|A major redesign of a former restaurant at Edinburgh Castle has increased capacity by almost two-thirds and offers visitors a unique setting in which, amongst other things, they can now enjoy either morning or afternoon tea.
The new facility, The Tea Rooms at Edinburgh Castle, increases seating capacity by 17%, up from 51,000 covers per annum in its former guise as the Queen Anne Restaurant to 60,000 per annum. This represents 5% of all visitors to the Castle, which remains Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction with a total of over 1.2 million.
The redesign has been carried out by Edinburgh-based 442 Design, working closely with benugo who are contracted to run the catering at the Castle on behalf of Historic Scotland. Over £35,000 has been invested by benugo in this major revamp, creating a new outlet clearly differentiated from the popular Redcoat Café, which caters for those seeking family-friendly eating as opposed to the more elegant atmosphere offered by The Tea Rooms.
David Dunn, Managing Director of 442 Design explains:
“The Tea Rooms are brought to life through an integrated interpretative theme which highlights food related anecdotes and recipes through the ages, featuring favourite foods of Mary Queen of Scots, James VI, Queen Victoria and others. We have adopted a colour scheme from Historic Scotland's own brand palette using orange as a subtle reference to Queen Anne. She built her own orangery at Kensington Palace and was a great fan of ‘taking tea’ as an act of diplomacy. A burnt orange coloured carpet warms the space and connects the three rooms front to back, while helping tone down and soften the extensive stonework.
Jason Fox, benugo’s Operations Manager Scotland, states:
“The initial reaction from customers has been very positive. We are making a big play of the morning and afternoon tea service, where a tiered cake stand is served alongside a wide range of speciality teas.
|“However, there is much more to be enjoyed here, with an innovative and wide ranging menu geared towards those who are seeking a quality eating experience in historic surroundings. The buildings have had various uses over the years, including a barracks block and a cannon store, so to sit in such historic surroundings, given a wonderful atmosphere by the work 442 Design has done, will make this a real highlight for many visitors - ‘Tea at the Castle’ will be a ‘must do’ part of a visit.”|
See also: www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk