Quality culinary experiences abound in the Scottish Highlands. Chefs in this area have bounties on their doorsteps, from incredible, fresh seafood to venison, foraged wild berries and more, there’s plenty to be found for all palates, and you’re sure to leave Scotland with more than your fond memories of hitting the links.
Whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience prepared by internationally revered chefs, or you want to tuck into some quality, fresh from the wave seafood, these are some of our suggestions for quality food in the Highlands:
Links House at Royal Dornoch
As part of our Highlands golfing experience, our golfers get the chance to play the 18-hole course at Royal Dornoch, where golfers have been swinging their clubs since at least 1616. What better way then, to finish a day on this grand old course, than with an excellent meal at the country manor Links House with views of the first tee, surrounded by fellow golfers? The restaurant at the Links House is led by Head Chef Javi Santos, who trained under Michel Roux. It is rated one of the top dining experiences in all of Scotland and, with dishes including fresh Dornoch mussels and game from Bonar Bridge paired with carefully chosen selections from their vast wine cellar, it’s easy to see why.
To the south of the Highlands, amongst the evergreens and lochs in the foothills of Ben Nevis, there emerges a great, grey stone building – Inverlochy Castle. To dine at Inverlochy Castle, which has been awarded 3 AA Red Rosettes and once hosted Queen Victoria herself, is a truly special occasion. The three dining rooms, decorated with period furniture gifted from the King of Norway, are run by the experienced hands of Albert and Michel Roux Jr. Their menu features British cuisine with the French influences that the Roux father and son are so famous for, with dishes including whisky barrel smoked Loch Fyne salmon, roasted wild stone bass and peppercorn crusted duck breast.
Inner-city dining at its finest, Rocpool is one of the highest rated restaurants in Inverness. This family-owned, contemporary brasseries takes Scottish ingredients and shoots them through with a little international inspiration, creating exciting new takes on well-known dishes. For example, on their early evening menu, you’ll find an escalope of organic Shetland salmon with smoked haddock kedgeree paired with coriander scented basmati rice and a soft boiled egg. Situated on the River Ness with views of Inverness Castle through their bistro-style windows, Rocpool is a popular spot to go for a special meal out, so be sure to book ahead.
Coul House Hotel
On the road west out of Inverness, out in Contin, you’ll find Coul House Hotel and their exquisite dining room. The chefs at Coul House offer contemporary Scottish dining alongside more traditional dishes – if you want to sample a fillet of prime Scottish beef, then this is the place to do it. If you’re not looking for a full meal, take some time to linger over their afternoon tea menu for a refined British experience as you take in the Gothic architecture of the house and learn more of its history, including an unusual link to the top seat in Australian politics.
Right in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, the perfect place to stop into after a few hours taking in the splendour of the Park, is Anderson’s Restaurant. The team at Anderson’s are proud to be put their dishes together using locally sourced ingredients; they want you to come in, relax and savour every bite of their creative dishes. The menu shifts with what is available throughout the year, but you could find yourself enjoying anything from a 6oz venison haunch steak with handcut chips to a wild mushroom, chestnut and thyme risotto. A great way to finish your meal at Anderson’s is with a Scottish Cheeseboard, featuring Scottish cheeses such as Clava Brie, Blue Murder and Malt Whiskey Cheddar.
River House Restaurant
Situated just below the Greig Street suspension bridge, River House specialise in crafting amazing dishes from locally caught seafood and shellfish, including oysters, mussels, crab, bass and plenty more depending on the season. Drop into River House in the afternoon and you’ll be given their Cichetti menu, offering up small seafood and meat plates. Head Chef Allan ‘Alfie’ Little is Cornish born and bred, but he’s been very involved in Highland food for years. Having grown up on the coast himself, he has a great respect for the sea and pride in working with local fishermen and farmers to source the ingredients for his menus. River House do an oyster hour every Friday from 5.30 – 6.30, where you can eat oysters for £1 each whilst taking in views of the river and great Victorian suspension bridge.
Be sure to book one of our Highlands golfing packages to experience some of the best restaurants in the Scottish Highlands.