We’ve had a day of culinary delights here at Dundas! From delivering freshly made pancakes and lemon curd to clients, to making delicious raspberry jam, to enjoying some homemade pancakes and chocolate cake we’ve certainly been busy...

Today is Shrove Tuesday and Frances delighted some of her sales appointments with a gift of fresh pancakes and homemade lemon curd.  They went down so well that we thought we would share our Executive Head Chef Trevor's recipe so that you can enjoy your own!

Rudolph has contracted the cervine strain of the terrifying man flu and may be unable to fulfil his duties this Christmas.  Luckily, Dundas Castle has stepped in to ensure that children across the world will still get their well earned presents this year.

Each year we spend a lot of time working with Prestige Venues and Events to create a menu that will not only work well here at the Castle, but will excite and enthral our clients.  Many of our dishes have been created specifically for Dundas and are very well received by our guests!

In August 2011 we were delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to the Castle for a very special occasion.  Volunteers from the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) met at the Castle to witness the naming ceremony of Scotland’s newest RNLI boat.  The Atlantic 85 boat was named ‘Jimmie Cairncross’ after the Perth jeweller who was a Life Governer of the RNLI whose trust donated the funds that were required to buy the boat.

There has been a lot of activity on the estate this summer – literally. The combination of the wonderful weather, our new outdoor BBQ and buffet menus and the fantastic team building companies that we work with have led to many successful corporate and private activity days.

We were delighted when Make-A-Wish UK approached us to help make the wish of 4 year old Victoria Stewart come true. She has the life threatening Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and was fortunate enough to be part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation charity. Her wish was to be a Princess for the day and to dance with a Prince.

At Dundas we like to ‘tick boxes’.   If you were to ask the Dundas team members which boxes the installation of our new minstrels' gallery would ‘tick’ you’d get a few different answers…

Jazz, jewels, veils, cakes, cucumber sandwiches and 100 happily married couples came together on the 29th May 2011 at the Castle for our 1000th Wedding Party....

The Croquet Match by Sir John Lavery, 1893... I’m something of an art fan and in particular have always been enthralled by 19th century portraits and landscapes. The Castle has an impressive collection and at every turn there is another beautiful picture to enjoy. My favourites include ‘The Orchard’ hung in the Summer Bedroom, the Portrait of Sir Jack’s Sister, ‘Norina’ which you can see in the Drawing Room and of course ‘The Croquet Match’ painted by Sir John Lavery, which is on display in the Dining Room.

Guest Blogger - Shoena Fryer, Maximillion....

The Ivories catch Jill's eye...  As a young girl I enjoyed tinkling on our family piano and when I was aged 8, my parents encouraged me to have piano lessons.  From there it became a dream of mine to play on a grand piano.  Aside from the stunning surroundings and wonderful interiors, one of the first things to catch my eye when I joined Dundas Castle, was the beautiful grand piano in the Drawing Room.  I was simply itching to play it!

Guest Blogger - Gemma Bain, Planet Flowers....

WW2 leaves its mark on Dundas...   There is one part of the castle that has always enthralled me and that is the roof of the Auld Keep.  The Auld Keep was built in 1416 by James Dundas as granted by Scotland’s effective ruler at the time, the Duke of Albany.  Because the Auld Keep is very much the way that it was when it was built, you really feel as though you are part of the history and can easily envisage what it must have been like to live in the medieval tower when it was built.

There are many ways to create an event that will leave people talking.   The content, of course, is primary as that is the main reason that the conference has been organised.  The delivery of the content is what will help the participants remember what they are being presented and the theme is what will bring the two together to make the event work. An event planner will want to create an event that not only stands out from the rest, but provides a positive atmosphere that will be conducive to a successful conference.
The Castle is pleased to announce the completion of the latest 6 month project to enhance the castle and the guest experience...  With the heavy snow fall that we experienced at the end of 2010 there were concerns over the wellbeing of the 12 llamas that we have here on the estate. Originally hailing from South America, our furry friends are more used to the Chile climes rather than the chilly ones. To remedy the situation the castle has been made into a llama friendly home. We are actively encouraging the llamas to come indoors into the castle when the weather is unfavourable.
One of our hallway chairs is leaving today to embark on a road trip to Skye.  Our chair was talent spotted by Edinburgh based Locations 365 who provide location and production services for TV ads, films and events.  Locations 365 were charged with finding a high backed solid wooden chair that is to be used in a Whisky advert for a Lithuanian client.

Prestige Venues and Events is Sodexo’s dedicated fine dining, conference and events branch for Scotland and is proud to represent and support this country’s great culinary heritage. The team are truly committed to using fresh local ingredients and to building and nurturing long term relationships with all their suppliers to ensure the high standards we expect are delivered.

We’ve had an eventful year this year - we’ve been joined by 2 new members of the office team, 2 new members of the operations team, 4 new llamas, 1 new stable roof and celebrated our 1,000th wedding.  And it doesn’t stop there...  

We are feeling very festive here at Dundas Castle now that the tree is up in the hallway.  Each year we choose our tree from the Hopetoun Estate and this year we have another full and perfectly formed tree hand picked by Marty, our Head Groundskeeper.  

Our Marketing Manager, Siobhán Leith, returned safe and sound from a snowy but fantastic HIT Scholarship at De Vere’s Cameron House at the start of December.  Siobhán spent 4 days staying at the hotel and working with the sales and marketing team to experience some of the running and back ground work that goes into the hotel.

Our Assistant Operations Manager, Ricarda Plews has just returned from a 3 day trip to Lausanne in Switzerland where she attended the Lausanne Hotel School.  Ricarda was awarded a highly sought-after HIT Scholarship (Hospitality Industry Trust) which gave her a place at this prestigious school with likeminded scholars from all over Scotland.

On 25th September 2010, our wonderful Head Housekeeper Flora married Michael Reilly at the spectacular and remote Kisimul Castle on the Isle-of-Barra.  They were very honored  to have Dundas Castle owners Sir Jack and Lady Lydia as special guests.  Sir Jack gave permission for Flora to use some Dundas Estate greenery to help decorate Kisimul castle which meant that she could take something from her 'home' in Edinburgh to her native home in Barra.

As a venue that selected to use Prestige Scotland as our sole caterer, we had the chance to meet some of the company’s food and drink suppliers and taste their produce at a unique farmers’ market event in September this year.
We know that event organisers have to walk that fine line between creating an event that is inspiring and a little bit different, and yet is also tried and tested so that there are no ‘unwelcome surprises’.  With this in mind we have launched some new and exciting activity packages that can be combined with a successful event held here at Dundas Castle.
At Dundas Castle we pride ourselves on creating something that little bit different for our client parties and the 2010 party was no exception. The theme this year was ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ and 180 clients were invited to enjoy the Castle on a warm summer evening on the 17th June. In partnership with our preferred suppliers who co-sponsored the event we created an evening that our guests will never forget. Little did our guests know that they were being invited to a venue party that had never been created before!
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