Relish Scotland (Third Helping) is an appetising and very tasty Travel Guide for gourmands

oliver twistChild as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:

‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel and then clung for support to the copper. ‘What!’ said the master at length, in a faint voice.
‘Please, sir,’ replied Oliver, ‘I want some more.’

Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist.

It was in 2009 when Relish Publications was launched by food lovers Duncan and Teresa Peters, a series of Regional guides to the best restaurants across the UK. Relish Scotland (2010) was followed by Relish Scotland (Second Helping, 2013).   And now, rather like Oliver, hungry for more of the same, restaurateurs and readers have asked for Relish Scotland (Third Helping), just hot off the Press – or should I say, hot off the Grill.!

Layout 1Scotland is a food lover’s dream destination. Farmland, Highland moors, rivers, lochs and sea provide prime produce which is a global best-seller – Exports to the US, Singapore, Japan, Middle East and across Europe now reach £1.1 Billion. If you add Scotch Whisky and Gin, Food and Drink exports totals over £5 Billion.

Relish Scotland (Third Helping) takes us on a road trip across Scotland, from Ayrshire to Argyll, Edinburgh to Skye, Fife to the Hebrides to the best places to stay and eat.

Here are a few of my own favourite hotels, restaurants, bars and bistros which I am delighted to say are included in this book.

Kinloch Lodge, Isle of Skye

Kinloch Lodge, Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is an ancient land of wild scenic beauty, outdoor adventures, hill climbing, whisky bars and romantic hotels.

Kinloch Lodge is the ancestral home of Lord and Lady Macdonald, welcoming guests for over 40 years, with exemplary hospitality and house party ambience on the shores of Loch na Dal.

Kinloch Lodge - a G&T in the cosy lounge before dinner?

Kinloch Lodge – drinks are served in the cosy lounge before dinner

Marcello Tully, the Michelin starred Head Chef creates an innovative tasting menu of local Langoustines, Rabbit stuffed with venison and prunes, Mallaig Hake and Mussels, Chocolate Ganache, with wine or whisky flights to complement each course.  The next morning, experience a classic breakfast fit for a King. Residential Cookery courses from Lady Claire Macdonald too.

The Torridon is a former Victorian shooting lodge, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks in Wester Ross –a twice winner of the top award, Scottish Hotel of the Year.  Luxurious bedrooms,  superlative cuisine and wonderful country sports for the perfect rural retreat.

The Torridon

The Torridon

Chef David Barnett is able to source beef from the hotel’s herd of cattle, pork from their own Tamworth pigs, Estate venison and fish from Gairloch. Speciality dishes include Isle of Ewe Smoked Haddock ravioli, Roast Grouse & Savoy cabbage, Malt whisky parfait with fresh raspberries for a true taste of the Highlands.

Heading over to the Moray Firth, Boath House, is an art-filled Georgian mansion owned and personally created with care by Wendy and Don Mathieson. Based on the Slow Food ethos, the cuisine is always seasonal and local – lamb, beef, shellfish and artisan cheese. The kitchen garden supplies vegetables, herbs, salads, flowers and fruit.

Boath House - fine art and Michelin star dining

Beautiful Boath House – fine art, tranquil gardens and Michelin star dining

Head Chef Charles Lockley goes foraging for wild leaves, mushrooms, berries and flowers and bread, ice creams, jams and biscuits are home-made. A distinctive Michelin Star dining experience – and for breakfast too!

Perthshire is a wonderful county for outdoor sports, fishing, shooting and woodland walks.  Ballathie House is a traditional country house with a warm, welcoming hospitality from afternoon tea in the lounge to a G&T in the Bar before dinner.  ballathie hotel

Start perhaps with Terrine of Salmon and Sole followed by Venison with butternut squash fondant. Head Chef Scott Scorer and his team work with the gamekeeper and ghillie to source Ballathie Estate beef and lamb and freshly caught fish from the River Tay.

Scott Scorer and Chefs, Ballathie

Scott Scorer and his team of chefs, Ballathie

Pitlochry is a year round visitor destination thanks to the Festival Theatre, Erdradour Distillery, House of Bruar (Harrods of the North), and fine places to stay.

Fonab Castle

Fonab Castle

Fonab Castle is a stunning redstone turreted hotel on Loch Faskally with two restaurants, the casual brasserie and Sandemans for fine dining. Selected dishes in the book include Beef Fillet with Foie Gras & Morel mushrooms, and finish with a palate cleansing Lemon Posset and sorbet.  Head Chef Paul Burns goes foraging for wild mushrooms in the woodlands nearby and picks berries through the summer.

