tasting menu dish preparation


An Darna logo

With a tantalising concept of a five-course tasting menu that changes every five weeks, an dárna restaurant has created a unique fine dining experience in the heart of Stirling.


Iain Whiteley and Ally Eccles, the dynamic duo behind an dárna, have shared a friendship that spans over 14 years. Their journey began at a local independent hotel, where they bonded over their love for food, hospitality and dreams of opening their own venue.

Iain said: “Over the years, we nurtured our passion for the culinary arts, frequently discussing what it would be like to have a place of our own.

“The dream was there, but the right opportunity had yet to arise.”

In 2021, fate intervened when a new space opened just across the road from Iain’s cocktail bar, Meraki. It was a crisp winter evening when Iain, struck by inspiration, decided to make the call that would change their working lives. He phoned Ally and without hesitation, he agreed.

Ally said “It was a moment of serendipity – the perfect location had presented itself, and the timing couldn’t have been better.

“Our dream was within reach, and we seized the opportunity with both hands.”

kitchen, chef and plate
restaurant table and chairs


Both Iain and Ally have deep connections to the region. Iain grew up in Dunblane, while Ally hails from Doune. This profound sense of place and community was a driving force in their decision to establish an dárna in Stirling.

Iain said: “Our shared background and love for the area inspired us to contribute something unique to the local dining scene; an dárna is more than a restaurant, it’s a celebration of our roots.”

With their extensive background in high-level, Rosette-awarded venues, Iain and Ally understand the demands of the hospitality industry.

They’ve seen firsthand how the relentless pace can impact both staff and guests. It was this understanding that led them to make a bold decision for an dárna.

Ally said: “The restaurant operates from Wednesday to Sunday, offering lunch exclusively on weekends. This carefully designed schedule not only allows our team to provide exceptional service, but also prioritises work-life balance for all involved. It’s a testament to our commitment to both our staff and our guests.”


Choosing a name for their venture was a carefully considered process.

Ally said: “We wanted something that would reflect our Scottish heritage without pigeonholing us as a strictly Scottish restaurant.

“The name an dárna holds two meanings: ‘second’ symbolising Iain’s second business, and ‘on the other hand’, highlighting the contrast between Meraki’s cocktails, chocolate and champagne and an dárna’s focus on food and wine.”

The name also embodies the essence of their culinary philosophy – a fusion of tradition and innovation, second chances, and a balance between the two.

name sign
pudding on plate


Launched in early 2023 in Friars Street, the restaurant is built on a simple yet exciting idea: change the menu every five weeks and offer fine dining with a local twist.

Each menu is a carefully crafted culinary journey that showcases the best of local ingredients and flavours.

Guests can savour wine pairings alongside carefully curated five-course tasting menus, ensuring each visit is a unique and memorable experience.

Ally said: “There are not many fine dining restaurants in this area and with our ever-changing menu, you will never try the same meal.

“Our staff will make sure you feel welcome from the time you step inside the restaurant up until you close the door behind you.”


The kitchen is helmed by Ally, along with a dedicated kitchen crew who share their commitment to culinary excellence.

Regular training sessions are a hallmark of an dárna’s approach. Staff members receive in-depth training on upcoming menus and paired beverages, fostering a tight-knit team that is well-prepared to provide exceptional service and enhance the dining experience.

Iain said: “In the front of the house, our team of four passionate individuals ensures that every guest is welcomed with warmth and hospitality.”

chef Ally
Chef placing food on plate


Sustainability is a core value at an dárna. Iain and Ally take pride in their commitment to sourcing local ingredients, cooking seasonally and minimising waste both in the kitchen and in the front of the house. By doing so, they make their fine dining experience not only delicious but also eco-friendly.

Ally explained: “By sourcing local products, cooking seasonally and cutting down on waste, we are making the fine dining experience more sustainable.”

He added: “The team are also here to accommodate all dietary requirements. Our diverse menu is designed to cater to a wide range of preferences, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their dietary restrictions, finds something to savour.”


an dárna,

3 Friars St,



01786 497180




Stay tuned for an dárna’s upcoming e-commerce platform, where you can purchase beloved products featured in their menu. They’re also excited to introduce hampers that can be shipped anywhere in the UK, allowing you to savour the flavours of the restaurant from the comfort of your own home.


Fine dining dish


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