Forres restaurateur recreates fine dining menu for UK-wide mail order service

Slowing the spread of the coronavirus has meant we’ve all had to put a pause on the fineries of life. But a restaurant in Forres famed for its fine dining has come up with a novel way to treat yourself to top notch cuisine, and still stay safe in your own home.

Cluny Bank on St Leonard’s Road has been owned and operated by Julia and Lloyd Kenny since 2006, and in that time they have become established as one of Scotland’s finest dining experiences and has won multiple awards.

The Government lockdown has meant they’ve closed their doors, yet a collaboration with one of their suppliers has led to them recreating a new fine dining menu now available by mail order.

Julia, who manages the day-to-day operations and front-of-house, explained: “We had toyed with the idea of doing things like the salmon and the brandy and date pudding before, during our quieter months to try and boost income but never got round to it, mainly due to hurdles we would have to jump. We didn’t want to go down the takeaway route as it would have been hard to maintain the quality food and there was quite a few places doing this.”

Franklin’s Fine Dine-In

Cold Smoked Salmon

So when Jock Gibson from Macbeth’s Butchers, who normally supply the restaurant with meat, asked what he could to help, Franklin’s Fine Dine-In was born. Franklin being Lloyd’s first name and the name of the restaurant at Cluny Bank.

Macbeth’s have a well-established mail-order business which operates nationally and has seen a ten-fold increase in orders since the lockdown prevented people from making unnecessary trips to the shops.

Julia’s husband Lloyd is the chef and she admits he needed some convincing to box up his culinary creations and put them in the post, but with no income and no idea when they could re-open, he agreed.

“Macbeth’s customers had actually been asking for ready-meals and Lloyd was aware that he couldn’t replicate what we do in the restaurant, where much of the experience is created by the ambience of the Victorian building and the presentation of the food, However, we could still offer the taste and provenance of the finest local food,” Julia said.

Something for everyone

Fish Pie

“When we had thought of doing something like this before it would have been difficult for us to do due to the delivery, and building up a market for mail order. Collaborating with Macbeth’s has solved both these problems.

“The meals are available as single portions so they will appeal to everyone – people struggling to get out, people wanting a wee treat and maybe people that have wanted to try Lloyd’s food but haven’t been able to in the past.

“The salmon, parfait, soups and the desserts are all exactly as they would be in the restaurant. However, we have had to come up with some different main meals than we would normally do as some of the food we serve in the restaurant isn’t suitable for delivery. We use the highest quality ingredients and cooking processes as we always do.

“We have tried to do them as cheaply as possible to try and retain an income. Due to the products and meals being cold and re-heated at home we are not subject to VAT so that helps bring the price down too.”

Jock Gibson from Macbeth’s added: “By doing what we can to support our customers when this is over they will be in a securer position than they would otherwise which will also benefit us. Hopefully, the trend for home delivery both locally and nationally will continue after this is over with customers continuing to support small and local businesses.

Franklin’s Fine Dine-In ready meals are available at

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