The great Scottish menu: wedding food and drink ideas that make the most of local produce

Scottish food has come a long way from its stodgy, uninspiring past – and your wedding is the perfect time to celebrate it, writes Olivia Simpson

Three bottles of whisky, a silver bucket filled with flowers and two glasses filled with ice in front of a wooden sign that reads Wild Highland Drinks Co
The clue is in the name – Wild Highland Drinks Co. proudly serves up the best of local produce (Photo: Angus MacKay Photography)

Deep-fried Mars bars, pizza crunch, Buckfast ice-cream: Scotland’s recent foodie innovations may be creative, but they don’t do much for our reputation as gourmands. Luckily, there’s another side to our national food scene, where talented people are using quality local ingredients to make inventive dishes that nod to our culinary heritage. And there’s no better time to get a slice of the action than at your wedding, by turning to Scottish caterers and drinks providers to serve up the best the country has to offer.

An individual steak pie and vegetables on a plate and a haggis quiche with whisky sauce and rocket and tomato garnish on a black plate
Left: If you’re putting a twist on the classics, you better make sure the ingredients are local and delicious, as Food Creations did with this posh steak pie; Right: Even the biggest haggis sceptic would be tempted to try it in Food Creations’ delectable tartlet form

Local larder

“For our events menu, we use a lot of Scottish produce sourced from within a ten-mile radius of us,” notes Elli Preece of Food Creations. “Our posh steak pie is very popular for weddings – it’s a traditional Scottish dish that is definitely a crowd-pleaser, but it has been elevated.”

Lisa Rennie, who co-owns Proper Food Gourmet Caterers, is also keen to shout about sourcing from nearby suppliers. “We love to celebrate the local environment, so we will usually find companies close to the wedding venue to provide something special that celebrates that particular area of Scotland. For example, for a Perthshire wedding, we sourced some wonderful Dunkeld smoked salmon as well as chocolate from the Highland Chocolatier in Grandtully.”

Looking for something a little more ‘out there’? Proper Food recently did a starter of a haggis scotch egg served with HP brown sauce and caper popcorn: “It has become a big favourite! We can also do a vegetarian version.”

A fillet of rare beef with greens and herbs by Proper Gourmet Food and two cocktails by Pure Bartending
Left: This fillet of beef dish from Proper Food Gourmet Caterers is mouthwatering; Right: Scottish classics reinvented: a selection of cocktails from Pure Bartending

Drink up

You’d be forgiven for thinking Scottish drinks begin and end with whisky, but even though we may enjoy a dram or two, there’s more to us than that, says Rebekah Brett Pitt of Wild Highland Drinks Co: “In Scotland, and in the Highlands especially, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to artisan spirits and mixers – not just whisky, but delicious gins and vodkas too.”

Cocktail fans, this one’s for you: why not enjoy an Old Fashioned with an extra Scottish spin, as Michael Mackenzie from Pure Bartending suggests: “We make it our own by adding quality whisky and honey to the bitters, sugar and ice to produce a well-balanced whisky cocktail perfect for celebrating any wedding.”

Greig Sparkes is also shaking up the classics with his business, Dispensary Bar, where local produce is an essential ingredient in the cocktails: “We source phenomenal fresh honey from the Glasgow area and infuse it using Scottish heather to create a lovely sweet, floral addition to gin cocktails, especially a Bees Knees.”

Various bottles of Scottish-made gin with two glasses of gin and tonic garnished with orange and lemon in foreground
Wild Highland Drinks Co. makes the most of the Scottish gin boom to bring tasty tipples to weddings across the country (Photo: Angus MacKay Photography)

Sustainable scran

If you’re keen to make sustainable, ethical choices wherever possible in your wed prep, an emphasis on local food and drink is essential, since shorter shipping distances will mean a smaller carbon footprint for your meal. “Using local suppliers also boosts the area’s economy and helps keep small businesses alive,” adds Elli from Food Creations. As an added bonus, your ingredients will be fresher and tastier too.

For some, like Rebekah from Wild Highland Drinks Co, this is a personal mission. “Being a Highlander, I want to stick to my roots. Highland hospitality is something I hold dear and is something I aim to share at every event we’re a part of.” We’ll drink to that!

Do me a favour

If you’ve proudly championed Scottish scran and swally in your wedding meal, keep up the theme with favours from local firms, such as stylish chocolate bars from Ocelot Chocolate and adorable, lipstick-sized packets of sustainable Blackthorn Salt, made in Ayrshire.

Miniature packets of Blackthorn Salt and a White Almond chocolate bar by Ocelot Chocolate
Left: Gourmet sea salt, 70p each (sold in quantities of 50), Blackthorn Salt; Right: White Almond bar, £5.50, Ocelot Chocolate