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Neil Forbes' Perfect Sunday

We asked Neil Forbes, head chef at Cafe St Honoré, to tell us what his perfect Sunday would involve

Published: June 10, 2015

I must say most Sundays are perfect as it’s usually the day I take off from working a busy week at Cafe St Honoré. It would start as most days do, with freshly-ground coffee in a cafetière - I love using them at home. Then I’d take a stroll over the Leith Links with my wife and boys to The King’s Wark pub at the Shore, where they serve an incredible cooked breakfast. As this is my perfect Sunday, a Bloody Mary or half a stout might tempt me. But there will also be tea and lots of toast. Everything you could possibly want to set you up for the day, all served up in the best olde worlde pub. Sometimes the fire is on and I’ll linger to read the papers.

The Kings Wark. Picture: Neil Hanna

The Kings Wark. Picture: Neil Hanna

For lunch, we’d take a beautiful drive through Perthshire to the village of Balquidder, where along a romantic (if a little crazy) road lays a little slice of heaven - Monachyle Mhor. It’s only an hour and a half from Edinburgh but you feel like you’re a million miles away surrounded by all those wonderful hills and lochs. We’ll be greeted by their fabulous staff, and led through to the dining room to enjoy a feast. The food is modern using local produce; much of it sourced from owners Tom and Lisa Lewis’s own farm. It’s a real ‘get away from it all’ sort of place, perfect for a lovely lunch with friends, family or even on your own (after a long, sneaky Monday motorbike ride, I might accidentally end up there!). We love the place, and the people.

Mhor two

Picture: Monachyle Mhor

Dinner would be just Mrs Chef and myself. And if it can be anywhere in Scotland then it has to be The Three Chimneys on Skye. Owners Eddie and Shirley Spear have been at the vanguard of great Scottish hospitality for decades. It’s a very special place where I feel very at home and relaxed. A fair few of my old staff have worked there over the years, so it’s nice to have a good old catch up with them too. Mrs Chef and I would take a walk along the shore before settling down to a drink whilst looking over their incredible menu. Oysters from over there, lamb from just over there, whisky from down the road - everything has a story to tell and more importantly, tastes great. I’ll never forget eating oysters there that were the size of side plates. But my favourite dish was a skink featuring an egg yolk, black pudding and a wee dash of Talisker – it’s worth the journey for that alone!

Picture: The Three Chimeys, Skye

Picture: The Three Chimeys, Skye

Neil is one of Scotland's most passionate chefs who describes cooking as an “emotional experience that uses all the senses”. Born into a family of chefs, it was his granny”s soup that first inspired a young Neil to get behind the stove, and inspires him still.

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