Enjoy a taste of Scotland around Coo Palace

Posted by Katy Peck on 4 September 2019
Related property: Coo Palace
Enjoy a taste of Scotland around Coo Palace

It’s easy to work up an appetite around Coo Palace. With so much to see and do around the site, including beautiful walks, charming towns and historic sites, you’re bound to feel the need to refuel at some point. Luckily, there’s no shortage of delicious eateries and local produce on offer around the palace. Here we take a look at some of our favourites, so you can start to plan for your first visit.

Galloway Lodge Preserves

With over 40 years of experience and numerous awards under their belt, Galloway Lodge Preserves is a family run business which has become one of Dumfries and Galloway’s most beloved food brands. The company was established by Nigel Hesketh in 1971 and is based in beautiful Gatehouse of Fleet (15 minutes’ drive from Coo Palace, via the B727). Today it is run by Fiona Hesketh and produces a wide selection of delicious pickles, jams, chutneys, marmalades and mustards. All their products are made using the finest ingredients and traditional methods, cooked in small batches to ensure a quality product every time.

Galloway Lodge Preserves’ most famous product is their ‘Poacher’s Pickle’ - a versatile tomato and apple chutney which can be paired with almost anything. You can try this, along with their other products, in their shop and café, where you can also enjoy a wide selection of hot and cold meals and an excellent cup of fresh coffee! Once you’ve had your fill, why not enjoy a gentle stroll through the picturesque village, which is located right on the edge of the magnificent Galloway Forest Park.

Galloway Lodge Preserves is open all year round, apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Opening hours are 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Find out more.

Marrbury Smokehouse

Just 20 minutes’ drive along the A75, it’s simple to reach Marrbury Smokehouse from Coo Palace. Owned by Vincent and Ruby Marr, Marrbury produces some of the finest smoked salmon available anywhere. In fact, this delicious delicacy is regularly requested by Michelin starred chefs, royalty and celebrities and has been hailed as a ‘true taste of Scotland’. The smokehouse also produces some delicious smoked cheeses and seasonal produce, such as smoked muscles, duck and kippers.

Each and every product supplied by Marrbury is carefully hand-produced by Vincent Marr himself. His local knowledge and years of experience means he is a fountain of information on how the kilns, weather, salt processes and much more impact the smoking process. With this amount of expertise and passion behind them, it’s no surprise that Marrbury Smokehouse products have such a wonderful reputation.

If you wish to try for yourself, visitors to the smokehouse are welcome to visit the deli, which has been refurbished this year (2019). Pick up a freshly-brewed cup of coffee and a fresh snack or cake, then settle down to enjoy it in the ‘snack shack’ or the charming garden. Much of the food on offer is made using their own products, such as hot smoked salmon with tarragon & lime or salads with smoked chicken. There’s also a small arts and crafts gallery which is well-worth a visit, with different artists showcasing their work throughout the year.

Opening hours for Marrbury Smokehouse are typically 9.30am to 5.30pm, 7 days a week. However, it is worth calling ahead to check opening hours (01671 820476). Find out more.

Crafty Distillery

If you fancy sampling a local tipple during your break, a visit to Crafty Distillery is bound to tick all the boxes. 35 minutes by car from Coo Palace, via the A75, this passionate team are dedicated to producing tasty, honest craft spirits. The distillery’s popular Hills & Harbour Gin brings together 11 botanicals, including locally foraged ingredients, to create a complex, yet well-balanced taste. To further demonstrate their love of local produce, the distillery even makes its very own spirit from local grain to add to their gin.

Image copyright: Crafty Distillery

Crafty Distillery welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world every year, providing them with fascinating, engaging tours. Follow an expert guide throughout the modern distillery and learn how the team makes our very own spirit from scratch, as well as the process for making the gin. Tours take place daily, last around an hour and cost £12.50 per person (including a delicious gin and tonic and a cocktail taster). Visitors of all ages and those with limited mobility are welcome and booking in advance is advised (call 01671 404040).

Image copyright: Crafty Distillery

After completing the tour, pay a visit to the Tree Bar & Café, which serves up a range of tasty local produce, drinks, artisan coffee and more. With awe-inspiring views across the Galloway countryside and a fresh, contemporary feel, the café is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat, perhaps with a refreshing cocktail or two!

Image copyright: Crafty Distillery

The distillery and café are open all year round, apart from the first couple of weeks in January. Between May and August, Crafty Distillery is open Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 6pm. Between September and April, opening hours are between 10am and 5:30pm. Find out more.

Kirkcudbright Farmers & Producers Market

For a real taste of everything the local area has to offer, why not take a 15-minute drive down the A755, where you’ll find the lovely coastal town of Kirkcudbright. Every month, the town hosts a popular Farmers & Producers Market, where dozens of stalls sell delicious food and unique crafts. It’s a great opportunity to sample all manner of local delicacies, including delicious pies, freshly baked bread and charcuterie. Everything is sourced from within 60 miles of the town, so you know you’re always getting high-quality, locally sourced produce. The market takes place in the town hall in winter and the town centre in the summer – find the dates here.

The Belfry Café

If you’re after a quick pick-me-up during your visit to Kirkcudbright, the Belfry Café is a lovely spot for a warm drink and a sweet treat or hot snack. They have a lovely collection of homemade scones which are always popular, as well as delicious all-day breakfast, while their great location makes it easy to stop in while exploring the local area.

The Ship Inn

Last but not least, for a warming lunch or delicious evening meal in Gatehouse of Fleet, try the No.1 Fleet at the Ship Inn. Their small but carefully thought-out menu combines fine dining with local produce, offering everything from freshly caught seafood to Galloway beef and lamb. Everything is beautifully presented and the recently refurbished restaurant is a truly special place to enjoy with family and friends. Make sure to book in advance.

With all of this and more available throughout Dumfries and Galloway visitors to Coo Palace are bound to find plenty to whet their appetites. 

For more information on how you can book your stay, be sure to get in touch or request a brochure.

Katy Peck

Katy Peck

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