Cator Sparks is the Editor in Chief of

Scotland has been having a good chuckle lately. As the rest of the world is discovering this whole “Farm to Table” phenomenon inspiring of course restaurants and bars but also fashion, magazines, blogs and even facial hair, Scots are sitting back with a proper dram in pubs that have open since 1360, shaking their heads. You see, this is how Scotland has been living for quite some time.

With that in mind and only 24 hours in Scotland, we asked a few local lads to show us the must-see spots around town


The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
Stay in a landmark hotel in the middle of town. This luxury property boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, the Palm Court, for tea and the recently refurbished Balmoral Bar for a nightcap.

Gleneagles, Perthshire
This is one of the country’s most well respected resorts and golf courses since it opened in 1924. Today the Jack Nicklaus-created Monarch’s Course is a dream drive for many golf enthusiasts worldwide and the resort is also home to the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Old Course Hotel at St. Andrews Links
Bordering the renowned 17th Road Hole’ of the Old Course in the Home of Golf, the Old Course Hotel enjoys a spectacular location overlooking the famous links courses, the West Sands beach and beautiful Scottish coastline.


The Kitchin, Edinburgh
The Kitchin (named after its chef, Tom Kitchin) is known for their modern take on British seasonal cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques. Try the six course tasting menu and pray it includes lobster.

The Gardeners Cottage:
Located at the foot of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, this establishment offers seasonal fare from local farmers markets and serves up exciting specials such as Shimonita (a Japanese onion) and Crowdie (Scottish cream cheese) quiche. Not to mention it’s located in a building built in 1836.


Sheep Heid Pub, Edinburgh
We know of spots in Manhattan that have spent a pretty penny to look this old. Well guess what Manhattan? Sheep Heid has you beat. It opened in 1360 and legand has it Mary, Queen of Scots drank here, as did her son, James VI.

The Blue Blazer Pub, Edinburgh
Another favorite partially for the brilliant name but also for their open fire and 50 malt whiskies.


Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh
Now berthed in Leith, Edinburgh, this yacht was the home of the British Royal Family for over 40 years when out to sea. Today you can tour the five decks and enjoy tea on the Royal Deck.

Glamis Castle, Angus
Glamis Castle is the family home to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, where Shakespeare staged Macbeth, and is the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Laphroaig Distillery,  
Isle of Islay, Argyll
For nearly 200 years islanders have worked here to create one of the best whiskies around using traditional methods and ancient skills. Take a distillery tour, see the museum and of course taste the famous “water of life.”


St Andrews Links
Among the 10 courses in St. Andrews you’ll find the St. Andrews Links, comprising seven public courses, including the world famous Old Course, three clubhouses, a golf practice centre and four shops.