One great part of moving to a new country is getting to know the local food and drinks. So why not spend some time to discover the best places to taste Scotland’s most famous drink, Whisky and do a tour through the best restaurants the country has to offer.
Scotland is split into five distinctive whisky-producing regions. Distillation in these regions all has the same historical roots, but distilleries in each area have matured and diversified in the production methods of their whisky with single malts that are all different due to the source of water, the local landscape or the copper stills used.
Islay is the greatest of whisky-producing islands while Speyside is Scotland’s biggest whisky region in terms of production and concentration of distilleries. In the Highlands you will find wide and robust whisky variations, while in the Lowlands softer, lighter style single malt whiskies that are traditionally known as the ‘Lowland Ladies’ can be found. And last but not least sitting at the far end of the Kintyre peninsula on the west coast of Scotland, Campbeltown once had about 30 distilleries in its heyday. Today, it has only three of which two are open to the public.
If you think the only food available in Scotland are haggis, think again. If you like fresh seafood Scotland is the best place to find it. You can watch while the fisher boats bring in the day’s catch and enjoy Scotland’s favourite fish dishes including Cullen Skink (Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions), Finnan Haddie (cold-smoked haddock) and, of course, traditional fish and chips.
If you prefer meat you will find delicious dishes made with lamb, pork and beef and if you like game and the season is right you will get great tasting wild venison and pheasant.
And of course there are lots of sweet treats to enjoy like the Selkirk Bannock, a spongy, buttery fruitcake, made from wheat flour and containing a very large quantity of raisins. Or try the Scottish tablet, similar to fudge but with a harder, grainy texture, or the Borders’ Moffat Toffee which are in fact hard boiled sweets with a lemon-flavoured centre. And if you like some whisky in your dessert try Cranachan which is made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey, fresh raspberries and topped with toasted oats, a treat too good to pass up.
There is no shortage of good restaurants in Scotland from award winning restaurants (there are 16 Michelin starred restaurants in Scotland) to picturesque cafés and tearooms renowned for their homebaking. If you are in a hurry you can go to one of the many bars for a quick bite to eat or to a fish and chip shop.
If you like Indian cuisine you have to go to Glasgow that has held the title of Curry Capital of Britain an impressive four times.
Vegetarians and vegans will find a range of fantastic restaurants cooking up delicious meat-free meals. Again it is Glasgow that earned the title of most vegan-friendly place in the UK in 2013. Edinburgh is home to a range of dedicated vegetarian restaurants, as well as cafés offering home-style dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. You’ll also find quality vegetarian eateries in Oban, Stirling and other parts of Scotland.
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