The Scottish Highlands have mind-blowing landscapes, majestic mountains and mysterious lochs. Thanks to the Highland’s turbulent history, the area boasts many forts, majestic castles, ruins and stately homes in dramatic locations. The region takes pride in its landscape and history; the brands based in the Scottish Highlands today are shaped and inspired by their environment.
Highland Fine Cheese
In 1429, Mariota de Ile was born to the Macdonald of the Isles, the clan chieftain. Instead of churning cream into butter, Mariota began the process of maturing it in barrels to create her ‘chieftains cheese’ – Caboc. Sussanah Stone, who runs the business with her husband Reggie, claims to be a descendant of Mariota.
Susannah began making cheese when Reggie complained that no one made Crowdie anymore. Susannah suggested she could and set about souring a 10-gallon churn of milk. However, 10 gallons of milk became a stone of crowdie – a little more than Reggie had planned on. They sold some of the surplus and their business gradually expanded. Today, Highland Fine Cheese focuses on mould-ripened cheese with brie, blue and washed rind styles. The milk comes from three farms in Scotland: Sibster just west of Wick, Thrumster with a herd of organic Jersey cows and Rootfield on the Black Isle.
Cocoa Mountain has been lovingly making chocolates by hand in Balnakeil, Scotland since 2006. They blend the finest cocoa with fresh Scottish ingredients and a dash of inspiration from the extraordinary Highland landscape – the perfect recipe for unique chocolates!
They operate in a manner that is ethical and environmentally responsible; Cocoa Mountain composts their waste, reuse or recycle glass and paper, uses low energy light bulbs and use as many organic ingredients as possible. The Cocoa Mountain range also includes dairy-free and alcohol-free chocolates.
The Highland Soap Company
A family-run company, The Highland Soap Company creates handmade skincare products with an emphasis on organic, wild-harvested natural ingredients. Traditional handmade cold-process soaps are skin moisturising and gently cleansing to nourish and soothe your skin.
Their soaps are made in a workshop in Lochaber, in the shadow of Ben Nevis. The beautiful highland landscape has always been and continues to be, the source of inspiration for all of their products. By using only the finest natural plant ingredients and the purest essential oils, The Highland Soap Company guarantee natural and untainted herbal therapy.
The Highland Chocolatier
Known as The Highland Chocolatier, Iain Burnett is an award-winning artisan chocolatier, based in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Iain trained under Master Chocolatiers of the Belgian, Swiss and French schools. Today, he creates internationally renowned fresh cream truffles, spiced pralines and dipped fruits.
The Highland Chocolatier Velvet Truffles won the World’s Best Truffle award in 2015 and 2016; the competition attracts thousands of entrants from over 40 countries annually. This has brought Iain worldwide recognition as a Master Chocolatier and Truffle Specialist.
Iain and his team provide customers and top chefs with gourmet truffles of top artisan quality. Iain trains the small and dedicated team of chocolatiers in-house and their meticulously hand-crafted chocolates are not to be missed.
Lonely Mountain Skis
Based in Perthshire, Scotland, Lonely Mountain Skis is a micro ski company. They build handmade custom skis that are a blend of traditional and modern materials and techniques. Their range currently includes three ski shapes and they also do bespoke ski commissions.
Unsurprisingly, Lonely Mountain Skis are inspired by the terrain of the Scottish Highlands. The skis are able to deal with every kind of snow condition on the mountain; light enough to climb up gullies and Munros, and stable enough to blast through variable snow conditions on the way down.
Lonely Mountain Skis use as many sustainable and natural materials as possible; 80% of their materials are from grown sources. In this way, Lonely Mountain Skis know they are not negatively impacting the environment that gives us snow. For every ski sold, they aim to plant two trees to offset the potential CO2 emissions of production.
For more information about Lonely Mountain Skis, take a look at our interview with Jamie Kunka, the man behind the brand.
Loch Ness Spirits
The family who runs Loch Ness Spirits has lived on the banks of Loch Ness for over 500 years. This heritage and their knowledge of the region creates a unique and total connection with the Loch and the Land.
With care, the family handpick their premium juniper berries from our own rare native crop. Distilling local botanicals and combining them with pure water from the aquifer on the estate creates a unique and sophisticated depth of flavour that no other gin can deliver. It truly is the spirit of Loch Ness in a bottle.
Their Rhubarb Gin Liqueur is a result of blending their world-famous Loch Ness Gin with the delicious rhubarb from the field right next to the distillery. Their absinthe made with aniseed, wormwood and fennel, contains Scottish Wormwood, also grown by Loch Ness Spirits.
100% Scottish, 100% Highland, 100% Loch Ness. It is real and rare. It is Loch Ness Gin.
There are over 1,500 Starfish harps out in the world. Starfish harps have a hard-earned reputation for stability, reliability and, above all, a great sound. Some of the world’s most accomplished performers play on a Starfish harp.
Known clàrsach in Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic harp is a square harp, traditionally played in Ireland and Scotland. The string instrument requires great skill to play and has 47 strings as well as up to 7 pedals to sharpen or flatten notes.
Starfish worked long and hard to design a harp that has a comfortable and practical playing position. Each harp is entirely handmade using cherry, maple or walnut wood. Wood is an organic material and while a cherry harp sounds like another cherry harp, no two pieces are quite the same which gives each harp its own voice.