Hogmanay closure for Smiddy as John moves on

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One of the most popular eating places in Lochgilphead will see a big change at the end of this year.

Well-known chef John Fisher, who has run the Smiddy Bistro for the past two-and-a-half years, is leaving on Hogmanay for a fresh challenge.

He first arrived in Mid Argyll from his home patch of Ayr to take on a five-month contract at the Kilmartin Museum cafe. That was nine years ago.

Moving on from the museum, it was the short hop across the road to the Kilmartin Hotel, before the opportunity came up to run the Smiddy.

‘The Smiddy has been great,’ said John, ‘ but I have been offered the chance by owner Richard Pate to return to the Kilmartin Hotel. For me, it’s the right time for this and I’ll be starting there in March.’

With three decades behind him as a chef, John has plans for the Kilmartin Hotel. He explained: ‘People can expect some great food and I plan to add a tempting a range of cakes and scones at lunchtimes.’

As well as running the Smiddy, John has found time to pass on his skills to young people in the Mid Argyll Youth Forum, teaching a practical 22-week course at Lochgilphead Joint Campus.

‘Thanks to everyone who has supported us at the Smiddy,’ he said ‘and we look forward to welcoming customers old and new when I start at the Kilmartin Hotel in March. Hopefully people will enjoy what we have to offer.’

John is keen to remind anyone with an unredeemed gift voucher for the Smiddy Bistro to take advantage of it before it closes on December 31.


Kilmartin here we come – but not until March. 06_a24fisher01