THE restaurant crowned Scotland’s best has backed an innovative new venture – a Scottish tea plantation.

Inver on Loch Fyne – which sits on the shore opposite Old Castle Lachlan on the Cowal peninsula – was named the best restaurant in the country at the 2022 Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards.

The award-winning eatery has now backed a Scottish tea plantation at a nearby farm – one of Scotland’s first – and announced that the plantation’s first blend, The Blackhouse, will be coming soon to Inver’s drinks menu.

READ MORE: Inver: What it was like at the 'best restaurant in Scotland'

Glen Caladh Tea is the brainchild of Argyll locals Duncan and Islay, who moved into a neglected farm on the shores of the Kyles of Bute in 2017.

Both from farming backgrounds, they took a long tea research trip through India and Sri Lanka before coming back to Scotland to start their own tea plantation.

Inver made the announcement on Facebook.

They said: “A Scottish tea plantation! A shoogley dirt-track drive from @inverrestaurant the lovely Islay and Duncan have recently started growing tea, all hand-planted, tended and picked.

“They’re one of 35 tea growing spots in the country, now – it seems camellia sinensis really likes the high humidity, rainfall and variable temperatures here! The Blackhouse is their first blend with @teascotland – malty, slightly smoky, like toasted barley. Delicious. Coming soon to the @inverrestaurant drinks menus."

Carnoustie-born chef Pamela Brunton and her restaurant manager partner Rob Latimer opened Inver in 2015.

While Inver does not have a coveted Michelin Star, it does have a Michelin “green star”, which “recognises sustainable gastronomy and distinguishes restaurants taking responsibility in the conversation of resources and the protection of biodiversity”.