Jun 162017
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Following the soaraway success of a festival launched last year to celebrate one of Scotland’s most fruitful food and drink regions, Spirt of Speyside: Distilled is to return – with an even greater range of home-grown flavours.

World leading drinks brands will join small artisan producers for the weekend festival at Elgin Town Hall on September 1 and 2 in a showcase of Speyside’s finest whisky, gin, beer and food.

Classic drams will be served up alongside contemporary cocktails with speciality coffee to try alongside grown-up fudge.

This year’s event has been extended to cover two floors of the venue with even more opportunities to sample food and drink and meet the producers passionate about Speyside and its produce.

It’s not just about the tastes that makes the Speyside region  – home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries – renowned across the world for its food and drink. Distilled gives opportunities to experience and learn more about the flavours, through a range of tutorials or ‘masterclasses’ staged by experts.

Tickets for Distilled go on sale on at 9am on Friday, June 16 and with limited places available, food and drink lovers are urged to get in quick to ensure they don’t miss out.

Distilled is delivered by the same team behind the world-famous Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and the inaugural mini-festival went down a treat with audiences last year.

Festival manager Pery Zakeri says,

“Distilled is a melting pot of fantastic flavours and wonderful personalities sharing their enthusiasm for fine food and drink. It offers the chance to enjoy so many different tastes, as well as broadening knowledge of food and drink through our menu of masterclasses.

“We were delighted with the feedback from our inaugural event last year, which introduced a much younger audience to Speyside’s food and drink offering, and we are building on that with this year’s offering.

“We are proud to be playing a lead role in championing the region’s booming food and drink industry by bringing producers and the public together under one roof in celebration of the Speyside larder.”

Distilled drew gastronomes from all over Scotland as well as  visitors from overseas who wanted to be part of first festival of this kind to be held in Speyside. The big global players of the drinks industry stood shoulder to shoulder with small, up-and-coming producers in a mix that went down well with audiences.

Masterclasses ranged from the chance to sample rare and cask strength drams, to cocktail making and food pairing. A range of masterclasses are being offered again this year, costing an additional £15 per person, with full details of the range and times to be announced on the event website.

This celebration of Speyside’s food and drink features four different sessions and these take place from 1-5pm and 6-10pm each day. Tickets are priced at £20 which includes entry, six vouchers for tasting samples of gin, whisky or beer, a lanyard and a Glencairn crystal nosing and tasting glass.

All whisky, gin, beer and foods on offer will have a Speyside provenance and there will be the chance to purchase products from stand holders. There will also be festival merchandise available to buy.

For more information and to book tickets  visit www.distilled.scot

Distilled is active on social media at www.facebook.com/distilledscot on Twitter and Instagram @distilledscot. Follow the festival at #distilled17

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Apr 072017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Sen. Account Executive, Tricker PR.

The Federation of Chefs Scotland has appointed its youngest ever President.

David Littlewood (34), chef proprietor of both The Tor Na Coille Hotel in Banchory and The Kildrummy Inn by Alford, was elected President at the organisation’s AGM in Glasgow.

Littlewood takes over from previous president Ian McDonald, Executive Chef, St Andrews Links Trust.

David’s culinary titles include Scottish Chef of the Year, Grampian Chef of the Year, Grampian Young Chef of the Year and the SHA Awards Medaille d’Or.

He has also held the accolade of Grampian Restaurant of the Year, was a member of the Scottish Culinary Team and is a Masterchef of Great Britain.

Under the ownership of David and his family, The Kildrummy Inn has been named Rising Star Scottish Restaurant of the Year in 2014 and was runner up in The Observer Food Monthly, UK Restaurant of the Year in 2014. David’s team took over The Tor Na Coille hotel in Banchory in March this year.

David says of his appointment,

“I was very lucky to be mentored by great chefs in my early career; they inspired me and challenged me and through this, they showed me the immense value in supporting the next generation of great Scottish chefs. I feel that it’s incumbent upon all of us who have learned from other professionals to continue this tradition.

The Federation of Chefs Scotland is an important organisation in driving up standards and our current members play an influential role in enthusing young people about Scottish food and to work in our industry.”

