We round up our top stories served this month that proved a hit with foodies across Courier Country.
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In the month where our favourite eateries were able to open their doors again and none of us noticed that the summer holidays were finally upon us, Scotland’s food and drink sector was at last able to move towards something that looks more like normality – although the challenges of recovery remain significant.
Some excellent stories hit the top spots on our food and drink section over the month of July, including one featuring a Brunicorn, two stories about chef Dean Banks’ newest ventures, and even one about two farmers’ markets changing venues this weekend.
Here, we look back on the top 10 fare-ytales (sorry) that you enjoyed reading.
1. The beer gardens, al fresco restaurants and outdoor eating areas open near you right now
Perhaps not surprisingly after a long lockdown, thousands flocked to find out where they could source a pint (or two) in the week leading up to restaurants and bars being allowed to open their indoor areas. It was great to see the love for our much-missed local watering holes and we can only hope this continues (and that the weather gets a bit nicer).
2. Angus MasterChef finalist to open new high-end fish and chip restaurant in St Andrews
Local chef Dean Banks announced earlier this month that he’s planning to open a high-end fish and chips restaurant in St Andrews later on in the year. We weren’t the only ones to welcome the news as this was our second most popular story from the past month.
3. How to use the Chancellor’s £10 meal discount
Also announced in July was the Chancellor’s latest endeavour to get restaurants going again by providing half-price meals throughout August at participating restaurants. Our food and drink team leader Clare Johnston found out more about how the scheme is going to work.
4. Dundee woman’s homemade Irn-Bru wins spot in national TV campaign
Yes, that is a picture of a grown woman in a car park riding an inflatable ‘Brunicorn’ (for the record, we did not coin this phrase). But it was all in the name of fun as Irn Bru superfan Ellen Jane Garland, who recently graduated from Abertay, made a short advert promoting the drink as part of a national campaign. Hers was one of five competition entries chosen to appear on prime-time television.
5. Taco Bell announces opening date for fifth Scottish venue
Love it, hate it or never tried it, Taco Bell is one of the leading Mexican fast food outlets. This month they announced their intention to open the chain’s fifth Scottish venue in Aberdeen and more than 2,000 of you read all about it. Let’s hope they deliver to Tayside, Fife and Perthshire very soon!
6. Scottish Grocers Federation hits out over mandatory wearing of face masks
The announcement that face masks would become compulsory in shops, prompted a backlash from some quarters. Food writer Brian Stormont spoke to Scottish Grocers’ Federation chairman Dr Pete Cheema OBE about their concerns.
7. The biggest mistakes that prevent us from losing weight and how to fix them
As with many who have been taking comfort in food these last few months, I am pleased to learn that there are ways I can shed the six extra chins I’ve gained during lockdown. Clare Johnston revealed the pitfalls that can make it hard for us to shift the pounds and, happily, the solutions.
8. As restaurants and bars reopen, here’s what you need to know before you go
Many of you have already ventured out to support your favourite eateries as they start to open up again. But, no matter where you go, things are going to look a little different. So, we created a quick guide on what to expect to help you have the best (and safest) time possible.
9. Angus MasterChef finalist Dean Banks hits £25,000 crowdfunding target in 48 hours
Dean Banks had an excellent month as he hit the headlines again with this story about his crowdfunder smashing its target in less time than it takes to watch one series of Desperate Housewives. Food and drink writer Julia Bryce caught up with the Haar chef to find out more.
10. Perth and Fife farmers markets announce change of locations ahead of weekend reopenings
If ever we needed evidence that farmers markets have been much missed, this story about a change of venues for the events in Perth and Fife attracted a lot of interest.