Written by K.C. Dermody
You may be visiting Scotland for its incredible scenery and spectacular castles, but did you know the country is also one of the best destinations for food lovers? While you might already associate the nation with the best whiskey and fine ales, you'll also find some of the tastiest shellfish and salmon, mouth-watering beef and lamb, heavenly scones, and, of course, haggis.
Visitors to Scotland should make a point of attending one of the great food festivals that can be found throughout spring and summer. Here you'll find the best food and drink, and often live entertainment and much more.
Loch Fyne Food Fair
If you'll be traveling to Scotland during mid to late spring, one of the best times of year to visit, the Loch Fyne Food Fair will take place over the weekend of May 19-20, 2012. Just two hours northwest of Edinburgh near scenic Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Loch Fyne is famous for its oysters. In addition to fresh oysters, you'll be able to sample Winston Churchill Venison, Great Glen Game and Crystal Shortbreads and wonderful sweet treats like Ayrshire Confections.
Fyne Ales will provide refreshing pints of beer, with specially selected wines from Europe and Australia also available for purchase. Guests can enjoy live music on both days, and even find that perfect gift for friends and family back home in the craft tent. The fair will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, and parking is just £3 per vehicle.
Taste of Edinburgh
Summer travelers can enjoy one of the best food festivals all year at the Taste of Edinburgh, held from July 6-8, 2012. Set on the east coast of Scotland amongst volcanic hills, Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city, and one of its most picturesque.
The Taste of Edinburgh includes three days of wonderful summertime eating, drinking and entertainment. The best chefs in the country will be here, bringing a wide selection of their finest culinary delights. Tickets will go on sale April 2, 2012, starting at £10.00. Visitors will not only be able to sample the fine food, there will also be cooking classes, and even the highly popular Taste Theatre, which is an interactive event with Scotland's culinary greats.
Crail Food Festival
The 2nd Annual Crail Food Festival will be held from June 15-17, 2012. Crail is the most easterly of coastal settlements in the Fife region, and the most charming town in the area. Just an hour and a half northeast of Edinburgh, and 10 miles southeast of St. Andrews for those who would like to enjoy the world's oldest golf course. The Crail Food Festival brings together local and regional chefs as well as musicians.
The event includes an opening supper concert followed by two days of tasting, sampling, cookery demonstrations, music and more. This region is one of my favorite for its fresh seafood and produce that is grown in abundance, as well as having more of a small town, country feel.
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