A9, Junction A95; 9 minutes
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
A local landmark, the Speyside Centre is tucked among the boughs of a pine forest at the edge of the Cairngorms. It was nearly devastated by a fire two years ago but, undaunted, the family have shuffled the buildings around to accommodate the garden centre, antiques shop and café while work is completed on a glittering new building (due to open in spring 2019).
The plant selection is excellent, the antiques well worth a rummage and the playground ideal for little ones to burn off some energy. There’s something for everyone here – even before you’ve eaten.
Grandad’s old workshop has been colonised by the tearoom, famous for its clootie dumplings (a spiced fruit pudding, for the uninitiated), which can also be bought to take away. The lunches are equally good: be sure to have a slice of carrot cake. Grab a table on the terrace (known here as the ‘sit ooterie’) to watch the red squirrels, butterflies and birds drift around as
you eat. Magical.