2021 Guide to Festive Dining in Scotland

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

Looking for some locations to enjoy a hearty festive meal? Why not try these fantastic eateries

As we get older, the festive season means less about receiving gifts and more about those special get-togethers with friends and loved ones. At the centre of those heart-warming moments is delicious food and drink that smacks of indulgence, ceremony and nostalgia. Across Scotland there’s an abundance of locations to enjoy a festive feast and we’ve rounded up a few of our top picks to sink your teeth into over the holiday season.

The Witchery

Even the name instils an immediate sense of magic. Located on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile only a hop skip and a jump from the castle, the rich baroque surroundings of the original 16th century oak-panelled dining room or the candlelit secret garden room offer an incredible setting for dining this December. Created by head chef Douglas Ross, the à la carte

menu champions the season, serving everything from roast loin of red deer to baked hand dived Isle of Mull scallops. Steeped in 400 years of history, the red leather seats, original tapestries, antique candlesticks and stone walls transport diners to Christmases of the past while offering a decadent 21st century menu accompanied with an award-winning wine list.

Castlehill, The Royal Mile, EH1 2NF

Meldrum House Hotel & Golf Course

A glorious blend of old and new: Meldrum House in Aberdeenshire dates to the 13th century. The snug and atmospheric Cave Bar with its stone walls and candlelight, is part of the original manor house and is a cosy spot to enjoy a more casual dining experience and any number of drams from the hotel’s extensive whisky collection. For something a little different, dine in one of the heated domes where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the manor house, estate and Highland cows. Throughout December you can enjoy a festive afternoon tea – which includes white chocolate snowballs, meringue snowman and apple and cinnamon scones – by a roaring log fire in the manor house. For more festive fun, there are also bauble wreath -making classes that include a glass of bubbly, canapes and a three-course lunch or après ski party nights for groups.

Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, AB51 0AE

The Dreel Tavern

Nestled in the pretty fishing village of Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife, this 18th century tavern is the perfect antidote to the chill of the winter air. The original stone walls, romantic candlelight and cosy fireplace provide a wonderful setting to enjoy delicious locally sourced fayre. From November, the aroma of the Dreel Tavern’s own mulled wine and hot gin punch fill the air, and a selection of winter warmer drinks - including hot apple and rum, spiced caramel apple and bourbon - are available. Tuck into winter specials like roast chestnut soup and apple pie with cinnamon Crème Anglaise followed by a spiced berry mojito or a mistletoe margarita.

Anstruther, Fife, KY10 3DL


Located just three miles from Dunblane, Cromlix is a five-star luxurious country house hotel that boasts a Chez Roux restaurant. From the second week in December a special festive menu will be available featuring pâté grand-mère, cranberry chutney and homemade brioche followed by the traditional turkey or perhaps roasted North Sea hake with scallop butter risotto, ending with a mouth-watering chocolate and chestnut yule log. There are a number of Christmas and Hogmanay packages to choose from (subject to availability) in between exploring this fascinating estate dating back to the 15th century.

Kinbuck, Stirling, FK15 9JT