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April 1, 2013
A chic 'n' boutique motel is the latest venture from the Lewis family
A chic ‘n’ boutique motel is the latest venture from the Lewis family

Interesting news, believe it or not, from the A84 where the people behind the splendid Monachyle Mhor hotel and Glasgow’s much loved Deli/Cafezique have just launched Mhor 84, a food-led motel on the road between Callander and Crianlarich.

Value for money motel

Housed in a refurbished, 300 year-old hotel, Mhor 84 is billed as a chic but value-for-money motel which features a tearoom, bar, shop, games room and an event space.

It has seven ensuite bedrooms with prices starting at £60 a room but the 5pm blog expects that its gastronomic credentials may be the biggest draw. Chef Tom Lewis is part of the team. With a farm, Monachyle Mhor Hotel, a bakery and a fish and chip shop in Callander, the Lewis family have established a mini-food-based empire in the Trossachs and Mhor 84 is its latest outpost.

Scottish ingredients

The motel promises to never leave any visitor wanting and will serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late night snacks. The hearty food will emphasise honest, thoughtfully sourced, Scottish ingredients – much of it from the family farm.

Think along the lines of Scotch rarebit, proper burgers, shellfish, whole roasted fish and braised dishes.  The tearoom will serve soups, cakes, pastries and more.

Mr Lewis, said, ‘We can’t wait to show off Mhor 84.  We’ve lit fires which have remained unlit for forty years and have revealed the beauty of a building which was built 300 years ago.

Live music

‘Its laid-back vibe, lively music, down-to-earth cooking and amazing location is going to be a hit with everyone from couples to fans of the great outdoors.  We’ve got five Munros on our doorstep so it’s perfect for building up an appetite.

‘We’ve really strived to make sure the prices are accessible for everyone.  It’s a recession-proof alternative for lovers of boutique hotels.’

In 2006 Tom Lewis appeared on BBC 2’s Great British Menu but carving out a TV career has never seemed to be a priority for the chef. Instead, he has quietly but steadily set about developing the family’s various businesses.

Hip hotel

Your blogger stayed in Monachyle Mhor a few years back. It’s a seriously hip hotel on the shore of Loch Voil and Chef Lewis’ cooking is spectacular. The one drawback is that while it offers good value it is not by any means cheap.

If it does what it aims to do then Mhor 84 looks like a brilliant way for a much wider public to taste Chef Lewis’ culinary skills.

Tom Lewis on the family farm
Tom Lewis on the family farm