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4 and 5 Star Highland Restaurants

The Scottish Highlands have always been known for their cuisine, with such dishes as cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, Cullen skink, and oatcakes with crowdie.  Nowadays, however, you will find a wide variety of 4 and 5 star restaurants offering both traditional Scottish fare and expertly prepared gourmet menus.  With international cuisine gaining in popularity, and with the interest in world-famous chefs, Highland cuisine is truly coming into its own, as well.  Highland 4 and 5 star restaurants pride themselves in their menus, their chefs, and their commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible.  You will experience all this in the midst of stunning settings and elegant décor when you dine in a Scottish Highlands 4 or 5 star restaurant.

Restaurants are graded a number of ways here in the Scottish Highlands.  4 and 5 star restaurants generally are equivalent to 3 and 4 rosettes on the AA scale, or 1 to 3 stars on the Michelin scale.  Three Michelin stars are very rare, with their being just over 80 worldwide.  This means that the restaurant you choose, whether displaying stars, rosettes, or Michelin stars, you will experience fine dining at its best.  Michelin stars indicate “very good cuisine,” “excellent cuisine, worth a detour,” or “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”  AA rosettes indicate outstanding restaurants with top cuisine, quality ingredients, and a passion for excellence.  Other guides use stars for rating restaurants, as well, but they are all roughly equivalent to AA, with 4 and 5 stars being roughly equivalent to a Michelin star.

The Scottish Highlands are known for their remoteness—a great place to get away from it all and experience what seems like a different world from the Lowlands and Borders.  This does not mean you must forfeit excellence, however!  In the Scottish Highlands, you will find restaurants proudly displaying Michelin stars.  These include:  Inverlochy Castle in Fort William, The Albannach in Lochinver, Boath House in Nairn, and Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie.  Inverlochy Castles boasts three dining rooms done in period décor, and serves a traditional British menu.  They have been awarded three AA rosettes and one Michelin star.  You are sure to enjoy your dining experience in the elegant restaurant at Inverlochy Castle.  The Albannach, off the beaten path in the tiny west coast village of Lochinver is proud of its Michelin star.  They serve a 5-course meal in a cosy restaurant done in traditional Highland décor with dark woods, wool rugs, and log fires.  The view is stunning, as well.  The restaurant even uses locally-sourced Highland Stoneware on their dinner tables.  The Boath House is a luxury hotel which was voted AA’s Scottish Hotel of the Year for 2010.  The restaurant has a reputation for being one of the best, and is an AA 4-rosette restaurant with its own kitchen gardens.  The chef at Summer Isles Hotel has won Scottish Chef of the Year and a Michelin star.  Virtually everything on the daily menu has been locally produced or caught.  The atmosphere is relaxed, and the food takes centre stage at Summer Isles Hotel.  The Andrew Fairlie at the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder is a world-class two Michelin-starred restaurant.  They describe themselves as “unashamedly French but with a Scottish twist.” 

Other top restaurants of note in the Scottish Highlands include such places as The Cross at Kingussie, The Pool House near Poolewe in Wester Ross, and the Rocpool Reserve in Inverness, which is well known in the area for its quiet, modern elegance.  The Ballachulish Hotel has an award-winning restaurant on the shores of Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven.  It offers a variety of package deals, including holiday dining and a wine-tasting dinner. 

Cuisine in the 4 and 5 star restaurants of the Scottish Highlands is sure to please, with almost all of the restaurants offering Scottish fare.  Enjoy Aberdeen Angus beef, venison, wild salmon and game, as well as freshly caught seafood.  Scotland is known for more than just its excellent whiskies.  You can sample superb cheeses from around the region, such as Orkney cheddar or locally-made crowdie, and indulge in some of the best desserts and baked goods in the world.  Many top restaurants are proud to serve scones, oatcakes, shortbreads, and bannocks as part of their repertoire.  Enjoy the fine flavours of the Scottish Highlands in a 4 or 5 star restaurant, and you can be sure you are experiencing the very best. 

Wherever you travel throughout the beautiful Highlands of Scotland, you will not be very far from a superb quality restaurant serving only the best, freshest, and finest ingredients.  Award winning is becoming the norm for Scottish Highland restaurants, so don’t be surprised to discover a few rosettes, 4 or 5 stars, or even Michelin stars proudly displayed at the front of a Highland restaurant.  Be sure to book in advance, as these busy chefs and their excellent restaurants are very popular with both visitors and locals.  Treat yourself to the best of Highland fare and enjoy a meal at one of the many fine restaurants of the Scottish Highlands