With snow carpeting the Highland mountains, grouse breaking cover and majestic deer silhouetted against the horizon, Scotland is a picture perfect Christmas card.
Strange then, that when it comes to Christmas traditions, Scotland is a little lacking. It all stems from the church reformation in Scotland, when Christmas festivities were banned as too “Popish” – that was Christmas out of the window for a few hundred years! It was only in 1958 that Christmas Day became a national bank holiday in Scotland.
But those days are behind us, and Christmas in Scotland while light on tradition is heavy with food, fun and festivities.
Enjoyed all year round, but particularly redolent of Christmas is shortbread. The light, buttery biscuit is perfect on its own or accompanied by berries. Shortbread was an expensive luxury in the past and for ordinary people was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. Luckily, it is far more affordable today, and can be enjoyed whenever the urge takes!
Like most of the UK, the traditional Scottish Christmas Day dinner is roast turkey with all the trimmings. CLC Duchally Country Estate’s award-winning restaurant, Monteaths, has a tantalising festive menu incorporating the traditional turkey with other tasty morsels such as local roast ribeye of Auchterarder beef and for dessert, a berry pavlova or selection of Scottish cheeses.
Edinburgh certainly makes up for the shortage of historic tradition by creating its own at this festive time. With Christmas markets across the city, children’s playgrounds, an ice rink and of course Santa’s grotto, there is plenty to see and do for all the family.
For all your festive fun, Scotland is now definitely the place to be.