Fort Augustus Abbey closed to the public in 1998 after more than one hundred years as a Benedictine Community. This is the latter part of that story.

Fort Augustus Abbey on Loch Ness


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The Abbot's Table Restaurant is now closed. This is an historical page. Please read the INTRODUCTION page before continuing. 

The restaurant offered a varying cuisine which depended upon the requirements of the customer, the time of day and the season. In 1996, the head chef, Hamish Mackay, joined the Abbey to bring a range of high quality catering to an already busy kitchen and restaurant. After his arrival the restaurant obtained Les Routiers accreditation and under Liz Ferguson's management also won healthy-eating awards.

There were a number of catering options as follows :-

Groups and Conferences (No longer open. See INTRODUCTION page.)

The Abbey was experienced in catering for any type of conference or group from school outings to VIP Japanese tour groups, religious retreats to medical conferences. Many residential conferences were "budget" in nature and the abbey's kitchens were skilled at producing good healthy food at a very low prices. At the other end of the scale, the chefs were capable of creating gourmet dishes containing the very best local and Highland produce.

Tea and Coffee Shop with Home-Baking (No longer open.  See INTRODUCTION page.)

During the mornings and afternoons the Abbot's Table's clientele was primarily tea and coffee business and the kitchens created a range of cakes and biscuits in addition to freshly meal2.jpg - 21.2 Kmade sandwiches.

Lunches (No longer open.  See INTRODUCTION page.)

The restaurant had an all-day menu of hot food which included such favourites as Haddock and Chips, home-baked Steak Pie, home-made Lasagne and the special of the day which was often the same meal as that served to the monastic community.

A La Carte (No longer open.  See NTRODUCTION page.)

During the evenings in the peak season, the restaurant, in addition to its normal menu, used to add a number of special items such as chicken stuffed with haggis, venison with rowan sauce and poached salmon with a whisky sauce, to name just a few. Many guests remarked that these meals were a tremendously hamish3.jpg - 6.3 Kexciting find for the Highlands. As the Abbey had no licence to sell alcohol, customers were encouraged to buy wine in the village and have it opened at no charge. The abbey's gourmet meals, therefore, were a relatively inexpensive treat.

Barbecues and Other Special Services (No longer open.  See INTRODUCTION page.)

Abbey catering often arranged barbecues in the grounds for groups and coach parties. The Abbey also looked after the catering for the Loch Ness Highland Gatherings.

Weddings and Functions (No longer open.  See INTRODUCTION page.) mrefset1.jpg - 13.2 K

For some special functions the monastic community exceptionally permitted the use of its refectory, once a wonderful Victorian room with stained-glass windows and Pugin refectory tables. The picture shows the refectory set for a group of German tourists in 1996. In two sittings, the Abbot's Table staff provided over two hundred lunches in addition to its usual business in the main restaurant. The staff were also skilled in providing for weddings and civic receptions with sit-down or buffet style meals.

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