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Castle dining fit for a king, Christmas feasts at Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle

27 November 2009

A TEMPTING TASTE OF CHRISTMAS FESTIVE DINING FIT FOR A KING AT EDINBURGH AND STIRLING CASTLES

One of the highlights of Christmas is undoubtedly the splendid fare of the season and of course, the opportunity to indulge in celebratory meals with family and friends.  Selecting a special venue for a festive feast with loved ones makes the occasion all the more memorable - so why not choose a castle and dine like kings?

Next month Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle are once again offering a choice of great Christmas dining options for lovers of good food and great surroundings.

Treat yourself to a superb three-course Christmas Lunch at Edinburgh Castle from 1st to 24th December (excluding 13th and 20th) for only £35 per person - and you can explore all of the wonderful attractions of Scotland’s leading heritage attraction for free.

The mouthwatering menu comprises a selection of culinary delights to suit all tastes.  Starters include west coast salmon and scallop terrine, and tea smoked duckling breast on a salad of caramelised mandarins  Mains include roast turkey breast with chestnut and apricot stuffing, and seared loin of cod served on roasted fennel and mascarpone vegetables. The choice of tempting desserts includes chocolate and ginger tart, and cranberry and poppy seed parfait with mulled wine syrup.  Vegetarian options are parsnip and apple soup with a light curried cream, and a tian of pan fried polenta layered with baby spinach and ratatouille.

There’s also a chance to experience two very special Wine and Dine Lunches at Edinburgh Castle on Sundays 13th and 20th December.  These exclusive events, in the imposing Queen Anne Room, offer the very best of Scottish cuisine in an elegant and carefully-designed four-course menu featuring the finest locally-sourced ingredients. The cost is £49 for an adult and again, free entry to the castle is included in the price.

Dishes include carpaccio of herb-crusted aged Sirloin with picked Portobello mushroom and horseradish salad, and poached guinea fowl roulade with creamed pearl barley and roast winter vegetables.  A vegetarian menu featuring thye and honey roasted marrow, beef tomato and shredded sprouts and carpaccio of marinated vegetables is also available.

Excellent wines - such as the Tuscan Ceppaiano Alle Viole Sangiovese Cabernet and Chilean Valdivieso Reserve Viognier -  complement each of the dishes.

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

Christmas Lunch at Stirling Castle - available in the Unicorn Café from the 11th to 23rd December – also offers a very tempting festive dining option as well as superb value, with a three-course meal made from the finest seasonal ingredients, followed by tea or coffee and homemade fudge, all for £29.

Again, the price includes free entry to the castle to enable diners to make the most of their visit to this fascinating attraction by exploring its history and doing some last minute Christmas shopping in the castle’s gift shops.

The delicious menu features starters such as smoked salmon terrine with cucumber and red pepper, dressed with lemon and dill drizzle, and warm brie and camembert filo parcels with cranberry and port coulis.  Main courses – in addition to hand-carved roast turkey with sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, parsnips, sprouts and cranberry sauce – include fillet of cod set of a bed of spiced lentils and overn roasted aubergine stuffed with spiced cous cous. The selection of desserts includes steamed Christmas pudding with brandy butter and crème anglaise, and a spiced appled frangipane tart with caramel sauce.  There is a vegetarian option for all courses.

Historic Scotland Catering Contracts Manager Elizabeth Strain said: “Our Christmas dining options at both Edinburgh and Stirling Castles are perfect for anyone looking for a special treat this festive season; they offer an unbeatable combination of stunning historic surroundings and outstanding menus with superb food and wines - so there’s no excuse for not celebrating Christmas in style at one of Scotland’s best-loved and iconic castles.”

Notes for editors

  • Full menus for Christmas dining events at Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle are available on the castles’ websites:

               http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/index/events/events_promo3.htm

               http://www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/home/newsevents/events/event_detail.htm?id=25732

  • Christmas Lunch at Stirling Castle - For the full menu and booking details, please visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/stirlingchristmas.pdf.

  • Booking in advance is essential.  For further information contact The Unicorn Cafe at Stirling Castle on 01786 449 208 or email stirlingcastle@digbytrout.co.uk

  • Christmas Lunch and Wine and Dine lunches at Edinburgh Castle - To make a booking for either of the Wine and Dine lunches on 13h and 20th  December or for Christmas lunch on any other date from 1st to 24th December, please call 0131 220 4833 or email edinburghcastle.events@digbytrout.co.uk

  • Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle are two of Scotland’s leading heritage attractions. Both offer a great day out, with a wealth of historic and architectural highlights to explore.

  • They are amongst 345 outstanding historic properties and sites throughout the country in the care of Historic Scotland. These include some of Scotland’s leading tourism attractions and most important heritage sites, including (in addition to Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle) Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places

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

For further information


Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871
rebecca.hamilton@scotland.gsi.gov.uk