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12 Sustainable Food & Drink Options in Scotland

Here in Scotland, we are passionate about producing the highest quality food and drink, whilst caring for the environment. Would you like to sink your teeth into some locally sourced food, taste some ethically produced drinks or pluck the wild fruits of Scotland? Keep reading to discover some delectable foodie options.

Are you a fan of responsible agritourism? Us too! Check out Go Rural, a community movement of Scotland’s farmers and crofters, for more holiday inspiration on the countryside.

Farms and food halls – taste food where it’s grown

Experience sustainably farmed food and drink right where it’s grown. Scotland has no shortage of places, specialising in the cultivation and preparation of sustainable and eco-friendly food and drink. It can’t get more locally sourced than this.

  1.  Westerton Farmers – this family business in Aberdeenshire is centred around sustainable farming and powered by renewable energy. Learn about their farming practices and discover just how short the journey from field to fork can be. Before you leave, pay a visit to The Spud Hut. This food hall uses zero waste packaging where possible.
  2. Gordon Castle & Walled Garden – explore one of the oldest and largest walled kitchen gardens in Britain. The café offers feel-good Scottish food that makes the most of the seasonal produce from their own garden. This Moray gem also offers accommodation, salmon fishing, tours and more. You could even book your wedding here!

Are you passionate about sustainable food city networks? Check out the products from Crofters Larder or Native & Wild’s Scottish meat boxes. Support ethical farming and bring sustainable food to your table!

Did you know? Shetland’s strong tidal streams are excellent for naturally growing plump Shetland mussels on ropes suspended in the sea. Check out Blue shell mussels and other delectable seafood at places like Frankie’s Fish & Chip Shop or Busta House. Experience the far north and get a Taste of Shetland!

Restaurants – a haven for sustainable food and drink

In Scotland, many chefs turn sustainable, seasonal and locally sourced produce into real works of art. From carbon-free vegan to sustainably produced meat dishes, discover where you can get a taste of the very best that Scotland has to offer:

  1. The Boathouse Glencaple – visit this cosy restaurant on the historic quayside of Glencaple that overlooks the sparkling River Nith. Enjoy the delicious locally sourced food on offer, including many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
  2. Old Boatyard – featured on Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eat List, this Angus gem serves up delicious, fresh seafood to hungry locals and travellers alike, using only the finest locally sourced ingredients and their secret family recipes.
  3. The Gannet – indulge in a spot of luxury in this Michelin Plate and 3AA Rosette restaurant in Glasgow’s exciting neighbourhood of Finnieston. Choose from the daily updated, seasonal à la carte and small plates menus to tailor to your unique dining experience.
  4. The Bakers Field – located in the heart of Kirkcaldy near the waterfront, this vegan and vegetarian café serves artisan coffee, ethical tea, organic soft drinks and homemade vegan cake. Enjoy some real healthy food, made with only seasonal and locally sourced produce.

Are you always keeping an eye out for Scottish restaurants with sustainably sourced food? Why not also check out the Inn at Loch Tummel, which works with local suppliers and ingredients from their own kitchen garden, or the White House in Lochaline, which won awards for sustainable sourcing?

Gin – get a taste of Scotland

Did you know that much of the flavour of a bottle of Scottish gin is derived from locally sourced botanicals? That’s right, the same sweet floral smell you experience when you discover our breathtaking landscapes can end up in your gin. Some say alchemy doesn’t exist, we say that you can actually distil a single place into one bottle. Here are some examples:

  1. Orkney Distilling – their Kirkjuvagr gin’s defining ingredient is a variety of angelica that was introduced to Orkney by the Vikings centuries ago. This is complimented by a unique blend of local botanicals like ramanas and burnet rose, borage and traditional Orcadian bere barley. Book a tour through the distillery to experience these local flavours come together.
  2. Isle of Arran Gin Co. – this ethical business uses hand-foraged botanicals from the Isle of Arran to produce their unique gin. This distillery fills their still with nearly double the plants of typical distillations, giving the gin its exciting taste. Some of the ingredients are noble fir, hogweed, sea lettuce, fuchsia, lemon balm and meadowsweet.

If you like sustainable spirits, you might also like to visit Nc’Nean Distillery, Scotland’s first organic distillery, in Argyll or the Secret Herb Garden in the Pentland Hills, just south of Edinburgh.

Foraging – pluck only the freshest treats

On the lookout for the freshest produce? Concerned with the carbon output of importing food from the other side of the world? Well, you can’t get fresher and more ethically sourced fruits and vegetables than by sourcing them straight from our fields yourself. Here are some examples:

  1. Seashore Foraging Foray – Argyll’s pristine waters are not only known for producing… but they also influence one of our more unusual delicacies, edible seaweed! Tours are generally two hours long, but bespoke tours are available.
  2. Colstoun Cookery School – this award-winning cook school offers a range of day and week-long cookery courses, including foraging, for beginners through to experienced cooks at the Colstoun Estate in East Lothian.
  3. Trossachs Biking and Bushcraft – choose from guided mountain bike or cycling rides and tours, bikepacking, foraging walks and bushcraft activities from their base in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Bespoke group activities are also available throughout the year.
  4. Border Berries – this family farm in the Scottish Borders is a perfect place for children and adults alike to pick their own fruit this summer. Alternatively, the nearby Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen offers great food events. You can’t get more farm-to-table than this!

These were just a couple of tasty sustainable food & drink options in Scotland. Have we missed your favourite? Let us know in the comments or share your sustainable foodie experience with us on social media with the hashtag #VisitScotland.

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