Food and Drink

90 miles of Highland hospitality


From stargazing picnics to five-star restaurants, there are all manner of eating experiences to enjoy.

Scotland’s food scene is so much more than oats and black pudding. The wild landscapes have inspired globally celebrated food and culinary talent that is central to experiencing Scottish culture today. 

Journey on the SnowRoads to find 90 miles of some of the best places to eat and drink in the Cairngorms National Park, including the world-renowned distilleries bringing centuries-old traditions bang up to date.

More than a meal, food in Scotland is an experience

Eating and drinking along the SnowRoads is never dull. Some popular foodie experiences include sampling whisky at age-old distilleries or at the Whisky Castle in Tomintoul, foraging for mushrooms on mountain foothills, cooking up a storm with local writer and chef Ghillie Basan, and salmon fishing on Glen Tanar Estate in the pristine waters of the River Dee. 

Cheese lovers can sink their teeth into the much-loved Cambus o Mey cheese factory experience outside Ballater, learning from master artisanal cheese makers. And visitors to KJ’s Bothy Bakery in Grantown-on-Spey never leave disappointed. There, esteemed Kiwi chef Kirsten Gilmour prioritises local ingredients for her mouthwatering baked goods, which are a delicious addition to any outdoor activity.

Image: The Fife Arms

Seasonal, local produce from country estates

Numerous estates – such as Balmoral, Glenmuick and Invercauld – are knitted together around the SnowRoads. At some, visitors can learn more about where our food comes from and how sustainable food choices — with fewer food miles — can cook up fuller, more extraordinary flavours.

Cook up a (Highland) storm

Farmer’s markets and local, independent shops are sprinkled throughout the SnowRoads. Whether you are cooking a tasty lunch for yourself or wish to take Highland produce home as a souvenir, you’re spoiled for choice. Delight your palate with earthy heritage vegetables, hill-grazed venison, artisanal smoked meats, and more from markets such as Ballater Farmers Market and Ghillie’s Larder.

Ghillie Basan foraging. Image: Ed Smith Photography
Food & Drink in the Cairngorms
Image: Ed Smith Photography

Forest to fork

Choose from oodles of bars, cafés, distilleries and restaurants along the route to whet your appetite. Eat like a royal at Mews Café on Balmoral Estate, tick off bucket list coffee spots from the Highlands’ booming barista coffee scene or fill up on five-star seasonal produce at The Fife Arms in Braemar. And the best part? You’ll always be treated to a side serving of spectacular Scottish scenery. In Braemar, some of our favourites include Braemar Brewery, Gordon’s Tearoom, the Hazelnut Patisserie and the various dining spots at the Fife Arms Hotel – including Bertie’s Bar, The Flying Stag Bar and the Clunie Dining Room. In Ballater, why not try the locally loved Fish Shop Restaurant that celebrates the heritage and traditions of fishing in Scotland.

Uncover wild landscapes, historic tales, grand days out and more.

#VisitCairngorms to join locals and visitors on their own journey of discovery!

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