Chef George Lavery will be cooking in Stornoway this winter.
For some people, those who have already eaten in the multi-award-winning North Harbour Bistro on the isle of Scalpay, that news will be enough.
All they will need to know is where…and that’s the Park Guest House, on James Street, where the bistro’s delicious menu for the festive season will be available every weekend from Friday December 6th to 31st.
Additional dates for large parties can be accommodated on request, says the bistro team. To book or for further information call 01859 540218.
And for those who are already booked for Christmas meals, the good news is that the team from Scalpay will be up every weekend to the end of February 2020 before going back to Scalpay for the new season in March.
The North Harbour Bistro team have won award after award nationally in recent years…for instance they were on the list of The Top 100 Restaurants in Scotland announced in April at The Marriott Hotel in Glasgow by the 2019 Restaurant Awards-Scottish Edition – and they won the UK-wide Good Food Award for both 2019 and 2020.
The eatery was earlier one of 10 finalists in the ‘hidden gem’ category of the Scotsman’s Food and Drink Awards and it was finalists this year in the CIS Excellence Awards 2019 for the category ‘Restaurant newcomer of the year’.
All that followed a hatful of awards for the 2017 Scottish Food Awards as islands restaurant of the year, which also won a gold medal winner for its fish. In 2018 George Lavery was named 'chef of the year' and 'informal fine dining chef of the year' in the same awards.
And social media is ablaze with praise for George and his team. A typical comment on their Facebook Page states: “There is no comparison between your food and the food elsewhere in the Hebrides or the Highlands, actually. Your food is way above the rest and that’s fact. The service is always a cut above the rest, too. What an amazing team you have. Well done! Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to have my next meal there again!”
Or another, from Susan Krasner-Macleod: “The food George serves is spectacularly good, puncturing the inflated reverence we pay to Michelin stars and celebrity chefs. The diners relax, they smile… they linger. In August, the tables are a mix of locals and visitors. The locals lean back in their chairs, chatting to one another. The subject matter is the food: what have you tried? What did you like? Visitors are swept into the discussions, they flush with gratified delight at being included in the conversation of locals: yes, they affirm, they too love the food! The locals are proud of the restaurant that is judged so well by these outsiders, proud of George; proud of Scalpay.”
George Lavery brings a world of experience to his role, first arriving in Harris almost ten years ago. Trained originally at Anniesland College, Glasgow, he has worked in places as varied as Iceland, Jersey, France, and Luxembourg as well as a variety of places in the UK. The chef from whom he learned most - and still describes as his mentor - is David Cameron, who won a series of Michelin stars for his restaurant in Jersey. George has also worked on the special events circuit around the UK and beyond, for Wimbledon, Ascot races, Formula 1 Grands Prix and other top events. For several winters he worked in the French Alps during the ski season.