Gourmet Scotland: From food festivals and fishing breaks to pop-up restaurants and whisky trails

There are plenty of food and drink experiences to try this autumn, writes Lucy Gillmore

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The Independent Travel

Scotland's Year of Food and Drink is waddling towards the dessert course, but if you haven't quite eaten your fill, there are still gourmet experiences to enjoy. There are farmers' markets, food trails and events to whet your appetite, while in Edinburgh (which has five Michelin stars), October sees a city-wide restaurant festival. From 8 to 18 October, there will be dining offers and events including foodie walking tours (keep an eye on thisisedinburgh.com for more news). Loosen your belt and tuck in.

Great Scottish bake-off

Who needs Mary Berry? At the Dundee Flower and Food Festival (01382 434940; dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.com), in Camperdown Country Park from this Friday to Sunday, there's a Dundee Cake contest and an award for Scotch broth. MasterChef's Gregg Wallace will be giving cookery demonstrations. Day tickets £12, three-day tickets £24, accompanied children under 16 free.

Loch in

At the 10th annual Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival (01389 751031; lochlomondfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk) this Saturday and Sunday, around 20,000 people are expected to attend the food stalls and tasting sessions on the banks of the loch, watch the cookery demos – and take part in a haggis-eating competition each afternoon (pre-registration needed). The festival and activities such as foraging and bushcraft sessions are all free.

Malt Whisky Trail (Visit Scotland)

Hit the road

As an autumn chill begins to seep in, a warming dram might be just the ticket. The Malt Whisky Trail (maltwhiskytrail.com) winds through bucolic Speyside, where you can guide yourself to distilleries such as The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich for tours and tasting.

If whisky isn't for you, head over to the west coast for the Seafood Trail (theseafoodtrail.com), which wends its way from oyster bar to fine seafood restaurants.

Harvest festival

Balgove Larder (01334 898145; balgove.com), on the edge of St Andrews, is the kind of farm shop you'd expect in this neck of the woods: posh. With a rustic-chic café and traditional butchery, it aims to promote the best local and seasonal food and drink.

Until the end of the month, the pop-up Steak Barn is rustling up barbecued steaks, burgers and sausages (Wednesdays to Sundays, noon to 8.30pm). And on 9 September, there's a Harvest Feast. Chef Anthony Sturge will give an introduction to each course. Dishes to devour include a creamy roasted cauliflower and fennel soup, stewed Balgove venison, and a Harvest pudding. Tickets cost £23 for a drink and three-course meal. Booking essential.

Larder top

The Loch Lomond Arms (01436 860420; lochlomondarmshotel.com) is organising a handful of foodie breaks this autumn, including Exploring Our Natural Larder (5-7 October and 12-14 October).

Guests will select herbs and vegetables for supper from the kitchen garden before checking out the best fishing spots on Loch Lomond with a local fisherman. Also included is a visit to the farm where much of the hotel's produce is sourced.

Before the four-course tasting menu with matching wines, the chef will discuss the provenance of the food. The two-night break costs £260pp full board, with transport to and from the activities and the boat trip.