Bookings are now being taken for The Rothesay Rooms, which will officially open in Ballater on Friday 25 November.
The restaurant, located in the derelict Netherley Place building formerly occupied by Co-op, aims to provide a new amenity for the local community and stimulate local commerce and tourism following last year’s devastating floods, which destroyed more than 300 homes and 60 businesses in the village.
The restaurant, which can seat up to 40 people at any one time, will offer a seasonal menu created from locally-sourced produce. The opening menu will feature starters such Cullen Skink with poached quail eggs and main courses including cod with a macadamia crust.
Guy Fenton, who will be head chef at The Rothesay Rooms for the first six months of the enterprise, said: “We will be using locally-sourced produce to help suppliers get back on their feet following last year’s floods. There’s such variation in our menu and something to whet the appetite of every diner who come here.”
The site for the restaurant and Highgrove Shop was donated by the Co-operative Group for a peppercorn rent and converted by The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust Outreach Programme, a charity chaired by HRH Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay. The project has also been supported by The Ballater Flood Appeal.
Robert Lovie, who has overseen the project, said: “We are delighted to start taking bookings for The Rothesay Rooms. The restaurant and Highgrove Shop will help reinvigorate Ballater, offering employment, training and a new amenity for both locals and visitors.”
The Duke of Rothesay maintains a strong affinity with Royal Deeside as well as Dumfries House in Ayrshire, a property whose future he secured in 2007 using £20million of his charitable foundation’s money. The estate, located in the south-west of Scotland, is now used to help people in engage in learning experiences that promote confidence and personal development as well as offer training in real-life skills to open up future employment opportunities.