The Federation of Chefs Scotland (FCS) – run exclusively by Scottish chefs – exists to promote excellence in the industry across Scotland through supporting and developing young chefs through training. Alongside David, Jav Aziz, Executive Chef at Rangers, has been appointed Vice President. Robbie Penman and Vikki Munro have also joined the board.

The FCS encourages participation in culinary competitions, and fundraises to support young chefs to undertake national and international learning experiences. The Scottish Culinary Championships at ScotHot and the Scottish Chef of the Year are organised by the FCS, and the not-for-profit organisation also champions helping Scottish pupils to know more about their food through the Chefs@School project.

There are currently 100 Scottish chefs volunteering their time to work with 15,000 pupils.

Outgoing FCS President Ian MacDonald says of David’s appointment,

“David is the youngest president of the Federation of Chefs Scotland. He’s achieved his success with his passion and drive, not only for his own work but for the development of youngsters in our industry through his supportive mentoring.

“I believe that David’s focus on attracting young talent and developing and challenging them to achieve is the way forward for the Federation. I know that David will make the Federation stronger in all different areas of our work and I wish him well during his tenure.”

The 25-bedroom Tor Na Coille Hotel has been a landmark building on Royal Deeside since the reign of Queen Victoria. David and his team, which includes 2017 Scottish Culinary Championships Scottish Chef of the Year bronze winner Colin Lyall, have begun to develop the hotel restaurant as a must visit foodie destination. More about the Tor Na Coille can be found at www.tornacoille.com.

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Feb 072017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

L-R, Paul Whitecross, Nick Nairn and Ross Spence.

Three of Scotland’s finest chefs are teaming up to share their passion for food in a unique culinary experience, which is set to be a recipe for success for Aberdeen.
Nick Nairn, Ross Spence, executive chef at The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa and Paul Whitecross, executive chef at Trump International, will each present an individual course aimed at delighting the senses, showcasing their world-renowned gastronomic skills.

The trio are working together to cook-up Savour, a culinary feast which will take place on Saturday, 4th March, at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa.

The event is being hosted alongside North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity which supports people of all ages from babies to grandparents, who were born deaf or blind, or for those who have lost their sight or hearing.

The chefs will each create a course for the gastronomic adventure, focusing on the senses of taste, smell and sight, which coincides with the charity’s work with people with sensory issues.

Ross Spence said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to work with Nick and Paul for this event and we will present a superb overall dinner which will thoroughly delight the guests. NESS is an important charity in Aberdeen and across the North-east, supporting more and more people with hearing or sight loss, and we are delighted to host this unique evening.”

Paul Whitecross added:

“The team at Trump International is always keen to support charities which are important to the North-east community and this is set to be a fantastic foodie event to tantalise the tastebuds of the diners who are lucky enough to secure a place at this exclusive event.” 

Nick Nairn commented:

“Given our position with the business and our commitment to the North-east we wanted to be able to give something back to the community that supports us.  NESS is an excellent charity and it’s a wonderful opportunity and a wee challenge to create a feast which excites the senses.”

NESS CEO Graham Findlay said:

“We are delighted that these prestigious chefs are taking the time to devise and present a unique menu for NESS. We are looking forward to an incredible evening, which will excite the senses.

“Nick, Ross and Paul are great supporters of NESS and the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa has been a very good friend to the charity for many years.”

As well as a four-course dinner focusing on the senses of taste, smell, and sight, the evening will include a champagne drinks reception, a VIP auction and raffle, followed by entertainment and dancing.

Savour will take place on Saturday, 4th March, 2017, at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa. Tables are priced at £950, with individual tickets available at £95, and can be purchased from neil.skene@nesensoryservices.org or by calling 0345 271 2345.

Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of NESS.

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Jan 192017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

An Aberdeenshire business has announced the winner of its campaign to find the North-east’s most hardworking community hero.

The Store, a farm shop, deli and coffee shop based in Foveran, near Ellon, launched the campaign in December as a way of rewarding one inspiring individual who went above and beyond for their community in 2016.
Caroline Anderson, 43, from Potterton, was announced as the winner after impressing judges with her contributions to her local community.

Fellow Potterton resident, Sammy MacDonald, nominated her to win £100 of vouchers to spend at The Store, as she felt that Caroline deserved recognition for donating her spare time to improving their village.

