A guide to the best food in Perthshire
Finding the best cafes, restaurants, bakeries and suppliers in Perthshire Scotland
Looking to discover a taste of Perthshire? This round-up by Donald Reid and Hannah Ewan introduces you to what’s grown, reared, made and brewed in the region
Fruit & Veg
Perthshire’s famously fertile soil is historically strong on fruit. Growers mainly grow soft fruit both for supermarkets and top restaurants, with businesses including Bruce Farms, Peter Marshall and Thomas Thomson prominent. The latter has recently diversified into energy fruit drink Berry B. Broadslap Fruit near Dunning is one of the few remaining venues also offering pick-your-own, while the area’s farmers’ markets are one place to buy jams, preserves and sauces using locally grown produce from outfits such as Kitchen Garden Delights and Dalchonzie Fruit Farm. Syruplicious, from Crieff, also make use of the local harvest, and Scottish Preserves’ chutneys are packed with Blairgowrie’s raspberries and strawberries. Allan’s Chilli Products, based in Abernethy, specialises in spicy jellies and sauces.
Fruit and pollinating bees are a crucial partnership, and Heather Hills Honey Farm and Scarletts Scotland’s honey relies on the blossom from raspberries, as well as oil seed rape, fields of which are planted by Summer Harvest for their gourmet cold-pressed rapeseed oil.
Much of Scotherbs 250 acres of herbs and salad leaves on the Braes of Gowrie will make it to a supermarket near you, but you’ll need to head to Forfar, Montrose or Coupar Angus farmers’ markets to buy Myreside Organics’ salads and veg – or order it and collect from the market garden by Meigle. Bellfield Organics are based near Abernethy on the Perthshire/Fife border, but their box scheme delivers across Perthshire.
Greenvale AP and Taypack are large scale potato growing and packing businesses in Strathmore, with Taypack supplying the main ingredient for Mackies crisps, made in Errol.
Beef, lamb, game and other meat
If you’re into serious, properly raised and butchered meat, Perthshire can provide. Highland Drovers’ aged Highland beef, Hebridean lamb and native breed pork are reared on Borland Farm in Glenshee and butchered at their own cutting plant in Perth. Adam & Wilson supply rare-breed organic beef and lamb from their smallholding in the Perthshire hills – buy from the farm or they offer deliveries to the Perth and Edinburgh areas. Hugh Grierson Organic are a one-stop shop for organic beef, lamb, poultry and pork, with farm and online shops and a stall at various farmers’ markets. Jim Fairlie @ Logiealmond’s lamb is a core element of Perth Farmers’ Market, along with other market stalwarts including Hilton Wild Boar and the farmed deer of Seriously Good Venison. At the most serious end of the scale are Blackford Farm’s Wagyu cattle; reared alongside Shorthorn, Highland and Aberdeen Angus, Blackford’s beef isn’t sold direct to the public.
Game is big business for Perthshire’s estates, and a clutch of companies have built up reputations for providing the best. You’ll find Monarch Deer Farm’s venison at Perth Farmers’ Market and Hubertus Game of Pitlochry attend markets from Edinburgh to Elgin with their wild venison and wild boar burgers.
Taking all this first class meat and turning it into something even more distinctive is Rannoch Smokery, dedicated to meat and game. Many local shops and restaurants stock their products including smoked duck, hand-pressed game terrines, cold smoked beef and dry-cured wild venison. Mr C’s Handcrafted Pies have won medals for their wild venison and game pies, among others – they sell from independent shops and butchers across Scotland. The Wee Pie Company also specialises in artisan pies, primarily wild game, and sell from Fife, Perth and Edinburgh’s Stockbridge farmers’ markets.
Despite the rivers running through it, Perthshire’s main fishing is for leisure. Get involved with the Tay Salmon Fisheries Company, who offer fly fishing courses, and at their sister trout fishery Willowgate by Perth. Fishing permits can also be hired from Loch Earn Fishings at Drummond Trout Farm. Dunkeld Smoked Salmon sell their highly rated product from the smokehouse, their online shop or Perth Farmers’ Market.
Bread, Cakes & Chocolate
Bread doesn’t get much more artisanal than that from Blair Atholl Watermill, one of the last in Scotland to stonegrind wheat and oats. They sell flour and baking from their website, on-site shop and café. Bread handmade by the residents of Corbenic Camphill Community is sold from the Corbenic Café Shop in Dunkeld and at Logierait Market, and the Rannoch Bakery in Kinloch Rannoch serves local restaurants and the village shop.
Perthshire is home to an unfair number of Scotland’s best chocolatiers. Iain Burnett the Highland Chocolatier and Charlotte Flower Chocolates are in Highland Perthshire, Rainbow Organic Chocolate is a newcomer based at Kinross, and Wicked Chocolate has a small workshop in Perth.
For a healthier snack, Perthshire Oatcakes, handmade near Crieff, are at various local farmers’ markets and stocked extensively in delis and good food shops. Kenmore Bakery supply Auchterarder-based fine foods wholesaler Ochil Foods, so though they remain a kitchen bakery, you might find their oatcakes, biscuits, shortbread and tablet further afield than you expect.
Stewart Tower Dairy are the biggest name, selling 200 flavours of gelato-style ice cream from their own café and elsewhere. Giacopazzi’s make traditional Italian ice-cream in Milnathort, while the milk round is taken care of by local dairies Robertson’s Dairy, located in eastern Perthshire, and D&D Dairies from their base near Crieff.