We may well still be in lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Speyside’s spirit continues to amaze us with the many businesses adapting to the challenge of ‘the new normal’. 

Here along The Malt Whisky Trail, we’ve picked out some of our favourite Speyside food and drink businesses that have found ways to thrive despite the circumstances whilst keeping social distancing and customer welfare at the top of their priority list. Whether it’s getting your caffeine fix, enjoying some local views or grabbing a tasty bite to eat, there are a few hidden gems to explore while you’re out and about in the local area. 

First up, and essential to any coffee-lover is the Speyside Coffee Roasting Co. Open from 10am until 1pm every day, they offer freshly roasted specialty coffee and sweet treats. Be it danish pastries, homebakes, ice cream, or their infamous Speyside Coffee merchandise, this spot is sure to brighten your local lockdown walk. As an added bonus, its location in the scenic town of Garmouth adjacent to the Moray coast means you can enjoy a coffee with a view. @speysidecoffee

Next on our list we have the quaint Deskford Garden Galleries. For the ultimate experience, you must return to this cosy cottage when lockdown lifts as its snug interior is an experience in itself. However, for now the cafe offers deliveries and collections from their store on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Based in Buckie, it’s perfect for Speyside locals who are looking for a sweet treat to brighten their day. You can order beautiful picnic and afternoon tea boxes, cakes and delicious meals. To order or book a collection, directly message their social channels or email. @deskford_garden_galleries

We’re now well into summer meaning Portsoy Ice Cream should be on everyone’s mind when the warmer weather kicks in! Open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm, the Portsoy store has implemented social distancing rules meaning you can grab an award-winning ice cream in a safe space. Popular flavours include cookies and cream, raspberry ripple, malteser, and a unique unicorn flavour which is definitely worth a taste! Did we mention they’re all home-made? @portsoyicecream

Last but not least we have the Bootlegger’s Bothy. Located on Hopeman’s West Beach Caravan Park, this brilliant restaurant is a must for any foodie lover. Bootlegger’s Bothy is similar to its parent restaurant the Bothy Bistro which is notorious for serving food from the infamous Dory the Bus during the summer season. Both restaurants specialise in fresh, local produce, serving up fish, mussels and langoustines straight off Burghead and Hopeman’s fishing boats. Open for takeaway, its delicious menu paired with the scenic views of the Moray coast means you’re in for a great dinner.

Bootlegger’s Bothy is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm, with extended opening hours till 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. @bootleggersbothy

So if you’re a Speyside local, why not get out and about whilst supporting the local businesses on your doorstep? If you’re from further afield, don’t worry – these hot spots will still be around when lockdown lifts, ready to welcome tourists back to Speyside with their delicious local produce.