Being out in the wilds of Scotland is no excuse for poor meals. What could be better than cooking either on a gas cooker inside the van (the smell is awesome!) or outside on open flames out in the elements. We have put together a list of recipes for tasty food out on the open road.
Campfire Mac and Cheese
Toasted Marshmallow Strawberries
Campfire French Toast
Frying Pan Pizza
One Pan English Breakfast
The Foodies’ Guide to Scotland
The foodies’ guide to Scotland
Scotland is famed for its provision of incredible food and drink – but you have to know where to find the hidden gems. Whether it’s veggie fare, cheese or seafood that appeals, this country has it in bucketloads.
Our Foodies’ Guide allows you to pack in as much as possible (both in your belly and the schedule!) but also schedules time to rest. After all, constant consumption can get exhausting. If you’re a whisky lover, keep an eye on the blog page as we’ve a guide coming soon that will be right up your street.
Day 1: Glasgow
Your foodie adventure starts in Glasgow or Kilmarnock, when you pick up your Rockinvan. The term ‘Scotland’s natural larder’ might be a bit of a cliché, but there really are very few places in the world where food and drink producers are so plentiful – and unique – as here. It is also a country of contradictions, where curry is seen as a national dish just as much as a fish supper is. But it is Glasgow’s vegan and vegetarian movement that has taken most by surprise in the past few years. Try Mono, The 78 or the 13th Note for genuinely innovative, meat-free dishes that will appeal to non-vegetarians jut as well as they will to those who have pledged their allegiance to vegetables. For something sweet, head to Nardini’s, on Glasgow’s Byres Road. The ice cream parlour has another more established outlet in Largs (North Ayrshire) that is well worth checking out if you’ve time to spend the day beside the sea. Nardini’s and plenty of other similar ventures are included in the newly released Ice Cream Trail – a handy round-up of Scotland’s finest iced goodies and where to find them. Check out Visit Scotland for details. To end the night, try Kelvingrove Café, in trendy Finnieston. One of the best (and newest) offerings the city has, patrons can expect cocktails inspired by nostalgia served in atmospheric environs. Due to the urban environment, there aren’t tons of campsites in the area, but Craigendmuir Park, in Stepps (around eight miles from the city centre) isn’t too far a trek.
Day 2: Dumfries & Galloway
Two hours south of Glasgow is the council region of Dumfries and Galloway. Famed for its stunning beaches and coastal climes, there’s tons for outdoorsy types to do. But the area is also a haven for those who enjoy eating and drinking, with historic breweries, cool cafes and some of the country’s oldest producers in attendance. The Galloway Smokehouse is located in Carsluith and will be a big hit with those who value the tang of wood-smoked salmon or lobster. Its deli is also well stocked for barbecues – essential when the lure of the campsite calls after a long day’s travel. Dumfries and Galloway also holds its own when it comes to distilleries – try Bladnoch or Annandale for a tour steeped in history and a nosy at the malts. No trip to the region would be complete without a visit to Cream O’Galloway. A working dairy farm, there is a visitor centre and play area for kids – but most importantly there are many of the company’s own ice cream flavours to choose from, as well as cheese made on-site. After a day of gluttony, stagger back to Castle Point Caravan and Camping Site and be sure to burn off all those extra calories with a walk (or jog) along the nearby beaches.
Day 3: Borders
The next morning, make the three-hour drive to the Borders. The Scottish Borders are famed for their lamb (and beef), so take the opportunity to sample the area’s meats when visiting. The Kelso Farmers’ Market is a monthly gig on the fourth Saturday of every month offering much in the way of produce, and there is an equivalent in Peebles (on the second Saturday). Other great farm shops include Thistlecockrig Fruit and Veg, also in Peebles, and Whitmuir Organics, in West Linton, where purchases support local farmers and growers. Once you’ve stocked up on essentials (and non-essentials), check out the Borders’ myriad breweries. As well as Scotland’s oldest brewery – Traquair House – there are newer places to discover, including Tempest and Broughton Breweries. Stock up on bottles of craft goodness or take a tour to discover how the process works. Round off the day with a trip to Chain Bridge Honey Farm in Berwick-upon Tweed for a glimpse into the secret life of bees. That night, rock up at the Berwick Seaview Caravan Club Site to prepare for the next step of your foodie adventure.
