Food and Drink in the Highlands

Book a self-catering holiday in the Highlands and you can enjoy a wide range of mouth-watering cuisine from the natural larder of the Highlands, from locally caught seafood and artisan cheeses to Aberdeen Angus beef and venison.  You could tour a local distillery and enjoy a dram or two of the region’s world-famous malt whiskies; savour delicious lobster, scallops, langoustines, crab, mussels and other fresh shellfish and fish; and visit one of the many farm shops to stock up on a range of local treats, such as smoked salmon and seasonal berries.  If you don’t feel like eating in, there are fantastic restaurants and cafés to be found across the Highlands where you can savour local food and drink as well as beautiful scenery.

Here are some ideas on where you can buy local produce during your self-catering holiday in the Highlands and sample some of the area’s tastiest food and drink.

Farm Shops

If you’re looking to stock up on fresh vegetables and fruit, meat and fish during your self-catering stay in the Highlands, why not head to a local farm shop?  Just outside Nairn you’ll find Househill Farm Shop, which stocks a range of locally grown vegetables, homebred beef, locally reared organic chicken, lamb and pork, Highland Bay Seafoods, home bakes and much more.  There is also a Courtyard Coffee Shop where you can enjoy some home baking and coffee or a light lunch.

In the Aviemore area you can find a wide selection of home-grown and deli produce at the Rothiemurchas Estate Farm Shop and Deli, including fresh rainbow trout, heather honey, wild venison, Highland beef, artisan cheeses, chutneys and preserves, and black pudding.  There is also a gift shop to explore and the Drurie Restaurant Cafe next door if you’re in need of breakfast, a snack or light lunch.

Over the Kessock Bridge there are delectable treats to be found at both The Storehouse Farm Shop near Dingwall and Robertson’s The Larder Farm Shop just outside Beauly.

The Storehouse stocks meat from their farm as well as a selection of local meats, vegetables, cheese, biscuits, chutneys, home baking (including gluten free cakes) and Orkney Ice Cream.  After browsing the fresh and local produce in the farm shop you could enjoy a refreshment or light lunch in their self-service restaurant (with lovely views over the Cromarty Firth).

At The Larder, Tomich Farm Shop you can purchase free range eggs, home grown potatoes and vegetables (in season), Scottish seafood, and local cheeses and venison.   There is also a Children’s Farm for little ones to explore (open in the summer months).

scottish_cheeseDairy

If you’re a cheese lover, you’re in for a treat in the Highlands – discover delicious and traditional cheeses that are unique to the area.
Connage Highland Dairy is the home of artisan dairy produce, including award-winning organic cheese.  Situated on their family farm at Ardersier, on the coast between Nairn and Inverness, Connage Dairy produces cheese such as Clava brie, smoked Clava, Dunlop (Scottish hard cheese), Crowdie (soft cheese), Cromal (a crumbly traditional farmhouse cheese), Gouda and much more.

Visit the Cheese Pantry to watch the cheese being made though the viewing window and browse the wide selection of their handmade cheeses and selected cheese from Britain and Europe, as well as cheese accompaniments, such as biscuits and chutneys.

The Cheese House Cromarty stock a range of locally produced cheese as well as some of the best Dutch cheese.  You can also pick up chutnies and jams, dried goods, savoury snacks and deli produce such as cured meets and olives.

For those on holiday in Tain, Highland Fine Cheeses produces a range of cheeses at their dairy including Highland Brie, Black Crowdie (rolled in black peppercorns and pinhead oatmeal), Caboc, Highland Crowdie and Strathdon Blue.

Black Isle Dairy, based at The Dairy at Daviot, specialises in homemade Highland ice cream using pasteurised milk from their Black Isle dairy herd.  Choose from around twenty different flavours as well as sorbets and frozen yoghurt.

Seafood

Imagine serving up fresh shellfish for dinner that only 24 hours before was on the seabed.  You can order sumptuous Scottish seafood to be delivered straight to your holiday home from Keltic Seafare, based in Dingwall, whose team of fisherman fish daily in the clear waters of the North West Highlands.  The company specialises in live seafood including hand-dived scallops, creel-caught lobsters and langoustine, and supplies some of the top restaurants in the UK and Paris.  You can also order seasonal treats such as Scottish salmon.

If you’re holidaying in the Ullapool area Ullapool Smokehouse supplies local shops and selected restaurants with traditionally smoked salmon.  You can order place an order online or visit the Ullapool Saturday market to buy award-winning malt whisky cured smoked salmon and maple cure hot-smoked salmon, as well as kippers and oak smoked cheese.

Breweries

As well as its famous distilleries the Highlands is home to a number of fantastic breweries, creators of award-winning beers.  Tour the Black Isle Brewery, Britain’s top organic brewery, making beers from organic malt and hops.  North of Inverness you can also visit the family run Cromarty Brewing Co. and An Teallach Brewery in Ullapool.

Over in Aviemore you can take a tour of the Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore, with its 20 barrel brewhouse, and in Lossiemouth you’ll find the Windswept Brewing Co.

For all brewery visits it is recommended that you call in advance.