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Restaurant review: Generous sharing boards at Blackfriars in Inverness

Did we find our new favourite Sunday spot?

A new take on a Sunday dinner. Images: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson
A new take on a Sunday dinner. Images: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

I love a good Sunday lunch out, it feels like a little treat to help prepare for the looming Monday.

My boyfriend Aidan and I are usually pretty well prepared when it comes to eating out, with tables booked in advance, but last weekend we decided to take a stroll through Inverness and just see what we fancied.

We have been to Blackfriars on Academy Street twice before, once to watch the rugby and a second time for a pub quiz that was so hard we left wondering how many brain cells we had between us. Despite that though, we saw they had tables and headed in.

Blackfriars was renovated a few years ago.


Blackfriars was originally built in 1793 but was refurbished a few years ago. It has nine boutique rooms, but what we were there for was obviously the food.

I really love the interior in here, it feels modern and fresh while still maintaining elements of the building’s history with exposed stone walls. The lighting is cosy and there are different seating areas and booths available, so it’s perfect for groups.

I loved the interior décor.

I will say we were shocked by how quiet it was on a Sunday afternoon, there were only a few other tables in and we did feel it was missing that buzz a little. Then again, it was quite a dreary day so it could have been that the city was staying in.

The food

We were warmly welcomed into Blackfriars and the service throughout our meal was quick and helpful.

For drinks, Aidan went for a glass of Chardonnay (£8.90) and I ordered a Shirley Ginger mocktail (£6.95) which had ginger beer, grenadine, lime and lemonade in it. This was a little on the sweet side with the grenadine, but the ginger packed a punch and I enjoyed it.

A take on the classic haggis, neeps and tatties.

The menu at Blackfriars has all the classics you would expect from a pub like steak pie, mac and cheese and fish and chips, but there are also some more adventurous dishes like slow roasted pork belly, fajitas and salmon with paprika mash.

What really caught our attention though were the sharing platters. There was a veggie mezze, a meat platter and a house one, all offering different things. I love sharing dishes or picky bits as you get to try lots of things, and these ones actually looked substantial rather than the tiny charcuterie boards you often see. We felt even more confident in our choice once we saw one being carried out to another table.

The whisky sauce was delicious.

Aidan is never full and wasn’t confident the platter would be enough for him so we also ordered a haggis, neeps and tatties starter to share (£8.25). This came in a stack with a gorgeous whisky sauce over it. The neeps and tatties were lovely and creamy. The haggis was a little on the crunchy side but it was peppery and flavourful.

In hindsight, we did not need that extra plate as the sharing board was huge. We went for the house one, which came with wings, ribs, brie, calamari, smoked salmon, garlic bread, corn on the cob and dips – which we think were sweet chilli and barbecue (£27.95).

The platter is perfect for groups to share.

The ribs were the absolute standout for both of us, the meat falling away from the bone and so tender with a slightly sweet sauce. The wings were impressive too and had lots of meat on them. As for the calamari, I was prepared for it to be slightly chewy but it wasn’t. The batter was light and not at all oily, and it paired perfectly with the sweet chilli dip.

I personally thought the smoked salmon was a little out of place as everything else had a kind of barbecue style to it, but it was deliciously fresh all the same. I love corn on the cob and this was juicy and fresh, and the crunchy garlic bread was great for dipping into the sauces. The only thing we agreed we would have changed were the brie bites as they didn’t have the melty centre we were hoping for.

The ribs were a highlight for us both.

All in all, the variety on the board was really great and delivered exactly what you want for sharing. For how much food there was and the fact it filled both of us, we reckoned the price was a steal.

Though we were pretty stuffed, neither of us can turn down a dessert, so we ordered the chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce to share. I thought £8.95 was a little steep, but the portion that came out was huge. I do wonder if it’d be a nice option to have it served warm, but it was decadent, rich and moist all the same.

A rich sweet treat.

The verdict

We really enjoyed our Sunday lunch at Blackfriars. The menu was nice and varied and the sharing platters mean it’s a great place to go with friends – we’ll definitely be back with ours to try the others. It was reasonably priced for the portion sizes and I really liked the interior.

I have seen photos from their weekend evenings when they have live music playing and it looks like a great atmosphere, so I would love to head back along for a drink and boogie. Maybe we’ll even pluck up the courage to try the quiz again.

Blackfriars is on Academy Street.


Address: 93-95 Academy Street, Inverness

T: 01463 215164


Price: £61 for two drinks, one starter, one sharing platter and one dessert. A service charge was not added to the bill.

Disabled access: Yes

Dog-friendly: Yes


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 4/5