Fresh fish from Artfarm near Balmoral

A former Co-op shop in a village near Balmoral rescued by King Charles is to reopen this month as an upmarket fishmonger/restaurant, part of Swiss art dealers Manuela and Iwan Wirth’s growing Artfarm hospitality group.

Fish Shop at Ballater, in Royal Deeside on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, will serve fish ethically sourced from day boats and creel-caught or hand-dived crustacea. Even the smoked fish will be produced using zero-emission charcoal. The restaurant will also serve local game and produce.

The venue was run as the Rothesay Rooms Restaurant and Highgrove Shop after the then Prince of Wales – known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland – stepped in to help the community after flooding in 2015. The restaurant moved to the nearby Old Royal Station in May last year.

Artfarm has established itself as a big player in art-led luxury hospitality in recent years, first in rural Somerset and more recently in Scotland, Los Angeles and London, where last year it opened The Audley, a grand Victorian pub-restaurant in Mayfair, and acquired The Groucho Club in Soho.

Fish Shop will be run by husband-and-wife team Marcus and Jasmine Sherry as a “modern, laid-back 40-cover seafood restaurant“, with interiors featuring salvaged fishing equipment, Scottish-produced textiles and a shoal of 120 fish woven in willow by local artist Helen Jackson suspended from the ceiling.

Marcus, who has been head chef at Artfarm’s Fife Arms in nearby Braemar for three years, said: “Everyone is really looking forward to the opening. We’ve learnt so much about fishing in Scotland and around the UK and have gotten to know some incredible producers and suppliers over the past year.

“I have been experimenting a lot with friends and family on various dishes, so I’m looking forward to being able to share them with guests and customers of the fishmongers.

Fish Shop is scheduled to open on Saturday 29 April, and will be followed next year by the next Artfarm project – The Invercauld Arms at Braemar, a 17-century hotel currently being transformed into a modern luxury retreat.

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