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The Lunch

Change of season means The Lunch at Malmaison gets a new look

November 9 2017

The changing of the clocks doesn't just mean an extra hour in bed - it means that restaurants are moving to an autumn/winter menu. And nowhere does seasonal eating in Courier Country quite like Malmaison. The Brasserie at the Mal has launched its autumn pre fixe and a la carte menus - and I was very keen to try nearly all of the dishes. Alas, I could only have one per course (but that does mean I will need to take another trip to the hotel to sample some more!). For our starters, my dining partner opted for the Buffalo mozzarella, roast warm squash, pumpkin and charred onion dish from the pre fixe menu, while I chose a classic - Prawn cocktail, which was served with  mango & red pepper salsa and crisp iceberg lettuce. Both dishes came served impeccably. I've said it before and I will again - one of Malmaison's strengths is serving food which looks just as good as it tastes. My prawn cocktail came stacked - topped with the classic tangy cocktail sauce that I could have just drank out of a glass. The prawns were extremely fresh and plump and the salad and salsa below equally fresh and tasty. It was a new twist on an old dish and it really worked. The mozzarella dish was a real winner. Fresh and light, with the squash and pumpkin served slightly al dente to give a crunch again the soft, squishy cheese. The colours were striking and it was almost a shame to eat such a pretty plate of food! For my main course, I had the mushroom & black truffle macaroni, which was topped with a brioche herb crumb. The cheesy sauce was decadently cheesy, with plenty of mushrooms mixed through offering an earthy taste. The herb crumb on top gave it a nice texture contrast. I would happily eat this dish again and again - I hope it stays on future menus! The other main we chose was the chicken tikka masala skewer, which was served on pistachio and sultana pilaf rice, with a coriander flat bread and homemade raita. The addition of the pistachios and raisins elevated a basic side to something spectacular and the chicken was well-flavoured and perfectly cooked. Despite being full, we felt that in the interests of doing a proper review, my dining partner and I had puddings - the creme brulee and the Chez Mal hot chocolate. The brulee was among the best you can get - the crispy shell on top giving way to a perfectly creamy and luxurious pudding. My hot chocolate (which I expected to be a drink) was actually a sundae of mint choc chip ice cream, marshmallows and chocolate mousse, served with a jug of Valrhona hot chocolate sauce. The mint worked really well breaking up the richness of the chocolate, but the entire dish was sheer pudding perfection. For some of the most beautiful food this autumn and winter, the Brasserie at the Mal should be top of the list!

