Food is one of our favourite things here at Loch Melfort, and we take pride in the dishes we create and the produce we use. Using the season’s best produce is something very important to us, and with the autumn months approaching it means it’s the time of year for game to feature on our menus.
Our wild venison – supplied to us from Easdale – can be found on the menu as a beautifully tender pan fried loin of wild Argyll venison, or a delicious homemade wild venison burger. Ardmaddy Estate, near Oban, provide us with wild pheasant, served on the menu as a roasted crown of wild pheasant, perfect with a glass of red wine.
Roast pheasant crown is easy to do and is the perfect alternative to a big Sunday roast, with one crown being the perfect portion size for one person. First heat some oil in an oven proof pan; once it’s hot add the crowns and brown all over. Transfer the dish to the oven (200C/400F/Gas6) and cook for around 8 minutes, or until the juices from the thickest part of the meat run clear when pierced.
But if simply eating game isn’t enough for you, and you want to get out into the wilds of Argyll and shoot your own, then you won’t be disappointed! There are numerous estates near Loch Melfort which offer excellent shooting and stalking.
Benmore Estate, on the Isle of Mull, offers some excellent stalking experience with gorgeous views of Mull and surrounding islands. The estate has two very experienced stalkers who will accompany you and your group out on the hill. They will recover the carcasses for you and take them to the estate’s refrigerated larder to be processed. Benmore can provide guests with rifles to use. Stag season is on right now and runs until the 20th of October. Hind season begins on the 21st of October and runs until the 15th of February.
Killean Estate, just over an hour’s drive from Loch Melfort, also has some great ground for game shooting. The estate’s experienced game keepers will accompany your group, helping you find the best shooting spots. Typically a group won’t leave empty handed, with a mixed hunting bag including pheasant, woodcock, snipe and rabbit being the usual outcome of a shooting party. All guests must hold a valid gun licence and provide their own guns, except for clay pigeon shooting. Secure storage for guns and ammunition will be provided, and the estate can give assistance to arrange permits if necessary.
Ardchattan Estate, just north of Oban on the banks of Loch Etive, also offer deer stalking, with red stag shooting beginning the last week of September and running for the first three weeks of October. Red hind shooting begins at the end of October and runs until the end of January. Contact them in advance to discuss arrangements and whether guns are provided or required to be brought by guests.
So whether you want to relax in comfort and enjoy freshly prepared game, or get out into the wilds of Argyll to shoot your own, we are perfectly situated here at Loch Melfort.