Exploring with Food and Drink Itinerary

If you love food and drink, you’ll love Scotland!

We are passionate about great dining experiences, our land and provenance. Discover our Scottish culture through traditional and modern cuisines, local Whiskies, Gin’s, Cocktails and our homegrown ingredients. Here we present you our guide for a great food and drink experience on our Loch Ness and Inverness food and drink tour.

This is a 4 day itinerary, which takes you on a culinary journey through the Highlands of Scotland. Simply follow our guide for 4 days of delicious Scottish food and drink. Just remember to make your dinner reservations in advance. It can be very hard to get in last minute.

Lunch with a view over Loch Ness at the Clansman Hotel

Lunch with a view over Loch Ness at the Clansman Hotel

Day 1: Cheese, Whisky and Fine Dining

Breakfast and Lunch:

Welcome to Inverness and Loch Ness! We start our tour of Scottish cuisine with a visit to Connage Highland Dairy. This little gem sits just outside Inverness ot the East, near Inverness Airport.  Perfect if you are exploring the East Heritage Trail, (Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns, Culloden Viaduct, Nairn and Fort George). Connage Highland Dairy is a family-owned dairy of local heritage. Here they produce award-winning Scottish cheeses, which you can try along with delicious biscuits and chutneys in there lovely onsite café. Or, pick some up in the shop to enjoy later.

We recommend taking in some of the sites on the East Heritage Trail after a hearty Scottish Breakfast. Then pop up to Connage Highland Dairy for lunch. If you’re looking for good places for breakfast, here are some great places in Inverness: Simpsons Garden Centre Glasshouse Restaurant, Lorimers or Cafe Artysans.

You can’t come to the Highlands and not experience our famous Scottish Whisky. So, after Lunch at the Dairy, it’s time for a tour and a dram at Tomatin Distillery. Learn how the creative and passionate team at Tomatin create their unique whisky. Then sample some for yourself! Here you can enjoy daily whisky tours and tasting. What’s more, drivers can take a “drivers dram” away to enjoy later on once you’ve ditched the car.

Tomatin whiskey distillery

Tomatin Whisky Distillery, Inverness

Dinner

After a busy day of sightseeing and whisky, you’ll be ready for a delightful dinner. Tonight lets stay in Inverness for a delicious dinner at the Mustard Seed Restaurant. A stunning, independent restaurant in the heart of the city offering a delicious modern Scottish and European menu. All made fresh with quality local ingredients. This delightful restaurant sits on the banks of the River Ness, across from lovely buildings such as St Mary’s Church. When dining, be sure to check out their daily specials and wines of the season.

Day 2: Wilderness & Loch Ness Views

Breakfast

Start the day with breakfast or mid-morning cakes at Camerons Tea Room.  Cameron’s is famous with the locals, located on the South Side of Loch Ness, just outside the village of Foyers on route to Fort Augustus. Here you can enjoy a good Scottish breakfast, and sample home-baked cakes, scones, traybakes and muffins, with your choice of tea or coffee. Cameron’s sits out in the natural beauty of South Loch Ness, a wilderness away from the world! After Breakfast (or before), we highly recommend a walk down the Falls of Foyers. A beautiful short hike (down then up) the woods at Foyers Village to the stunning waterfalls. If you’re feeling more energetic and fancy a proper day of walking, you must experience our newly completed South Loch Ness Trail through the wilderness and along the shores of the unspoilt South Loch Ness.

Lunch

Continue to Forth Augustus: After a morning of walking, you have two choices: to continue on from Inverness to Fort Augustus, where you can find many places to eat and some great local shopping. For hotel dining at The Lovat Hotel, or a great Scottish experience pub lunch at the Richmond. Or Walk down the Caledonian Canal, around the spectacular Fort Augustus Abbey to The Boathouse Lochside Restaurant. After lunch, return back to Inverness along the North Side of the Loch where you can visit attractions such as Urquhart Castle, Nessieland and the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. Along this route, you can also enjoy Boat Trips and tours on Loch Ness.

Back Towards Inverness: If you’re not ready for sightseeing Loch Ness today, we recommend heading back towards Inverness. On route, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch with superb views across Loch Ness at Dores Inn. Situated on Dores Beach where you can enjoy a circular walk along the pebble beach with beautiful views of Loch Ness. Dores Inn serves traditional Scottish food. Try our national dish, haggis, neeps and tatties. Haggis is a spicy meat pudding made with lamb offal, oatmeal and suet. “Neeps” is mashed turnips and “tatties”, mashed potato. We should note that other traditional Scottish pub meal options are available.

