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Eastern promise on offer at Brodie's Old Mill Inn

By Staff Reporter

Sophie and David Mclean are building a reputation for fine locally-sourced food at their restaurant.
Sophie and David Mclean are building a reputation for fine locally-sourced food at their restaurant.

A FAR-travelled couple have set down roots at a village hotel-restaurant.

After more than two decades of owning hospitality businesses and running large-scale events from Dubai and Delhi to Singapore and South Africa, Sophie and David Mclean have achieved their dream of owning a country inn in the Highlands, having tested hospitality from Portpatrick in the south-west to Unst in the far north.

Sophie said: "Brodie's country setting and close proximity to Inverness, Nairn, Elgin and Forres, together with the beauty and history of the Moray Firth ticked all the boxes."

Sophie was born in New Delhi and was a journalist before she met Glaswegian, David.

Since buying Brodie's Old Mill Inn last August they have run the business as hands-on innkeepers. Sophie has a passion for food and works closely with head chef Paul McKechnie, reinventing menus to add a unique twist to the inn's food. They have taken Indian recipes handed-down from generations and added a Scottish twist, resulting in the Tartan Thali and monthly quiz nights.

Sophie said: "Our main aim for the first year was to give the Mill the identity it deserved. We had a major overhaul of the kitchen, undertook room refurbishments and made improvements to the restaurant to enhance the dining ambience but retain the feel. Our menus are tailored around the seasons using the finest in locally-sourced produce. Our head chef and his team deliver fine fare with contemporary flair with an emphasis on game meat."

David is also a passionate whisky collector and his focus for the Mill malts collection is to house the best representatives from local distilleries. The Mill also has a burgeoning collection of craft Scottish gins.

David said: "We pride ourselves on delivering an authentic local experience and drams of choice. Our country garden has been transformed and is a great spot to savour our range of traditional hand-pumped real ales from local breweries."

Sophie and David are grateful to the local community for support as they have found their feet over the last year and attracted more visitors to the area.

Sophie said: "Our guests now come from as far afield as Aberdeen and beyond. A large influx of tourists have been keen to try out our contemporary Scottish cuisine along with a couple of very local drams."

David added: "We plan to further upgrade our guest bedrooms and give our guests a quality, comfortable taste of Scottish hospitality. We are also working towards launching 'Hearth', our boutique restaurant, serving the best of land and sea from the Speyside Larder."

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