Sponsored

Sponsored: Courier’s Car of the Year 2018 – choose your new vehicle

February 15 2018

Is 2018 the year you are going to get yourself a new car? Not sure what to go for? With so many cars on the market, trying to find the right one for your needs – and more importantly, your budget – can be a daunting task. That’s where the Courier’s Car of the Year guide comes in handy. Whether you are looking for a zippy runaround for in town, or a family-friendly SUV, or even making the switch to electric, these cars are some of those to have been voted top by the Courier. Click the links to find out more, or visit the dealer’s website.  City Hybrid of the Year – Toyota Yaris Our City Hybrid of the Year is the Toyota Yaris. Hybrid technology features in every Toyota Yaris trim level and a recent package of improvements has made this petrol/electric supermini model smarter, plusher inside, better to drive and quieter. Petrol/electric technology has worked well for the Toyota Yaris and the result is that hybrid variants account for an increasingly large proportion of total Yaris sales. It has also helped that this model has been refreshed in recent times as part of a general Yaris range update that included 1,000 new parts and saw 576,000 man hours of development. Though this wasn’t the market’s very first hybrid supermini, it was the first able to improve upon the running costs of comparable eco-conscious diesel models in this segment, while matching (or beating) them on price. The Yaris Hybrid is powered by a combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a small electric motor which together produce 100hp. That might not sound much, but such is the torque of the motor that it feels as if it’s got the lazy flexibility of a bigger engine, which is exactly what you want around town. You can pull away and drive just over a mile purely in electric mode if you’re light on the throttle and when the petrol engine does kick in, it’s anything but uncouth. With ever stricter emissions-based tax legislation, the 79g/km hybrid future-proofs itself better than any diesel – which could be critical. Even if you didn’t care what fuel economy or emissions figures it was getting, you’d be impressed with its ride quality in town, its smooth powertrain and the way it integrates big-car features into a supermini. Choose the base Active model and you’re getting an awful lot of car for around £16,000. It’s a car that works brilliantly at its key remit: taking the slog out of city driving. Find out more about the Yaris at the Struan website. Convertible of the Year – Mazda MX-5 The Mazda MX-5 has stormed home with our Convertible of the Year award. Lighter, sharper and better engineered than the car it replaces, this fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 does everything right. The MX-5 has rewritten the record books again and again for sports car sales and its recipe of light weight, driver focus and simple front engine and rear drive layout just has an inherent rightness about it that hasn’t dated. This rejection of a “more is better” philosophy is a bit of a running theme throughout the MX-5. The car’s offered with either a 1.5-litre 131hp engine or a 2.0-litre 160hp unit. Mazda’s chassis engineers will steer you to the 1.5-litre powerplant, as they feel it’s the purest specification for the MX-5 and also the lightest, tipping the scales at around the tonne. That makes this the lightest MX-5 since the original, first-generation car of the ‘90s. This fourth-generation design conforms to five key criteria that Mazda claims define the MX-5: rear drive with a front-mid engine layout, 50/50 weight distribution and an eagerness to change direction, plus a low kerb weight and an affordable price. All models get six-speed manual gearboxes. The shape of the MX-5 hasn’t changed radically from generation to generation. This one’s no exception but there’s a bit more aggression about the detailing, the car looking like a shrunken Jaguar F-Type roadster from the rear three-quarter. It’s full of clever touches, such as the seat cushions being supported on netting instead of the usual metal springs, allowing Mazda to reduce weight and seat the driver’s hip point closer to the road. You can probably have more fun with 1.5 litres worth of MX-5 than you can with some supercars. Try it and you’ll see. If you measure your cars in terms of smiles per mile, the MX-5 has to be right near the top of your shortlist. Visit the Struan website to see more about the new Mazda MX-5. Family Hatch of the Year – Seat Leon Seat’s Leon is our Family Hatch of the Year. This facelifted third-generation Leon is a Focus-sized model that now offers smarter styling, improved media connectivity, extra safety provision and some fresh new engine options. The third-generation version – launched in 2012 – built upon the solid foundation established by its predecessors but in the years since its introduction the competition in the Focus-class family hatchback sector has become much tougher. Hence the need for this improved Leon with its slicker looks, stronger safety and improved media connectivity. Under the bonnet, things are much as before, though there has been a change at the foot of the petrol range, where a 1.0-litre TSI three cylinder 115hp unit slots in above the existing 1.2-litre TSI 110hp four cylinder powerplant. Other petrol engine options include a 1.4-litre TSI unit with 125hp and a 1.4 EcoTSI variant with 150hp efficient Cylinder-on-Demand technology. This car is based on the same MQB platform that undergirds VW’s Golf, Audi’s A3 and Skoda’s Octavia and produces enough torsional stiffness to allow this model to combine a supple ride with firm body control. As before, Leon buyers choose from either a five-door hatch, an ‘ST’ estate model or an ‘SC’ three-door coupe. At the front and rear, there are revised bumpers and bodywork with sharper, more assertive lines, plus there’s a smarter chromed front grille. Inside, the ambient lighting LEDs’ intensity can be regulated as the driver wishes from the newly redesigned eight-inch central infotainment screen. This monitor eliminates the need for many of the buttons and dials that were scattered around the fascia on the previous model. The Leon has long been the pick of the Volkswagen Group offerings in this sector. That also makes it one of the key segment benchmarks outside the Wolfsburg family of brands, which, in turn, makes it a very good car indeed. Learn more about the new Leon on the Fife Seat website. Family SUV of the Year – Renault Scenic Renault’s Scenic is our Family SUV of the Year. The fourth generation Scenic range now has more of an upmarket feel, with sleeker, more sophisticated looks and cleverer technology. Its range of more efficient engines now includes a frugal new 1.3-litre TCe unit but all the powerplants stack up well on the balance sheet. Plus, this people carrier remains nicely built, safe and very well equipped. The focus with this latest car has been in offering customers more choice – choice in body shapes, in trim levels and in engine options. How these compact MPV-class cars drive is actually some way down the priority list for most buyers behind value for money, safety, reliability and practicality. The best seller will be the 1.5 110hp dCi variant and this derivative is also being offered with clever ‘Hybrid Assist’ technology. Hybrid Assist functions with a 48-volt battery, enabling the electric motor to support the internal combustion engine. There’s also a very attractive new 1.3-litre TCe turbo petrol unit in 115 and 140hp guises, which is well worth a look if you don’t cover such large mileage. The styling is based on Renault’s R-Space concept car, key features like the steeply-raked windscreen and short bonnet heightening the elegance of its MPV silhouette. Uniquely, big 20-inch wheels are fitted to all versions. At the same time, the three-part screen combines a panoramic view with improved side vision. The boot of this fourth-generation model boasts a volume of 572-litres and around the car there’s total additional stowage capacity of 63 litres. Renault’s fourth-generation Scenic is here to remind us that there is still a place for the traditional five-seat compact mini-MPV in a modern market stuffed with other, more high-profile alternatives. It’s practical, spacious, well built and decently equipped, as every car of this kind must be, but in this case, each criterion has been ticked off with a thoroughness that reminds you just who invented this market sector in the first place. Mackie Motors’ website has more information about the Renault Scenic. Multi-Purpose MPV of the Year – Seat Alhambra Seat’s Alhambra takes top spot in the Multi-Purpose MPV category. Big MPVs aren’t really in keeping with Seat’s racy brand image but the Alhambra has always done very well for it, especially in second-generation guise. Unlike more compact 7-seat MPVs, with this one, adults can actually use all three rows of seats, with those chairs folding neatly into the floor thanks to the Easy-Fold seating system. The Alhambra has evolved in this improved guise, brought thoroughly up to date so it can respond to the challenge posed by Ford’s fourth-generation Galaxy and Volkswagen’s much-improved Sharan in the large MPV segment. This version, like its first-generation predecessor, is a Seat-badged version of the Sharan but is offered with value pricing. That means you get all the latest modern Volkswagen TDI diesel engines, units that are just about ideal for a people carrier of this sort, plus a 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit. Large MPVs may have somewhat fallen out of fashion in recent years, but this one still makes an awful lot of sense for a growing family. Size is not in short supply with the Alhambra but Seat’s largest MPV disguises its bulk well through some typically sleek styling. The bonnet and windscreen form a continuous, sharply angled line from roof to grille for a wedge-shaped profile, while the large headlights and low bumper add a little character to the