Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Ballater
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Ballater restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 3 restaurants in Ballater and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Ballater restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Ballater Restaurants
1. Douneside House Scottish restaurant in Tarland
2021 Review: “A great representation of modern Scottish cooking: when they say locally sourced ingredients they literally mean within yards of the building…”. This “scenic country house” sits on the MacRobert Estate in the Scottish Highland; its Library dining room (open weekends only) serves chef David Butler’s six-course tasting menu that’s “creative and full of flavour”. At other times (including afternoon tea) you can eat in their more brasserie-style conservatory, overlooking the gardens. (“The hotel overall is a charity and all the profits from it go back into the MacRobert Trusts”).
2. The Clunie Dining Room, The Fife Arms Scottish restaurant in Braemar Mar Road - AB35
This “lovely hotel” a few minutes’ drive from Balmoral was opened in 2019 by King Charles III (back then merely the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland), and was one of the first properties in Swiss art dealership Hauser + Wirth’s fast-growing hospitality wing, Artfarm. Its restaurant, named after the river that flows past, specialises in “smoky food”, with prime Scottish produce cooked over wood fire, but also serves “weird old-fashioned puddings like baked Alaska”. The dining room walls are decorated by an abstract mural created in situ by Argentinian artist-in-residence Guillermo Kuitca. Other notable art is scattered through the property – but “a lot which was there originally has moved on, gone and not replaced. The Louise Bourgeois spider from the yard. Gone!”
3. The Fish Shop Fish & seafood restaurant in Ballater 3 Netherley Place - AB35
A new venture from ArtFarm, the hospitality and development company behind The Fife Arms in Braemar; opened in late April 2023 and already visited by HM The King and Queen. Expect stylish interiors and local seasonal fare. There's also a fishmonger attached.
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