The NHS support manager has lived in Potterton for 11 years and  helped to found the Potterton Community Group at the end of 2015. Since then, the group has grown from a group of mums to one that involves residents of all ages focusing on the community. The group now regularly organises events, promoting the use of local businesses and the surrounding area, as a way to inject more community spirit into the village and make Potterton more sociable for its residents.

Monthly pop-up cafes, a picnic in the park, seasonal fairs, fitness classes, an adults arts and craft group, as well as a ‘zombie apocalypse’ – a fun game that involved local children trying to find the antidote to a zombie outbreak – were all successful in bringing together residents and raising money to fund community projects.

Last year, the funds raised by the group helped to upgrade a path in the area, so that more people could enjoy the countryside surrounding Potterton. This project also received funding from Paths for All, a charity that aims to significantly increase the number of people who choose to walk in Scotland.

Andrew Booth, owner of The Store, was so overwhelmed with the number of campaign nominations that he turned to his family to help him decide on a winner.

He said:

“It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, as we received a lot of really inspirational nominations from across the North-east. I eventually read out the shortlist of nominations to my kids and mother-in-law and they helped me decide on the overall winner.

“One of the main reasons we chose Caroline was because I wanted to give her an incentive to carry on the Potterton Community Group well into the future, as it’s still in the early stages.

“After reading Caroline’s nomination and meeting her in person, it’s very clear that she does a great deal for her local community, which is what this campaign was all about. As well as working full-time and looking after two children, she has brought together an entire community through a number of initiatives that will truly benefit both residents and the area in the long-term.”

Mrs Anderson said:

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I had won, I almost burst into tears. I had absolutely no idea that I had been nominated and I was completely overwhelmed that Sammy had thought to put me forward. I’ve never thought that I do anything particularly special, as there are so many people out there doing inspirational things.

“Whilst I’m the main driver behind the group, it’s entirely a team effort. We have an amazing bunch of people who volunteer their time to the group and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have done over the past year without them all.

“I receive so many positive comments about the group, that’s what inspires me to keep going and pushes me to do even more for the Potterton community. This year we want to focus on organising more social events, community projects and getting residents involved as much as possible. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it when you see the strong bond that the village has formed over the past year. It’s amazing what a community can achieve when you work together.”

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Jan 132017
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

As food poverty continues to grow across Grampian – with the slump in the oil and gas industry pushing up requests for aid –  a major financial firm is helping emergency food parcels reach those most in need.

Aberdeen-based charity, Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) has a fleet of nine vehicles distributing food donations to organisations operating at grass roots levels to support those living in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray who are struggling to put a meal on the table.

Aberdeen Asset Management has donated £5,000 towards CFINE’s vehicle costs which has been described as a “fantastic contribution” that will help keep the fleet on the road, allowing it to continue to make essential deliveries to support the growing numbers of people affected by food poverty.

It’s not just those on benefits or low wages that gain assistance, the downturn in oil and gas resulted in a new market of referrals emerging, with laid-off energy sector workers forced to seek out vital support.

Dave Simmers, chief executive officer of CFINE said: 

“To see your income collapse, sometimes with no warning at all, because of a job loss leads to difficult times. We have heard of people losing well paid jobs in the oil and gas sector but left with next to nothing when their income dries up – any one of us could be just be a few pay cheques away from a crisis.

“Our services are more needed than ever and with benefit changes coming through we expect there will be a deeper impact on already hard-pressed families. Many already have to make choices between heating or eating and we hear anecdotal evidence of parents going without food so they can buy their children’s school uniform.

“We operate on very tight budgets and every penny counts so to get £5,000 from Aberdeen Asset Management is a fantastic contribution. Without our vehicles, we could not get out to the charities and community organisations like Cyrenians, Salvation Army and Instant Neighbour which in turn reach the people in need in Grampian, which is a huge area to cover.”

CFINE is seeing increases for aid and the number of referrals increase all the time. In 2017  it will receive, organise and deliver more than 500 tonnes of food – which equates to a staggering 1,190,476 meals. Last year it distributed 10,000 emergency food parcels thorugh its own foodbank, a huge increase on the 3,000 food parcels given out in 2012, its first year of operation.

