A hotly anticipated royal restaurant will open its doors this week as part of an action plan to get a flood-hit village back on its feet.
Prince Charles’ The Rothesay Rooms, on Ballater’s Netherley Place, will officially open on Friday, and bookings are now being taken.
The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay took time away from their annual stay at Birkhall to unveil the restaurant and adjoining Highgrove shop last month.
At the event the duke said he hoped the pop-up establishment would give Ballater a “boost” following Storm Frank last winter, which left 300 homes and 60 businesses in the village devastated.
The Rothesay Rooms were swiftly transformed from a derelict Co-op after gaining planning approval from Aberdeenshire Council in September.
The project is part of the duke’s Ballater Flood Appeal, which since launching in January has raised £160,000 in donations.
The conversion of the former shop was done through The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust Outreach Programme.
The restaurant can seat up to 40 people at any one time and includes a seasonal menu featuring local produce.
Guy Fenton, who will be head chef 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.”
Local Dumfries House trustee, Robert Lovie – who has overseen the Rothesay Rooms 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.”