Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 17, 2024
20° Light Rainshower

Caledonian Cream: Quaich & Banter

A little bit of Scotland on Picton Main Street
<p>Sara Hodgkinson of Quaich &#038; Banter (Photo: Chris Fanning)</p>
Sara Hodgkinson of Quaich & Banter (Photo: Chris Fanning)

And, yes, this does include a wide selection of single malt whiskies. Located at the former Blumen just off Picton Main, Quaich & Banter partners, Sara Hodgkinson and Ian McClatchey, are creating the warm feel of a Scottish social club. The wall of whiskies certainly helps, but there’s a fireplace and friendliness as well.

Chef McClatchey hails from Scotland, where he first trained some thirty years ago. Since then he has worked in Australia, Cambodia, and Iceland.

He and Ms. Hodgkinson relocated to the County in 2021 from Guelph, where she was studying sustainable agriculture. They came to accept job offers, and were looking for space during the pandemic.

But before long, they found that “the county is perfectly primed for really exciting little ventures that create community. It’s kind of set up for that, the amount of entrepreneurship and just people coming out and trying something different,” as Ms. Hodgkinson put it. And so, before long, when the restaurant space came free, they took the plunge.

Their Countylicious menu features a special ostrich carpaccio, a herb-crusted lamb shank and, for dessert, a “Caledonian cream, which is kind of like a Scottish play on an Eton Mess: it’s got shortbread, cream, there’s the Magnum which is sort of like a Scottish version of Baileys, and a traditional Scottish marmalade.”

The restaurant also offers its regular menu of Scotland-inspired dishes, including a Sticky Toffee Pudding that a certain Gazette editor has been talking about for months. Ms. Hodgkinson says the secret is to use Guinness where most recipes call for water.

They will also host whisky tastings, beginning with a special event on Tartan Day, April 6th, with experts Oui Dram. The hope is to recreate the Scottish pub feeling that Mr. McClatchey misses from home, like “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name

Quaich & Banter is at 647 County Road 49, Picton. For reservations call 613-645-2444 or visit quaichandbanter.com.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 14 edition of The Picton Gazette
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