Four Scottish restaurants have been shortlisted as front-runners for the Good Food Guide readers’ restaurant of the year awards.
The Birch Tree in Invergordon, The Bridge Inn at Ratho, near Edinburgh, Gordon’s Restaurant in Inverkeilor in Angus and the Mountain Café in Aviemore had already been shortlisted in the regional finals.
The awards – part of the prestigious guide, which is now published by supermarket chain Waitrose – champion local eateries and recognise good food and service from across the UK. Nominations are still open for the awards.
Readers of the guide – the longest-running and best-selling industry “bible” – can nominate their favourite local restaurant and vote on the organisation’s website.
The Bridge Inn at Ratho has won a string of awards since it was taken over four years ago by Graham and Rachel Bucknall and given a £500,000 refurbishment, including the pub’s two canal barges, where guests can have lunch, tea or dinner aboard.
Among the accolades already received by The Bridge is the title of pub of the year at catering in Scotland’s pub excellence awards 2012, while it has also featured in Shortlist Magazine’s Top 50 UK gastropubs.
Head chef Ben Watson said he was delighted to have been shortlisted for the Good Food Guide honour.
“A lot of hard work has gone into the pub since Graham and Rachel took it over,” he said. “We have been nominated for a few awards over the past few years, but this one is for a very prestigious publication which all chefs and restaurants would be delighted to be a part of.”
The Birch Tree in the Highlands town of Invergordon was also taken over by new owners just two years ago and given a major revamp, while Gordon’s Restaurant in Inverkeilor, Angus, has three AA rosettes and was winner of the AA restaurant of the year 2012 and Scottish restaurant of the year 2012.
The Mountain Café in ski resort Aviemore, which markets itself as a “Scottish restaurant with a Kiwi twist”, was also nominated for the Good Food Guide’s readers’ restaurant of the year last year and boasts a string of other awards and nominations, including the final of Scottish home baker of the year 2014 and the winner of the ethical good food of the year award five years ago.
“It is absolutely brilliant to be nominated,” said Mountain Café owner Kirsten Gilmour. “We are just a small country café, so to be up there with restaurants in the Central Belt is just amazing.”