Table with a view at Fonab Castle

Table with a view at Fonab Castle

Look at this fabulous scenery over loch and forested hills as you enjoy a superb dinner.  Fonab Castle is the place for a time at leisure – culture, sports, touring around by day, relax in the Spa and experience fine wines and cuisine.

Set off again south to Fife an the quaint historic town of St. Andrew. The Old Course Hotel, is described as “ the home of Scottish cuisine in the home of Golf,” under Executive Chef, Martin Hollis.

As part of five venues to eat and drink at the Resort, do visit the Road Hole Bar (specialising in 250 whiskies, Scottish Caorunn gin and classic Cocktails) and the adjoining romantic Restaurant, both with stunning views over the golf course and West Sands beach beyond.

Road Hole Restaurant,  overlooking Old Course, St. Andrews

Road Hole Restaurant,
overlooking Old Course, St. Andrews

Hollis strongly advocates Food From Fife, following a seasonal calendar to serve fresh produce from crab to asparagus. Signature dishes include East Neuk Lobster and Heather honey parfait with home-grown rhubarb sorbet.

The buzzing Adamson bar and brasserie

The buzzing Adamson bar and brasserie

The Adamson is a popular place for local residents, students and golfers to St. Andrews, the decorative Brasserie now extended with a new Bar. The selected starter is Quail, Sweetcorn, Soy and Mushroom Broth, garnished with a soft quail’s egg on the top.

Explore further around Fife – eating well all the way; warmly recommended is the Peat Inn, dating back to the 1750s, now a Michelin starred Restaurant with Rooms run by Geoffrey and Katherine Smeddle – so the best plan is to stay the night, or two, after a sumptuous dinner of Warm Duck salad and Roast salmon.

Relax, eat, drink and sleep at the historic Peat Inn

Relax, eat, drink and sleep at the historic Peat Inn

Let’s now zoom south east, over to the tranquil countryside and seashore of Dumfries and Galloway. Knockinaam Lodge is the place for a peaceful getaway – log fires, antiques, lovely bedrooms, vintage bathrooms and sea views.

knockinaam on the seashore

Knockinaam Lodge located near the seashore

Winston Churchill stayed here for wartime meetings with Eisenhower. Head Chef Tony Pierce has held a Michelin star here for 20 years for his classic French menu: Galloway Roe deer, scallops, lobster, with garlic, aubergine, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, courgette flowers and peas grown in the kitchen garden.

Just outside Glasgow, on the banks of River Clyde, Mar Hall is a five star Golf and Spa Resort.  It is sumptuously furnished with original period architectural features.

The elegant Crystal Restaurant overlooks the garden.  Head Chef Jonny MacCallum and his team prepare such dishes as Roast loin of Lamb and Cranachan Souffle – modern Scottish cuisine indeed.

Grand Victorian design, Mar Hall

Grand Victorian design, Mar Hall

Edinburgh is home to several Michelin star restaurants – The Kitchin, Number One, Martin Wishart, 21212., Castle Terrace. Profile interviews with all these superlative chefs are featured in Relish Scotland.

Tom Kitchin in The Kitchin

Tom Kitchin in his newly expanded retaurant,  The Kitchin

Superb eating and drinking in Bars and Bistros around the city; On The Shore, Leith the charming old waterside pub, The Ship on the Shore is a classy place with a Champagne Bar and seafood Restaurant – Crustacean and Molluscs, classic Fruit de Mer platters, Fish Pie, Bar meals and Sunday Brunch.

The Ship on the Shore, Leith

The Ship on the Shore, Leith with champagne bar and lobster platters

In the urban village of Stockbridge, eat and drink well at the welcoming Hamilton’s Bar & Kitchen. Lunch: Salads, Burgers, Fishcakes, gourmet sandwiches & chunky chips; Dinner: Ale battered Oysters, Venison & Haggis fritters; Cool cocktails and Hamilton’s own label wine.  I am just so pleased I live five minutes walk away from here – my Local!

Hamilton's Bar and Kitchen

Hamilton’s Bar and Kitchen

This new edition of Relish Scotland is an excellent, appetising guide to a handpicked selection of restaurants. Stunning colour photographs illustrate locations, interior designs and the Kitchen brigade.  It’s also a Cook Book of Recipes including suggestions for paired wines for the reader to prepare Masterchef and Michelin Star meals at home.  Pick up a copy and plan your foodie tour of Scotland soon!

Relish Publications – details of all the books @

Chefs celebrate the new Relish Scotland at the Old Course Hotel, St. Andews

Chefs celebrate the new Relish Scotland at the Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews

About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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