More lists of “the best” have been published and a place goes to the Lairhillock Inn at Netherley, near Stonehaven. It was named in the “25 best country pubs for food” by the Harden’s/The Times guide. The restaurant, which was taken over by the Law family in 2007, is renowned for its home-cooked local favourites and Scottish classics that are freshly prepared each day.
The reviewers said: “They take their food seriously at this family-run historic coaching inn that’s set in ruggedly beautiful rural Aberdeenshire and overflows with rustic charm. They not only peat smoke their own salmon and serve it with wasabi butter, but they smoke chicken and duck too, as well as haddock for their take on Cullen Skink. The selection of grilled steaks could only be Aberdeen Angus.” The other Scottish nominee was the Applecross Inn in Wester Ross, which also uses local produce includes seafood from Applecross Bay, estate venison, garden produce and cheeses from the West Highland Dairy. In the Sunday Times list of best restaurants the Scottish appearances in the top 25 included: 11 – Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh; 13 – Martin Wishart, Cameron House, Loch Lomond; 18 – The Castle Terrace, Edinburgh; and 23 – 21212, Edinburgh.