The diversity of eateries on offer in Royal Deeside is excellent, from tasty pub grub at a country coaching inn to a fine dining experience in an award winning hotel or restaurant. Friendly tea rooms can be found in the towns and villages offering some of the best home bakes you will sample. Whatever your budget or taste, you’ll find that the warm Scottish welcome you receive is customary.
Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms is a destination renowned for its acres of rich, fertile land and clear spring waters which cut through it. This distinct landscape plays a key role in producing the best home grown ingredients, which are then used to create tasty dishes in its restaurants and hotels. But the rugged terrain also adds a special something to Royal Deeside’s locally produced beverages.
Acknowledged as Scotland’s national drink, whisky – in the Gaelic, uisge beatha (pronounced oosh-ga beh-huh), meaning water of life – has been produced here for longer than anyone can remember, so it’s no surprise that it’s a favourite tipple with Royal Deeside’s visitors and residents alike. Royal Lochnagar Distillery, next to Balmoral Castle, produces arguably some of the best single malt whisky in the country. In part, this is thanks to the fresh Scottish spring water used in its production, as well as the age old traditions and craftsmanship upheld by the distillery. Lochnagar’s 12-Year-Old or Special Reserve whiskies can be found in some of the local bars and hotels that scatter this area and are well worth sampling. Visitors who want to know more about this fiery liquid can delve deeper into the world of whisky by following the Malt Whisky Trail in nearby Speyside.
Brewing in Scotland has taken place for over 5,000 years – it was started by the ancient Picts who used spruce and heather in their fermented refreshments. Today the ingredients and methods used in breweries may have moved on but the ales are even more distinctive and wonderful!