The Cairngorms is an area not only of diverse landscapes and rich heritage but also a place where exceptional food and drink is grown, reared and produced. Dramatic, rugged and wild, the nature of the landscape nurtured in the Cairngorms is reflected in the food and drink within it. Few regions in Scotland encapsulate the traditional and world famous cuisine of the country as well as the Cairngorms: venison from deer that range across the hills, beef from Highland cattle and hardy rare breeds, salmon and trout from pristine rivers and lochs and whisky from age-old distilleries. There is a great selection of cafes and restaurants if you choose to venture out and there are many wonderful sources of local produce that you can find should you prefer a cosy night in the cottage.
The Druie, Rothiemurchus – right on your doorstep, next door to the Rothiemurchus Centre is the Druie Restaurant and Café. Contemporary décor (they used the same interior designer as Loch an Eilein Cottage), this cosy and friendly café sell arguably the best coffee in the Highlands. This is a great eatery for coffee and cake or a delicious meal. They predominantly use produce from the Rothiemurchus Estate. They can also provide great packed lunches that you can order in advance.
The Potting Shed Tearoom, Inshriach – only a 10-minute drive from the cottage, this is a glorious little find where you can choose from a selection of teas and delicious cakes. They have a viewing area, which overlooks their wildlife feeding station providing the rare opportunity to watch an array of birds and red squirrels while sipping your tea.
The Mountain Café, Aviemore – for many frequent visitors it’s almost impossible to visit the area without a breakfast or coffee and cake in the multi-award winning Mountain Café. You often need to wait for a table (they don’t take bookings) but it is worth the wait.
Carrbridge Kitchen, Carrbridge – this is a relatively new café to add to the local café scene but since opening in April 2015 it has become popular with both locals and holidaymakers alike. They have started opening some evenings for dinner but it is worth checking in advance to find out when they are open.
High St. Merchants, Grantown-on-Spey – Grantown is a beautiful historic town which is well worth a visit, even more so now that this wonderful, unique café and gallery is established on the High Street. They pride themselves in using organic, fair trade, and locally sourced products where ever they can. The gallery exhibits the exquisite work of local artists and changes throughout the year.
The Druie Restaurant and Cafe, Rothiemurchus – right on your doorstep, next door to the Rothiemurchus Centre is the Druie Café where you will be able to choose from a tempting wholesome menu. They predominantly use produce from the Rothiemurchus Estate.
Muckrach Country House Hotel, Dulnain Bridge – this brasserie-style restaurant is the newest addition to the local restaurant scene and will take about 20-minutes to reach from the cottage. The dishes are simple and yet stylish and delicious as they are made using the finest local ingredients sourced from the Scottish Highlands. They serve food all day and pride themselves in giving every guest a memorable experience. Booking is recommended.
The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore – the closest restaurant to the cottage, this cosy, candle-lit restaurant sits on the banks of the River Spey. They work closely with local farmers and suppliers, to keep the menu as full of local delights as possible. They also have a cosy bar area where you can eat and drink nestled by the open fire. The Old Bridge is a popular venue with both locals and tourists so booking is recommended.
The Cross, Kingussie – this exclusive restaurant is around a 20-minute drive from the cottage and is well worth the journey. They offer a three-course menu with several choices for each course or you can select their six-course signature tasting menu. Both menus change regularly and are designed around the best of the seasonal produce which they source as much as possible from Scotland’s wonderful larder. The Cross is the perfect setting to celebrate a special occasion or simply an opportunity to sample some quality local cuisine. It’s essential to book so that you don’t miss out.
Andersons Restaurant, Boat of Garten – this relaxed and informal bistro style restaurant is about a 15-minute drive from the cottage. They are committed to using local Scottish produce when it is in season, which means their menu changes each month, as do their daily specials. Nick Nairn recommends Andersons so it must be worth trying! In peak season booking is essential and be aware that they are usually closed on Tuesdays.
For a very memorable evening, let our chef create, cook and serve you a bespoke menu in the comfort of the cottage, leaving you to relax and spend time together.
Using the best quality locally sourced ingredients, you chef will come to the cottage to prepare, cook and serve a delicious meal tailored to your tastes.
It is extremely fortuitous for food lovers that the Highlands of Scotland offer a superb natural larder, from fresh locally caught seafood and succulent game meats, to world-renowned whiskies, artisan cheeses and delicious seasonal berries. You can discover the range of local food producers and attractions across the Highlands by sampling the finest foods in restaurants, farm shops and markets across the region.
If you enjoy cooking, you may like to pick up your own local ingredients and create some delicious meals yourself in the comfort of the cottage. The Rothiemurchus Farm Shop and Deli has an array of produce for your culinary creations including beef from Highland Cattle, venison, trout, artisan cheeses and preserves. There are also some farmers' markets and other specialist food shops in the local area. The Cairngorms Farmers Market is the closest farmers' market to home with regular dates throughout the summer.