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  • Writer's pictureMEaT Insights

Edinburgh and Glasgow: A Scottish Tale of Two Cities

Updated: Jun 7

We had the opportunity to visit Scotland in April, hosted by Visit Scotland. Emma Richards - Visit Scotland worked with Leigh from our team and organised a wonderful trip showcasing some wonderful venues in the centre and the outskirts of Edinburgh and Glasgow.


These two cities are both beautiful in their own unique way. Edinburgh is more historical – they call the newer part of the city – New Town, which has been around for 400 years!


You can get around very easily by train to different cities in Scotland and a great link to cities in England too! I took the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow which was only 50 minutes!


 

Edinburgh:


Edinburgh has so much history and culture. There are so many opportunities to hold events here. Whether it would be a more cultural and food orientated in the centre. To some wonderful event spaces on the outskirts too providing lots of green space for a whole host of activities.


My first stop was Dundas Castle owned by Lord and Lady Stewart-Clark. However, they want to share their wonderful castle, which can be hired for events. The castle has extensive grounds which is great for activities such as Highland Games and country pursuits etc. It is a 25 minute drive from the centre of Edinburgh and 15 minute drive from Edinburgh Airport.


I was driven down a beautiful luscious tree lined drive. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by a very friendly golden retriever - Bark who gave me a warm welcome!


Louise Andrew came to greet me and had some wonderful coffee and croissants. Louise spoke of the castles’ history. There are 10 wonderful and very different event spaces within the Dundas Castle. Including Croquet Room, Billiard Room, Grest Hall, Beehive, Armoury, Stag Chamber, Great Hall, the historic keep and the permanent Pavilion marquee. You have exclusive hire of the castle. It also has 17 beautiful bedrooms and is a wonderful venue which is extremely versatile. Whether you fancy a gala dinner or a more intimate medieval dinner in the Keep.


My second site visit was a Hopetoun House and Estate. I was met by Joanne Greenway and some wonderful coffee and delicious homemade cakes.

Hopetoun has been the home of the Hope family since the 1600s. Lord Hope and his family share their estate with the pubic and hire it out for events.


It has some beautiful event space dripping in history. The Adam Ballroom, Adam Stables, Red Drawing room, State dinning room and an extensive area outside. This gives you options for an event inside and out. This would be a great space to organise a traditional beating retreat. Hopetoun House is also used for the filming of the program - Outlander!


Next stop was at Barnbougal Castle, which is part of the Roseberry Estates. Barnbougle Castle is situated within easy reach by car from Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Centre. You may also recognise the castle from Outlander. Some of the series were filmed here.


Barnbougle Castle dates back to the 13th Century. However, it had to be rebuilt in 1879-1881 by The Earl 5th Earl of Roseberry who served as Prime Minister! This castle is steeped in history. There are still some artifacts from those days. There is a wonderful eclectic artifact collection around the castle from famous authors to artists and politicians.


It is one of the properties of the Roseberry Estate. This castle has been in the Roseberry family for many years. Not only is it an interesting and beautiful venue to look around. This is only a small part of what this venue has to offer. The castle is situated on the water front with stunning views of the river on one side and the estate on the other! The Roseberry estate even make their own Vermouth. It has 6 libraries, a banqueting hall with a Minstrel’s gallery and a terrace overlooking the river. The terrace can be covered should it rain. The castle even have their own Lochness Monster prop should you want the full Scottish myth twist to your event!


Final visit of the day was to the Balmoral Hotel – Roche Forte hotel. As the name suggests. It did have a luxurious and regal feel to this hotel. This was a luxurious hotel. The décor was designed by Isabelle Roche? Every bedroom is decorated individually and to a high standard. Although luxurious, it looked very spacious and comfortable. There were some wonderful event spaces including a well stocked whisky bar. The bartender new everything about all the whiskies in the bar, what to mix them with, what they tasted like and how old they were and the price! You can do a whisky tasting here too.


