Catering Scotland

Perthshire Retreat Proves Popular For Health-Conscious Guests

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Perthshire Retreat Proves Popular For Health-Conscious Guests

October 21
20:07 2013
Featuring luxury lodge accommodation and the eponymous country house hotel set against a backdrop of glens, lochs and rivers, Duchally offers the ideal location for holidays and short breaks in Scotland. The restaurant, with its well-known reputation for fine food, is popular with non-residents and is patronised both by locals and visitors alike.

Head chef Colin Paterson explains that the changes needed to meet the award criteria were well within reach: ‘When we looked at our menu we found that many of the dishes we offered were already suitable,’ he says. ‘It was designed healthier eating in mind and, while we retained the fine dining aspect, we decided to move to more of a gastro pub-style menu, including a range of all-day light snacks and hot meals.

‘We also changed the type of oil and mayonnaise we were using, and introduced a choice of rice or boiled potatoes to accompany meals.’

Despite these relatively simple measures, Colin believes that if they’d kept exclusively to the fine dining style, the award would have been even easier to achieve: ‘The decision to change to a more gastro-style of pub food meant introducing a couple of fried dishes, which inevitably created new challenges for us,’ he continues. ‘However, by and large they have been relatively easily implemented and well-received by most diners. Some guests still like to keep with tradition and enjoy their chips, of course, but the important point is that the healthyliving award allows them the choice.

‘Consequently, we’re finding a lot more people – children, especially – are going for the healthyliving options such as potatoes in place of chips, and baked fish instead of deep-fried. There certainly seems to be an increase in awareness of the benefits of eating more healthily, and we’re proud to be encouraging it from this end.’

And aside from restaurant dining, Colin and his team have been active in promoting healthier eating to their leisure guests: ‘A while back we introduced a special swim-lunch offer, promoted online, which includes use of the resort’s leisure facilities together with lunch from a specially created, health-conscious menu,’ he concludes. ‘Additionally,  our sous chef, Ryan was instrumental in organising a food-and-drink festival and ceilidh – complete with an all-day healthyliving barbecue featuring salmon and lean beef from local suppliers – in aid of Slow Food UK.’


Healthier eating at a higher level may once have been considered the preserve of specialist leisure retreats and exclusive health farms, but Duchally Country Estate is proving that this is no longer the case. And if they can transform their menu and attract new custom by introducing a selection of healthier choices – while retaining a selection of their core offerings – they must be doing something right. Hopefully, in time, others like them will follow.

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