Food & Drink in October

In the past hunting venison was the privilege of the aristocracy and Scotland has long been famous for having some of the finest shooting estates in the world.

Deer continue to roam wild, particularly in the Highlands, where their culling is controlled by estate gamekeepers. Commercial deer farms have also developed to sustain demand for the lean, deep-red meat.

Prime cuts such as the haunch or saddle are most often roasted, medallion steaks can be pan-fried while less tender cuts can be stewed or used for mince, burgers and meatballs. Accompanying sauces are usually strongly flavoured; claret, port, redcurrant and sloe berries all compliment the meat. Spices such as nutmeg make it a warming dish for the colder months.

Why not create your own itinerary with the help of the Scottish Cheese Trail and visit some of the independent producers across the country? Many of the dairies welcome visitors for behind-the-scenes tours to see cheese being produced.

Try the full-flavoured cheeses produced by the Island Smokery on Orkney or visit the Kingdom of Fife's only farmhouse dairy, St Andrew's Farmhouse Cheese. Here you can watch the cheese-making process firsthand from a special viewing gallery.

The rich farmland and soft climate of the Isle of Arran helps to create some of Scotland’s finest milk and dairy products.  Sample award-winning cheese from the Island Cheese Company or try ice cream at a dairy with Scottish flavours such as tablet and cranachan - a raspberry and oatcake mix.