While I was working the bar the other night, I had the pleasure of running into my favorite couple from Glasgow. It had felt serendipitous when I first met them, as I had just found out about my opportunity to travel to Scotland.
At the time I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off financially so close to my other planned travels, but after talking to them I knew I was going do whatever I had to in order to get my family to Glasgow. I worked my booty off for weeks leading up to the trip and every time this couple would come into the bar they would reignite my excitement with stories from Scotland. They gave me the lowdown on what to do, see, eat and drink during my stay. I made notes every time they came in to insure that I wouldn’t miss a thing.
Well, yesterday was the first time I had seen them since my return. We hugged and squealed with excitement. I showed them photos and we talked about all things I did during my stay. The conversation mostly focused on food and drink as they reminisced about all their hometown favorites. It felt rejuvenating to talk about my trip again, but it also made me miss all the yummy things we left behind in Scotland. So without further ado, here are my favorite Scottish eats and drinks.
We can’t talk about Scotland and not discuss Scotch. It would be wrong. Therefore it is the first item on my list. First of all, though I have always loved whiskey, I have never really had a taste for Scotch whisky…or so I thought.
During my stay in Scotland I was able to sample a multitude of different Scotches and fell in love. No seriously, I am hooked. I drank Scotch daily while in Scotland. My favorites included Oban Scotch, Ardbeg and Glenmorangie.
The great thing about Scotland is that whisky is not expensive! Let me tell you, it was quite a culture shock when I returned home to California and saw the price to order Scotch at a restaurant. For instance, I was excited to see Oban on the menu at a local venue until I saw the price. Oban was $15 a shot in California, when I was paying on $5 (at most) in Scotland. WHAAAA!!!
I am a beer girl and there is nothing like an ice-cold, frothy brew. Although Europe is known for having room-temperature beer, I am excited to announce that Scotland’s brews are cold! Not only are they refreshing, they are frothy with a whipped, creamy head that lasts until the very end. Needless to say, I consumed a lot of beer during my time in Scotland and never even felt bloated! I desperately miss some of my favorites that I can’t get here in California.
Tennents was probably my top favorite beer. It is brewed locally in Glasgow, which makes it extra cool and the brewery is open to the public. The frothy head was reminiscent of Guinness, but the brew was light and drinkable. There was even a bar named after this favorite beer.
Innis & Gunn is a flavorful beer brewed in Edinburgh. I enjoyed pints of this delicious beer nightly at my favorite pub, Curler’s Rest, along with a few drams of Oban!
This next beer has been around for 4,000 years! Yes, Fraoch Heather Ale has been brewed in Scotland since 2,000 BC! A beer this old and delicious definitely made my list of favorites!
HotMama Tip: For the kids!
While we adults gulped our alcoholic delights with unbelievable thirst, the kids really developed a taste for ginger beer. Ginger beer is everywhere in Scotland and rather popular in the bars. My kids loved it and they loved drinking it out of the bottle. It made them feel a part of the scene and kept them happy.
Scotland is known for having some of the world’s best seafood, so it would be a huge mistake to not partake in the treasures of the sea. I, for one, LOVE seafood. So, it is safe to say that I was in heaven in Scotland.
Let me first give a shout out to Haddock n’ Chips! Now, you are probably familiar with fish n’ chips, but Haddock (a local fish) is something truly unique. First of all it is HUGE! I couldn’t believe the size of the fish. It was bigger than HotDaddy’s head. This was a favorite dish among the family and it was ordered most days during our trip. FireCracker and Papa were true Haddock n’ Chips fans.
There were a ton of mouth-watering meat options in Scotland and we tried and loved most of them.
Steak n’ Ale Pies were a definite crowd-pleaser. FireCracker and Grams were obsessed with these flaky and tender meat pies.
Haggis is a Scotland staple made of sheep meet. When we were driving through the highlands, our guide pointed to the sheep and shouted, “Haggis on legs!” It was offered everywhere in many different styles. This was CuddleBear’s favorite dish of the trip. He loved Haggis. I really enjoyed it too. CuddleBear’s favorite style was when it was rolled into balls and fried. After a day of sightseeing, he would cry, “I just want my Haggis balls and ginger beer!” Okay, off to the pub.
Blood pudding is another popular Scottish dish. You might not like it if you know what’s in it, for instance blood, but I encourage you to try it. It is actually really delicious and addicting.
The Scottish loves their sweets! For a cold and rainy country, I have never seen so many ice cream parlors! My kids were in sugar heaven. Every kid’s meal at the restaurants came with an amazing dessert and I mean amazing, not dorky skimpy sundaes. Coming back to California, where even frozen yogurt is a rare treat, it was fascinating to see all the bakeries, confectioneries, and ice cream shops outnumber the pubs!
I absolutely love goat cheese, but whenever I order a dish in California with goat cheese it is really skimpy. I can put goat cheese down like nobody’s business and I want more!!! Thankfully, Scotland heard my call and fulfilled my goat cheese desire! I would order a salad and there would be more goat cheese than lettuce! LOVE IT!!! Thank you Scotland!
Did you know that Scotland, Glasgow particularly, has AMAZING global dishes? For one, Indian food is wildly popular and basically a staple in Glasgow! There is one fantastic Indian restaurant after another!! Yes, when in Glasgow have some Indian food.
Hanoi Bike Shop had wonderful Vietnamese cuisine. I was overly excited and ordered way too much food, but whatever. It was delicious and hit the spot.
I am from the U.S and it is all about coffee here. In fact, I had never been to a proper tea house until I visited Scotland. It is amazing to see your kids bust out lovely manors when having afternoon tea in a tea room. We started every morning with tea in our room and the kids loved it. They even asked if we could start having tea at home! Although we have started making tea a part of our life back in California, it doesn’t compare to Scotland. Their water is so much better and it makes a huge difference in the tea.
We ate so many vegetables while Scotland. Vegetables are delicious and plentiful and my kids couldn’t get enough. My favorite was Scottish Cullen Skink Soup.
IRN BRU is Scottish made soda that survived the Coke a Cola fade. The Scottish are a proud people and IRN BRU remains the most popular soft drink in Scotland. We tried it and it was interesting. It looks orange, but taste kind of like bubble gum.
That’s A Wrap:
I don’t know about you, but I am really hungry and really thirsty right now! All this talk about my favorite Scottish eats and drinks has got me missing Scotland!!
Not only did I love everything I ate and drank, but the kids loved everything too. It was such a pleasure to see my babies enjoying every meal and eating well.
Here’s to Scotland, here’s to their delicious food, here’s to their amazing beer and whisky!
Have you ever been to Scotland? What was your favorite dish or beverage?