nose. Seven seats are standard and there’s plenty of versatility in all models thanks to the Easy-Fold seating system, which allows the rear seats to tumble down beneath the floor with minimum fuss. The Alhambra is festooned with the usual array of storage options and convenience features you expect to find in a modern seven-seater. The sliding side doors can be electrically powered if you like and the bi-xenon headlamps come with a Full Beam Assistant function that dips the beam automatically when it detects oncoming traffic. With up to seven seats that collapse into the floor, sliding side doors for easier access and some intriguing technology options, this improved Alhambra continues where its predecessor left off. Find out more about the Alhambra at the Fife Seat website. Large Family SUV of the Year – Peugeot 5008 Lifting the crown for the Best Large Family SUV award is the new Peugeot 5008. The first-generation 5008 was an MPV. Now, this moniker has been applied to a spacious seven-seat SUV. Despite the switch, Peugeot won’t be offering it with 4WD, which won’t really help with the rough and ready market positioning. By way of compensation, an ‘Advanced Grip Control’ system is being offered for extra traction on slippery surfaces. There’s also Hill Assist Descent Control to ease you down slippery slopes. The car is being offered with two petrol engines: a 130bhp 1.2-litre three cylinder PureTech unit with a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox and a more powerful 163bhp 1.6-litre powerplant, which will be offered only with auto transmission. Most 5008 customers, though, will want a diesel, probably the 130bhp 1.5-litre BlueHDi unit; the older 1.6-litre BlueHDi unit continues on, too, in 100 and 120bhp forms. If you want a bit more pulling power then 150bhp and 180bhp 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel models are also available. The 2.84m wheelbase and long 4.64-metre length should certainly make the car very spacious inside and the class-leading 1,060-litre boot capacity figure seems to bear that out. Three matching, separate, folding seats in the second row are provided, each adjustable in length and inclination. Plus there are two removable, separate, folding seats in the third row. At the wheel, the driver gets the newest version of the innovative Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’ instrument binnacle design. That means a very compact steering wheel, a large 8” touchscreen dashboard and an eye-catching 12.3” high-resolution digital head-up display. Built in to the design is the option for owners to add innovative mobility solutions which can be integrated into the boot – the ‘e-Kick’, a very smart electrically-assisted folding scooter, and the ‘e-Bike eF01’, a new electrically-assisted portable bicycle. Check out the new Peugeot 5008 on the Struan website. Family Hybrid of the Year – Toyota C-HR Toyota’s talented C-HR is our top family hybrid, with concept car looks married to an eco-friendly power plant. ‘C-HR’ is supposed to stand for ‘Coupe High-Rider’ and, sure enough, it has a very coupe-style look. The C-HR is being offered with two familiar engines from Toyota’s Auris hatch. The most affordable variant gets a 114bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine and is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic – and front or all-wheel drive. Alternatively, buyers can choose a full hybrid powertrain with 120bhp, but that’s 2WD-only. For the C-HR, Toyota has made its hybrid system lighter and more efficient, and engineered it to give sharper performance. Toyota’s first proper entrant in the Crossover segment should cause quite a stir, styled with a combination of a coupe-like upper body and the powerful underpinnings of an SUV. Coupe-like elements include disguised rear door handles, integrated into the rear pillars. At the rear the strongly tapered cabin features a top hinged tailgate that gives access to load space big enough to carry luggage for five people. This styling contrasts with the pronounced flaring of the wheel arches which gives C-HR a wide and powerful stance. The proposition here gives you slightly less space than models like Nissan’s Qashqai and Renault’s Kadjar but more fashionable looks and better on-road dynamics. Hybrid engines are rare in the Crossover segment. In fact, only Kia’s Niro can offer petrol/electric technology in this class and that model looks pretty frumpy compared to this one. It’ll be less efficient, too, for a Hybrid-powered C-HR can return up to 78.5mpg on the combined cycle and up to 82g/km of CO2. Plenty of people attracted by a model like Nissan’s Juke in the Crossover class would rather have a contender that’ll be slightly bigger, more sophisticated and with a better finish. This is that car. See more about the new Toyota C-HR on the Struan website. Luxury Supercar of the Year – Lamborghini Huracan Performante Lamborghini’s impressive Huracan Performante is our Luxury Supercar of the Year. Lamborghini has taken a superb design and developed it with just one thing in mind: for it to be the fastest. When it comes to weight, engine power and chassis, it has been completely re-engineered. The powerful V10 engine has been redesigned with fluid dynamics optimised at both intake and exhaust, with the intake ducts coming directly from Lamborghini Motorsport’s experience. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been developed for the highest performance, as has the exhaust system, which still gives that throaty, vibrantly-thrilling sound. The active aerodynamics – the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva or ALA - continuously manages the car’s reaction to the air, adapting to the driving style and type of route, increasing vertical load to hug the ground when needed or moving to reduce resistance for that desired acceleration and speed. This works in unison with the double wishbone architecture of the Huracán Performante’s suspension for optimum sports performance suitable for day-to-day driving. The interior is made from the highest quality materials to keep the classic, luxurious feel synonymous with a Lamborghini. The seats are made of carbon fibre, with the upholstery from Alcantara leather. All the materials used are extremely light. Why? Because even the interior is designed to fit the concept of this Huracan: to be the fastest. Buyers can choose from a whole range of colours for the exterior and the interior, the stitching, cockpit materials and brake callipers, to make their own individual supercar. Lamborghini reckons the new Huracan Performante has “reworked the concept of super sports cars and taken the notion of performance to levels never seen before”. Anyone who can afford £215,000 for one may well agree. Visit the Grey Paul website to find out more about the Lamborghini Huracan Performante. Car of the Year – Volvo XC40 Our Car of the Year for 2018 is Volvo’s superb new XC40. The XC40 is much more than just a smaller version of the brand’s larger SUVs. Volvo has taken its time in developing a contender for the industry’s fastest growing market segment, that for compact family hatchback-based SUVs. Under the skin lies a freshly developed Compact Modular Architecture platform that Volvo has created with its Chinese owner, Geely. It’s a chassis that will in future be used by a whole range of new compact Volvo models but it’s hard to believe that many of them will be much more significant than this one. Established premium-brand compact SUV contenders like BMW’s X1, Mercedes’ GLA and Audi’s Q2 and Q3 crossovers are all within this XC40’s sights. The XC40’s platform has been based around provision for a whole range of future cutting-edge Volvo powerplants, including three cylinder engines plus a plug-in hybrid and a fully-electric version. For the time being, though, buyers are limited to the Swedish brand’s efficient 2.0-litre Drive-E petrol and diesel units. There are three main levels of trim: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription, with plusher Pro variants of each. Every version of the XC40 is very well equipped. As standard, even entry-level Momentum variants come with LED headlights with optional active high beam, two-zone climate control with a CleanZone air-filtration system, rear parking sensors, a 12.3-inch TFT instrument binnacle display and 18” alloy wheels. As ever with Volvo, a key focus is safety. An autonomous braking system is standard-fit and this system can specifically detect people and animals. There’s also an Oncoming Lane Mitigation set-up that not only stops you from pulling out into the path of an oncoming vehicle but can also steer you away from such an impact. Pilot Assist, Volvo’s innovative semiautonomous drive feature, is an optional extra on every XC40, as is Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation. And Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, which warns you of oncoming vehicles when you’re reversing out of a space. The 148bhp D3 variant most will choose offers combined fuel consumption of up to 70mpg and CO2 emissions from around 105g/km and if you go for the pokier 187bhp D4 AWD variant, you’ll be looking at about 60mpg and 115g/km. The petrol powered 154bhp T3 offers combined fuel economy of up to 45mpg and CO2 emissions from around 135g/km. Maintenance should be relatively affordable for a car of this kind, with three or five-year pre-paid servicing packages available to help you budget ahead. If you pay extra for the useful On Call with App remote connectivity system, this Volvo can be programmed to autonomously realise when a service is due, then automatically book it for you at a dealership of your choice. Volvo clearly felt that to break into the premium-brand compact SUV segment, it had to offer something distinctively different to its German rivals, so that’s exactly what we’ve got. Not everyone will like the looks but there’s no doubt that they will help the brand to target buyers who would never previously have considered a Volvo. See the Volvo XC40 at Strathmore Volvo in Perth.

