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CHEF CLARE COGHILL’S INSIDER GUIDE TO THE ISLE OF SKYE

Café Cùil Chef and Owner Shares Her Expert Guide to the Best Restaurants, Bars and Cafes in Isle of Skye

Clare Coghill

If anybody knows the screeching rollercoaster of hospitality, it's Chef Clare Coghill, who opened Café Cùil in London in February 2020. Weeks later, she was forced to close due to the pandemic and in 2022, she bravely reopened Café Cùil in the new location of the Isle of Skye, where she grew up.

 

The restaurant has now become a foodie destination for locals and tourists, after Clare spotted a gap in Skye’s market for modern brunch and supper clubs, using quality, local and seasonal ingredients in exciting new ways, inspired by her travels. 


Clare is a passionate advocate for sustainability, strengthening communities and encouraging slow tourism to protect and preserve the delicate landscape of Skye - 90% of the Café team live locally. 


And she is an exciting name to watch in the foodie scene, regularly hosting restaurant pop-ups at festivals both on and off the island.


She has now turned her discerning palate to the best food and drink spots around Café Cùil for our ultimate Insider’s Guide to the Isle of Skye, from Loch-side coffee, 4 AA Rosette dinners, Aussie breakfasts, bookish lunches and drinks with traditional Scottish music sessions.


Cafe Cuil

Cafe Cuil, Satran, Carbost, Isle of Skye IV47 8SU

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COFFEE

Caora Dhubh Coffee House
Caora Dhubh

My favourite spot for coffee is Caora Dhubh in Carbost. They actually roast their coffee on site at my cafe - Café Cùil - which means that whenever you visit me you'll be greeted by the smell of sweet, freshly roasted coffee beans. They also have a wonderful coffee shop in Carbost, not too far from where I live, so it’s great to be able to get my caffeine fix so locally.

Caora Dhubh, Carbost, Isle of Skye IV47 8SR


BREAKFAST

Birch
Birch Cafe

I absolutely love Birch in Portree for brunch. My lovely friend Niall, the owner, bases his menus off of the seasons and it’s always a fresh and delicious way to start the day. They also roast their own speciality coffee on the island, with a menu inspired by his travels in Australia and the cafes there. We actually appeared on the Channel Four TV show, My Kitchen Rules, together back in 2017 and won our season, which was an incredible experience as two home cooks. It feels a little surreal that we now both own our own businesses showcasing the amazing produce from our home.

Birch Cafe, Bayfield Rd, Portree IV51 9EL


LUNCH

Bog Myrtle
Bog Myrtle Cafe

I often recommend visiting Bog Myrtle in Struan for lunch. It’s run by professional bakers, so the sourdough and baked goods are always top notch. It also operates as a second-hand book shop, and is the perfect spot to get lost in a book for the afternoon.

Bog Myrtle, Struan, Isle of Skye IV56 8FB


DINNER

Edinbane Lodge
Edinbane Lodge

I’ll always book dinner at Edinbane Lodge for a special occasion on the Isle of Skye. The food Calum cooks is truly amazing, showcasing the unique and exciting ingredients that are native to the island, and we are lucky to have such a high standard offering on Skye. Not to mention it being the only restaurant in the whole of the Highlands to hold 4 AA Rosettes.

Edinbane Lodge, Old Dunvegan Road, Edinbane IV51 9PW


DRINKS

The Old Inn
The Old Inn Carbost

For evening drinks, it has to be The Old Inn at Carbost. The place is cosy, traditional and full of character. Perfect for an evening pint by the open fire listening to live, traditional Scottish music.

The Old Inn, Carbost, Isle of Skye IV47 8SR


INSIDER TIP

Local Scottish Music Sessions
live Scottish music

My local insider tip would be to go check out The Old Inn at Carbost on a Thursday night, where you'll catch local trad music sessions. Marvellous musicians who you'll often find headlining Scottish music festivals will come together to play their favourite traditional music in the cosy corner of the old pub. Definitely not to be missed when visiting the island!'

The Old Inn, Carbost, Isle of Skye IV47 8SR


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