Tips for eating and drinking in the Highlands
No holiday, or a walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands for that matter, would be complete without experiencing the best of the region's cuisine. Historically the British Isles, least of all the Scottish Highlands, haven't exactly been renowned for fine dining. However, things have certainly changed in the past couple of decades as tourism has increased in the Highlands the locals have risen to the challenge keen to show-case their local larders. From local venison and salmon featuring on the menus of Michelin-Guide-listed restaurants, to small-batch coffee roasters, a smattering of gin producers, mouth-watering afternoon teas, freshly caught fish and chips, local breweries and of course many whisky distilleries. There is plenty to try, treat your taste buds and sample these regional highlights from the Cairngorms and Perthshire.
- Visit Cafe Calluna in Pitlochry and savour the rich flavours of Glen Lyon coffee, an Aberfeldy based roaster alongside an indulgent brownie or home-baked slice of cake. Why not buy a bag of beans to take home as a souvenir?
- For a sophisticated dining experience we recommend Knockendarroch Hotel's restaurant in Pitlochry. Nibble canapes in the lounge with a pre-dinner drink before a delicious three course meal.
- Buy a freshly baked loaf from the Watermill Tearoom in Blair Atholl for your packed lunch and enjoy a wonderful hillside picnic-lunch with a view.
- The Baronial Dining Room, complete with Minstrel's balcony, in the Atholl Arms of Blair Atholl is the perfect to step back in time while enjoying great local produce from the surrounding Perthshire countryside. Meanwhile the walkers bar at the hotel is the perfect place to relax with a local ale after a day out on the trail.
- Just a 15 minute taxi ride from Aviemore you'll find The Cross at Kingussie restaurant (Michelin Guide-listed and with 3 AA rosettes) - head here for a modern dining experience.
- Fancy a beer? Well, technically it's ale, but Cairngorm Brewery located in Aviemore produces a range of core and seasonal ales. Visit their shop to sample as part of a tasting session, or purchase in a local pub after your day's walk.