For example; Scotland’s 9 Michelin star restaurants. For a gastronomic experience to remember, book a table at one of Scotland’s Michelin-star restaurants. Pick from 9 eateries in superb locations, from four one Michelin star restaurants in Edinburgh to two Michelin-star dining in Perthshire, to the UK’s most northerly Michelin-star restaurant, set within a rugged Highland landscape. You won’t believe the fantastic selection of restaurants and places to eat in Scotland – but you’ll be delighted when you try them! We’re blessed here in Scotland, succulent lamb and beef to wild game and fresh fish, right through to fruit, vegetables, dairy and much more. With such a great list of ingredients to use, relax in a fine contemporary bistro, or cosy up around a pub table for traditional hearty fare. Stop off at a café for fresh baking, or enjoy tasty fish and chips by the harbour.

So here are a few dishes you may have heard of; Cock-A-Leekie Soup – traditionally prepared with chicken, onions and stock, ‘cock-a-leekie’ is great as a starter before a large meal or as a main at lunch time. Serve with a crusty roll or croutons and you have a great dish that ticks all the boxes. The world famous Scotch Egg. Simply wrap a hard-boiled egg with sausage meat and breadcrumbs (if you are cooking for a vegetarian or vegan leave the sausage meat out) and fry before serving. Cullen Skink soup – as the name suggests this soup comes from Cullen and is most popular on the north eastern coast. This traditional soup is prepared using potatoes, onions, haddock and various fish. Clootie Dumpling is great for warming the cockles on those brisk, cold days and evenings. It is made from flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit, suet, sugar, spice and finally milk to bind the ingredients together. It is then left to simmer in a large pan of boiling water, inside a cloth, and then dried in front of a fire or inside an oven. Aberdeen Angus beef! Whether along side ‘tatties’ or in a stew, this meat is truly scrumptious! The meat comes from a special breed of black cattle, which is reared in Angus and Aberdeen, hence the name. Cranachan is a traditional rich and delicious Scottish dessert. It consists of raspberries topped on a concoction of cream, honey, toasted oatmeal and whisky.

OBAN – seafood capital of Scotland. Fantastic restaurants. The farmland in Argyll supports sheep and beef farming – and there are plentiful wild venison and game to keep carnivores happy. Me? Langoustines swimming in garlic butter! The first seafood festival was held in Oban in 1995 and local hotels and restaurants introduced more shellfish onto their menus. The Macleod family at EE USK for example, with over 25 years experience in the seafood industry, have built a restaurant of world renown, shellfish is 100% locally caught. Lobsters and crabs from the rocky coast of Luing (ling). Langoustine, mussels, and oysters from the cold clear water of Loch Linnhe, scallops are mostly from the Isle of Mull. All shellfish comes live to Eeusk and is prepared and cooked on the premises. A huge selection of wet fish is locally caught and served – Halibut, Turbot, Brill, Megrim Lemon and Dover Sole, Ling, Lythe, Hake, Cod, Haddock, Plaice, Monkfish, Gurnard, John Dory, Squid and Octopus. Oh take me there! Another Award Winning Fine Dining Restaurant in Argyll – the Airds stands out, having won just about every award possible over the years. The romantic candlelit restaurant also boasts being one of the longest serving entries in the ‘Good Food’ Guide and has achieved 3 Rosettes with the AA consistently for over 20 years.

So being a wee Oban boy myself, am I biased at all? Aye, but it will not disappoint you, so many grand places to eat, even if you are away on a ferry, there is a shack at the pier serving seafood to go, live lobster, crab and all sorts of delicious goodies. Scotland is unfairly tarnish (by the English) as home of deep fry, aye it can be right, specially in Glasgow where you can get deep fried; mars bars, pizza, haggis, chicken and fish. But our country as a whole serves fantastic food, we have plenty of meats, fruits, veg and of course surrounded by fish! On our tours we recommend places, dine with you and generally suggest the best places – trust us, we live here and like our food! Paul McLean, June 2019

Scottish dessert