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Feast like a King - enjoy Christmas lunch in regal surroundings

6 November 2008

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some wonderful festive fare, and lovers of good food and great surroundings can enjoy the best of both at two of Scotland’s best-loved castles.  

Edinburgh and Stirling Castles are offering a tempting choice of festive feasting occasions this Christmas.

At Edinburgh Castle, you can treat yourself to Christmas lunch from 1st to 24th December (excluding 14th and 21st) for only £35 - and explore all of the wonderful highlights of Scotland’s most famous stronghold for free.  

The mouthwatering menu offers a selection of culinary delights to suit all tastes. Starters include smoked trout with horseradish cream and cocktail oatcakes, main courses including sea bass with sprouts tossed in roasted chestnuts, and pancetta and feta cheese pesto, and desserts including crème brulee with cinnamon shortbread and mulled wine syrup.  

There’s also an opportunity to experience two very special Wine and Dine Lunches at Edinburgh Castle on Sundays 14th and 21st December.  These exclusive events, in the elegant surroundings of the Queen Anne Room, offer the best of Scottish cuisine in a sumptuous and carefully-designed four-course menu using only the finest locally-sourced ingredients.

Dishes include potted hough of Scottish beef with spiced plum marmalade and bannock bread, roast goose with crispy streaky bacon, chestnut stuffing, caramelized sprouts and roast potatoes, and Castle Christmas pudding parfait with cranberry relish.  A vegetarian menu featuring wild mushroom and chestnut pate, red onion tart tatin with cherry vine tomatoes, and roast root vegetable Wellington with chappit tatties, is also available.

Excellent wines from all corners of the globe - such as a 2007 Loredona Pinot Grigio -  complement each of the dishes.  

Full details of the menus and wines offered in the Wine and Dine events can be found at

To add to diners’ enjoyment of these indulgent occasions, chef will describe the content and production of each course, and the sommelier will talk about the specially-selected wines accompanying each dish.

Historic Scotland Catering Contracts Manager Elizabeth Strain said: ”Diners can look forward to a real treat at Edinburgh Castle’s Wine and Dine Lunches.  The combination of great surroundings, superb food and wines, and a chance to hear from our chef and sommelier add up to a very special occasion - and the two events offer excellent value too.  The Christmas lunches throughout December should also be a hit with anyone looking for a marvelous dining experience this festive season.”

To make a booking for Edinburgh Castle’s Wine and Dine Lunches on 14th and 21st December - priced £49 per person - or Christmas lunches on any other date from 1st to 24th December, call 0131 220 4833 or email

At Stirling Castle, the Unicorn Café provides a great setting for Christmas lunches from 10th to 23rd December.  Again, a lunch booking enables you to explore all of the wonderful highlights of this spectacular castle for free.  

The Stirling Castle Christmas lunch, priced £29 per person, offers another great festive menu, which should please even the most discerning of palates.

Starters include red lentil and smoked bacon soup, and marinated ribbons of courgette filled with chive and herb cream cheese.  Main courses include loin of poached cod served on a bed of mashed potato with a tomato bisque, and roast winter vegetable Wellington finished with red pesto cream, and desserts including vanilla panna cotta with caramelized oranges, and spiced plum tart with cream and rum and raisin ice cream.  To round off the lunch, there is fair trade tea or coffee and homemade Scottish tablet.  

The complete Stirling Castle menus can be found

Elizabeth Strain said: ”Stirling Castle offers another wonderful venue for dining and anyone who enjoys great food will appreciate Christmas lunch there.  Again, there’s a super menu and the lunches are very well priced.”

To make a booking for Christmas lunch at Stirling Castle, call 01786 449186 or email

Notes for Editors

  • There are lots of things happening at Historic Scotland at Christmas, including events, lunches, membership and shopping opportunities. To find out more log on to

  • Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s leading heritage attraction. It offers a great day out, with a wealth of highlights to explore, including:
    • The Honours of Scotland – the nation’s crown jewels.
    • The Stone of Destiny – the coronation stone of the ancient kings of Scots.
    • The Great Hall, Laich Hall, King’s Dining Room and St Margaret’s Chapel - some of the remarkable medieval rooms and buildings where kings, queens and great nobles wined, dined and worshipped.
    • The Prisons of War Experience – thousands of military prisoners were held in the castle over the centuries. There is now a major recreation of what it was like at the end of the 18th century when men of many nations languished in its vaults.
    • The Scottish National War Memorial - an impressive building commemorating those who have died in conflict from World War I onwards. There are also three military museums at the castle.
    • Mons Meg – a huge medieval siege gun that fired stones weighing 150kg (330lbs) for 3.2km (two miles).
    • The One O’clock Gun – fired daily, except the Sabbath and certain holidays, as a time signal.
    • The Dog Cemetery – the last resting place of regimental mascots and the faithful friends of many officers.

  • Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, highlights of which include the gatehouse, the Great Hall, the splendid Renaissance Royal Palace and the Chapel Royal.  A major refurbishment of the interior of the Royal Palace is currently underway; when completed, the apartments will be presented as they would have looked in their medieval heyday, complete with fine tapestries, furniture, and decorative ceilings.

  • Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000. Admission – Adult: £8.50; Child £4.25; Concessions: £6.50. (Includes admission to Argyll’s Lodging.)

  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions and most important heritage sites in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Laura Varney
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763