Rothesay Rooms

New eatery rejuvenates community after floods

At the heart of a vibrant and welcoming community, the Rothesay Rooms of Ballater was a joint project between the outreach programme of HRH The Duke of Rothesay’s charity, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust and local groups.

In December 2015 Storm Frank battered Scotland and the River Dee. The excessive rainfall eventually caused the river to burst its banks, decimating local homes and businesses in Ballater.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay visited shortly after the incident and pledged his support to rejuvenate the village. A Ballater Flood Appeal was launched and the generosity from companies and individuals in the surrounding Deeside area was incredible.

As Ballater began to rebuild itself, the idea to create a new eatery to help revitalise the community and drive local business was formed. The Co-operative Group kindly offered the use of a former convenience store in the village.

Gordon Mitchell Contractors was asked to build a 40-seater ground floor restaurant for intimate tables and larger groups, whilst adhering to a strict budget. A top-of-the-range professional commercial kitchen was one of the main features requested. A subtle, understated exterior complements the dramatic, mountainous surroundings.

We worked together with a local architect, Halliday Fraser Munro and HRH’s representatives to create the design. It was important for the restaurant to have a relaxed interior with an array of antiques and bespoke wooden tables. The front of the restaurant was painted dark red in keeping with the Duke of Rothesay tartan, whilst the interior boasts colours from the same palette to add a vibrant touch.

The restaurant was estimated to take 9 weeks to build; however, Gordon Mitchell Contractors completed the build in just five. The project brought together a lot of skilled tradesmen to completely gut the building and renovate from the bottom up, paying particular attention to the state-of-the-art kitchen.

Since opening in 2016, the Rothesay Rooms has won North East of Scotland Restaurant of the Year Award for three consecutive years, and gained entry into the Michelin Guide.

Gordon Mitchell Contractors were delighted to play a part in this project, particularly following such disastrous floods.

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