Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- The Milton Restaurant, Crathes, Banchory
The Milton restaurant is at the start of the Castle and Whisky Trails, located in a former farm steading on the banks of the River Dee. The restaurant is part of the Milton of Crathes site which includes the Milton Art Gallery (specialising in local artists, sculptors and silversmiths), Milton Studio (needlework and crafts, workshops and exhibitions), Atholl Countrywear (elegant clothing, accessories and fine gifts), The Wee Boorachie (high quality Scottish arts and crafts) and The Royal Deeside Railway located in the restaurant car park. Crathes Castle is close by.
The Milton restaurant has gathered numerous awards over the years since it opened in 2004. These include Restaurant of the Year, Chefs and Young Chefs of the Year and more recently an AA rosette. All well deserved too, as I discovered when I visited recently (writes Gilly Pickup, British Guild of Travel Writers). The original, stone farm steading has been converted into a relaxed restaurant and a conservatory has been added too. Then there is a large marquee (big enough to seat 300) that can be transformed into a fairy tale backdrop for a romantic wedding or a business event or used as the base for a BBQ.
Scotland’s larder is the platform for a menu that jigs its way across the land. You could kick off with one of several delights like 'Smoked Haddock Fishcake with chive butter', ‘Game Terrine with Warm Chorizo and Grape Conserve Gel’ or, my choice, a scrupulously arranged ‘Twice baked Strathdon Blue Souffle’ given extra bite with an orange and walnut salad.
As to the main course, my beer battered, fishing-net-fresh fish and light, golden chips with crushed peas was delicious, the best I’ve tasted anywhere and I'm jolly fussy about my fish and chips. One of my carnivore companions opted to keep the home flag flying with the roasted ribeye of Aberdeen Angus beef and declared it ‘excellent’.
The pudding menu offers a deluge of satisfying delights including Crème Brulee with Whisky and Oatmeal Ice Cream and Warm Marmalade Cake and Sticky Toffee Pudding with hot fudge sauce and locally made ice cream. The ultimate in comfort food. The cheeseboard, a many splendoured thing, offers a grand selection of Scottish cheeses, with grapes, apricots, homemade quince conserve, celery and oatcakes completing the final flourish. Sourcing is impeccable too, just flip to the back of the menu for a list of local suppliers who are responsible for the food on your plate.
See www.themilton.co.uk for current menu and prices.
The Milton Restaurant is just off the A93 road between Crathes and Banchory. For those of you with satellite navigation, the post code is AB31 5QH. Telephone number is 01330 844566 (reservations are advised). The Milton has their own Web Site where you can find the opening hours and full menu. The area is also covered by Google Earth's cameras. For more on Royal Deeside and its attractions see Places to Visit - Deeside.
Its stunning setting on the banks of the River Dee together with high quality of personal service, prices just right for most wallets, comfortable atmosphere and delicious food make The Milton somewhere to return to again and again.
Gilly Pickup, British Guild of Travel Writers
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