Scotland

Island of Skye

Mr. Harper's Travel Guide

Although Scotland constitutes more than a third of the land area of Great Britain, it has a population of only 5 million. The Highlands are spectacular, but the soil is of little use for agriculture. Most Scots live in the Lowlands, which contain the cities ...

Although Scotland constitutes more than a third of the land area of Great Britain, it has a population of only 5 million. The Highlands are spectacular, but the soil is of little use for agriculture. Most Scots live in the Lowlands, which contain the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state until a “personal union” with England in 1603, when James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne. In 1707, Scotland entered into a political union with England to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. Today Scotland retains its own Parliament, plus separate legal and educational systems. Renowned for its whisky, Scotland has also developed a thriving culinary culture and acquired a sprinkling of Michelin stars. The weather can be mercurial, and golfers will need rainproof clothes throughout the year.

bird icon Recommended Luxury Hotels in Scotland

All Andrew Harper-recommended hotels offer impeccable accommodations and high levels of personal service. Only the best of the best make our list, so we rate them on a scale from bird icon 90 to 100.
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Best Restaurants in Scotland

3 Royal Terrace Edinburgh Prix Fixe, US$70-US$85 http://www.21212restaurant.co.uk/

At his establishment on the Royal Mile, chef Paul Wedgwood combines the atmosphere of a French bistro and the superb produce of Scotland. Look for starters such as Isle of Mull cheddar-and-onion bread-and-butter pudding with tomato confit, fennel ice cream and soused fennel; or lobster Thermidor crème brûlée with smoked dulse Bloody Mary sorbet, Parmesan shortbread, caviar and lobster oil. Among the ever-changing mains, keep an eye out for fillet and shin of Buccleuch beef with parsnips, carrots, marrow crumb and a red wine jus.

267 Canongate Edinburgh US$50 http://www.wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk

Martin Wishart brought Edinburgh its first Michelin star. Set in the docklands of Leith, this sophisticated restaurant has wood accents, muted colors and gentle lighting. Look for starters such as Orkney scallop and black truffle with Jerusalem artichoke, sweet potato and hazelnut. Main courses might include glazed onglet of Black Angus beef with Comté and bone marrow crust, braised short rib, French beans Lyonnais and a bordelaise sauce. Closed Sunday and Monday.

54 The Shore Leith Edinburgh Four-course menu, US$105; Six-course tasting menu, US$105 http://www.martin-wishart.co.uk/home.aspx

Located just off the Royal Mile with views down Victoria Street, this restaurant takes full advantage of Scotland’s superb seafood. Chef Roy Brett’s menu includes starters such as a platter of roasted seafood with lobster, langoustines, rock oysters, clams and Shetland mussels and cockles. Main courses might include native lobster grilled with garlic butter or served Thermidor style, and a fine grilled rib of Orkney beef with bone marrow, king oyster and thin-cut fries. Closed Sunday.

2 George IV Bridge Edinburgh US$65 http://www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk/

Chef Dominic Jack has worked in some of Europe’s top kitchens, including as a sous chef at Le Taillevent in Paris. The restaurant is a model of comfortable contemporary style, and Jack makes full use of fine Scottish produce. Representative dishes might include seared hand-dived Orkney scallops served with a light curry sauce, and roasted rump of Inverurie lamb served with smoked eggplant, fennel and basil gnocchi. No children under age 5. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

33/35 Castle Terrace Edinburgh US$90. Seven-course tasting menu, US$105 http://www.castleterracerestaurant.com/

In his waterfront restaurant, chef Tom Kitchin offers imaginative fare using seasonal produce in surprising combinations. Starters might include hand-dived Orkney scallops baked in the shell, served with a white wine, vermouth and wild herb sauce; or a rich game terrine served with celeriac and winter fruits. Among the main courses, look for dishes such North Sea turbot roasted on the bone and served with garlic potatoes, squid and garlic confit. No children under age 5. Closed Sunday and Monday.

78 Commercial Quay Leith Edinburgh US$95. Seven-course tasting menu, US$105 http://www.thekitchin.com/kitchin/home
SIMILAR REGIONS TO Worldwide //  Europe //  Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) //  Scotland

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