Hot on the heels of our sizzling guide to al fresco dining in Perth, we wanted to broaden our horizons and bring you al fresco experiences from all over Perthshire. There’s nowhere better to enjoy outdoor dining! So we’ve compiled a list of 20 fantastic al fresco experiences throughout Perthshire, from cafés to farm shops, mountains to forests. We hope you enjoy your outdoor experiences!
Cafés, pubs and restaurants to while away the time
This charming inn offers bistro dining, live music, great atmosphere and attractive al fresco seating beside the old mill waterwheel and surrounded by tumbling flowers.
Enjoy one of the most iconic views in Scotland, go for a forest walk, then enjoy food and drinks on the café deck at the Queen’s View Visitor Centre.
Nestled in the lovely Earn Valley, this farm shop offers pick-your-own fruit and veg, as well as an attractive café serving local, fresh ingredients (including, of course, their own berries and vegetables).
This romantic little inn offers an appealing blend of traditional Highland hospitality in an old-world setting. Tucked away in a quiet street above Pitlochry, it’s got plenty of al fresco charm for your lunch, dinner or drinks.
This family-owned bar and restaurant in Murthly has a relaxed, informal feel and uses fresh, local seasonal produce, as well as offering a large outdoor dining terrace and kids’ play area.
The legendary music bar and restaurant – “Scotland’s Musical Meeting Place” – has outdoor seating, overlooking the River Tay, where you can enjoy their exciting kitchen menu.
Al fresco chocolate
You haven’t tasted chocolate truffles until you’ve sampled the award-winning dark chocolate velvet truffles by Iain Burnett the Highland Chocolatier. At Iain’s chocolate studio in the beautiful village of Grandtully, you can find out all about the history of chocolate, sample the heavenly hot chocolate and mouth-watering truffles, and chill out on the outdoor terrace (while thinking about which treats you’re going to buy from the shop).
Shopping and al fresco dining
If you fancy a bit of retail therapy before dining outdoors, take a trip to one of these lovely places where you can eat al fresco, and shop to your heart’s content.
This restaurant and shopping experience is handily located just 5 minutes’ drive from Perth and brings the very best produce from the region together under one roof, from meals made with fresh local ingredients, to local gifts and crafts in the shop or malts from the whisky shop.
Enjoy lunch, dinner or a weekend breakfast outside on the extensive sun deck area at Mains of Taymouth Courtyard bar and restaurant. Children of all ages and well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar area & decking (there’s a play area, too). Afterwards, have a browse through the gift shop and take home some treats from the deli.
Sitting at the foot of the spectacular Bruar Falls, this prestigious independent store houses a great range of country clothing, gifts and food. Enjoy one of the delicious dishes from the restaurant before shopping for deli items, clothing or wine and champagne.
Glendoick is renowned for its range of plants, gardening accessories and equipment – and the herb scones and soups in its café. Recently refurbished, the café offers pleasant outdoor seating where you can enjoy drinks or a home-cooked lunch, after shopping for gardening supplies, clothing, jewellery and gifts. There’s also an accessible and fun-filled play area for the kids.
Al fresco with activity or culture
Comrie Croft is a hugely popular centre for camping, biking and exploring the countryside. Its laidback atmosphere extends to the Tea Garden where you can enjoy home-made soups, arancini, freshly made salads and sandwiches, and home baking while admiring the beautiful views of the Strathearn countryside. Perfect after a cross-country bike ride!
You can’t get much closer to the River Tay than the al fresco dining on offer at the Inn on the Tay at Grandtully. From the sunny terrace you can enjoy seasonal, traditional favourites from the menu as well as world cuisine, watch the river rush by and, often, spot kayakers and rafters enjoying the rapids!
At the Aberfeldy Watermill, you can have it all – art and culture in the airy gallery on the top floor, a wide selection of adults’ and kids’ books on the ground floor, two furniture stores worthy of any big city and a coffee shop on the lower ground floor with delightful outdoor seating.
What could be nicer after a walk or cycle round the famous 21-km circuit of Loch Leven than an al fresco meal or some drinks? Situated right on the shore of Loch Leven, Kinross, The Boathouse has dramatic views up the loch, no matter what the season. It’s a quirky cosy place with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
The Birnam Arts Centre is a popular and welcoming multi-purpose arts, conferencing and entertainment venue. Enjoy food and drinks from the Foyer Café al fresco before popping to the regularly changing exhibition space and the Beatrix Potter Exhibition.
DIY al fresco
If picnicking and barbecuing is more your thing, have a look at these brilliant outdoor options in Perthshire.
Take a stroll through the leafy birch woods near Aberfeldy, much loved by Robert Burns (see if you can spot his statue!), then enjoy a picnic by the rushing rocky river.
The Hermitage is one of Perthshire’s best-loved woodland areas, offering wonderful walks amid towering Douglas Firs and amazing views over the Black Linn Falls. Take the dog, the family, and a picnic for a healthy outdoor dining experience.
If you’d like to do al fresco at height, take the trip to Pine Cone Point – you won’t regret it when you see the view and the lovely sculpture awaiting you there!
This is a unique al fresco experience, set on the side of one of Perthshire’s favourite lochs. Relax in the 40-foot-long sauna overlooking the water, refresh yourself with a slide straight into the loch, then warm up at the fire pit and enjoy your picnic!
Or why not just pick a munro, pack a picnic and get exploring? Check out our guide to Perthshire’s best munros and you can do al fresco with a view!