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The George Hotel
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The George Hotel
Main St East,
PA32 8TT
01499 302111

I’ve never been to the jail. 

Nonetheless it's the museum jail that pops into your head when you think of this West Coast town. Also of course the famous Loch Fyne Seafood Bar and Loch Fyne Ales that you pass on the way to and perhaps overshadow places like this traditional hotel. I hope foodies are encouraged to go further along the loch though as Mr Bite and me had a superb dinner here.  
There’s a large, full bar when we arrive on a Saturday night and the adjacent restaurant is soon bursting too. I had previously nebbed a chef picking herbs from the garden, a good sign I thought to myself. 

We settled in and ordered two soups, the crayfish bisque for Mr Bite and the fisherman’s soup for me followed by fish and chips and halibut. I perused the white wine by the glass menu and at first my heart sank, pinot, sauv, chardonnay – the usual. But then Alabarino and Sancerre followed; hallelujah! Note the red wine by the glass menu looks equally good with a Chateau Musar and a St Emilion on offer. 

My soup was brimming with chunks of smoked hake and salmon, the odd prawn bobbed about and the crayfish bisque was rich and tasty. Even the garlic bread on the side had been toasted crispy. The Lolo Abixas Albarino 2014 was spritely and acidic and then dry and mineral, cutting through the richness. Good fish, good wine; it doesn’t come better. Mr Bite’s bisque was a slightly sweeter richer version of mine. 

Main courses signalled a first for me. I actually left some halibut on my plate. I have never done this before and yes I know it’s a crime that should have me slung into the clink next door but the portion was just so big I cried to the waiter.  What makes the situation worse was it was so damn good. Served in a Provencal Anitboise sauce (those garden herbs) with a big wedge of lemon, sautéed asparagus and spinach and waxy yellow petit new potatoes. Mr Bite gave me a bite of his battered fish – the flesh was creamy and he said it took him back to his childhood. Top marks all round. 

Dessert for me was fruit salad with lemon sorbet which contained lots of tiny pieces of gratefully received pineapple which is good for digestion. My only suggestion would be a sprinkling of mint otherwise if was light, refreshing and palate cleansing. Mr B has the chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake with the quality and flavour of the two main ingredients shining through. 

We were super impressed with the restaurant at The George Hotel. I would highly recommend it as a great place to visit and stay for a nice weekend on the West Coast. You won’t be disappointed. (S. Wilson) 

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