Friday, 04 March 2021 10:10

Tourists to say Slàinte to a new Scottish tourist experience

The historic Main Hall within the Playfair Building

Visitors from across the globe will be given the chance to say Slàinte to Scotland’s newest Scottish attraction - at one of its oldest institutions.

Surgeons’ Hall will throw open the doors of its historic Main Hall within the Playfair Building to give more than 16,000 visitors a year a Scottish night to remember.

The Slàinte Scottish Experience will run regularly from May to October, providing a taste of Scottish cuisine, history and culture in the magnificent setting.

The traditional evening is the latest development of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Commercial Enterprises, which makes the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, to help safeguard the College’s globally important work.

Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director at Surgeon’s Hall said: “When we heard Jamie’s Evenings were coming to an end something clicked into place and we realised there was an important opportunity for the Royal College – and a fantastic service for visitors to the city.

“There is an undoubted demand because for 40 years visitors have been flocking to these evenings in a hotel function suite. Think how much more amazing that experience will be in the unparalleled setting of our Playfair Main Hall.

“We are hugely excited about the possibilities, opening up a genuine Scottish architectural gem to visitors. In fact, we are pretty confident that it won’t just be tourists who come along.”

News of the addition to the capital’s tourism offering has been welcomed by Marketing Edinburgh, the organisation which promotes Edinburgh to the world.

Lesley Williams, head of business tourism at Marketing Edinburgh said: “With 60% of all visitors to Scotland making a trip to Edinburgh during their visit, the new event at Surgeon’s Hall is sure to add a new exciting dimension to their ‘Scottish Experience’, building on the venue and Edinburgh’s appeal to both UK and international markets.”

“We genuinely hope this exciting new service will succeed. It is good news for visitors to Scotland, for Edinburgh’s tourist sector and for strengthening the reputation of the city at home and abroad.”

That praise was echoed by Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Edinburgh, who said: “The Slàinte Scottish Experience will provide a new and exciting twist to one of the city’s most iconic venues, giving visitors from all over the world a taste of our unique culture and our fabulous food and drink.

“The Spirit of Scotland – VisitScotland’s new global marketing campaign – highlights national traits such as our sense of warmth and fun, and the Slàinte Scottish Experience certainly encapsulates this.”

Visitors to the new Slàinte Scottish Experience will be treated to a show featuring bagpiping, a traditional display of Scottish dancing and a journey through Scottish history with a difference.

During the show a delicious Scottish meal will be served by the Royal Warranted caterers, Heritage Portfolio, complemented by a choice of wines from the Royal Warranted wine merchants, Corney and Barrow.

But the real star of the show promises to be the setting itself. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is one of the world’s oldest medical institutions founded in 1505 after receiving a Royal Seal of Cause from King James IV.

It is renowned for its Playfair Building, dating back to 1832, including the magnificent, Playfair Hall, where the events will be held. The College is also home to the famous Surgeons’ Hall Museum, which houses collections of international importance.

Mr Mitchell added: “Like the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Slàinte Scottish Evening will be steeped in Scottish history.

“It will feature traditional music from the rousing Loch Lomond first heard in the mid-1800s to Robbie Burns’ Auld Lang Syne written in 1788 and now world renowned. But it will be the bagpipes, the much loved national instrument once used to herald oncoming armies, which will take pride of place at these evening.”

The Royal College is one of the most august institutions in Scotland. It provides education and assessment for medical students, surgical trainees and consultants and supports research to advance standards of care for the future. Surgeons trained and assessed through the College take their life-saving and life-changing skills all over the world.

The college’s Commercial Enterprises promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the College Campus, which include the four-star, 77-bedroom hotel, Ten Hill Place. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery.

The nights will officially open to the public in May with tickets priced at £65 per person. This includes the show, dinner, a taste of whisky at the Address to the Haggis and unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks.

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