I was then taken on a tour with Emma who showed me Edinburgh – Princes Gardens, Edinburgh Castle the new town (dating back 400 years ago) and the old town. There are many options for activities here including whisky tasting, site seeing and many more options.


We then headed to the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa which is situated in the centre of Edinburgh. I had a wonderful lunch in the bar restaurant which can be used for events! It has many great event and meeting spaces, with meeting rooms to cater for all sizes. Centrally located and not far from the station. The hotel also has an award winning spa.


I was given a beautiful room which was beautifully decorated, comfortable and with an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle! I was greeted by a welcome gift of a beautiful scarf and bottle of the hotel’s gin (yes, they have a gin distillery offsite which makes their gin.) I was invited to use the Executive lounge where I took advantage of a beverage and some wonderful appetizers.



Day 2


We began by having a tour around the W Hotel. This is situated in the centre of Edinburgh very near to the new mall with every variety of designer shops. This hotel is very new to Edinburgh, opening in December 2023. I definitely knew I was at the W Hotel as there was a huge silver trade mark W outside the hotel.


The exterior of the hotel is something else. It is called the Ribbon building, a circular building made with glass and steel. The rooms were designed brilliantly to make full use of the buildings unique shape. The bedrooms unique and are decorated to a high standard. There is a nod to Scotland in every room with the tartan and slate accents within the décor, including the fridge!


There are 5 meeting and event rooms, but the other event spaces and spa are also unique and stunning. The roof top bar has a 360 view of Edinburgh. Even on a rainy day you could still see what an amazing space this is and how you could have a wonderful event. There is also Sushi Samba and the W Lounge. There was even a bar which wanted to invite you into their Brazilian home where they make bespoke cocktails.


The spa area is literally out of this world. They have all the modern technology a stunning swimming pool, sauna, hot tub etc. However the treatment rooms are totally unique. Treatments are geared around, earth, fire, water. They have a spa bed with a water bed built into it. Earth – they have a spa table with special tiny earth stones/sand where a piece of fine fabric is laid so you can feel this whilst having the treatment! These rooms are amazing! It would be excellent for a well being break!


I was met by the Lindsay Neilson – Visit Scotland at The Gleneagles Town House for a site visit. This is a beautiful, classic and traditional hotel. This is the sister hotel to The Gleneagles Hotel. The Gleneagles Town House is situated in the centre of Edinburgh very near the station. The Gleneagles Townhouse also has a members club where people can use it to dine or work from.


The rooms are stunning and cozy. The Spence restaurant is like something from the Great Gatsby! Stunning, opulent with a hint of glamour and drama on top. An amazing event space! There is also a inside/outside space – a small conservatory with lots of light, greenery giving in outside feel inside. This would be good for a small group for drinks or private dining. They also have the Lamplighter bar which is a beautiful roof terrace overlooking Edinburgh.


The Wellness centre was a great area too. It had a Cryotherapy chamber for those sports and wellness enthusiasts. It has the Strong room gym as well as state of the art studios and bikes!


Edinburgh has so much to offer for events with some wonderful hotels and venues offering something for everyone’s taste!




Glasgow


I arrived at Glasgow where I was met once again by Emma – Visit Scotland and Jenn Whittle – DMC from Hello Scotland. Jenn advised me about the history and culture of Glasgow and all of the events which take place and event spaces within this vibrant and fun city. The street art tour shows off the artistic and creative side of Glasgow which goes hand in hand with the music scene.


We made our way to a traditional Scottish restaurant - Mharsanta Scottish Restaurant. They do traditional Scottish dishes which I was eager to try. I tried the Cullen Skink – a delicious fish soup along with vegetarian Haggis! The restaurant would be a great venue for a traditional Scottish event. You can also book private dining too in their private dinning room.


