“I’m sorry (well, not really). The kitchen’s closed”

VisitScotland would regard this as heresy but many Scottish hotels and restaurants don’t really like tourists.

Their owners and managers are happy to accept visitors – but on their own inflexible terms.

My wife was enjoying coffee at the end of a lunch (which took ages to be served but that’s another story) at one of our favourite hotels in the Trossachs in mid-May when, at 2.35 pm, an American couple entered the restaurant.

“We’ve heard so much about this hotel and thought we’d come here for something to eat,” they said enthusiastically.

“The kitchen’s closed” was the curt response. “The chef goes home at 2.30.”

My wife had just finished a nice bowl of home-made soup. Couldn’t the couple at least have that, heated up? Not a chance.

It’s far too common a tale. Try getting a cup of tea in a rural restaurant in Scotland at 4 pm!

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