Motoring

Sponsored: 10 great quality cars that won’t break the bank

May 18 2018

Duthies of Montrose is known for offering quality vehicles at even better prices. And these 10 cars are no exception. Whether you are looking for a nippy runaround or something with a bit more under the bonnet, these deals on new and used cars are bound to catch your eye. But don’t hang about because they are sure to be snapped up quickly! To find out more about each car, click the vehicle name above the picture. SsangYong Korando The new Korando offers a great alternative to more mainstream SUVs, offering value as well as style and performance. With both front wheel and all wheel drive options in the range, manual and automatic choices and up to two tonnes of towing capacity (only on diesel models) it’s a fantastic family car that’s fit for all road conditions and uses. In auto mode and normal conditions, the Korando remains in two-wheel drive to optimise fuel efficiency. When sensors detect a potential loss of grip, the system progressively engages the four-wheel drive mode. When it comes to the outside, the new Korando gains a fresh look with a purposeful theme. The front end is enhanced by a new grille, projector headlamps with daytime running lights, a new front bumper incorporating stylish foglamps, a new bonnet line and some elegant 18” diamond cut alloy wheels on ELX models. And inside it offers the space and flexibility for anything you may need to transport – from five adults to a range or sporting or outdoors equipment. The rear seat fold flat and can be split 60/40 to accommodate awkward loads, the rear load space is also flat making loading straightforward, and with a hidden underfloor luggage tray for valuables. Citroen C4 Cactus This 1.6 BlueHDI Rip Curl Citroen offers great value for money at just £14,500. The striking red five door diesel hatchback has a manual transmission, cruise control, hill holder technology and an electronic stability programme. It’s also equipped with an immobiliser, Bluetooth phone equipment and MP3 player. To help it look good, it comes with 17” alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, leather steering wheel and panoramic roof. SsangYong Tivoli The exciting new Tivoli offers a truly leading-edge design combining luxury, style and performance at a price as comfortable as its ride. The small SUV can be yours for as little as £13,495, and features cruise control, smart steering and seven airbags as standard. Higher specification models feature luxurious soft leather seats throughout, a dual-zone air conditioning system and an advanced two-mode 4x4 system. Add to this the premium in-car infotainment provided by a 7" LCD multimedia display with touchscreen, displaying both TomTom satnav and rear view camera, and you have a spirited deluxe crossover vehicle at an affordable price. SsangYong Tivoli offers a level of attention to detail and driving experience usually found only in vehicles with a much higher price tag. The Tivoli is available in 2x4 and 4x4, automatic and manual transmissions, as well as petrol or diesel. Kia Carens This 1.7 CRDI 3 ISG model of the Kia Carens would make a great runaround or second car for your household. The 2015 MPV is a diesel with manual transmission and is packed full of tech and features, including automatic air conditioning, hill holder, rain sensor, cruise control, heated and electric front mirrors and rear parking camera aid. The exterior features 17” alloy wheels, rear spoiler, roof rails, tinted glass, electric sunroof and body coloured bumpers. Inside there is front heated seats, six speakers, Bluetooth phone equipment, and ISOFIX anchorage point, CD and MP3 player and leather interior. SsangYong Turismo Designed to appeal as a family, leisure or business vehicle, the new Turismo blends multi-role flexibility with great ride comfort with the appointments and equipment levels of a luxury saloon. Being a big vehicle provides the opportunity to have space for seven passengers – having a 2+2+3 layout means captain’s chairs in the second row and a third row that slides and can be removed. While rear wheel drive features across the range, the top of the range ELX also features selectable 4x4 with low ratio as standard. This makes the Turismo ELX a car you really can rely on, no matter what the British winter throws at you. It is also an especially practical proposition for those who tow a caravan, horsebox or boat trailer, or whose other country and leisure activities necessitate driving across challenging terrain. As with the other Turismo models the ELX has a useful 2.7 tonne towing capability. With a range that tops out at £26,995 for full leather, 4x4 and automatic value continues throughout the Turismo range. Ford Focus Ecoboost This pre-owned one litre SCTI Zetec Navigator is a nippy little car that would be a great first car or for getting around town. The four-year-old metallic black car comes with 16” alloy wheels, electric heated door mirrors, heated washer jets, heated front screen, air conditioning, driver information system, electronic brake force distribution and ISOFIX anchorage point. It’s definitely a car that punches above its weight and offers a lot for a small pricetag of £9,000. Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex This three-year-old red Corsa doesn’t just look good, but its Ecoflex features make it good for your wallet too. A 1.4l petrol, it is equipped with anti-lock brakes, electric heated door mirrors, hill holder, immobiliser, automatic dipping rear view mirror, heated windscreen, cruise control, rain sensor and Bluetooth phone equipment. Looks-wise, it has black 16” alloy wheels, front sports seats, fog lights, tinted glass and leather interior features. Kia Rio Priced just £5,000 this little 1.25 1 Air would make a great first car. The car, in clear white, has tinted glass, body coloured bumpers, immobiliser, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, four speakers, audio steering wheel mounted controls, and much more. It definitely is one to check out in person if you are looking for a quality car with a small price. Citroen DS3 This 1.2 Puretech Performance Line is an ex-demo model and in a year has done less than 4,000 miles. The three-door hatchback has 17” black alloys, leather features inside, fog and LED daytime running lights, rear spoiler, sports front seats, electric door mirrors and sport chassis. But it’s looks are only a fraction of what this Citroen offers. It also has automatic air conditioning, immobiliser, electronic brake force distribution, alarm, cruise control, six speakers, tyre pressure control, Bluetooth interface and hill holder. It’s available now for £14,000. Mercedes-Benz A Class The final bargain deal in our list is the 1.5 A180 CDI Sport Auto. This three-year-old Mercedes-Benz has done less than 18,000 miles and comes with all the features you expect from the manufacturer. It has 16” alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, leather interior including gear knob and front sports seats, as well as a roof spoiler. The car also features electric heated door mirrors, six speakers on the CD/MP3/radio, automatic air conditioning, immobiliser, electric windows, driver knee air bag, heated rear screen, alarm, on-board monitor, hill holder and tyre pressure control.

