A popular Scottish restaurant in Royal Deeside has reopened to the public in its new home.
It was established as a pop-up eating destination by HRH The Duke of Rothesay to drive tourism and employment to the area following the flooding in Ballater in 2015, and the station itself burning down in the village that same year.
The restaurant has, for the past five years, serviced the local community and been a top tourist attraction in the village.
It has been forced to move premises as a result of a third-party owner looking to sell the building. The Carriage eatery, which was run by The Prince’s Foundation also and was based in the station, has been replaced with the Rothesay Rooms and its offering.
The decor of the station has been changed to emulate the dark greens, tartans and stag heads which are identifiable with the Rothesay Rooms.
Ross Cochrane said: “The restaurant was originally opened as a pop-up round the corner on Netherley Place. With the premises being sold by the third-party owner, we took the opportunity to relocate the restaurant to Ballater Station and are very much looking forward to starting the next chapter in the Rothesay Rooms’ success story in this beautiful and historic building.
“The new venue speaks for itself. It has been a stressful year for many people and we’re looking forward to normality again. The refurbishment of the Old Royal Station has been amazing and brings the atmosphere of the old restaurant as well as the history of the building.”
Reopening with a fully-booked venue for the next three weekends, Ross and his team of four have been working tirelessly in the kitchen to perfect the new menus which offer everything from lamb, asparagus, smoked mackerel, wild risotto and pheasant for lunch, with Aberdeen Angus, halibut, sea trout, langoustines, pork and more for dinner.
The team can cater for 55 to 60 covers during any one service, with seating for additional private dining available in the Royal Waiting Room. The venue is currently operating on a reduced capacity in line with social distancing guidelines.
He added: “Ahead of our reopening, our award-winning kitchen team has been busy curating a new spring/summer menu full of creative dishes made from the finest local produce for our guests to enjoy.
“Everybody is really excited to get back to work. I’ve been working behind the scenes on the menu development and identifying local suppliers. We are fully booked for the next three weekends and we’re grateful for the support and patience of the Ballater community as we have planned to reopen.
“There are currently 12 members of staff – six front-of-house and five in the kitchen. We have retained staff and hired one new front-of-house staff member and plan to take on more staff later in the year.
“We really can’t wait to welcome them back.”
All profits generated from the restaurant are ploughed back into The Prince’s Foundation, of which Prince Charles is president, to support its charitable work.
Rothesay Rooms will be open for lunch service on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 2pm, Sundays from noon to 3pm, and for dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 9pm.