Experience Unique Flavours Around Loch Earn #shoplocal
Food and drink products make perfect gifts to take home. There is a wide choice with a good range of price options from shortbread and traditional sweeties to gin and whisky. We are proud to share information and links to quality retailers within an easy driving distance of Briar Cottages, including; locally smoked salmon, hand made cakes, cheeses, fruit and vegetables, chocolate, ice cream, roasted coffee, bread, seafood, distilled alcohol.
I talk a lot about the Falls of Dochart Smoked Salmon on social media. People must think that I am paid to promote it. On the contrary, it is the best that I have tasted and I am happy to invest in a regular supply switching between hot and cold whisky smoked salmon along with smoked cheddar and delicious smoked salmon pate. The Falls of Dochart Smokehouse team will even give you their recipe to make your own pate with.
Many guests who visit, thank us for pointing out the shop and tasting rooms in Killin. Sales and marketing manager Patrick Baines will look after you or one of his team if he is attending a farmers market. You might be lucky to be offered a sample of the pate on a blini in the smokery shop. In addition to salmon and smoked cheddar you can buy a range of quality goods made in Scotland, for example; Wild Hearth Bakery sourdough bread from Comrie, Perthshire Oatcakes, Perthshire Preserves, Summer Harvest Cold Pressed Linseed oil dressings, Chocolates by Iain Burnett - The Highland Chocolatier from Grantully.
A great idea for a special celebration. The company operates a mail order service in the UK should you wish to purchase products after you return home or have a hamper delivered to loved ones at Christmas. In addition, discover The Falls of Dochart labelled whisky by Glenturret, gin, sloe gin and shortbread.
Falls of Dochart whisky and gin make a lovely gift from Killin. The unique label depicting The Falls of Dochart is from a watercolour by Scottish artist Daniel Campbell. We happen to have one of his prints on display that is often admired by guests in Briar Steading Cottage. The gin is made using Tayberries - a cross between a raspberry and bramble (blackberry). They grow along The River Tay.
McQueen gin has been a success story offering award winning flavoured gins from a distillery and visitor centre just outside Callander. I have recently learned that the distillery is closed permanently and administrators have been appointed. That is sad news for the area and we hope it is not the end of the road for the brand. You can still purchase some of their products from on-line stockists. The last one that we bought was blue in colour changing to pink when tonic was added. A recent guest of Little Briar Cottage had a bottle of her favourite McQueen blackcurrant and raspberry on her shopping list. We pointed her to on-line sources and a bottle was waiting for her when she returned home.
The Grail in Callander - is a boutique craft drinks shop where they specialise in single malts. Check the website for tasting events too.
Nearby whisky distilleries include Deanston near Doune and Scotland's oldest working distillery Glenturret on the way to Crieff. For an extensive selection of national and international whiskys and gins visit The Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum. Non drivers will be welcome to sample a few before they buy with expert advice from the knowledgeable team at the counter.
And beer? Vist the Lade Inn shop at Kilmahog off the A84. Find it at the Kilmahog turn off before you reach Callander if driving from the Lochearnhead direction. You will discover a treasure trove of over 180 Scottish real ales for sale. Fraser calls it the "sweetie shop".
To accompany your cheeses? The authentic flavours and textures of award winning Perthshire Oatcakes based on a farm in Crieff. They claim to use ".the only brand of oatmeal guaranteed to be 100% Scottish from seed to mill to finished product"
The Wild Hearth Bakery is also based at Cultybraggan. They bake wholesome rustic loafs including sour dough options. Try their fig and walnut sourdough round. Yum!
Look out for award winning Scottish Jam and preserve makers Perthshire Preserves. They are based in Callander with a mail order service. Try a selection from the tempting choice. Hot banana chutney? Orange whisky marmalade? Another local and unique "made in Scotland" gift option.
There is also the option to catch your own fresh trout either from Briar Cottages garden on Loch Earn when staying between 15th March and 6th October or via Drummond Estates Trout Farm
For butcher meat visit David Comrie and Son in Comrie, est 1835, Gourlay butcher in Crieff, D Campbell and Son Callander - butchers since 1949 and the The Smiddy Butcher shop near Blair Drummond with fresh meat selections from 5 local farms.
Inverlochlaraig Venison is the place to go for a range of cuts whether you prefer a haunch, sirloin, medalions, mince, sausages or other options. You can buy a box and have it shipped to your door. If you are visiting the Braes of Balquhidder pop in to the farm shop. Turn off the A84 past MHOR84, following the road to Balquhidder and travel straight on past Monachyle Mhor. Enjoy the scenic trip in the car past loch's Voil and Doine or hire an ebike from Roll Outdoors next to Mhor 84 if you are very fit.
Sadly our own village shop is closed and will not re-open following the ill health of popular owner Owen who has served our community for decades. We don't know the future of the building however we wish Owen the best recovery and happiness in retirement as do many of our regular guests. Strathyre Village Shop and Post Office, St Fillans Village shop and Killin Co-op are all within a 7 mile trip going south, east and north from Briar Cottages.
Spare a thought for the small shops and delis. They put their hearts and lives into producing quality unique produce. Self catering gives you the option to mix and match shopping and treat yourselves or your loved ones back home.
Enjoy exploring and tasting your way around our unique area of rural Scotland.
Visit our website page Eat, Drink, Places and Produce around Loch Earn for links to local food producers, retailers and farmers markets as well as area restaurants that were covered in my previous blog.
Slàinte Mhath! (Your good health)