By Zahra McDonald
During the festival madness that is August, the Scottish SITE Chapter was hosted to an afternoon of delights at the stunning Borthwick Castle.
This fantastic venue re-opened in 2016, following an extensive restoration. The following year, Lizzie Fisher joined the team as Business Development Manager, bringing a wealth of knowledge and network of connections from the conference and incentive market.
The majority of the guests travelled out of the hustle and bustle of the city by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Gorebridge (which only takes around 20-25 minutes). From here, we were greeted by the professional concierge team from Private Concierge Scotland who drove us in style in two of their Mercedes V Class MPV’s the short journey to Borthwick Castle.
After a very comfortable journey admiring the Midlothian countryside, we arrived at the imposing entrance to Borthwick Castle. The architecture and setting certainly has the ‘WOW’ factor – perfect for the incentive market.
Together with Lizzie, we were also welcomed by Johanne Falconer, their General Manager, who gave us a brief overview before introducing us to Kieran Rose, their Front of House Manager who has a wealth of knowledge about the fascinating history of the Castle.
We started our tour in the Gate House which has now been converted into a stunning suite. Borthwick offers a total of 13 guest bedrooms otherwise known as ‘bed chambers’, all of which have been refurbished to the highest standard. Nothing screams luxury like a marble bathtub in the middle of the bedroom.
We then made our way through the walled gardens, a perfect setting for an outdoor reception. The sun also made an appearance which made it feel even more magical.
Borthwick can offer private dining for up to 80 guests in the Great Hall and the roaring fire creates a wonderfully medieval ambiance. As we made our way upstairs to the bedrooms, Kieran informed us that the Castle was the last place that Mary Queen of Scots stayed before her imprisonment. Lucky guests now have the opportunity to stay in this very same ‘bed chamber’ and enjoy the spectacular views she would herself once have enjoyed – it doesn’t get much more unique than that.
We concluded our tour with a glass or two of bubbly and a selection of delicious canapés created by Head Chef and previous Master Chef winner, Derek Johnstone.
As this was the first visit for most of us to Borthwick Castle, we were not sure what to expect – however, Lizzie and the team totally ‘wowed’ us all and it was a privilege to experience all that the Castle has to offer. It is certainly a fabulous new edition to the Scottish incentive market.
Zahra McDonald is Sales Manager at The Balmoral in Edinburgh