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management’s charity committee said:

“Food poverty  is a sad but very real fact of life for too many people in our region. We applaud the work of CFINE , its volunteers and partner organisations in tackling food poverty, building resilience and improving the health and wellbeing of people across the Grampian region.”

With demand for its services showing no sign of waning, CFINE has a number of volunteering opportunities and would welcome anyone who may be willing to help out. Call Christine or Graeme on 01224 596156; email info@cfine.org or visit the website www.cine.org to get involved. The charity also welcomes food and finanacial donations to ensure this vital work can continue.

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally and seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact.

The firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects. The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, giving back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.

For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

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Jan 132017
 

By Anne Foy.

Doctors have issued a warning published in a British Medical Journal, that grapes are a ‘choking hazard’ to small children after two Scottish children have died choking on the fruit in the last few years.
45 deaths in Scotland in 2015 among people of all ages were due to choking on food.

Parents already know not to give toddlers under three years old, toys with small parts.

Every mum and dad is well versed on the dangers of marbles and tiny building blocks but foods often aren’t given the same consideration. 

Hotdogs, Grapes and Sweets Risk

The top three foods that children choke on are hotdogs, grapes and sweets because they are exactly the right shape to obstruct an immature airway. Not only do sweets cause dental problems, they are a major choking risk to children. Cherry tomatoes are also a problem and if parents don’t slice them into smaller pieces, they can become lodged in the throat. Babies and under 5 year old’s are at much greater risk of choking accidents because their trachea is so small.

Aberdeenshire Boy Dies

Five year old Aberdeenshire boy, Louis Emaho died in 2012 after choking on grapes at an after-school club. Staff at the club attempted to dislodge the fruit when it became apparent that he couldn’t breathe. He was suctioned by ambulance technicians and given CPR but despite their efforts was dead on arrival at the hospital.

17 Month Old Toddler Dies

In another case, a 17 month old boy died died when he was eating lunch with his family after choking on grapes. His parents attempted to clear his airway but were unsuccessful so they dialled for an emergency ambulance. Initial attempts at CPR failed because the fruit was still blocking the airway so paramedics met the ambulance crew on route to the hospital and were able to remove it via laryngoscopy (a telescope that allows the doctor to see into the back of the throat and extract objects). 

Medical staff were unable to revive the little boy.

A Lucky Escape

A third child narrowly escaped death when he began choking on grapes in the park. An ambulance crew was already nearby and were on the scene within minutes. They were able to remove the grape and the child began breathing again, although he had two seizures as a result of the oxygen starvation and signs of brain swelling. After being placed on artificial ventilation for five days. Just six days following the removal of his vent, he was well enough to go home. Miraculously, he showed no signs of any disability.

Advice for Parents

Due to these infrequent but tragic incidents, NHS Health Scotland has updated their childcare guidance and now suggest that parents chop up fruits like cherry tomatoes and grapes into tiny pieces, remove any pips and stones and avoid whole nuts. They also advise that it is safer to cut larger fruits into slices rather than chunks, as this makes them thinner and less likely to get stuck in the throat and they urged that parents supervise their young children when they are eating.

What To Do If Your Child Chokes

  • Check your child’s mouth for blockages and remove any you can see. Don’t poke your fingers down their throat or you could push it down even deeper and make the situation worse.
  • If your child can’t cough due to the blockage, place him face down across your lap and slap him in the middle of his back between his shoulder blades, five times in succession. If he is a baby under one year, make sure you support his head with your other hand.
  • If the blockage isn’t dislodged, begin chest thrusts. In an older child, you can do this by kneeling behind him and putting your arms around his upper waist, under his arms. Make a fist and place it between the ribs and the navel, then place your other hand over your fist and make a forceful inwards and upward thrust. Do this five times and then check your child.
  • Babies need a different type of thrust. If your baby is under one year, you can perform chest thrusts by placing him face up on your lap, along your thighs and put two fingers in the middle of his breastbone. Push sharply five times in succession. 
  • If your child has lost consciousness, dial 999 and use speakerphone so that you can still do back thrusts or CPR until help arrives.

References:

Picture courtesy of Selovekt used under Creative Commons license.

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Dec 292016
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

An Aberdeenshire business is looking to reward one inspiring NE individual who has gone above and beyond for their local community in 2016. The Store, a farm shop, deli and coffee shop based in Foveran, near Ellon, has launched a campaign to find the North-east’s most hardworking good samaritan, so that they can receive an extra special start to the New Year.

