With an abundance of natural resources, both surf and turf, Scotland boasts a long list of foodie treats. The autumn heralds a particularly bumper harvest making September the perfect time for short breaks in Scotland with a foodie twist.
To give you some inspiration, in this article we look at the Scottish restaurants with the world’s highest culinary accolade, a Michelin star. And to round off your short break, we suggest large holiday homes in Scotland, with room for everyone, however much they’ve eaten!
For a small country, there is a sizeable list of Michelin star restaurants in Scotland. The awards (announced October each year) name multiple Scottish venues worthy of the ultimate culinary recognition. They’re scattered throughout the country, although the capital Edinburgh took the lion’s share in 2018 with 4 Michelin star restaurants.
NB: Martin Wishart’s restaurant on the banks of Loch Lomond – possibly the most Scottish of all the venues – is under refurbishment and due to reopen in autumn 2019. Albannach, tucked away in the Highlands and one of the country’s longest-running Michelin establishments closed in November 2018. Its proprietors, Colin Craig and Lesley Crosfield, have opened up a new venue at The Caberfeidh, probably in the running for the next round of Michelin star winners due later this autumn. Watch this space!
Dining out on short breaks in Scotland at venues with more than one Michelin star is only possible at Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles. And although restaurant world bade an emotional farewell to Fairlie early in 2019 when he lost his battle with a brain tumour, his cooking excellence lives on through his team at the restaurant honouring his name. This is currently the only Scottish restaurant to boast two stars. The setting is, of course, stunning with the best of Scottish scenery on the doorstep.
As well as picturesque surroundings, prepare for delicious food. Fairlie has strong French influences so expect a good smattering of French terms on the menu plus plenty of seasonal cooking. Try his signature smoked lobster, infused over whisky barrels for a full 12 hours or the Highland lamb or venison. The restaurant serves evening meals only and as you would expect, booking is strongly advised.
Group accommodation in Scotland near Gleneagles
You’ll want accommodation on a par with your dining, which is why this magnificent large holiday house in Scotland ticks all the boxes. The main house whose views stretch to 16 Munros, sleeps 13 but there’s actually room for 21 and in luxury. There’s even a 4-oven AGA for your own Michelin-star creations.
Edinburgh foodie feasts
Scotland’s capital runs to no less than 4 Michelin-starred restaurants, all well worth a visit when you’re in Edinburgh. For a taste of the best in Scottish cooking, head for:
With chef Paul Kitching at the helm, this foodie paradise has a lovely setting in one of Edinburgh’s classic Georgian terraced houses. The menu at 21212 changes weekly so expect plenty of variety. Ingredients are locally sourced and have a strong Scottish accent, although French cooking also plays a major part in the creation. Dishes such as haggis risotto feature on the menu and the wine list runs very long.
On the waterfront at Leith, Kitchin is run by Michaela at front of house and Tom Kitchin in, well, the kitchen. He’s Scotland’s youngest chef to win a Michelin star (he was 29 when he first received the accolade) and specialises in “From Nature to Plate” cooking.
Try the Chef’s Celebration of the Season menu, which this autumn features ceps from the Borders, hand-dived scallops from Orkney and Highland grouse. Or take a culinary chance and go for the Surprise Tasting Menu in both meat eater and vegetarian versions.
At Edinburgh’s iconic hotel, The Balmoral, Number One is also one of the city’s emblematic restaurants. Chef Jeff Bland has held his Michelin star for 16 years, awarded for his stylish Scottish cooking. Expect to find dishes such as smoked salmon, quail’s egg and caviar on the menu, served in modern interiors.
Restaurant Martin Wishart
Local chef Martin Wishart has something of a talent for Michelin stars having held this one since 2001 and his Loch Lomond restaurant also holds a star. He trained under the hallowed Albert Roux and Michel Roux, and it shows. He says he’s “passionate about Scottish produce”, so delicacies such as Shetland squid and Orkney lobster make regular appearances on his menu served at the venue on the Leith waterfront. He also cooks up a 6-course vegetarian menu.
Large holiday houses in Scotland near Edinburgh
To make the most of your foodie break in Edinburgh, how about staying in the equivalently luxurious accommodation? Conveniently located just 30 minutes from the city, this deluxe holiday home sleeps 12 in the lap of luxury and comes complete with heated indoor pool, butler and housekeeper. You can even hire a private chef for your own private foodie feasts.
Not too far from Edinburgh and on the way to the world’s most famous golf course, The Peat Inn is a must-visit for foodies. With chef Geoffrey Smeddie at the range, Scottish ingredients come right into the limelight on this menu. Expect treats such as Scottish girolles, Baldinnie quail eggs and East Neuk wood pigeon. Finish with a flourish of Scotland with the Crèmeux of Scottish “bean to bar” dark chocolate dessert.
Also in Fife is The Cellar at Anstruther. Run by local chef Billy Boytor who trained with the best, The Cellar has just 7 tables serving one tasting menu. Boytor champions local produce and creates dishes with “foraged ingredients from our coastline and countryside”. Expect dishes such as smoked mussel mousse, Highland beef tartare and barley pudding.
Where to stay in Fife
After your feast, why better to stay than in a medieval castle? This one includes a Great Hall, a Minstrel’s Gallery and a walled viewing tower. Perfect for group accommodation, it sleeps up to 14 with all the mod cons.
Foodie short breaks in Ayrshire
Your choice for Michelin-star gourmet treats in this part of Scotland run to just one, but Braidwoods is definitely worth seeking out. The Keith and Nicola Braidwood team have held the accolade for 19 consecutive years so they must be doing something extremely well.
The setting couldn’t be more Scottish – this restaurant is part of a traditional crofter’s cottage – and the menu takes a very local stance too. Hand-dived West Coast scallops and roast quail breasts are regular dishes and don’t miss the handmade chocolates to finish.
Where to stay near Braidwoods
And for your large holiday house in Scotland to sample this Michelin star restaurant, how about a restored 15th century castle with lofty views of Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Arran? With four poster beds for everyone, turnpike stairs and stone flagon floors, a genuine Scottish experience awaits you and your 11 guests.
One of Scotland’s most dramatic landscapes is also home to a Michelin treat. Boath House in Nairn offers dishes made with organic food including fruit and veg from the garden, cooked according to the Slow Food principles. The menu changes according to what’s at the market so expect a good variety of daily specials. And if Scotch whisky is your thing, this is your restaurant – the single malt list runs very, very long.
Where to stay near Boath House
Seeing as the specials change daily, you’ll want to return to sample more. Perhaps the perfect large holiday home, this 16th century castle sits just down the road from Nairn. All 14 guests can make the most of stunning period interiors in the Laird’s Wing as well as the extensive grounds for walking off all that lunch.
Between them, Scotland’s many isles and islands run to just one Michelin starred restaurant. But Loch Bay, perched on the northwest corner of Skye in the fishing village of Stein, is worth seeking out. Chef Michael Smith received his first Michelin star this year on the back of his prime Scottish produce cooked à la français. On the menu are Bay Fish Soup, Highland wood pigeon with neep remoulade, seafood galore and the ultimate indulgence, triple cooked chips.
Large holiday home on Skye
Just a stone’s throw from Stein lies this lovely Scottish holiday home, the perfect retreat for all 12 of you. With 3 acres of its own land at the end of a peninsula, the house looks out across the sea loch to Dunvegan Castle.
Peckish? Desperate for a break? We’re fuelling short breaks in Scotland – come with us!
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