Tips for eating and drinking in the Highlands
No holiday would be complete without sampling 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, and as tourism has increased in the Highlands the locals have risen to the challenge keen to showcase local specialties. Try everything from sophisticated cuisine 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, craft breweries and of course an array of whisky distilleries. There is plenty to go around! 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, accompanied by an indulgent brownie or home-baked slice of cake. Why not also buy a bag of beans to take home as a souvenir?
- For a refined 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 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 allows you 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 to sample local cuisine with a deliciously modern twist.
- Fancy a beer? Well, technically it's ale, but Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore produces a range of hoppy seasonal ales. Visit their shop to for a tasting session, or sample in a local pub after your day out on the trail.