Aberdeenshire food and drink outlets create their own 12 Days of Christmas

Top north-east restaurants have joined forces with tourism chiefs to come up with a unique take on the 12 Days of Christmas song.

Published 16th Dec 2015
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

To celebrate the end of VisitScotland’s Year of Food and Drink and VisitAberdeen’s FoodFest15, they have pulled together to provide what is described as 'the ultimate in festive treats' available in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this winter.

The 12 Days of Festive Feasting initiative is part of an exercise to promote the quality of food available in the north of Scotland.

A VisitAberdeen spokesman said: “Easily accessible by road, rail, sea and air, the region boasts an array of world-class food producers and award winning restaurants, guaranteed to put a smile on any foodie’s face this Christmas.”

Their unique slant on the 12 Days of Christmas is as follows:

*On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a partridge in a pear tree.

Day 1 -Moonfish - pear and rosemary cheesecake with peanut butter ganache

Sample something sweet this winter with Moonfish Café’s pear and rosemary cheesecake, with peanut butter ganache. Runner-up in Masterchef: The Professionals, head chef Brian McLeish creates his dishes using the finest local ingredients in the popular city centre restaurant.

*On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… two turtle doves

The Thistle Caledonian. Picture: Ross Johnston

The Thistle Caledonian. Picture: Ross Johnston

Doves: the birds of peace. Or should that be the birds of ‘fancy pieces’? Sample an afternoon tea at The Caledonian Hotel featuring some local savoury and sweet produce. While you’re there, take the hassle out of Christmas and visit the fantastic Christmas Village right on its doorstep.

*On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… three French hens

Island cafe with stunning views to team up with Michelin-recommended Edinburgh restaurant for one-off supper club
Picture: Sheridans

Picture: Sheridans

Visit HM Sheridan in Ballater for a three bird roast. With custom combinations available – featuring your choice of turkey, goose, chicken, duck, pheasant and partridge.

Granted the Royal Warrants of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay in 1987, HM Sheridan are butchers to the royal family when they are in residence at Balmoral.

*On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… four collie birds

Day 4 Ship Inn black pudding

Collie, calling or blackbirds as they are generally known are not – fortunately for them – in culinary fashion. But luckily, black haggis parcels are and can be found at The Ship Inn, overlooking Stonehaven’s historic harbour. The black haggis is served in creamed leeks encased in a crispy filo pastry parcel and drizzled with a honey whisky sauce.

New Scottish restaurants added to the Good Food Guide

*On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… five gold rings

Day 5 Golden cocktail Dusk

What better way to complete your fifth day of celebrations than with a Golden Shredless Marmalade cocktail. This unique ensemble can be found at the Dusk Cocktail Bar in Aberdeen’s west end. The tipple, titled New Jam, is made with Appleton Rum, homemade lemon sherbet, fresh lemon juice, golden marmalade and topped with prosecco.

*On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… six geese a-laying

Day 6 The Store Company

El Perro Negro and Ka Pao team up for kitchen takeover in Glasgow 

And where better to source your table’s pièce de résistance than The Farm Shop at Foveran, Aberdeenshire.

Suppliers to Aberdeen’s only five star hotel, the family run business provides exclusive access to the famous free range Barra Bronze turkeys.

*On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… seven swans a-swimming

Day 7 Silver Darling

Venture just 1.5 miles from Aberdeen’s city centre and you’ll find yourself at The Silver Darling with its panoramic views of the north east coast. This award winning restaurant has been serving locally sourced seafood for over 25 years and never fails to impress. Thanks to its enviable location, visitors can also marvel at the dolphins, porpoises, seals – and the occasional swan – swimming past.

*On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… eight maids a-milking

Day 8 Portsoy Ice Cream

It’s never too cold for a frozen treat, even at the height of winter. The award winning Portsoy Ice Cream shop has handmade their own ice-creams, sorbets and frozen yoghurts for over 10 years. For an unusual Christmas treat, be sure to taste their gin and tonic sorbet.

*On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… nine ladies dancing

Day 9 Glen Garioch

Winter is a time for ceilidhs and dancing, and Glen Garioch single malt whisky is guaranteed to accompany the festivities at many a party in the north east. The distillery in Oldmeldrum has been handcrafting non-chill-filtered single malts for over 200 years.

*On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… ten lords a-leaping

Day 10 Buchanans Smoked Salmon

Salmon are known for leaping up rivers across the north east, and as such the area’s catch is known for its superior quality. Buchanans at Woodend Barn in Banchory uses locally caught salmon from Loch Fyne, which is smoked and cured in the bistro.

*On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… eleven pipers piping

Day 11 Cocoa Ooze

Cocoa Ooze is known for its hand-crafted chocolates, each one lovingly created using the finest ingredients. As well as exquisite sweet treats and a popular café, Cocoa Ooze also offers classes where an experiences chocolatier can teach you how to pipe your very own truffles.

*On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… twelve drummers drumming

Day 12 Mains of drum

Visit the Mains of Drum to find some unique local produce that will make the perfect gift for foodies this Christmas. Featuring a range of products from Aberdeenshire producers Duncan’s of Deeside and Ola Oils amongst many others, it’s a veritable treasure trove of delicious foods.

As part of the initiative, VisitAberdeen and the restaurants are offering visitors a three night stay for the price of two – a perfect excuse to make a weekend of Christmas shopping.

• For more information about Aberdeen’s Christmas offering – including food, the brand new Christmas Village, and deals on travel and accommodation – visit visitaberdeendeals.com

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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