Balmoral Restaurant is the vision of Colin Smith, a restaurateur from the Old Country, born in Perthshire, Scotland. Colin chef’d at hotels and restaurants for many years in Scotland and England before focusing his attention on acquiring underachieving restaurants and pubs, which he then turned around. He did this many times, most recently at The Cherry Tree Bromeswell in Suffolk, on the eastern coast of England. In 2005, Colin came to St. Charles, Illinois. Here, he worked for about 10 years at one of the largest flavor houses in the United States. But he never lost his passion for Scottish fare, or for hosting dinners with great food and drink.
Cairn-na-Cuimhne in Aberdeenshire, eastern Scotland, is home to the royal residence of Balmoral Castle, a grand estate of the royal family of Great Britain built in 1856 by Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert. It is a beautiful, 50,000-acre venue, still used by the royal family today, with constant care given to forestry, farming, and the management of various collections of animals.
In 2013, on a trip to Scotland, Colin visited Balmoral Castle. In its dining hall, he saw tables laid out with golden cutlery, fine crystal, and banded dinnerware depicting scenes of Scottish flora and landscapes. “Everyone should dine like this,” he thought. After all, if it’s good enough for the queen, it’s good enough for us all. Three years later, he found the spot that would be his Balmoral, in Campton Hills, Illinois, located 40 miles west of Chicago in the Fox Valley. A year later he began building his Stateside version of that royal estate — or at least it’s dining room — right down to the place settings. Balmoral Restaurant was born.
The castle that is Balmoral’s namesake derives from earlier estates and manors dating back to the early 1400s. The name “Balmoral” is thought to have its origins in the old Gaelic phrase “Both Mhoir-ail,” or “hut of the big hill.” From the original hill to Campton Hills, the newest setting for a longstanding name with great tradition.
There is much more history and tradition to enjoy at Balmoral Restaurant. Plan your evening out with us, and experience a taste of the true Scottish Balmoral!