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Scotland by House Sit – Scottish Food – by Rob Shackleford

Scottish Food – by Rob Shackleford

Our Stay in Inverness
Why is House Sitting for Travel a good idea?

Other of our Travelling with Traveller Inceptio Blogs

India by Royal Enfields 1 Britain by House Sits Scottish Food Scottish Culture Southern Scotland Northern Wales
Faces of Scotland House Sit Bath Faces of England House Sitting UK Faces of Wales Visit to London


Though many Australians hearken to a Scottish heritage, and indeed many of my school teachers were Scottish and taught us much about dear old Scotland, there are many things that Australians will see as unique, quirky or just plain different about Scotland and the Scots.

Nothing is really that surprising. After all, one of the reasons why we travel is to experience new cultures, new peoples and new perspectives and approaches to life. If you don’t like new ideas, then stay at home!

But in travelling anywhere, there are facets to any culture that I find fascinating, stimulating and sometimes even glorious. I can’t imagine anyone who could travel if they don’t at least try the local food.

Scottish Food

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay House Sit Scotland

You can’t visit Scotland without trying the signature dish of Haggis; essentially ground offal with oats and herbs in a casing, traditionally a sheep’s stomach. Served for breakfast with a poached egg and toast isn’t at all bad. In fact, there seems to be a great deal of pride taken in a freshly made haggis. I like haggis better than blood pudding / black sausage and white puddings. Both are also popular here. Deb tried a vegetarian version of haggis that was deemed tasty. but be waned, in the cold there is the temptation to eat too much. I have to fight to not not look like a haggis, for the food here is tasty and oh, so tempting.

Rob Shackleford and Debora-Jane mackay in Scotland with Haggis
My attempt at a breakfast of Haggis, Black Pudding, sausages and White Pudding

Sometimes, where there is a selection of iconic foods, we aim to find the ‘best’. You know; the best coffee, or the best scones – that was until we decided steer away from scones because of the kilos I can collect all too easily. But we did discover the very best Scottish Shortbread with a coffee stop at the Carron Restaurant at Loch Carron on the way to the Isle of Skye. You must try them. They are superb, and with a coffee, as the snow falls, just magical. There are times you have to forget the kilos and enjoy what life brings.  Claire, the chef and restaurant owner, also makes amazing Florentines. Just to advise, the links on these food items are only as a guide. If you want Claire’s recipe’s, you’ll have to ask her!

All British love Kippers, which are salted herrings, but the Scots even more so. They are a popular breakfast dish and surprisingly tasty, though the smell can be intimidating at first. Kippers are terrific on toast or with eggs. I put the greasy, fried meal down to needing a lot of energy in the cold. It was also recommended that I try smoked mackerel fillets. They are like kippers, only oilier and with a stronger taste. I gave them by best shot for breakfast and they repeated on me for of the remainder of the day. nothing like an oily mackerel burp.

Scotch is an essential component to Scottish life and is literally sold everywhere in Scotland. There are all kinds of varieties presented in an assortment of pretty bottles. Yes, I’m a Philistine, for I’m not a Scotch drinker, though I can be swayed by a

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay housesit Scotland
One of the many excellent cafes to discover – this one the Slaughterhouse cafe in Cromarty by the sea.

hot toddy.

There are other classic dishes, though they are all too common at home, such as porridge and colcannon, which is mashed ‘tatties’ and vegetables. There are also ‘neeps’ which are mashed or roasted turnips or swedes.

Like in the rest of the Western world, cafes proliferate in the Scottish Highlands. Beside putting out a very palatable coffee, they are well stocked with superb cakes and slices, or a bowl of hot soup. We found the quality of Scottish coffee to be far above that offered in many parts of England. As coffee snobs, this is most appreciated, but not understood. Strangely, many of the cafes we discovered ion some of the most remote parts of Scotland had Australian baristas.

Scottish Sea Food is also different from that we consume in Australia. Different food items, especially shell fish, makes for a new and interesting taste experience, while the fish is excellent. Enjoy!

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay house sit Scotland.
One example of the excellent sea food available in Scotland

Now to pubs. We love Scottish pubs. Truth be told, some aren’t great and many in the UK are now run as part of larger retail chains, but some are traditionally beautiful, friendly, cozy and yes, also welcome dogs. We particularly liked the Clachnaharry Inn in inverness. We discovered it on a walk to the the ancient Pictish fort of Craig Phadrig. Pub food is as you would expect, with fare like fish and chips, or pies with mashed tatties and neaps and more. Some now serve Indian foods, as the Brits are famous for their love of the cuisine. Most food outlets are very aware of food preferences such as veganism or vegetarianism. Best of all is the atmosphere; the chance to drink warm mulled wine or cider by the open fire is fabulous in the winter chill.

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay Clachnaharry Pub
The Clachnaharry Pub

We recommend that you give the local food a try. After all, local food is part of the beautiful Scottish culture and enriches the experience of travel.

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay Housesit Scotland
Delicious Scottish Shortbread

Rob and Deb live at Burleigh Heads, on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Rob is an author of Traveller Inceptio, published by Austin Macauley Publishers.

Deb is a yoga teacher and administrator par excellence.

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this blog, please email Rob via his email: [email protected] or Instagram @rob_shackleford_

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay in Scotland
Rob and Deborah-Jane in Scotland


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