Blessed with good weather more often than not, Cornwall is a great place to get involved in some of the many outdoor persuits available. From stunning coastal walks to picturesque cycle trails and and golf courses, there are plenty of opportunities to get a tan without ever leaving England.
Drive through the Cornish country side stopping into some of the many quaint sea side towns for a pastie along the way. Driving through Cornwall will show you first hand what it is about this beautful place that has inspired generations of writers from DH Lawrence and Charles Causley to Sir John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier.
Scotland’s Best Chippies
Scotland’s Best Chippies
Scotland’s best fish and chip shops
When you’re on your travels around Scotland, you will probably come across some delicious seafood, particularly down the west coast. Scotland is famed for its beautiful shellfish and salmon, it’s shipped out to some of the most famous restaurants in the world.
However, Scotland is also renowned for another type of fish – fish and chips. Yes, a good old battered cod and a mound of greasy fries. It may not be the healthiest meal, but very few things will beat it when you’re out and about in the van.
To help you find the perfect chippy, we’ve compiled a list of some of Scotland’s best chippies.
20 Harbour Road, Eyemouth, Berwickshire TD14 5HU
The location is perfect for eating loads of scrummy fish and chips. You might have to wait a few minutes as all the food is cooked fresh for each customer, but it’s worth it.
Atlantic Fast Food
155 Calder Street Coatbridge Lanarkshire ML5 4QR
A previous winner of the National Fish and Chip Awards, this chippy has managed to stick in the top 10 thanks to its commitment to sustainable produce.
West End Cafe Bute
3 Gallowgate, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, PA20 0HR
This chippy is the proud winner of the UK Best Fish and Chip Shop Award. They’re so good, they’ve won it twice.
7. Mhor Fish
Mhor Fish and Chip Shop
75 – 77 Main Street, Callander, Perthshire, FK17 8DX
This chip shop is owned and run by the same family that own Monachyle Mhor and Mhor Bread. The food is definitely the best in Callander.
6. The Dolphin
The Nairn Fish and Chip Bar
69 High Street, Nairn IV12 4BW, Scotland
The only place to go for a white or red pudding supper in Inverness, The Dolphin serves up yummy grub all day and night.
Valente’s fish and chips
73 Hendry Rd, Kirkcaldy, Fife, KY2 5DA
If there’s a queue out the door and half way around the block in summer, you can be pretty certain of a decent fish supper. It’s just a shame it’s not open on Saturday lunchtime.
The Real Food Cafe Perthshire
Indooroopilly, Tyndrum, Perthshire, FK20 8RY
One of this year’s National Fish and Chip Awards winners, The Real Food Café is definitely a cut above the rest and incredibly popular with walkers in the area.
The Anstruther Fish Bar
42-44 Shore Street, Anstruther, Fife, KY10 3AQ
Another popular Scottish chippy with queues usually out of the door at the weekend, The Anstruther has won awards in 2001, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2008!
Frankies Fish and Chip Shop Shetland
Brae, Shetland, ZE2 9QJ
01806 522 700
Try to find a chippy further north and you’ll struggle. This café and takeaway is located in Brae on the Shetland Isles. It’s a tough one to beat, winning four of the categories at the National Fish & Chip Awards.
The Bay fish and chip shop
Beach Promenade, Stonehaven, AB39 2RD
As overall winners of the Fish and Chip Awards 2013, it would be wrong to hand the top spot to any other chippy. This chip shop is all about quality produce, using local suppliers and a strong commitment to sustainability. Plus, the food is to die for.
Check out our Rockinvans the next time you fancy touring Scotland to discover the secrets of our very best chippies. Deep fried Mars bar anyone?
Cooking in a campervan
Top Tips For Cooking In A Campervan
One of the great luxuries of touring Scotland in a Rockin’van is that you can cook on board, so there’s really no excuse for constant junk food whilst on your trip. We are here to prove that you can rustle up some cheap and tasty meals in your camper, without having to go anywhere near a tin of beans.
1. Make the most of local produce
What food do you think of when you think of Scotland? I’ll take a couple of guesses. Haggis? Deep-fried Mars bars? Lorne sausage?