The Lunch

Lunch in full View

September 22 2016

Having recently become a vegetarian (for reasons I won’t go into here) I’ve started paying more attention to menus. And what initially impressed me about The View restaurant was that they had an entire menu of vegetarian food (they also had a gluten free one). It seemed very indulgent to be able to choose what I wanted to eat, rather than just “having” to go for the only veggie option available. My dining companion, Dr Michael Carslaw of St Leonards School, made his selections from the main menu, which featured a number of great-sounding dishes (some of which had me questioning whether I was really committed to a meat-free life). To start, Michael opted for the goat’s cheese and prosciutto wrapped in filo pastry. It came atop a bed of beetroot and cranberry, with the sweetness of the latter working well with the salty, creamy sharpness of the cheese and meat. The filo added a bit of crunch to the dish. I, meanwhile, had the poached egg with asparagus and baby potatoes. The dish was completed by a large spoonful of homemade hollandaise sauce on top. It also had some sundried tomatoes tucked underneath the egg, which added some colour and a good earthy flavour and helped prevent the hollandaise from overwhelming the rest of the dish. The baby potatoes were sauted but managed to avoid soaking up a lot of oil and becoming mushy. The asparagus was perfectly cooked – crunchy without having to be wrestled with. And that hollandaise…so silky and tasty. For his main course, Michael had the breast of chicken, which came with potatoes, leeks, chorizo and a pesto sauce. Despite sounding like quite a busy dish, it was well-presented and looked very tasty. Michael told me the chicken was moist and he enjoyed every bite. I went with the vegetarian pasta dish. It came with a creamy sauce that was packed full of chestnut mushrooms and even had vegetarian pakora on top! Sometimes I worry about having a cream sauce at lunch (the worry being that it will be too heavy and I will spend the afternoon trying to sneak a nap in the office) but my fears were unfounded. The sauce was creamy and very well-flavoured, but the dish wasn’t drenched in it. The mushrooms provided some bite and the pakora was an unexpected delight. Not so much takeaway style, but much lighter and less dense. Completely stuffed, Michael and I went for coffees instead of dessert. Too many restaurants make coffee an afterthought and this is reflected in scorched beans. Thankfully The View takes its coffee seriously and even that was thoroughly enjoyable. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, try The View for a fantastic, well-thought out and prepared meal.  

The Lunch

Tasty treats for The Lunch at Bruach

December 17 2016

Bruach has long been on my list of restaurants to try in the Dundee area, so I was very glad to visit with Scott Jaron of Scott Brothers as I grilled him over lunch. For our starters, Scott and I both ordered the arancini (an Italian dish of breaded risotto balls with cheese in the middle), which came beautifully presented on a glass plate. The sauce under the balls was tangy and slightly sweet, which worked well with the flavour of the arancini. For the main course, we both had burgers (although different types). Scott chose the BBQ burger, which came stacked with bacon, cheese and barbecue sauce, and I had the halloumi burger, which had a red grape and onion chutney. My halloumi burger was incredibly tasty. The cheese was covered in Panko and then cooked, giving it a bit of crunch. And to counteract the saltiness of the halloumi, the chutney was sweet and sharp. I also enjoyed the homemade coleslaw that came on the side (as well as the fries, which were skinny but hadn’t become sharp rods that impaled the roof of your mouth as some can when overcooked). Scott told me his burger was fantastic, and it definitely looked it. There was lots of cheese, bacon and sauce, and we both tucked in happily. After two great courses of food, we both decided against a pudding (despite the yummy-sounding options on the menu). But that just gives me an excuse to go back!

Sponsored

It’s Showtime! Enjoy one of these hot performances during this chilly winter

November 28 2017

The temperature is dropping but the shows being put on across Courier Country are heating things up! While pantos tend are big business at this time of year, there are also some great music shows and plays in production. Make sure to get your tickets for these shows – they are bound to be big hits with audiences! Click on the headlines to find out more about each show. Enjoy one of the world’s most beloved fairytales with TLMS Once upon a time, in a land far away, this timeless tale of Cinderella who goes from rags to riches will delight audiences of all ages. With mirth, magic and mayhem it has all the right ingredients for a truly outstanding production. With a magical transformation, the splendour of the ball, the attention of the handsome Prince, the dramatic exit as the clock strikes midnight, the hunt for the glass slipper's owner and the glorious happy ending, Cinderella will be recreated in true TLMS Panto-fantastic style. Cinderella will be performed at the Gardyne Theatre from Wednesday, November 29 to Sunday, December 3. Make a trip to Aladdin one of your three wishes When it comes to performing that annual phenomenon – pantomime - Downfield Musical Society can claim to be experts. The DMS Company is celebrating 60 years of presenting Christmas pantomimes in the city and the ever popular “Aladdin”, written and directed by DMS’ own Graeme Neil Smith, will be presented in Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre. The Downfield company always ensure that their panto contains all the necessary ingredients for a successful, laughter-filled, family show – the handsome “leggy” principal boy, the traditional male panto “Dame”, and an evil baddie to boo. Add magical transformation scenes; slapstick custard pie routines; chart hit songs; corny jokes; special effects; audience participation; and you have the magic recipe that is panto! “Aladdin” runs from Friday to Wednesday, December 15 to 20, including weekend matinees. For tickets click the link above, call DMS on 01382 322537 or dms@downfieldms.co.uk.  Enjoy a bit of tradition with Brandon McPhee On Friday, March 16, Brandon McPhee makes his return to Brechin City Hall. Brandon McPhee is described by many of his peers as one of the best accordion players in a lifetime. He picked up the accordion at the age of 10, now at 21 he already has six traditional Scottish CDs to his credit. His accordion playing has won him first place at the Royal National Mod three times and at 17 he won the All Scotland Senior Traditional Accordion Championship, making him the youngest ever to win this competition in its 65 year history. More recently Brandon’s singing has come to the fore with some of his recordings having made the Top 10 in the European Country Music Chart. He has two CDs of country music and a third a mix of country and traditional Scottish in the making.  Brandon and his six piece band gives the country music element in this show. Also, Eddie Rose one of Scotland’s busiest entertainers, will be adding comedy and song to the family show. Enjoy the ‘panto of your dreams’ with Sleeping Beauty Bursting with celebs, including River City favourite Tom Urie (“Big Bob”), CBBC’s James Mackenzie (Raven), and two of the cast from top BBC comedy “Scot Squad”, “Officer Karen” and “Bobby”, Karen Bartke and Darren Connell, Sleeping Beauty will be THE event for Dundee this Christmas. Filled with laughter galore, fabulous costumes and toe tapping hits, get ready for a truly magical family outing when the pantomime of your dreams comes to the Gardyne Theatre this Christmas… oh yes it is! Will the heroic prince break the spell and awake his true love?  Will good overcome evil?  Or will the evil Maleficent ruin Christmas for all? Don't get caught napping (like our heroine) … Book your tickets now or face being the baddie in your house! Sleeping Beauty will run from December 9 to January 6 at the Gardyne Theatre. Celebrate Christmas with a special concert by Dundee Choral Union Dundee Choral Union’s Christmas Concert this year will be an exciting performance of music for ceremony and celebration over three centuries: William Boyce’s “Coronation Anthems”, Stanford’s “Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis”, Elgar’s “Te Deum and Benedictus”, two anthems by John Ireland, and John Rutter’s ever popular “Gloria”. The choir will be joined by Brass Players from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Derek Clark, and organist, Walter Blair. The soloists are Freya Holliman (Soprano), and Arthur Bruce (Baritone). The concert will take place at the Caird Hall, Dundee on Sunday, December 10, at 7.30pm. Tickets available from the Box Office, City Square, and from choir members. Tickets are £15 (£5 Students & unemployed and accompanied school pupils FREE).

