Shetland is big on nature but small on restaurants and coffee houses or so you would think. But far from it. It is difficult in winter with a lot of places closed but the ones that are open serve delicious food. Since it is cold there is a lot of comfort to be found in all the steaming pots of tea. You do should know where to go and what you can find there. I am therefore dividing this post in two parts, Lerwick and on the road. Lerwick is easier of course since it is the biggest town with quite a nice choice available. On the road it was more difficult and not so much a choice as what was open, especially in winter. Yours, Pollybert
Breakfast at Fjarå Cafe Bar Lerwick: not only do you have the best view imaginable (click here to see more), the people who work here are absolutely the nicest. We showed up 90 minutes before they opened and they still let us in and gave us breakfast! Various breakfast choices and everything was delicious!
Directly in the historic center you have the Peerie Shop Café. The scones are freshly baked and you have enough breakfast choices to put something together. The view is not as nice as at Fjarå Café but then you can walk there.
For dinner we went twice to the Queens Hotel Dining Room. Not so much out of choice but because everything else was full. The dining room is maybe a bit stuffy but the food was well prepared and the fish absolutely fresh!
The second time we didn’t get a place in the dining room and moved on to their pub. Excellent beer on tab and the food was again very tasty.
During the festival finding food becomes difficult. Most places are packed and you can count yourself lucky to grab a sandwich somewhere. So better be prepared and make a reservation or do like us and go down to the Harbour Fish and Chip Shop (the other one smelled of old cooking fat) and eat at home.
On the road
Sheperd’s pie at Hoswick visitor centre in Sandwick. Homemade cooking, sandwiches and assorted biscuits. Lovely service, they called at the local knit wear store to let them know we were coming, and tasty food. Tea is served in big old China pots.
We fell into St. Magnus Bay Hotel in Hillswick half-starved and a bit frozen and arrived on the best possible day. Every sunday the hotel offers a carvery which looked excellent. This was ordered by my friend while went again for the fish. Surrounded by so much water I was all for fish. The hotel had also the most amazing desserts, I couldn’t resist the treacle pudding. But I also ate the most amazing shortbread which arrived with coffee. Everything was homemade and that’s exactly how it tasted!
The Cornerstone in Scalloway doubles also as a hotel and restaurant. After a day of running around again and a museum visit around the corner we gladly warmed up in this inviting coffeehouse. The lady in the restaurant even agreed to make us some sandwiches although lunch time was long gone. With a hot soup and a pastry after, the meal was perfect.
On the road back to the airport from Lerwick after a long part night you will find Mackenzies, a local farm shop which includes a café as well. Here we had our last breakfast on the island. The party night was taking its toll and I ordered a full Scottish breakfast with a pot of tea. That was exactly what I needed. In the little shop I got some shortbread for home, it was crumbly in the perfect way.