Well, although you’re right, that’s not all bonnie Scotland has to offer. If you’re travelling around the coastline, some of the world’s best seafood is right at your fingertips. What’s even better is that this delicious seafood can be cooked on your trusty gas stove or even on a BBQ.
So next time you’re thinking about another Pot Noodle, see if you can source some Scottish seafood for a delicious meal – or even fish for your own!
2. Go foraging
It’s a little daunting at first, but you don’t have to have a degree in botany to give foraging a bash. If you’re unsure about what is safe to eat, it’s worth picking up a handbook (check out Wild Food by Roger Phillips or Food for Free by Richard Mabey) to help you out, but if not, stick to what you know – even if that’s only blackberries.
Top plants to look out for:
- Marsh samphire
- Sea lettuce
3. Always pack cupboard essentials
If you are heading into the Scottish wilderness, miles away from any real civilisation, you will need to pack some basic food items. You can either take what you need with you from home or stop off at a supermarket en-route.
Pasta and rice are obvious choices, but an alternative that many people dismiss is couscous. All you need to knock up a really quick lunch or dinner is hot water, but to give it a little extra punch, make sure you have some vegetable stock, butter and a few herbs and spices. It will marry up beautifully with fresh fish too.
4. Think ‘quick & easy’
Dishes that take a long time to cook are not really that practical in your campervan, so even though you might fancy a slow-cooked stew or hotpot, it’s best to wait until you’re home. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes that you can try out in your van, but it’s best to stick to those with less an hour’s cooking time.
5. Create your own hot smoker
Although your Rockin’van comes with a cooker, a portable hot smoker is a definite bonus if you are looking to cook up a storm on your trip. Don’t worry if you haven’t got the time to buy one, because it’s just as easy to create your own. Once you’ve made the effort, you won’t look back as you’ll be cooking just about everything, from mussels to duck. For even more variety, use different wood dusts when cooking.
Top 10 Scottish Foods For Tourists
Scotland has never been particularly well-known for its cuisine, but it seems that tourists are finally starting to see past the world-famous haggis and find out what else Scottish foods has to offer. If you’re on a roadtrip around Scotland, you’re in a really great position to try out a range of regional Scottish delicacies.
1) Aberdeen Angus Beef
The Lonely Planet’s Food Lover’s Guide has Aberdeen Angus beef as one of the best foods to be found in Scotland. It describes it as “the pride of butchers’”, and in all honesty, they’re not far wrong.
2) Arbroath Smokie
These Scottish treats are thought to have originated in the small village of Auchmithie, but the smoking process was soon moved to Arbroath. Smokies were accidentally created when a fire started in the store holding the salt-preserved haddock.
3) Lorne (Square) Sausage
If you order a cooked breakfast in Scotland, you might be surprised to find a chunk of square meat adorning your plate. This is the lorne sausage – believed to be named after a Glaswegian comedian, Tommy Lorne. There are some other theories behind the square sausage though, some say it’s named after the Firth of Lorne, whilst others believe it was created because a flat sausage makes a better sandwich!
4) Black Pudding
Unsurprisingly, black pudding is not a dessert. This is another addition to the cooked breakfast, but was originated as a way of making use of the whole pig. Although pig’s blood, oats, barley, spice and fat, all blended into an intestine really doesn’t sound that appetising, it really is worth trying.
5) Dundee Cake
One of Scotland’s most famous foods is its light fruit cake, Dundee Cake. As with many Scottish delicacies, there are a number of stories behind its beginnings. Some believe that Keiller’s marmalade company were behind it, whereas others claim that the cake was made for Mary Queen of Scots because she didn’t like cherries in her fruit cake.
Macaroni Cheese Pie
6) Macaroni Cheese Pie
Only in Scotland would you find a teatime favourite inside a pie. There is little need for explanation as the name really tells all, macaroni cheese in a pie. This delicious snack packs moreish cheesy goodness into a hot water pastry crust.
The Scottish savoury oatcake is different to any other type of oatcake you may have had before. These oatcakes (sometimes known as bannocks) are made using oatmeal and are either baked or cooked on a girdle. Scottish oatcakes are often paired with smoked salmon and cheese for a scrummy snack.