Motoring news

Sponsored: Beat the car tax hike – buy a new car before the end of March

March 9 2017

One of the biggest overhauls of the UK car tax system is to come into effect in just a few weeks. The rules to be introduced on April 1 mean seven out of 10 new car buyers will pay more as a result of the revised Vehicle Excise Duty tax bands. Under the previous rules, cars which emit less than 100g/km of CO2 were exempt altogether from VED (which most of us erroneously call road tax) and even cars up to 120g/km only paid a pittance per year. Under the new rules only electric and hydrogen cars will be exempt and all other cars will pay a flat rate of £140. Cars bought prior to April 1 will remain on their current band, so a car emitting 99g/km bought before then will be free of road tax for life. Those bought after that date will cost £120 in the first year and £140 a year thereafter. Cars emitting 131g/km will be taxed £200 instead of £130; 151g/km £500 instead of £180; 171g/km £800 instead of £295 and 191g/km £1,200 instead of £490. The highest charge will continue to apply to those emitting over 255g/km, going up from £1,100 to £2,000. However, those buying high-polluting cars may break even, with tax set higher in the first year and subsequently falling every year after that. The biggest sting is reserved for those who buy cars costing more than £40,000, who will pay a £310 a year supplement from years 2-6. So even if you buy an electric Tesla you’ll still have to pay a lot more. To help drivers, a number of Courier Country dealers are introducing great offers to help avoid the extra costs of a new car. Help is at hand to get a new Ford without a nasty tax hike Montrose Ford dealership Guthrie Bros is advising customers old and new to make sure they avoid the new increased rates of car road tax – by getting a new Ford before April 1. The Government are introducing changes to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED, more commonly known as car road tax) which means new car road tax could increase significantly. However, you can avoid this tax increase by changing to a new Ford now! If you upgrade your current model before March 31, you will avoid the applicable new car tax increase, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds in some instances. With these increased rates coming into force next month and the release of the new “17” registration on March 1, there’s never been a better time to upgrade to a new Ford. From the new Ka+ to the Edge, customers can find the perfect car to suit their needs and, most importantly, their budget. From nippy city cars, new ST Line models, a great range of SUV vehicles to rugged pick-ups in the form of the Ranger, Ford offers something for everyone. Guthrie Bros has a range of offers across their Ford models, including finance deposit contributions of up to £4,000 and 0% APR available on selected models – so you can save even more cash when you buy your next car. A family-run business, Guthrie Bros understands how vital the car is for day-to-day living and won’t just sell you a great car – they will make sure it stays in top condition with their aftersales services. For more information, pop into the Guthrie Bros showroom on Northesk Road, Montrose and speak to one of the team who will talk you through what the changes mean to you as well demonstrating your preferred Ford model, or visit the Guthrie Bros website. Free insurance and road tax savings with Suzuki Ignis The all-new Suzuki Ignis made its debut on the motoring market in February and is already creating adventures for everyone who takes a test drive. And, if you buy before the new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) comes into force, you can enjoy the ride with some extra cash in your pocket. The new Ignis has classic sleek and bold Suzuki looks, with a unique, one-of-a-kind design. It’s easy to make it your own with the option to personalise the colour of everything from your interior door handles to the front grille. Mixing size and style to brilliant effect, it’s a style statement like no other. The New Ignis is equipped with some seriously effective protection as standard. And with top-notch fuel efficiency, the Ignis isn’t just inexpensive to buy, it’s also cheap to run. As well as saving £140 in the first year of ownership, if you buy a new Ignis before the end of March, you will also see savings of £700 over the next five years. And there’s also a year’s FREE insurance with 5.9% PCP (subject to terms and conditions). In 2013, the West End Motor Group brought Suzuki back to Broughty Ferry after a 10 year absence and drivers have been reaping the benefits since, with an ever  increasing number of Suzukis on the roads of Tayside and Fife. The franchise has also scooped Aftersales Manager of the Year, because West End Suzuki knows that the job doesn’t end when a car leaves the forecourt. Buying your next car from West End Suzuki is where the journey begins. Visit West End Suzuki in Orchar Park, Monifieth Road, and take a test today or find out more at their website. Get an icon - and save more than £600 on the road tax The Honda Civic is one of the most recognisable vehicles on Courier Country roads. And now West End Honda are offering drivers the chance to grab one – and take advantage of the zero Vehicle Excise Duty which ends on April 1. Brand new for 2017, the 10th generation Civic offers outstanding efficiency combined with turbo-charged engines featuring Earth Dreams Technology, which perfectly balances sports performance with economy. The new Civic really is high on thrills and low on fuel consumption. Every part of the Civic has been carefully crafted to give it a dynamic presence on the road, from its sculpted headlights to the unique rear spoiler. It’s also been designed to optimise airflow – which helps make driving a breeze. Inside, Honda’s engineers have reshaped and remodelled the Civic’s cockpit – making sure all the essential information and controls sit directly in front of the driver. And if you buy one before the end of March, its fuel economy means you qualify for zero road tax – a saving of more than £600 over the next five years. West End Garage was built in 1929 and has been owned by the same family since 1972. They have represented Honda for over 35 years and over the years, built a loyal customer base which has used the West End services time and time again. The garage currently employs 30 staff, of which more than half have been with the company for more than 15 years. Keith Nicol, one of the most experienced Honda technicians in the country, served his apprenticeship at West End Garage in 1972. Buying a new Honda from West End Honda is where the journey begins. Each and every member of the team at West End Honda prides themselves on providing a high standard of customer service, which they understand results in repeat business. Staff are happy to work with customers to ensure they drive off the forecourt in the vehicle they want. Visit West End Honda and take a test drive or find out more at the West End Honda website. Plenty of ways to save on a new Audi, SEAT or Škoda The introduction of the new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in April isn’t the only reason to shop for a new car this month. There are a whole host of special offers throughout the John Clark Motor Group, aimed at giving customers the best cars for their money, including on Audis, SEATs and Škodas. The Audi A4 Avant leads the way when it comes to efficiency, technology and practicality, as well as offering the sleek style drivers expect from Audi. Its lighter frame and slender shape offer greater fuel efficiency than other models, meaning it can be cheaper to run that previous versions. The A4’s sportier brother the A5 Coupe might not have the same space inside, but it is great for a fun and easy drive, all in a beautiful package and offering fuel efficiency from the entry level. Unlike other sports models, the A5 Coupe doesn’t sacrifice comfort and lushness, and its adaptive suspension set-up allows for a smoother ride. The Audi A6 ticks all of the boxes for an executive car: Luxury, good to drive, well-equipped and affordable to run. And the range of options on each model means that the car is almost bespoke to the customer. It offers drivers power under the hood with superb refinement and all of the technology expected from German engineering. The Škoda Fabia is a sporty little number that flies in the face of the stereotype of Škoda as a brand for older drivers. It’s nippy and sharp and turns heads wherever it goes and its engine and driving experience means the quality is more than just skin deep. Its larger counterpart, the Škoda Octavia, offers drivers a top quality vehicle, which is great for the whole family. It has been given a brand new look, now featuring unique split headlights, making it a sight to behold. For many, the SEAT Leon is a great midsize vehicle for day-to-day life. Its recent facelift has put it in pole position for many customers looking for a quality hatchback. And with plenty of engine and model options, it is easy for customers to find the right one for them. SEAT’s first crossover, the Ateca, makes the daily routine run perfectly, with advanced technology that offers the best experience, whether in the city or on country roads and no matter the conditions. There are a whole range of finance options, with savings including deposit contributions and competitive interest rates (subject to terms and conditions). And with the new 2017 registrations on the market, now is the best time to get a new car. Many cars will also be subject to the additional VED costs (£310 for the first five years, on top of the standard £140 rate), so by buying this month, drivers immediately save hundreds of pounds each year. For more information, visit the John Clark Motor Group website or visit their showrooms. Avoid the incoming tax bump - and get part of your car deposit paid Buying a brand new car in March won’t just save you from the new rates of road tax – you can also get a deposit boost, thanks to Mackie Motors. The family-owned and operated business is offering customers fantastic deals on Renault, Dacia and Nissan cars, ordered and registered before Friday, March 31. Customers can get up to £2000 deposit contribution to a new Renault, including the Clio, Captur, all-new Megane, Kadjar, Scenic and Grand Scenic. Or up to £650 towards a new Dacia, or up to £2,500 deposit contribution for a Nissan (available on models including the X-Trail, Qashqai, Juke and Pulsar). And for those looking to dodge the tax changes entirely, why not look at the Renault Zoe or Kangoo Z.E or the Nissan LEAF and ENV200? From family-friendly vehicles to rugged 4x4s to compact cruisers, Mackie Motors has a range of vehicles, with many finance and special offers available. The experienced and knowledgeable team at Mackie Motors can help answer any queries about the incoming new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and help advise customers on the best new car for them. As well as matching customers to the perfect car for their tastes, wants and budgets, Mackie Motors also provides an excellent aftersales service, including vehicle repairs and maintenance. Customers can have their cars picked up for their appointment in the garage, then returned to them after the job is done. There are also courtesy cars for customers who need to get around while their car is being checked over by the team of highly trained mechanics. The Mackie Motors Business Centre can also provide businesses with anything from a single work vehicle to a whole fleet, with numerous finance options and maintenance packages available. For more information or to find your next car, visit the Mackie Motors showrooms in Clerk Street, Brechin, or Montrose Road, Arbroath, or visit the Mackie Motors website. (Terms and conditions apply to offers, which are subject to availability.)

