Tips For Dining Out in The Country

by Jo Kenny

There’s a quote from a famous old naturalist: “The mountains are calling and I must go.” which I identify with so much. Whilst I will always live somewhere urban with all the modern conveniences, there is something in my being that deeply craves wide open spaces and the wild.

Which is why Q couldn’t have picked more perfect spot in the whole wide world, than on top of a mountain, to ask me to marry him!

holiday eating tips scotland mountain

holiday eating tips girl eats world

Eeeee! What was I was saying in my previous post about reaching exciting milestones?! I’m so happy! We’d booked a long weekend up in Scotland and it was incredible; such untouched beauty and a true feeling of escapism out in a very rural area on Loch Tay.

holiday eating tips loch tay

holiday eating tips loch

holiday eating tips scotland loch

We got just about every type of weather possible during our stay and the loch reflected each mood perfectly. Even the night time storms were unforgettable with the water crashing against the pebble shorelines as if it were the sea. Aaah nothing resets your stress levels like getting back to nature!

The challenge that comes with such rural retreats is knowing where’s good to eat. You can forget relying on the internet when there’s not a bar of signal in sight let alone a pocket of 3G. It’s back to basics without the help of Trip Advisor. Here’s my tips for finding good eats in the countryside:


A keen eye is a great way to find the best food spots in the villages. Keep an eye out for restaurants as you pass by on your other holiday activities and have a look through the windows: the busy ones will speak for themselves and you can make a booking for the next day.

holiday eating tips bread

holiday eating tips salmon

holiday eating tips steak

ask the locals

It doesn’t always come naturally (especially if you’re a grumpy Southerner like me) but local knowledge is always a successful way to learn what’s worth your time. Owners of little boutique shops are a good source: they’re unbiased and know a lot of people!

holiday eating tips ginger cake

holiday eating tips lemon cake

holiday eating tips fire

go al fresco

Who says you have to eat in a restaurant? With all that beautiful countryside it makes sense to have a picnic! Support the local businesses and pick up your nibbles at bakeries, butchers and delis. I love shopping like this on country breaks; it beats supermarket shopping hands down!

holiday eating tips jo mountain

embrace the imperfect

It’s the country, not the capital. Not everywhere is going to be super polished and you aren’t going to be spoilt for choice. Like anywhere there will be absolute gems, but maybe some places with a bit of ‘quirky charm’ as well, and that’s ok! Embrace going in blind. We found a pub with the most bizarre red and purple interior and tired old furniture. But it served us a fine meal and our waitress was absolutely lovely; turns out she helped look after the place we were staying in!

holiday eating tips courtyard

holiday eating tips cullen skink


I’ve put this last as it’s not really in the spirit of the country retreat in my opinion. But doing your homework before going away and even making bookings can put your mind at ease for the trip. It does however remove any spontaneity.

What’s your style? Plan it or wing it?

1 comment

Claire April 20, 2016 - 8:42 pm

I love winging it on country getaways! I mean I live in the country anyway but it’s so nice to go to different places and take a chance on the local pubs and restaurants!
In my experience you can’t go too wrong with a good pub lunch



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