The family-run business is encouraging the public to nominate one person they believe has regularly gone out of their way to help their local community and deserves to win £100 of vouchers for The Store.

Since it first opened in 2000, The Store has been dedicated to sourcing and supplying only the finest local produce that the area has to offer. The winner of the campaign will have a wide variety of high-quality products to choose from, ranging from meats and groceries to artisan cheeses and delicious cakes.

Owner of The Store, Andrew Booth, is hoping that the campaign will help draw attention to the countless acts of goodwill that happen regularly across the North-east, and that other local businesses will also show recognition to those who have gone out of their way to help others.

He said:

“Christmas and New Year is the season of giving, so this is our way of saying thank you and giving something back to somebody who always puts their community first.

“There are some truly inspirational people out there, who dedicate all their free time to local causes and people in need. Unfortunately, we can’t reward everyone who is nominated, but we hope that our small gesture will give a deserving individual a nice treat to start 2017.

“It’s because of these Good Samaritans that the spirit of local community is kept alive and it’s important that they are recognised for all their hard work. I’m looking forward to reading through the nominations and all the selfless acts of kindness that have taken place over the past year.”   

To nominate someone who deserves to win £100 of vouchers from The Store, then email their name, the reasons why you’re nominating them and their contact details to gemma@frasermedia.co.uk. Entries close on Wednesday 4 January and the winner will be announced on Friday 6 January. The terms and conditions can be found on www.thestorecompany.co.uk.

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Nov 282016
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

acsta-logo-adaptStalwart of the north east tourism industry Roger Goodyear was honoured on Friday (November 25) by his peers at the 2016 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA).

Mr Goodyear joined 15 other winners, who lifted their trophies at the ceremony held at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa.

Mr Goodyear, who last year was made an MBE for his services to tourism in Banffshire, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the gathering which celebrated Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s finest tourism achievements.

Closely linked with the tourism industry for several years, Mr Goodyear – who is Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire – was named Regional Ambassador of the Year by ACSTA in its inaugural year in 2013. His work as chairman of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy and involvement in local tourism initiatives has led him to become a well-liked and much-respected member of the north east tourism industry.

Amongst the other winners were Deeside Activity Park, which held onto its title of Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience for the second year running, Glen Tanar Estate’s Claire Bruce who was named Regional Ambassador, and Gemma Cruickshank of VisitAberdeenshire who was crowned Regional Rising Star. Drum Castle also scooped two awards – the Innovation in Tourism award, and the Working Together for Tourism award in association with Aberdeen Art Gallery.

ACSTA chairman Peter Sangster says,

“2016 has been a fantastic year for tourism in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and it has been brilliant to be able to celebrate such a diverse range of providers – from global brands to family-run outfits, there is a place for all in the north east tourism industry. I am proud that the entire spectrum of tourism is represented in this year’s winners.

“Every year it becomes more difficult to choose the winners in each category. So many tourism professionals in the region are finding new and innovative ways in which to provide world-class service to their customers – it’s very inspiring. It really is an exciting time to be part of the tourism industry in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”

The winners will now go on to represent Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire at the national Scottish Thistle Awards in 2017, against regional winners from across Scotland.

Jo Robinson, regional director at VisitScotland, adds,

“A huge congratulations to all of the winners at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards. I wish them the best of luck as they move forward to represent the region in the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final next year.

“Tourism is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow and these awards recognise the tireless effort that goes into creating a memorable experience for visitors to the region.”

