The Tavern is tucked away in the heart of Cawdor’s pretty conservation village; nearby is the castle where Macbeth held court. Pretty wooded countryside slides away from the pub, offering umpteen opportunities for rambles and challenging cycle routes. Exercise over, repair to this homely hostelry to enjoy the welcoming mix of fine Scottish food and island microbrewery ales that makes the pub a destination in its own right. There’s an almost baronial feel to the bars, created from the Cawdor Estate’s joinery workshop in the 1960s. The lounge bar’s wonderful panelling came from Cawdor Castle’s dining room as a gift from a former laird; log fires and stoves add winter warmth, as does the impressive choice of Orkney Brewery beers and Highland and Island malts. An accomplished menu balances meat, fish, game and vegetarian options, prepared in a modern Scottish style with first class Scottish produce. Settle in the delightful restaurant beneath wrought iron Jacobean chandeliers and contemplate starting with a trio of Scottish puddings – black pudding, prize haggis and white pudding layered together and served with home-made chutney. Next maybe a venison burger from the grill, topped with smoked bacon, tomato relish and melting mozzarella. Classic sweets include sticky toffee pudding, and chocolate brownie with warm chocolate sauce. Alfresco drinking and dining is possible on the colourful patio area at the front of the Tavern during the warm summer months.