Sponsored

Sponsored: Enjoy a night out for less with Stagecoach

October 13 2017

Stagecoach East Scotland have launched a brand new ticket to encourage people to travel across the region for less in the evenings. The company have launched 'nightrider', a new ticket valid for travel after 7pm, for unlimited travel until the last journey of the evening, to an end time of 4am the following morning. The ticket will cost £2 and is valid throughout Fife, Perthshire, Dundee and Angus, however is not valid for services to Edinburgh, Cumbernauld/Glasgow, Falkirk/Forth Valley, Stirling, or north of Montrose to Aberdeen. The ticket can be bought from the driver from 7pm on any evening of the week, and can then be used on any subsequent journeys the same evening/early the following morning. A nightrider ticket can also be used on night services N55 and N99. Douglas Robertson, Commercial Director, Stagecoach East Scotland said: “This is a brand new initiative for us and we're really excited to be helping our customers enjoy a great night out for less, especially as we approach the festive season. “Our new nightrider ticket is designed to be a great value travel option if you're venturing for a night out, taking advantage of all the great night spots we have here in Fife. “From the many restaurants and bars available across the Kingdom, to diverse theatre shows and family activities available, we want to encourage people to make use of the local facilities across the region - for just £2!” With the new nightrider ticket now available to buy from Stagecoach East Scotland drivers, it's never been easier to have a great night out for less, leaving the car behind. With so many festive events coming up across the region, using the bus to get to popular nightspots is sure to be popular with residents across the Tay regions. Customers can plan their journey by visiting the Stagecoach website or using the free Stagecoach Bus app.

