Around 2,000 delegates from across Europe met in the heart of the city for a one-of-a-kind ‘Scottish heritage party’ this week – closing off an iconic Old Town street and square in Edinburgh
Members of the European Orthodontic Society (EOS) were treated to some of the best of the nation’s entertainment as they took over Hill Square Gardens and Hill Place in the capital.
The unique Scots event was hosted by the President of the EOS and run by Surgeons Quarter, which also made full use of each one of its historic buildings.
From the Playfair Building to the Surgeons’ Hall museum, each space had something different going on, including a casino room – which was serenaded by a string quartet – a ceilidh room, a disco and a whisky zone offering malt from each of the six regions.
Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director at Surgeons Quarter, said: “It was a pretty spectacular event that gave the conference tourists a real taste of what Scotland has to offer.
“In true Celtic style, as our European guests arrived, they were piped through the gates into the party, which went on long into the night.”
The entire area of the college gardens was covered by a custom-made marquee and Hill Place’s courtyard adopted a festival theme. Live bands, including drum and pipe band Clanadonia, were played throughout the evening.
A selection of street food outlets were put in place to cater to the crowds, offering some of Scotland’s best delights as well as twists on fast food favourites, such as Irn Bru chicken burritos from the capital’s Bonnie Burrito.
Scott added: “There was something new for everyone to try. In Edinburgh, we’re famous for putting on a good time for our international visitors and this event was certainly no exception.”
The EOS gets together annually across the continent for their congresses, and this year’s marked the first time they have held the important event in the UK since 1996.
As an added educational element, the museum’s and the library’s impressive collection of artefacts were also accessible to the dental professionals, and there was even a fighting stunt team, re-enacting traditional Scottish battle combat on the night.
Scott added: “There was a buzz around the EOS society in anticipation for this event and it didn’t disappoint. The party was ambitious, and they loved that.”
Surgeons Quarter is a charitable organisation and the commercial arm of one of Edinburgh’s oldest institutions – the Royal College of Surgeons.
The Royal College is one of the most august institutions in Scotland as well as one of the oldest medical incorporations in the world, with a history stretching back more than 500 years.
Surgeons Quarter invests all profits back into the organisation which trains surgeons who, in turn, change and save lives across every corner of the world.
That includes Ten Hill Place hotel, a major hotel in the heart of the city, with work to expand to 129 bedrooms close to completion.