We then went on the Merchant Square and Old Fruit Market which used to be a fruit market. You can imagine the hustle and bustle going on with a hive of activity. This is pretty much the case these days too. The Merchant square is home to bars and restaurants which are situated around the square. This too would be a great venue to hold an event such as a street food vibe or a festival or carnival type event. You could even have a food safari event! It really does provide so many options!


We walked around Glasgow to get a feel of the place and visited The Corinthian Club. This is a s classic building. It is stunning venue with it’s high ceilings and beautiful elegant lighting. It has various event spaces. You could take over the whole place or just hire the rooms depending on the size of your event.


We then went to the Voco Grand Central Hotel who were hosting my stay in Glasgow. This is situated next to Glasgow Station. It has many famous guests throughout the years. There is some artwork on the wall depicting some of these famous guests such as Winston Churchill, The Beatles, Nat King Cole and Charlie Chaplin to name but a few! We were given a site visit by Hotel Manager Marcello Ventisei around the hotel. The Ball room is vast with lots of day light. There are a host of other conference rooms for all event/meeting sizes. The contemporary bedrooms were large, bright, well equipped and comfortable.


The Champagne Bar would also be a great event space. The place was buzzing for a Wednesday afternoon. A very popular haunt for both locals and tourists. They also do some delicious signature cocktails. The breakfast was delicious with so many choices for all tastes and dietary requirements. It even had it’s own automatic pancake machine!



Day 2


I headed to the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel which is situated in a beautiful square overlooking a park in the middle of the square which guests have access to and you can hold events here too! This set the tone of this stunning hotel, the concourse and reception was both stunning and classic. They have bikes in the reception area which guests have access to, if they wish to take a ride around Glasgow.


The Isag Restaurant is an elegant restaurant offering locally sourced Scottish food including some decadent seafood dishes and cocktails. The restaurant is drowned in light which shows off the stunning décor.


The rooms a contemporary and modern with a cozy homely feel to them. Decorated to a high standard with premium soft furnishings along with comfortable beds!

The hotel also have an exquisite spa equipped with a large swimming pool, sauna, steam room and ice room!


Our next stop was in the media area where we visited The Radisson Red. This is a vibrant, funky venue with a real buzz. It houses one of Ed Shearan’s guitars which he gifted to the hotel after one of his concerts in Glasgow! This hotel has a wonderful roof top bar as well as an American style dinner restaurant as you enter the hotel.

We then visited the Clydeside Whisky Distillery who were very helpful, flexible and accommodating. We did not have a scheduled visit and a member of the Sales Team came to show us around and show us the potential event space and event options they have to offer. You can have whiskey tasting, a whiskey tour or private dinning. The distillery was located on the river giving the building a beautiful backdrop. The distillery was also a quirky and stunning building. The service we received from walking into the Clydeside Distillery was amazing from the shop staff who were happy to help along with the Sales Team. I feel that clients would be very well looked after here!


Our next stop on my way to the airport was at the Riverside Museum – transport museum. Again a great option for an event. There was a great area with historical shops, pharmacy, pub etc. You could hold an event in this area which would be a unique and interesting experience. You can also hold your event on one of the boats too. Again a unique opportunity for an event.



Summary:


There are so many options in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Both cities offer some great opportunities for events. Both cities are unique, with Edinburgh being more historical and classic and Glasgow being more arty, funky and vibey with lots of history too. It is very accessible easy to get around both cities and the outskirts of both cities too.


Each location has something for everyone. From small boutique style events to large conferences and events. You really could hold any type of event in either city. With plenty of access to outside space for team building activities. Or smaller spaces for those more intimate events and unique venues such as a castle, whiskey distillery or a transport museum for those who like something different.


Thank you Visit Scotland, Voco, and Sheraton for being wonderful hosts. Thank you to all the venues I visited for your time and showing me your wonderful venues.


Why not discuss your next event in Scotland, get in touch. We’d be more than happy to talk through it.



 

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