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The Tolbooth Restaurant Stonehaven

Stonehaven Tolbooth Restaurant Located at the picturesque and tranquil harbour area of Stonehaven The Tolbooth is an ideal place to enjoy a wide range of locally caught and well prepared fish dishes whilst enjoying the fine views across the harbour and their range of boats and unrushed nautical activities.

The talented chefs only use the finest and freshest of ingredients and everything is made on the premises. This is reflected into their imaginative recipes and signature dishes.

The restaurant is located above the Tolbooth museum and there is a flight of stairs to negotiate, so disabled visitors may find this difficult to access. The short walk up is worth the exercise - the food here is fantastic and a warm welcome awaits you from the staff who always seem to have a welcoming smile.

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Inside The Tolbooth

The decor continues the nautical themes with the decking flooring and wall panelling and the sea artwork and ornamentation. Though an old building from the outside, the interior is light and airy. A great achievement given that this 16th Century building was initially used as a storage place for the 5th Earl of Marischal whilst nearby Dunnottar Castle was being built. It was then used as a courthouse and a holding place for condemned prisoners during the 17th Century. Lately it became a storage facility for local fishermen and merchants before falling into disrepair. A World War 2 mine that exploded in the harbour combined with storm damage in 1953 left it in a dilapidated state until it was renovated and opened as a restaurant in 1963. It was officially opened, along with the ground floor Tolbooth Museum, in 1963 by her Majesty The Queen Mother.

The Tolbooth Menu

Stonehaven Harbour One of the nicest things about asking for help from the menu is that the waitress certainly knows her fish and is able to describe exactly how they taste and what ingredients are used in the range of sauces. The seasonal vegetables and their accompaniments are explained too without any fuss or pretentiousness - this truly is a down to earth fish restaurant whilst managing to maintain an air of luxury.

There are several menus to choose from which include lunch time specials. At the time of our review there were 2 or 3 lunch courses at only £12 and £15, an a la carte menu and daily specials. Fish dishes differ depending on what the local fishermen catch, further proof that all ingredients are locally bought. Not that none are needed - the proof is in the eating - all our plates returned empty!


Starters range from scallops pan seared in an exquisite raspberry sauce served with some fresh rocket salad, crab soup with homemade bread, game terrine made with venison, rabbit and wood pigeon or lobster mouse cannelloni. There is also a soup of the day. The soups are served in a generous large bowl and the waiters top up the homemade bread. Our scallops were gentle to the touch and light to taste and were delicious with the accompanying sauce. The crab soup was made with fresh crab and lovely and thick.

The tables and chairs are very comfortable and there are real linen tablecloths and napkins on the table.

Main Meals

It's rare we choose lobster because of all the claw breaking involved, but we were delighted to find that the lobster if fully prepared for you and includes the delicacy of the eggs. Because the lobster is caught daily and sizes cannot be guaranteed, it is charged by the ounce. Our table had a 1lb 5ounce lobster which was enough for one to enjoy and others to sample. The monkfish was a delicious main meal we enjoyed and tasted like a very soft steak but so much easier to cut and chew and lovely and moist. All meal prices include a tray of seasonal vegetables - we particularly enjoyed the stuffed courgette with cauliflower puree.


Do save room for your pudding course. The sweets are artistically created by the chefs and have such descriptive names. There is also a sweet of the day which had no name and is known as how the chef feels today! And it was the most delicious sweet I've tasted for a long time. A hot deeply luxurious chocolate brownie with contrasting cold chocolate chip ice cream wrapped in a warmed banana nut crunchy brittle, topped with fresh cream. Other sweets include crème brulees, fondants and a range of cakes.

The Tolbooth has an extensive wine list and a wide range of whiskys. There is a range of non alcoholic drinks and hot drinks.

How To Get To The Tolbooth Restaurant

Directions - From Aberdeen head towards the Bridge of Dee and follow the signs for the A90.As you near Stonehaven follow the signs for the one way slip road. Follow this road through to the town centre and head towards the harbour. It is all well sign posted. Turn left into the harbour area and pick up the signs for the free parking. You will pass The Tolbooth and the free parking is at the rear. As you walk to the restaurant you can see the original prison gates and wall.

Contact Address And Telephone Number Of The Tolbooth Restaurant Aberdeen

The Tolbooth Restaurant
Old Pier
Stonehaven Harbour

Tel:(01569) 762287


The restaurant is owned by Robert Cleaver who also owns The Carron in the town centre - review coming soon.

The Tolbooth won Best Sea Fish Restaurant in Scotland 2006 - a well deserved award. They are AA listed.

The ground floor is The Tobooth Museum.

More Aberdeenshire restaurants.

Nearby Attractions and Events Include:

Dunnottar Castle

Stonehaven War Memorial

Hogmanay Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony

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