Dores Inn Beer Garden view over loch Ness

Dores Inn Beer Garden View Over Loch Ness

If you have some spare time before dinner, it’s well worth a trip back to Inverness. Walk the city, see Inverness Castle and go up the Viewing Platform. Stroll River Ness and explore to beautiful Ness Islands. Or do some shopping and explore the Victorian Market (near Inverness train station) and try some exquisite handmade chocolates at Story.

Dinner

Then, after a busy day exploring Inverness and Loch Ness, spend the evening in Inverness sampling locally produced beers at the Black Isle Brewery Bar. Or, perhaps some of the cocktails and Scottish gins at The Whitehouse before a dinner in the Conservatory Restaurant at Kingsmills Hotel. The Kingsmills hotel serves delicious Scottish and European dishes. It also enjoys a lovely Inverness Whisky Bar.

Day 3: North Loch Ness & The Highland Glens

Breakfast

There’s so much to see and do around Loch Ness, that today we have another chance to explore the north shores of the loch and north into the Glens. Pop along to the Clansman Hotel on the North Shores for breakfast in the Cobs Bakery Cafe. This is the only hotel on the banks of the loch and as such enjoys great views for breakfast. After a leisurely breakfast, it’s time for some exploring on the Loch. Book a boat tour, spend a morning fishing for trout on Loch Ness or stay on land and explore our Visitor Attractions as mentioned above.

Urquhart Castle in Winter

Urquhart Castle Tower in Winter

Lunch

After a light lunch in Drumnadrochit, or at Urquart Castle, it’s time to head slightly north into the Glens for another whiskey, this time at the Glen Ord Distillery. for a different experience to Tomatin. Here you can enjoy a different whisky tour and tasting, then decide which one is your favourite. Each offers quite an experience! Glen Ord is an old home to the “water of life” and the only way to buy The Singleton of Glen Ord within Europe is to pop in for a visit. Or if you fancy some more Highland history, head along to the beautiful historic village of Beauly for a bite at Corner on the Square or at Cafe. Beauly has a lovely old-world feel and a beautiful priory to visit as well as other Outlander sites.

Dinner

Now you must have worked up an appetite for a refreshing dinner. For something a little special, head along the road to Achnagairn Castle Estate, where you can enjoy a super meal in the rather impressive Table Manors Restaurant, situated in one of their estate in one of their “Mini Manors”. As you enter the castle driveway, turn left and you will find the restaurant in the first building on your left.

Table Manors at Achnagairn Castle Estate

Alternatively, if you are going back to Inverness, or fancy some fabulous fresh Scottish fish, visit the popular River House Restaurant. This lovely glass-fronted restaurant sits on the banks of the beautiful River Ness. Lit up at night, the riverfront is a treat. A wonderful place to relax, enjoy good food and wine, and take in the views over the bridge to Inverness Castle.

Day 4: The Cairngorms & South of Inverness

Breakfast

Before leaving Inverness, grab a rich hot chocolate and tasty churros or waffles and bacon, at So Coco. Based on Inverness High Street, we promise a real sweet treat. Or, for coffee lovers, visit the Inverness Coffee Roasting Company café and shop. Once you’ve had your caffeine kick, be sure to pop round the corner to Leaky’s Bookshop. A true hidden gem of Inverness!

Lunch

Now its time to jump on a train, or hit the road to Aviemore and the Cairngorms National park. Here you can enjoy a multitude of experiences. From shopping at Macdonald’s  Spey Valley to Reindeer Feeding, Dog Sledding and of course winter sports, hiking and other hill sports on the Cairngorm mountains. Once you’ve built up your appetite, head up the mountain on the funicular for mountaintop views and lunch  Ptarmigan Restaurant.

Heather on Cairngorms National Park Road Trip

Road up to the Cairngorms National Park

Alternatively, you can spend a morning, afternoon… or an entire day! At Craggan Outdoors Activity Centre. Here they not only offer every kind of outdoor sport and adrenaline junkie experiences. They also have an onsite cafe and accommodation for lunch, snacks and coffee.

Dinner

For your last dinner on this Itinerary, how about a little fine dining? There are many very special restaurants in Inverness.  We are lucky to boast some really superb fine dining restaurants. Tonight we take you for a treat at the award-winning Contrast Brasserie at the Glenmoriston Town House Hotel. Spoil yourselves with a taster menu or sample some of the best fine dining with local Scottish produce.

Contrast Fine Dining Inverness

Fine dining at Contrast Restaurant Inverness

And there ends your Loch Ness and Inverness food and drink adventure. Come back soon and discover more amazing places to eat in the Inverness area.

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