Mill of Tynet / Mill House Hotel
Living in Buckie on the Moray coast, we would often travel along the A98 when going to Elgin. We always passed the Mill of Tynet now called Mill House Hotel, it had an ugly sign saying "MOTEL", and it always cast up images in my mind of seedy American motels I had seen on TV.
Obviously, someone at the time thought it was a great marketing idea and thought the motel buzzword would attract customers... maybe it did, but I know at that time we never stopped at the motel for food, and I always thought that horrible sign was a bad idea, even at eight years old!
Since then, the Mill House Hotel has changed hands a few times and had undergone a major facelift in the early 2000s which really ramped up the hotel's appeal, the food was lovely, and it's evening meals really put the hotel on the map as a place to go for a nice meal out.
Unfortunately, standards slipped, and the hotel went downhill around 2016. I went for a meal with my mother, and she ordered the lasange, which came out with about an inch of oil floating on top; it was disgusting and inedible. It was a real shame that the quality had dropped, and a few months later, the hotel did eventually close.
Thankfully, new owners purchased the hotel around 2019 and have done a fantastic job of bringing it back up to standard, and the food is better than ever. Please bear in mind that older bad reviews are likely to be from the previous owners; the establishment is well worth a visit under the new management.
Despite taking the hotel over at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new owners have deftly kept it open with great entrepreneurial skills, including takeaway meals and home delivery options... but by far, their best idea was their take out cocktails which they sell in large plastic tumblers - my wife adores the parma violets one.
Mill House Hotel restaurant
My wife and I decided to try out the restaurant at the Mill House Hotel Buckie for our 13th wedding anniversary. It's ideally located for us, being a short distance from Buckie, and an evening meal here is a relaxing experience. We booked easily by sending them a message on their Facebook page which they responded to within minutes and booked our table.
The new owners have added great mood lighting to the entrance from the car park, which really adds to the vibes of the place, especially if it's dark after your meal. The entrance/reception area still retains some of the milling machinery that was used for the building's original use; this is a lovely feature.
We arrived at 6 pm, the staff were really nice, very young but really well trained, polite and non-intrusive. They were also kitted out with personal protective equipment for Covid mitigation. We were shown to our table right away and drinks order taken, a large chilled bottle of water was already available upon our arrival. The restaurant was pleasantly full, not overly busy, just a pleasant hubbub of people enjoying their food and drinks.
There are two main areas in the restaurant, the side dining room just off the bar area and a slightly larger area upstairs with more table capacity.
The menu at the Mill House Hotel is great; there really is something for everyone (Please see the direct link to their menu here). One of our favourite places to eat - Banff Springs - in Banff, recently updated their menu to very posh high-end food, things like pigeon breast, and no single meal cheaper than £23. We found it very disappointing as we went there a few times per year, but the menu and pricing have turned us off completely.
Thank goodness the Mill House Hotel caters for the simple folk who just want good honest, hearty meals... sometimes you just want a great burger and no arty-farty nonsense.
Both my wife and I chose the haggis bonbons for our starter. The menu had said these came with Arran mustard mayonnaise, but ours came with a sweet chilli dip. I wasn't sure how this was going to work (I was looking forward to that mustard!), but the sweet chilli worked so well with the haggis the mustard was soon forgotten about. The side salad was nice too, and the entire starter was scoffed in a matter of minutes!
For our main, I chose a "Signature burger" (I'm so predictable, I just love my comfort foods when eating out), and my wife picked the Buckie haddock. The burger was great and came with two of the best onion rings I've had anywhere in the world as well as a generous helping of delicious creamy coleslaw.
My wife loved her fish which was delicately breaded and fried - perfectly cooked. Both meals came with nice chips.
On this occasion, we were far too full to have a dessert, but in the past, we have had their sticky toffee pudding, which is to die for. I don't think you could go wrong with any option on the menu; everything looks and sounds so good. Click here for their dessert menu.
Free wifi and free self-parking
The Mill House Hotel has free wifi throughout and an amply-sized car park. The lead-up to the hotel is picturesque, and a small bridge spans a stream of water, good opportunities here for wedding photography.
Would Mill House Hotel make a good base for a tourist?
Definitely. I have never stayed at the hotel portion of the business, but I have seen rooms advertised as cheaply as £65 per night. The hotel is rated as three stars but seems a bit harsh; it feels a little more upmarket than that. At £65, it's cheaper than some travel inn-type accommodations but also has a 1st class restaurant and much more character than your cookie-cutter travel inn with microwave food. Click here to see the latest accommodation prices.
A few of the plus points:
The property accepts credit cards
Smart televisions and deep soaking baths
Ideal for coach parties
Access for disabled guests
What can I see while staying at the Mill House Hotel?
There are endless things to see in Moray while staying at the Mill House Hotel; here are a few places of interest nearby.
- Bow Fiddle Rock
- Bin of Cullen Walk
- Beaches in Moray
- Moray Firth Seals
- Moray Firth Dolphins
- Findlater Castle
- Spey Bay / Spey Viaduct
- Speyside Way
- Elgin Cathedral
- Macduff Aquarium
- Sueno's Stone & Nelson's Tower
- Speyfest music festival every July
- Lower Mill of Tynet farm
- Many Whisky distilleries
The best place to stay for Moray Crematorium
If you have suffered a bereavement and are looking to travel and stay overnight, The Mill House Hotel is perfectly situated for easy access to Moray Crematorium. It's only a 3-minute drive from the hotel.
Would the Mill House Hotel make for a good wedding venue?
I really think it would make a perfect venue for your wedding day; they have everything you would need to host a fantastic wedding and also corporate events. They also have a dedicated wedding planner to help plan your special day and can cater for parties as high as 160.
We had a lovely meal at The Mill House Hotel restaurant for our 13th wedding anniversary and will likely be back soon. Our bill came to £48.25, which included a cheeky parma violets cocktail to go! I felt this was a very reasonable bill for the great food and service we received. The friendly staff even made sure we were OK while waiting for the cocktail; amazing service.
The Mill House Hotel comes highly recommended and should be high on your list of nearby restaurants while staying in Moray.
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