing I’d add would be a chilled glass of rose to take the edge off the setting sun.

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