So where best to sample the delights of Scotland’s incredible larder and talented chefs? For all we are associated with deep-fried foods Scotland is in actual fact a foodie paradise, with countless superb restaurants in every nook and cranny of the land, serving up fine dining and authentic local dishes. Indeed, one of the world’s greatest and most famous chefs, Gordon Ramsay, is a proud Scot.
Food features heavily in a Carlowrie Club Vacation Experiences, nowhere more so than at Carlowrie Castle itself. Our award-winning head chef Iain MacDonald has crafted his skills in some of the finest kitchens in the country and he and his team are always pushing for Carlowrie to be at the forefront of Scotland’s thriving culinary scene. Consequently, our guests enjoy an eclectic and delicious variety of dining options, from fine dining to authentic local and from tasting menus to traditional ‘Burns Suppers’. But out with Carlowrie there are many exquisite flavours to be enjoyed.
Scotland has 9 Michelin Star restaurants throughout the country, 4 of which are right on our doorstep in Edinburgh with the remainder spread throughout Fife, Ayrshire, Perthshire and The Highlands.
Here is the lowdown on Scotland’s Michelin Star trail:
Number One (Edinburgh)
Known as Edinburgh’s culinary landmark, Number One is located in the prestigious Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street and is owned by Executive Chef Jeff Bland, with Head Chef Brian Grigor overseeing the kitchen, and has be awarded a Michelin star for 14 consecutive years. The emphasis is on creative dishes which promote the best of Scotland by using on the finest and freshest Scottish ingredients. Favourite dishes include Borders roe deer with rainbow chard, hazelnuts and pistachio; Blairgowrie beef with pearls barley, tender stem broccoli and bordelaise as well as Scottish crab with heirloom tomatoes, black olives and basil.
The Kitchin (Edinburgh)
Situated on Edinburgh’s stylish waterfront, The Kitchin was opened in 2006 by husband and wife Tom and Michaela Kitchin and produces modern British seasonal cuisine inspired by French cooking techniques and using Scotland’s fantastic natural larder. Tom’s philosophy is ‘From Nature to Plate’ and his cooking reflects his training under some of the world’s greatest chefs.
A luxurious fine dining restaurant operated by Paul Kitching, 21212 offers a unique experience, with a 5-course gourmet menu with 2 choices at each of the main stages, hence the name 21212.
Restaurant Martin Wishart (Edinburgh)
Opened in 1999 in the historic Port of Leith, Martin combines the finest Scottish ingredients with the very best traditional and modern French cuisine. Restaurant Martin Wishart was first award a Michelin Star in 2001 and has been every year since, offering superb cuisine and a calm and welcoming ambience.
Peat Inn Restaurant (Peat Inn Village, Fife)
An 18th century restaurant with rooms located in Peat Inn village, near St Andrews, the restaurant consists of three elegant dining rooms, an atmosphere of relaxed refinement and friendly, attentive service. Diners will enjoy modern cuisine based on classical techniques, using outstanding Scottish ingredients which are sympathetically handled to ensure dishes of terrific flavours and striking presentation.
The Cellar (Anstruther, Fife)
The Cellar takes a unique approach to dining, offering just one tasting menu, inspired by seasonal Scottish produce and locally foraged ingredients from the nearby coastline and countryside. Under Executive Chef Bill Boyter, The Cellar pride themselves on creating a purposefully designed and thoughtful dining experience.
Braidwoods (Dalry, Ayrshire)
Run by husband and with team Keith and Nicola Braidwood, Braidwoods is not just the only Ayrshire restaurant to possess a Michelin Star but is the longest running Michelin Star holder in Scotland, having achieved this accolade for 20 consecutive years. At the heart of their philosophy is a devotion to the finest ingredients, most sourced locally, and a respect for the traditions of haute-cuisine, which they list as: painstaking preparation, freshly made stocks and sauces and terrific attention to detail. This tradition is blended with a creative flare and modern twists on classic themes. Locally caught seafood, Scottish lamb, deer and game-birds are staples of the ever-changing menu.
Andrew Fairlie (Gleneagles, Perthshire)
The only Two Star restaurant in Scotland, Andrew Fairlie creates signature dishes in an intimate restaurant where every detail has been meticulously planned to create a truly special experience, from the leather of the menus and innovative original art through to the specially selected French cheeses and Scottish-grown herbs. Many of Andrew’s dishes from his gourmet menu feature ingredients from the famous Rungis market outside Paris, as well as local suppliers. His signature dish is ‘Smoked Lobster’, which involves smoking lobster shells over old whisky barrels for up to twelve hours.
Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant (Stein, Isle of Skye)
An inimitable restaurant with a legendary reputation, the emphasis is on the freshest fish, using as much local produce as possible, simply cooked. The atmosphere is welcoming, friendly and informal, with a professional edge to service. The a la carte menu is supplemented by an ever-changing blackboard of specials. Here, the fish is simply cooked without being spoilt by over complication, the ethos being that the true flavours are allowed to come through without embellishment for the sake of originality.
Scotland’s culinary scene is thriving, and locals and visitors alike are spoilt for choice by top quality restaurants which operate at just below Michelin Star level or, in some cases, at that level but intentionally removed from the qualifying process, the criteria being deemed pointless, as demonstrated by the wonderful Boath House, near Nairn in the Highlands. Finnieston in Glasgow is fast becoming a home for outstanding independent dining and some of the biggest names in the culinary world, the likes of The Ivy, Alain Roux (Brasserie Prince, The Balmoral Hotel), Gaucho and Marco Pierre White have added to Edinburgh’s exceptional dining opportunities.
Here are a few of our recommendations:
The Three Chimneys (Isle of Skye)
Named restaurant of the year in the 2018 Good Food Guide, this is a legendary restaurant which routinely features in the annual survey of the World’s Top 50 restaurants, is perennially on the list of food writers must visits and is a favourite of Hollywood A listers.
The Gannet (Glasgow)
A modern, stripped-back hipster vibe makes The Gannet a vibrant destination with menus which celebrate the best of Scottish produce, dictated by the rhythms of the British seasons.
The Ubiquitous Chip (Glasgow)
A Glasgow institution, it is known as the birthplace of modern dining in the city, with inspiration drawn from regional Scottish dishes.
The Albannach (Sutherland)
Formerly the UK’s most northerly Michelin Star restaurant, chef proprietors Colin Craig and Lesley Crosfield withdrew The Albannach from consideration for the award to focus on what matters most; a warm highland welcome and delicious dishes, with locally foraged ingredients and the freshest local wild sea fish.
A proper seafood restaurant in Edinburgh’s Old Town, with a warm atmosphere where patrons can roll up their sleeves and relax, Ondine offers the finest seafood and shellfish from the East of Scotland and beyond.
Boath House (Nairn)
Formerly possessing a Michelin Star, Boath House removed itself from consideration to focus on the dining experience rather than criteria. Suffice to say the food on offer remains at that standard. The inviting restaurant offers views over a lawn to a lake and produces delicious, fresh and local food using local and ethically sourced produce.
The Witchery by the Castle (Edinburgh)
Hidden in a collection of historic buildings at the gates to Edinburgh Castle, James Thomson’s Witchery is the most spectacularly atmospheric dining destination in the city, with stunning decor and legendary food ensuring it has become a much-loved Edinburgh institution.