When asked to organise food travel for a group of Slow Food Swedes the challenge is always to compress the exceptional into a manageable and affordable format: a task we enjoy as we love sharing Scotland’s finest with folk who appreciate it. So with every train, boat and plane timetable checked and costed; menus discussed, and even the diminishing daylight of autumn evenings considered – all was in place when they duly arrived and a great time was had by all. Over 6 days, 13 Swedes experienced 27 of our wonderful Scottish Food Guide Members, including 12 on Slow Food Ark of Taste, either visiting or sampling! (see below for complete list)
After a welcome reception & dinner chez nous, our super bus driver collected us next morning from the Woodside in Aberdour for a trip to Border Country visiting Hardiesmill where Alison and Robin’s passion for their Aberdeen Angus had the desired effect – beef on a menu will never look the same again! Knowledge is power and every day a school day as they say!
Having heard the background, politics and philosophy of Aberdeen Angus we experienced the superb flavours at Firebrick where David Haetzman cooked it to perfection.
With a wee fling past Roslin for Da Vinci Code fans, we headed for Edinburgh where our travellers wished to stop to shop followed by an evening rendezvous at the famous Henderson’s for an excellent vegetarian feast. We had bade farewell to our lovely bus as what better way to head back to Fife than to experience the World Heritage Forth Railway Bridge?
Next on our itinerary was the flight to Orkney, famed for its Neolithic archaeology, fine produce and nature. We stayed at the lovely Lynnfield Hotel where Malcolm and his team made us very welcome. Every evening menu was a wonderful and varied array of Orkney’s finest and our rooms were gorgeous.
We visited Westray, home to Wilsons of Westray, Jason and Nina, with their exceptionally fine cheeses, Noltland Castle, awesome cliffs with diving gannets, and beautiful seafood platters served at the Groatie Buckie.
Frustratingly all flights to North Ronaldsay were cancelled although a trip to South Ronaldsay’s Sea Eagles & Otter Tombs and The Skerries proved a fine consolation prize! North Ronaldsay will be next time. Before setting off to check out Kirkwall’s bonnie high street of independent shops we were treated to Fika by the pier from Karin of Orkney Sourdough Company – great fun and absolutely delicious! Later that day before dinner our Swedes met Graham who told them the story of his Orkney Ice Cream.
Our Mainland Orkney day commenced in the west at Skara Brae and its Neolithic kitchen, meandering eastwards encompassing Barony Mill Beremeal, Jane with her fascinating Boreray Sheep, then wonderful Andrew, The Harray Potter.
We paused for a world class lunch at Sheila Fleet’s, where Chef Neil’s North Ronaldsay Pie will be a food memory forever!
Collin of J. Gow organised a fascinating rum tasting for us at their super venue by the Italian Chapel.
Later that evening, thanks to Sergio, Highland Park’s Brand Ambassador, we were treated to a malt whisky tasting at The Lynnfield!
Scotland wishes to be top of the class in World Food Tourism and we are certainly blessed with some treasures across our Nation, many of whom I am delighted to say are to be found on Scottish Food Guide and there’s more to discover. Yet for every one recommended on SFG, there are those that do not make it and for Scotland to be ‘world class’ we need consistently high standards.
Scotland is on a journey and hopefully others will see the advantages in upping their game. When it comes to our adventures with Slow Food Scania, Orkney came up trumps and is a match for any world food tourism destination!
By the way, here is a clip on BBC Radio Orkney from my previous visit to this lovely isle. Sadly the link may not be available forever https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0008pb2 (about 12mins in).
SFG Members included on this trip…met/visited/sampled…
- Woodside Hotel http://woodsidehotelaberdour.co.uk
- Hardiesmill http://www.hardiesmill.co.uk
- Firebrick Brasserie http://firebrickbrasserie.co.uk
- Henderson’s https://www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk
- Lynnfield Hotel http://lynnfield.co.uk
- Wilsons of Westray https://www.facebook.com/Wilsons-of-Westray-1220845061288011/
- North Ronaldsay Sheep https://scottishfoodguide.com/places/north-ronaldsay-sheep/
- Orkney Sourdough Co https://orkneysourdough.co.uk
- Orkney Ice Cream http://www.spanglefish.com/orkneycreamery/index.asp
- Fursbreck Pottery The Harray Potter http://orkneypottery.co.uk
- Orkney Boreray http://www.orkneyboreray.com
- Sheila Fleet Kirk Café https://sheilafleet.com/shops/the-kirk-gallery-cafe-orkney
- J Gow Rum https://jgowrum.com
- Orkney Wine Co https://www.orkneywine.co.uk
…and Featured on the Menu @ Scottish Food Studio
- East Coast Cured Free Range Pork & Fennel Salami http://www.eastcoastcured.com
- Inverawe Smoked Trout https://www.smokedsalmon.co.uk
- Shetland Kye https://www.uradale.com/pages/the-farmslow cooked with
- Ovenstone 109 St Ayles Golden Ale http://www.ovenstone109.com
- Ramsay’s Haggis https://www.ramsayofcarluke.co.uk
- Ardoch Hebridean Leg of Lamb https://www.ardochhebrideansheep.co.uk
- with Orkney Bere Mint Sauce (Orkney Craft Vinegar) https://www.orkneycraftvinegar.com
- Roast potatoes: Skea’s Highland Burgundy Red, Pink Fir & Shetland Black http://potatohouse.co.uk
- Prestonfield Rhubarb Fool https://scottishfoodguide.com/places/prestonfield-rhubarb/
- Scotch Trifle with Fraiser Liqueur http://www.fraiserliqueur.com/home
- Campbell’s Selkirk Bannock https://www.campbellsbakery.com
- Isle of Mull Cheese http://www.isleofmullcheese.co.uk
- Orkney Bere Bannocks & Oatcakes https://www.stockans.com
Whilst not yet on Mailchimp and still a manual opt in, I have also posted a new blog on my Wendy Barrie website for you to enjoy about a different trip, this time with movies included!… VisitSweden visits Scotland! https://www.wendybarrie.co.uk/blog