An historic Edinburgh venue has been used for dining for the first time in 400 years as part of plans to revive the space for corporate entertainment and events.
Minister’s Chamber – located within Gladstone’s Land on the Royal Mile – was used last week to entertain guests with historic cuisine, falconry and ‘honeyed figgy fizz’ as part of efforts by National Trust for Scotland to market the space as a distinctive corporate events and tours venue.
Twenty five guests were served dishes including ‘dressed kettle of fish’, ox cheek and puff pastry pie and ‘bannocks wi marmalade’; they were greeted by expert falconers Falconry Borders and their Saker Falcon Spirit, before taking part in a tour of the building.
Sandrine Contier-Lawrie, NTS Head of Business Development, Travel Trade & Hospitality, said: “The evening was a resounding success and we were delighted to welcome so many guests to partake in something truly unique. It not only presented the opportunity to share this incredible ‘new to market’ event space but also reveal the current objectives of the NTS Hospitality Team: to showcase new places, spaces and experiences across the NTS portfolio as we find them.
She added: “This is just the beginning of our journey and we look forward to sharing ideas with our friends and colleagues over the coming months.”
Nyssa Duncan-Price, NTS Property Manager, Gladstone’s Land, added: “This was an amazing showcase of team-work between the property, head office, our research team, Falconry Borders, Eastern Signage , Walker Slater and our caterers Appetite Direct.
“It has been an exhilarating journey which all paid off by us using the rooms as they were always intended – as lavish, entertaining spaces which delivered an unforgettable experience. The atmosphere was electric and the feedback has been astounding. The evening was just a taste of what we can all do – and we’re looking forward to curating more events as we move forward.”
An introduction was given to one of the NTS’s current initiatives – ‘Conservation – Project Reveal’ – whereby a digital record of every object in the trust’s collection, some 35,000 items, is being created.
The project has allowed objects at Gladstone’s Land to be removed and catalogued, thus permitting the display of fresh produce to let visitors ‘fully interact with the room’.
In turn, the conservation project has been working with the hospitality team within NTS to create a ‘Hospitality Project Reveal’, which is focusing on bringing old and disused spaces back to life.
The evening came to a close with guests being introduced to the newest member of the team – a week-and-a-half old baby Eurasian Eagle Owl.
Minister’s Chamber can cater for approximately 30 guests for a stand-up reception, 20 for seated dinner and 30 for meetings. The property can be exclusively hired for larger parties.
It was originally built as a banqueting hall that hosted the crème de la crème of Scottish Society and was last used to feast in some 400 years ago.
Researchers and caterers worked closely to create menus which evoked the period and included fresh flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits, aromas and ‘decadent’, historically-inspired cocktails.
To hear about new places, spaces and experiences across the NTS portfolio, please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
New tours and events include:
How to Avoid Accusations of Witchcraft
Keeping up with the Crichtons: The 17th Century Luxury Life
The Weird World of Scotland’s Myths and Legends
Entrepreneurial Women and their Get Rich Quick Schemes
The Ugly Owl; A Mediaeval Fable
Sir Crichton’s Guide to Falconry and Feasting
Black Death: Navigating the Apocalypse
Crime and Punishment: The city’s response
Georgian Tea Ceremony
Dressed Kettle of Fish – Poached ‘Redfush’, Sauty Bannock Wi Finnan Haddie Paste, Scottish Oysters
Pickled Silver Darlins’
Margadh na Feòla – Ox Cheek and Puff Pastry Pie, Potted Heid Wi, Howtowdie ‐ Chicken Ballentine
Puddins’ – Cranachan pots, Bannocks Wi Marmalade, Scottish Cabbock