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Pub of the week: Ben Nevis Bar.

What's it like?

Known locally as "The Jack", after The Jacobite Lounge inside, it has been serving ale since 1806. There is often live music in the lounge. Further entertainment is provided by a resident ghost called Mary, who is blamed for mischief.

What's the decor like?

Oak beams are inscribed with words of widsom. The public bar attracts a younger clientele with its pool table, dartboard and juke box. The upstairs Munro Restaurant has window seats with great views across Loch Linnhe, especially on nice summer evenings when the sun is setting.

What about the punters?

A good mix from mountaineers, skiers and walkers to the young and trendy. In winter, a roaring log fire is always surrounded by locals, while in summer, the pub is buzzing with visitors from all over the world. The area is popular with film-makers and TV producers, so it has had its fair share of celebrities at the bar, including Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson, and, recently the cast of the new BBC1 series Rockface.

What is the food like?

Mostly good, hearty Scottish fare at reasonable prices. Lounge bar meals are available until 5pm. The restaurant serves food up till 10pm. Homemade soup, local trout, salmon and steaks are the most popular choices.

What about the staff?

Fay Houghton and her team have been in charge for the last eight years. At the height of the season, she has 60 staff on the rota. They look forward to the annual knees-up at the start of each year when management close the premises for a day to thank them for their hard graft.

Quiz Night?

Yes, and very popular it is every Sunday evening.

VENUE: Ben Nevis Bar, High Street, Fort William.

FACTS: Regulars can get two lunches for pounds 5. Miller or McEwan's lager 70/, pounds 1.90; Smirnoff vodka, Bell's whisky or Gordon's gin, pounds 1.95 for a double; wine (175ml) pounds 1.95.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:The Weeks Best
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 17, 2002
Words:323
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