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A Taste of Speyside

With its one-of-a-kind Malt Whisky Trail, fabulous artisan producers and retailers, lovely farm shops and scrumptious fresh seafood, Speyside is an ideal food and drink destination.  From dining at restaurants like Boath House, with its Michelin star chef, to stocking up on delicious local produce at delis such as the Spey Larder in Aberlour, a foodie holiday in Greater Speyside is a real treat for the tastebuds.

Gin Trail

As well as the only Malt Whisky Trail of its kind in the world, did you know that Greater Speyside is home to three destinations on the Scotland Gin TrailCaorunn Gin at Balmenach Distillery in Cromdale, Crossbill Gin in Aviemore and Gordon Castle in Fochabers.

In the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Caorunn Gin is handcrafted at Balmenach Distillery using crystal clear water and locally foraged botanicals.  Visits are by appointment only.

Crossbill, also in the National Park, is the only gin made from 100% Scottish juniper since reviving the juniper industry with the help of Forestry Commision Scotland and PlantLife.org.  The distillery is a former hen house, which won Channel 4’s Shed of the Year in 2015.  Visits are also by appointment only.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden stocks Gordon Castle Gin and you can visit the walled garden where the botanicals for the gin are grown.  The largest productive walled garden in Scotland is also the main source for the cafe, with a menu that changes with the seasons and includes locally sourced meat and seafood.

Seafood

With its edge along the Moray Firth you’d be right to expect lovely fresh seafood during a stay in the area and there are a number of restaurants, pubs and cafes where you can enjoy fresh seafood.  If you’re looking for a coastal setting to enjoy some fresh fish dishes, there are a range of options including Harbour Lights in Lossiemouth, the Bothy Bistro in Burghead, the Sun Dancer Restaurant in Nairn, the Seafood Cafe at the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club and the Kimberley Inn in Findhorn.

Make sure you also sample some Cullen Skink – a thick fish and potato soup which takes its name from Cullen, a village on the Moray Coast.

Malt Whisky Trail

Of course we can’t talk about food and drink in Speyside without including the famous Malt Whisky Trail.  There are two whisky festivals in Speyside – one in spring and one in autumn – with a range of whisky-themed events.  As well as the touring the area’s distilleries you could go book onto the Dufftown Distilleries Walk that takes you around the nine past and present distillery sites in Dufftown, the malt whisky capital, with a local guide.

You can also browse the selection of single malts whisky, gins and artisan spirits at Logie Whisky – an independent specialist merchant based at Logie Steading.

Farm Shops

Also at Logie Steading there is a Farm and Garden Shop which stocks beef from the Logie herd of Longhorn Cattle as well as lovely Scottish produce.  Househill Farm Shop, near Nairn, stocks locally grown vegetables and seasonal fruit as well as their own home-bred beef and locally-reared organic chicken.  In Kinloss the Woodside Farm Shop has home-grown vegetables and potatoes, home-bred Aberdeen Angus beef and free range eggs.  Wester Hardmuir is a fruit farm just off the A96 near Brodie which opens in early June each year and is a great place to stock up on seasonal fruit.  You can pick your own as well as buy from the shop.

Cheese

If you’re a cheese fiend make sure you visit the Cheese Pantry at Connage Highland Dairy, near Arderseir – you can visit the production room and buy their selection of handmade organic cheeses.

 

What are your foodie highlights in the area? Leave your comments, questions or recommendations below.

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