Thank-you to everyone who tells us how much they like reading The Oak Tree news. We are preparing a new edition at the moment, but thought that in the meantime we would share some news on our website about what we’ve been up to recently in Balmaha.
We are pleased to welcome back returning customers and are always delighted when they notice the results of the changes that we have made. The Oak Tree is true today to the values and ambience of when we first opened in 1997. However, we have not stood still, working continually to improve quality and value right across the business.
The heart of the Oak Tree is of course our restaurant and pub and recently we’ve recently added more local beers, ales and ciders and even our very own exclusive cask strength whisky. For the restaurant we are sourcing more local produce than ever before. The food provenance map (right) shows our support for local producers and desire to provide an authentic and high quality Scottish food experience.
A good example of this is our burgers. We work closely with local butchers, Skinners of Kippen and have developed with them what we are convinced is our best ever burger. Judging by the reaction on Trip Advisor and customer card comments we are not alone in thinking that.
When the Oak Tree opened in 1997 there was an immediate improvement to the environment and atmosphere of the village. We have invested considerably over the years to improve the facades of the buildings. The result is what is arguably is one of the prettiest villages in Scotland.
Working closely with the Tom Weir Memorial Group and The Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, as well as the East Loch Lomond Development Trust we have played our part in the transformational changes to the public areas around the Oak Tree. Well over one hundred thousand people have enjoyed the Tom Weir Memorial Statue and Garden, since it opened a few years ago.
Currently we are introducing a new pontoon into the waters of Balmaha. Our aim is to open up water access and encourage more visits by boat to Balmaha, easing the pressure on the roads and car park. The pontoon will also be the first on the east side of Loch Lomond to have disabled access.
It’s a busy time for St Mocha Coffee Shop too. St Mocha has enjoyed great success over the three years that it has been open. So much so that it will soon begin to roast and retail its own coffee brand, through the newly created Loch Lomond Coffee Co. Watch out too for some exciting news from St Mocha coming soon!!
The aim has been to make Balmaha a year round destination. We could have followed the lead of other tourism businesses and closed over the winter months. That’s not what we want to do though, especially as being one of the areas biggest employers we wish to maintain year round employment as well as provide to the community, such as our village shop.
We are very grateful to our staff who work so hard to keep customers happy. Many of our team have been with us for quite a number of years, with a few with us from the beginning.
It sadly is occasionally mentioned out that we have no competition. That though is not true, there is other accommodation, restaurants etc. located nearby. Also we really understand that customers have a choice. Our philosophy is that if we raise standards as high as we can we will have more returning guests. So for the many of you that regularly return a massive thank-you!