THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Kirkwall has an increasing number of good cafés and restaurants, as does Lerwick, but both islands now have memorable spots beyond the main towns, from cafés and fish-and-chips spots to some fancier restaurants. Orkney and Shetland have first-class seafood, and in pastoral Orkney the beef is lauded and in Shetland the heather- or seaweed-fed lamb. Orkney is famous for its cheese and its fudge;
a glug of its Highland Park malt whisky or some Skull Splitter Ale is also worth trying. Shetlanders are beginning to make much more of their natural edible resources, making ice cream and smoking fish in a variety of ways. Some bakeries create their own version of bannocks—a scone-type baked item you eat with salt beef, mutton, or jam—but Johnson and Wood of Voe (available in shops across the islands) takes the biscuit.