Prince Charles has officially opened his own restaurant and gift shop in Royal Deeside and said he hopes it will give the “special” village a boost after it was devastated by floods.
The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay visited Ballater to open the Highgrove restaurant and shop.
The venture has been named the Rothesay Rooms and it is hoped it will not only attract visitors to the area, but also provide young people with training in the kitchen.
Plans were revealed for the Rothesay Rooms in July. Workers managed to complete the building project in just five weeks.
The “pop-up” initiative to breathe new life into the derelict former Co-op on Netherley Place is part of the duke’s Ballater Flood Appeal, which since launching in January has raised £160,000 in donations.
More than 300 homes and 60 businesses in village were devastated during Storm Frank when the River Dee overflowed on December 30.
Guests at yesterday’s opening included private donors who contributed to the flood appeal and business owners and councillors.
The duke told the group the whole idea for the project stemmed from a comment made by butcher Barry Florence following the floods.
He said that during a visit to HM Sheridan on Bridge Street, Mr Florence had asked “why don’t you put a Highgrove Shop in Ballater?”
Prior to Camilla revealing a plaque to mark the visit, the prince said: “That is what really started this whole idea. It was entirely due to my going into Sheridan’s butchers to see how they were getting on.
“There has been a lot of effort in the last six months or so since the disastrous floods that did so much damage to poor old Ballater.
“(I hope) this particular restaurant and shop will help to give a little boost to Ballater, particularly in the off-season.”
The restaurant will open in November to allow for the recruitment of members of staff, while the attached Highgrove Shop will open at the end of this month.