Sponsored

Sponsored: Time to getaway – take a relaxing and luxurious break this winter

November 9 2017

Sometimes everyone just needs to get away, whether it’s for a night, a weekend or longer. Christmas is just around the corner and the nights are drawing in earlier and earlier, making the need to escape for a few days even stronger. So why not pack a bag and head off? At this time of year, Scotland has some of the most attractive places to visit, with lochs, mountains, forests, historical sites and towns to explore. So if you are looking for somewhere to relax in luxury, a picturesque location and plenty to see and do, why not book into one of these fantastic places this winter. Banish the winter blues with a cosy stay at the Atholl Palace Beat the cold days by warming yourself at one of the Atholl Palace’s many log fires. Stay for two nights and enjoy a sumptuous three course candlelit dinner each evening with a complimentary bottle of house wine on the first night. Fill up with their famous Scottish breakfast, served each morning in the Verandah Restaurant boasting stunning views of the Tummel Valley, before exploring this beautiful part of Scotland. There is so much to see and do. Enjoy a walk to the black spout waterfall or maybe the Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder. The small towns of Dunkeld, Kenmore, Aberfeldy and Blair Atholl are all worth a visit. The Atholl Palace Hotel is the ideal touring base and a warm welcome awaits - with a complimentary whisky liqueur! Don’t forget you can also enjoy the leisure facilities such as the swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna or simply relax in the inviting lounge areas with real log fires This offer, available until March 30, 2018, is from just £139 per person based on two sharing, or single rooms for just £99 (Sunday to Thursday). Take a festive trip with Xplore Dundee It’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping and this festive season Xplore Dundee has a great selection of shopping and theatre trips for you to enjoy which are all available to book online or at the Xplore Dundee Travel Centre in Commercial Street, where you can even choose to pay in instalments. These include: McArthur Glen Designer Outlet and Almondvale Shopping Centre, Livingston (Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, December 10) - A great shopping experience where you will find over 100 High Street and Designer stores to choose from. Newcastle & Gretna Christmas Shopping Weekend staying at the Mercure George Washington Hotel (Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3) - Intu Metro Shopping Centre in Newcastle, finishing off the weekend at the Gateway Outlet Village at Gretna. Theatre and show nights out are always great gift - book your seats for the spectacular Strictly Come Dancing on Friday, February 2, 2018, at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow or Wicked on Saturday, Maybe 19, 2018, at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Escape to Erigmore - the heart of Perthshire By the banks of the River Tay near the pretty village of Birnam, Erigmore is perfectly situated for a relaxing break. It’s an ideal base for days out exploring rural Perthshire or for a truly rural retreat you can stay put, take a dip in the indoor pool or enjoy a scenic walk by the river. There are plenty of options for your holiday home within the grounds of Erigmore House with new and preowned lodges and caravans all set in a beautiful woodland location. All holiday home owners have the added luxury of being able to make the most of Erigmore’s facilities including the indoor swimming pool and sauna and the Erigmore Bar & Lounge. For those looking to explore further afield, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy are within easy reach of Erigmore and Aviemore is well within reach. Self-catering accommodation is also available at Erigmore with the Boutique and Highland Spa lodges offering luxury and hot tubs. There is something for everyone with larger lodges for families, and apartments in Erigmore House with their traditional Victorian charm, for the larger party for family gathering. Enjoy a stellar stay at the Star Hotel in Kingussie This 3-star hotel located in the heart of the village of Kingussie is an ideal base for families looking to explore the Highlands. And on Fridays in November, you can stay for two nights for just £69 per person! Or why not spend Christmas at the Star – you get a four night break, starting on December 23 for just £199 per person. And you can even see in the new year with the Star – four nights, starting on December 30 is just £275 per person. (All dates include dinner, bed and breakfast and live entertainment.) Located within the Cairngorm National Park and close to the Monadhliath Mountains in the upper Spey Valley, visitors to the Star can enjoy a contrast of holiday experiences ranging from peace and tranquility with riverside walks, fishing and bird watching, to the more energetic activities surrounding Aviemore - there is something to suit all ages. Enjoy a break at Moness, one of Perthshire’s most picturesque resorts Moness House hotel is a former shooting lodge dating back to 1758 and the oldest dwelling in Aberfeldy. It has been lovingly refurbished to retain the integrity of the original while introducing the of modern day comfort. The accommodation in this unique house been individually styled and offers a range of Deluxe and Superior rooms, graded according to size and location. All are furnished to an exceptional standard that will leave guests feeling truly pampered. Alternatively, guests can choose to stay in one of the 106 holiday cottages and lodges. They range from traditional to beautiful four star cottages that make the perfect gathering place for a family break in Scotland. The swimming pool offers the perfect environment for a leisurely swim, laze in the poolside area or take the opportunity to sit and unwind in our hot tub, Jacuzzi, sauna or steam room. Alternatively, a visit to one of the four Spa Therapy rooms where you can enjoy complete relaxation and indulgence with a wonderful range of beauty and complementary therapies. The Head Chef and his team create menus that are traditional and quite simple, offering an excellent choice of fresh meat, fish and game locally sourced from around Perthshire and the knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand to attend to all diners’ needs and assist in their wine and menu choices.

Angus & The Mearns

Sponsored: Enjoy a night fit for an Earl in a medieval castle

March 29 2018

If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion, look no further than Angus’s most well-known castle. Traditionally known as a venue for large, grand events, Glamis Castle is now opening its doors to smaller evening parties, including birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. From the moment they start up the mile-long drive, guests can enjoy the spectacle and luxury of the Glamis Castle surroundings as they tuck into a tasty meal or get a special guided tour of the building. General manager Tom Baxter said: “We previously had visitors comment that they would like to have a party in the castle and we decided it would be a great way to allow more people to enjoy Glamis and all it has to offer. “We can do pretty much anything our guests want – we can even arrange for a game of hide and seek or a visit from a ghost or two! “Each party will be bespoke and suit the occasion and the people organising it – and it’s sure to suit people with more discerning tastes.” He added: “We’ve already had a few and we’ve enjoyed doing them – it’s more intimate and has been a fantastic way for people to celebrate big occasions.” Parties of up to 40 people can be booked year-round and prices for events are very competitive. “We can offer a night in the splendour of a medieval castle – without the royal price tag!” Known throughout the world, Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372, served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret. For further information please contact Doreen Stout on 01307 840393 or doreen@glamis-castle.co.uk or visit the Glamis Castle website.

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