Highland cafe officially opens following £2.5m refurbishment

A multi-million pound Loch Ness cafe and retail destination has been declared officially open by VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead.

An Talla owner Freda Newton with VisitScotland's Malcolm Roughead. Picture: John Baikie

An Talla, on the banks of the Caledonian Canal at Dochgarroch Lock, opened its doors in July following a two-year, £2.5 million build and refurbishment.

Tourism chief Roughead joined owner Freda Newton and local business leaders from the Highland hospitality industry for a supplier showcase last week, championing the local producers and brands available at An Talla.

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These include Loch Ness Gin, Connage Highland Dairy, Three Little Bakers, Highland Fish, Karen Bentley cakes, Tom Pigeon jewellery and work from artists David Fallow and Peter Munro.

An Talla champions Highland producers and brands. Picture: John Baikie.

Roughead said: “An Talla will help grow the region’s tourism offering and attract new visitors, as well as showcase the high quality products that originate from the local area.

"Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. We need to create world class experiences, events and attractions to keep up with ever-changing consumer demands.”

Newton added: “We set out with a goal of bringing a completely new hospitality offering to Loch Ness over ten years ago. It’s been an incredible journey to get to where we are today, including the restoration of the Dochgarroch Village Hall, sourcing the best local suppliers and hiring some of Scotland’s most talented hospitality experts.

“We may be heading into uncertain times, but the Highlands are well and truly open for business.”

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