The winners of the 2016 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Roger Goodyear
  • Most Hospitable Hotel sponsored by Fishers Services Ltd – Holiday Inn Aberdeen West
  • Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House sponsored by Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association – Callater Lodge
  • Best Accommodation Provider sponsored by Northlink Ferries – Mill of Nethermill Holidays
  • Friendliest Pub/Bar sponsored by Brewdog – The Grill
  • Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council – Deeside Activity Park
  • Best Visitor Attraction sponsored by The Chester Hotel – Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • Working Together for Tourism sponsored by The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa – Aberdeen Art Gallery and NTS at Drum Castle
  • Innovation in Tourism sponsored by Marriott Hotels – NTS Drum Castle, Gardens and Estate
  • Tourism and Hospitality Hero sponsored by VisitAberdeenshire – Jean Ryrie, Jurys Inn
  • Regional Rising Star sponsored by Ardoe House Hotel and Spa – Gemma Cruickshank, VisitAberdeenshire
  • Regional Ambassador sponsored by Aberdeen International Airport – Claire Bruce, Glen Tanar Estate
  • Best Cultural Event or Festival sponsored by Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – Celebrate Aberdeen
  • Best Sporting Event sponsored by Active Aberdeen Partnership – Braemar Gathering
  • Best Informal Eating Experience sponsored by Jury’s Inn – No. 10 Bar & Restaurant
  • Best Restaurant Experience sponsored by RBS Leisure – Eat on the Green

For further information on the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, please visit www.acsta.co.uk  

Follow the awards on Twitter @ACSTourismAward or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/acstourismawards

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Nov 252016
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

ken-howie

Farmer Ken Howie is the man behind the World’s Only Aberdeen Angus Trail.

It’s one of the north east of Scotland’s most famous exports, but many don’t realise or understand its heritage.

So one enterprising farmer has made it his mission to put the history of Aberdeen Angus beef firmly on the map  – and his efforts have been recognised with a nomination at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

Ken Howie is the man behind the World’s Only Aberdeen Angus Trail, which is nominated in the Innovation in Tourism category of the awards scheme which will celebrate the successes of tourism providers in the north east at a ceremony this week.

While much of the region’s tourism offering focuses on the incredible castles, world-class golf and sumptuous whisky of the north east, Ken believes that there is room to include the famous Aberdeen Angus cattle – which have been reared in the area for over 150 years.

Ken says,

“Although Aberdeen Angus beef is renowned around the world, it’s not as prominent in north east tourism as our other exports. I’m really enthusiastic about the history and heritage of the breed, and really want to share that with visitors to the north east. I’ve reared it on the farm for years, and we serve it up in the restaurant at Deeside Activity Park.”

The World’s Only Aberdeen Angus Trail is currently made up of 14 venues, which ranges from larger tourist attractions to family-run establishments – and new organisations continue to come on board. What connects them all is a love of Aberdeen Angus, and a commitment to the provenance of the food they serve and rear.

Ken adds,

“The trail starts at Ballindalloch Castle, which is the spiritual home of the breed – there’s been a herd there for over 150 years – and runs through to Glamis Castle. Glamis Castle is perhaps best known for its connection to the late Queen Mother, who was patron of the Aberdeen Angus Association for over 60 years.

“In between the castles are a number of smaller, independently-run venues that have connections with Aberdeen Angus – including the Fife Arms in Turriff and Castleton Farm Shop. Community organisations like the Alford Heritage Society and Turriff Heritage Museum are also involved.”

Although not officially launching until spring 2017 – to coincide with the World Aberdeen Angus Forum, which is to be held in Scotland for the first time since 1977 – the trail is already producing noticeable results for the area. Visitors have been following the trail through Aberdeenshire, and have been interacting with partners along the way.

It is hoped that by beginning and ending the trail at established tourism hotspots, it will expose a greater number of visitors to the trail and encourage tourists – and locals – to explore the region in greater depth than they might otherwise have done.

Ken concludes,

“Over the last 20 years the food and drink offering in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire has come on leaps and bounds. Food tourism is a huge global industry, and we really hope that we can capitalise on this for the region. If we can encourage people to come to visit the area to learn more about an iconic brand like Aberdeen Angus, then naturally they will stay to explore the area and discover all it has to offer.

“Everyone I have worked with to put the Aberdeen Angus Trail together has been so enthusiastic about the idea, so if we win the award it really will be a celebration for all of us. I couldn’t have done it without their work and support. Maybe we’ll hold a big party if we win.”

The World’s Only Aberdeen Angus Trail is up against High Seas Hobbit and Drum Castle in the Innovation in Tourism category of the 2016 Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

The winners of each category will be announced at an awards ceremony and gala dinner on November 25, 2016 at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, and many will then go on to represent the region at the national Thistle Awards.

For more information about the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, visit www.acsta.co.uk  

Follow the awards on Twitter @ACSTourismAward or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/acstourismawards

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