There is nothing more classically Scottish than shortbread. This biscuit is made using just three ingredients; flour, sugar and butter. Scottish shortbread is now eaten all year round, but traditionally on special occasions such as Christmas and Hogmanay.
Neeps and Tatties
9) Neeps & Tatties
Literally, swede and potatoes… this side dish usually accompanies another Scottish delicacy, Haggis, but goes well with any meat.
Deep Fried Mars Bar
10) Anything deep fried!
The battered Mars bar has now achieved worldwide fame and symbolises just about everything that is wrong with the traditionally unhealthy Scottish diet. However, it’s not just Mars bars that are deep-fried up north, pop into any fish and chip shop and you’ll find deep-fried fish, sausages and pizzas! Of course, we wouldn’t recommend eating these Scottish foods regularly, but a wee taste won’t do any harm.
Best Places for Seafood in Scotland
Scotland has had a strong relationship with the North Sea for as long as anyone can remember. Whether you’re in Glasgow city centre or in the middle of nowhere up in the Highlands, you are not too far away from a beautiful coastline.
This connection with the waters is one of the reasons that Scottish fish is famous for being some of the best all around the world. Salmon is probably the first that springs to mind, and quite rightly so, but that’s not all there is to offer.
So how do our super-duper Rockin’vans have anything to do with Scottish seafood? Well, the only way to experience everything is a roadtrip. Yes, a good old fashioned road trip around the country, only this time you’ve a route to follow.
The Seafood Trail is the best way to enjoy some of the world’s best seafood. The route takes you through the west of Scotland, where you will see spectacular scenery from the rolling green fields to jaw-dropping coastlines.
This trail has been specifically designed to show off the absolute best of Scottish seafood, from tasty fresh crab rolls to the finest mussels on Michelin star menus. Although the chefs do a pretty darn good job of cooking the seafood, the stars of the show are, without any doubt, the fisherman.
What are you waiting for? Jump in a Rockin’van and head on Britain’s first ever seafood trail. If time is not on your side, we have narrowed down the trail and handpicked two of the best haunts.
Loch Fyne is one of the most famous places for seafood in the whole of the UK, not just Scotland, so it only makes sense to start here. On your travels, it’s worth keeping the in mind “take the unbeaten path” as many of these seafood havens are tucked away.
If you stick to this rule, you’ll soon find yourself in Cairndow tucking into a bowl of oysters overlooking the very loch they came from. The food is exquisite yet simple. You won’t find any unnecessary fancy sauce or ‘jus’ on your mussels, just a splash of lemon juice and pinch of salt. The quality of the seafood here speaks for itself.
Oh, and don’t even think about leaving Cairndow before visiting the Loch Fyne Farm Shop.
Telephone: 01499 600264
Address: Loch Fyne Oysters, Cairndowm PA26 8BJ
Heading towards to the top of the Kintyre peninsula and you will find the Cairnbaan Hotel sitting on the banks of the Crinan Canal. It was once notorious for being one of the roughest pubs around. That’s all changed now of course, Bill Clinton and Princess Anne have dined here for heaven’s sake.
The Cairnbaan Hotel is anything but fine dining, which isn’t an insult of course as the food here is absolutely delicious. Just about anything from the menu will start off a tango on your taste buds, but if I had to recommend anything it would be the trout pâté or scallops in bacon.
Telephone: 01546 603668
Address: Cairnbaan, by Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8SJ
Although these two are my favourites on The Seafood Trail, it would be an injustice not to give the others a mention too.
+44 (0)1369 860279
Address: Strachur, Loch Fyne, Argyll, PA27 8BX
Royal An Lochan
Telephone: 01700 811239
Address: Tighnabruaich, Argyll, PA21 2BE
Telephone: 01583 431226
Address: Port Righ, Carradale, PA28 6SE
Telephone: 01369 860537
Address: Trathlachlan, Strachur, Argyll, PA27 8BU
The Seafood Cabin
Telephone: 01880 760207
Address: Skipness House, Skipness, by Tarbert, Argyll, PA29 6XU
Telephone: 01631 730302
Address: Port Appin, Argyll PA38 4DE