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10 December 2015

Taste of success on the menu for heritage attractions across Scotland

A view of a delicious salmon lunch at a Historic Scotland property with Taste Our Best accreditation.

Five castles, a Georgian mansion house, one of the finest military forts in Europe and a prehistoric settlement, which dates back 5,000 years have all scooped a prestigious industry award this year.

Aberdour Castle is the latest heritage attraction to have its food and drink offering given the seal of approval with a VisitScotland Taste Our Best award; joining Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Fort George in Inverness and Orkney’s iconic Skara Brae, amongst others, to be recognised. The initiative seeks to celebrate establishments which include and champion quality, locally sourced seasonal Scottish produce, showcasing the best that Scotland’s food and drink has to offer.

This latest accolade marks a significant achievement in the year that celebrates Scotland’s rich and diverse larder, with all eight of Historic Scotland’s properties that offer a food and drink experience – which is operated and delivered by contract catering group Benugo – now holding this special recognition.

Commenting on the awards, Elizabeth Strain, Catering Contracts Manager at Historic Environment Scotland, who manage all Historic Scotland properties, said: “It’s wonderful that all eight of our sites which include a food and drink experience have been recognised in these industry awards. They are testament to our on-going commitment to provide the best quality in food and drink and we’ve worked closely with our partner Benugo, who operate all of our cafés, to source and use local produce and products from the surrounding regions for each site, wherever possible.

“This achievement is made doubly special in the ‘Year of Food and Drink’, which celebrates and promotes Scotland’s quality produce.”

Jason Fox, Operations Director in Scotland for Benugo, who run all eight food and drink outlets to have been recognised, added: “We’ve worked to create and develop an offer within our cafés at these iconic visitor attractions that showcase and incorporate the very best produce that these areas boast, into our menus. It’s a real honour to have all eight acknowledged as part of this unique awards scheme.”

Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government and is supported by Scotland Food and Drink. The scheme, which launched two years ago, is designed to recognise businesses including visitor attractions and cafés that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce and its provenance on their menus.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “I would like to congratulate all eight Historic Scotland sites on being awarded their Taste Our Best accreditations. Each boasts a wide range of wonderful local produce, an offer which continues to grow in demand among visitors to Scotland with research showing that three out of four believe eating local cuisine will enhance their visit.

“Taste Our Best has been a fantastic success in recognising Scotland’s excellent natural larder and we recently celebrated our 1,000th venue joining the scheme. Promoting Scotland’s food and drink is a recipe for success and I look forward to welcoming many more businesses and venues to the scheme in the future.”

Taste Our Best award winners:

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland is a sub brand of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

Year of Food and Drink 2015

2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success. Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism. A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat.

Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 Logo

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland | @VisitHistoricScotland


For further information

Grant Thomson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8603
Mobile: 07580 702 611