A visit to Scotland isn’t quite complete without a taste of the Scottish larder. Scotland boasts a fantastic range of high quality produce and has world-class restaurants to satisfy the appetite of even the most seasoned gourmand. From delicious meals served in bars and inns, to stylish cafes and charming tearooms, appetite-whetting fish and chip shops, to farm shops and delis stocking fresh, tasty delights and sweet and savoury preserves, a taste of quality Scottish produce is around every corner…
With so much choice, foodies need only look to the new Taste Our Best ‘seal of approval’ from VisitScotland, which guarantees quality and the use of Scottish produce on the menu. Please see a pick of places which invite you to ‘Taste Our Best’…
A genuine, Scottish breakfast awaits visitors to B&Bs and hotels in Scotland, including Cosses Country House in Ballantrae, Ayrshire (owned by Susan Crosthwaite, author of ‘A Country Cook’s Garden in South West Scotland’) where guests can enjoy home-grown, locally-sourced meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. Susan prides herself on providing the very best ‘taste’ of Scotland for her guests:
She said: “I appear to have a sixth sense when it comes to guests that stay with us: we cater to individual requirements and all of the food we use is either grown by us or sourced from Scottish suppliers – whether that’s smoked haddock, or a choice of the 15 varieties of potato in our kitchen garden, fresh herbs and fruit, or meat and fish sourced locally, we really want to provide the ideal ‘home from home’ and taste of Scottish food our guests love.”
Grabbing a bite to eat for lunch couldn’t be easier (or tastier) than with a visit to the Muircot Farm Shop in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire. Muircot is a small family-run dairy farm which has been operating for the past ninety years by four generations of the Wilson family. Borne out of a genuine passion for good wholesome food, the farm comprises a shop selling local and seasonal produce and a coffee shop serving breakfasts, light lunches and lots of delicious homebaking in a relaxed setting with picturesque views over the Ochil Hills.
Whitmuir, the Organic Place, in West Linton in the Scottish Borders, is a small organic farm just 16 miles south of Edinburgh. Visitors can enjoy a meal in the farm’s restaurant where all the food and drink is organic and much of it is grown on the farm. It is straight from the field to the plate, so seasonality and freshness is guaranteed. The menu changes every day depending on the conversations between the chef, the butcher and the head grower.
Enjoy afternoon tea and scones at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, served with jam made fresh on-site. There are two cafés at Mount Stuart, including the traditional tea room in the Victorian Courtyard, situated just a few steps from the main doors of the House, where visitors can sample the fresh home fare, including cakes and scones baked in Mount Stuart’s kitchens. They also offer a selection of hot and cold drinks, soups, snacks and sandwiches prepared using locally sourced ingredients. There is also the café in the visitor centre which has a more extensive menu.
Alternatively when visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia, permanently berthed at Leith in Edinburgh, food lovers can visit the Royal Deck Tea Room, where delicious, freshly prepared, home-made food and stunning views across the Firth of Forth can be enjoyed. Previously a room where the Royal Family enjoyed drinks receptions, sumptuous buffets, or played deck games, it is now the perfect place for a treat with a selection of speciality teas, coffees and a lunch menu.
The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant is situated in Argyll at the point where the mountains meet the sea waters of Loch Fyne. Just over an hour from Glasgow and two hours from Edinburgh, it is a beautiful destination in itself and the perfect place to stop on a journey north or south. The newly refurbished Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant has long been considered a pioneer of the Scottish food and drink story. The company started farming oysters in Loch Fyne in the 1970s and selling direct to the public in a nearby lay-by. The business grew over the years in line with its reputation and it is now synonymous with local, sustainable and above all, delicious produce.
Just that little bit more…
One of the top adventure tour providers in Scotland, Highland Safaris has a café which is the perfect place for a break after a Highland Safari, or to warm-up by the peat burning stove in the winter while enjoying the idyllic outlook over the Appin Valley. Serving coffee, home-baking and a lunch menu, everything is freshly prepared to order and Scottish suppliers are used. Coffee is roasted and ground in Glenlyon; smoked chicken comes from Rannoch; oils and dressings from super healthy rapeseed are produced in Crieff; jams and chutneys come from Galloway and the Aberfeldy Oatmeal Company; not forgetting the hand pressed, award-winning Lochnagar Cheese from Royal Deeside.
Set within rich woodlands in the Aberdeenshire countryside and near the Haddo Trout Lake, Formartine’s in Ellon has a food hall and eatery that offers some of the best in local and seasonal ingredients. Visitors can enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea or just relax with a coffee and cake after a walk in the woods. Another option is to go al fresco with a glass of wine and deli-board on the deck outside!
All of the businesses mentioned have been Taste Our Best accredited. For interviews with any of the businesses mentioned, to enquire about a food & drink press trip to Scotland or for any further information on food and drink in Scotland, please contact:
Consumer PR team
Tel: 0131 472 2030
Notes to Editors
About Taste Our Best
· Taste Our Best is VisitScotland’s new Food and Drink Quality Assurance scheme, designed to encourage more food service businesses to use and promote Scottish produce to give consumers choice. This is in direct response to our consumer research which identified that sampling local produce is the 2nd top activity undertaken by visitors when they are here. Businesses that have the award are committed to serving quality Scottish produce prepared with care and delivered with passion.
· Taste Our Best makes it easier for visitors to find places where they can be sure of a truly Scottish quality eating experience.
· The award is made to hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, visitor attractions, restaurants, cafes and takeaways that meet both the quality and Scottish produce criteria. www.visitscotland.com/tasteourbest
· VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
This copy was correct at the time of going to press. VisitScotland cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by the reliance on the information contained herewith, or in the event of any company, individual or firm ceasing to trade, is hereby excluded.