The Irish say that the laughter is brightest where the food is best. In which case there can be no happier place than the area that encompasses Aberfeldy and Kenmore in Scotland.
There are many reasons I love going to my parents’ holiday home in Kenmore. The views, the walks, the peace and quiet, the friends we’ve made. All of these bring us back as often as we can manage. But something else acts as an enormous draw: the food and drink. I don’t think there can be any other rural part of Scotland that has so many great eating establishments in such a relatively small area.
The Old Guards are The Courtyard and The Kenmore Hotel. Both have had their ups and downs, but both now serve great food with enough choice to keep us going back. Also in Kenmore, but a little less established is Taymouth Marina. I haven’t been for a while, but reports from my parents are favourable. So that’s three great places to eat in Kenmore, which is a tiny wee village at one end of Loch Tay!
Kenmore eateries are fab, but it’s developments in Aberfeldy that I find really exciting. The Watermill has long served life-restoring soup along with it’s fab book selection, but until relatively recently it’s had little in the way of competition. Then, a couple of years ago, Habitat Cafe opened it’s doors and took the cafe world by storm. The owners take their coffee very seriously, which is why they won ‘Best Espresso’ in the UK in 2013, and ‘Best Overall Experience’ in 2014. And why they’re a 5-cup accredited venue: one of only seven such establishments in the UK. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do love a good hot chocolate: they have a choice of five. Including a new one, which has become my favourite. It’s 75% cocoa, and is delicious. They also make great food. This trip I had beetroot soup and a cheese sandwich for lunch. Yum! And then I might have sneaked in a visit without the husband for another hot chocolate and a treacle and ginger scone. 😉
The newest eatery to open in Aberfeldy is Three Lemons. We went there on Saturday night for dinner and had what my father described as ‘quite possibly the best steak’ he’s ever had. Which is quite the compliment! But well deserved! Three Lemons is a Bar, Cafe, and Grill and the owners have been looking after locals and tourists alike for years up here, latterly in the adjoining gourmet takeaway, Good Food Takeaway. Three Lemons may be a new venture, but it’s run with experience by a chef who can make you feel like a regular on your first visit. Their mission is to take the best local produce and do it justice. As far as we’re concerned: so far, so accomplished! We had a great meal on Saturday, with some of their sharing plates to start, and 28-day steaks, cooked on the Inca Grill, to follow. All enjoyed with some delicious wines from the well-thought-out wine list. I can’t wait to go again!
We can’t always eat out though, and when we’re having a night in, we always go to Aberfeldy Farmfresh for our carpet picnic supplies. This time we had the nicest honey-roast ham, peak-condition brie, a small round of Black Bomber cheddar, and a fab stilton. All accompanied by freshly prepared artichoke hearts, coleslaw, and home cooked quiche. Yum. And plenty left over for lunch the next day 🙂 We’re also very lucky to have a great wine supplier located in between Aberfeldy and Kenmore: House of Menzies, which has an incredible selection of New World wines, as well as being a cafe and gift shop. Another cafe with great food, by the way!
Maybe it’s because the local produce is so good that these guys just can’t help but produce great food!? Whatever the reason, I’m not going to question it. All I know is that it’s the best place for us to get away from it all, and their dedication to making sure I have something good to eat while I’m there makes it all the better. Thank you!!