The Fife Arms in Braemar is a very special hotel, and I am lucky enough to say I’ve now visited twice. Three years ago, before the anxieties of the pandemic I took a one night trip up to the Highlands to experience this artistic hotel (from Hauser & Wirth founders) when it had just opened. Last month I took the journey up North again, this time with my partner and toddler in tow, and once again it surpassed all my expectations.
As my previous post details all the magnificent features of the hotel I thought I’d use this blog update to tell you about why this hotel (and it’s surroundings) should be on any food obsessed travellers radar…
The hotel itself has exemplary food and drink options, from the elegant Clunie Dining Room to laidback pub The Flying Stag, Elsa’s pretty-in-pink cocktail bar and the brand new whisky emporium, Bertie’s Bar.
At Elsa’s bar art deco design reigns supreme, velvet stools and accents of pink to mark Elsa Schiaparelli’s signature style and love of shocking pink. Meanwhile the dark and cosy Bertie’s Bar offers whisky fans a unique experience… Named in honour of Queen Victoria’s eldest son, King Edward VII, also known as ‘Bertie’, the bar showcases 365 whiskies, one for each day of the year, unusually arranged by flavour profile: Fragrant, Fruity, Rich and Smoky. Book in to do an educational (and delicious) tasting.
An elaborate breakfast is served downstairs, or can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own room. Highlights of the morning meal for me were the fat fluffy Scotch pancake with creme fraiche and marmalade and the moreish Broccoli and spring onion fritters with bacon, poached egg and sriracha yoghurt. All served with fresh fruit juice and strong coffee.
The restaurants at The Fife Arms are now overseen by chef Adam Johnson (who previously worked for Raymond Blanc), and he is beginning to make his changes to The Clunie Dining Room menu, while still highlighting the best produce of the region (don’t miss the local venison on the dinner menu).
This trip I was particularly impressed by The Flying Stag, the atmospheric pub at The Fife Arms. The menu has comforting classics like steaks, salads and burgers. The fish and chips we enjoyed here was one of the best I’ve tried for a long time, perfectly cooked chips and beautifully light and crispy battered fish. Pair your meal with pint of The Flying Stag ale.
When you feel like venturing out of the hotel there are some real foodie gems in the area to discover. I loved the cakes from Hazelnut Patisserie (the lemon meringue pie pictured here was sublime), and chocolates from Braemar Chocolate Shop – though be warned they are only open at the weekend.
For a tasty lunch nearby Tàrmachan Cafe is just 15 minutes drive from the hotel… don’t miss their perfectly poured coffees and the irresistible Venison sausage rolls, I could have eaten several!
Then if you driving up to The Fife Arms from Edinburgh, Aran Bakery (opened by ex-Bake Off contestant Flora Shedden) for immaculate viennoisserie, focaccia bread and other treats.
Thank you for another special stay Fife Arms. Such a charming place for the whole family, welcoming babies and dogs with open arms is rare for such a prestigious hotel, and Fife really do it in style.
More information and book a stay at The Fife Arms here.
(Organised press stay).