Sue Says – December 2016


I caught up with Edinburgh entrepreneur Billy Lowe recently – last year he sold off his hotels (Le Monde and Angel’s Share), but guess what, he is back in the game with not only The Links Hotel but he has also recently acquired Malones both in Edinburgh. And he is loving it! He is totally incorrigible, most folk I know would be enjoying the fruits of his labour (he has now sold out twice) and enjoying the freedom. But Billy, buoyed up by Hibs winning the Scottish Cup earlier in the year, is full of the joys of life and full of plans for his two new venues. Here we go again! More news about the changes ahead in the new year.

I enjoyed the recent SLTA Chairman’s lunch as a guest of James Mortimer. I applaud the fact that the SLTA is now working with organisations such as HIT and The Ben. Long may these collaborations continue.

I see The Alcohol Information Partnership is becoming more active when it comes to refuting health claims put out by the anti-alcohol campaigners. This month they have responded to a report from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Sheffield University (which was widely reported) on the link between alcohol consumption and cancer, specifically oesophageal cancer. Dave Roberts, Director General of the Alcohol Information Partnership, said, “The CRUK report concludes that oesophageal cancer will see the largest increase by 2035. A fact which seems to be at odds with the CRUK’s own website statistics which states oesophageal cancer have fallen by 8% over the last decade and are set to fall by a further 16% by 2035 and that for the past 10 years overall rates have remained stable with a 5% decrease in women. I know this is anecdotal but I know a doctor who told me he had never seen a case of oesophageal cancer in a non-smoker who drank.

I hear that Benromach Distillery has been inviting the local licensed trade along to the distillery for free training over the winter months. It’s a time when visitor centres are quieter and pubs are quieter during the day. It seems like a ‘win win’. Staff get to learn more about whisky ahead of a key time for whisky sales, and Benromach makes the best use of its facilities and of course here’s hoping the bar trade will be recommending a dram or two or Benromach.

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Clive Davidson the man behind the renowned Champany Inn in Linlithgow. I did meet him a couple of times over the years, and he was a real bon viveur, who loved his business with a passion. He will be sorely missed.

It’s always nice to get positive feedback about the magazine and at the recent SLTA lunch quite a few people came up to me to say how much they enjoyed the DRAM and to comment on the fact that they feel as if they know me – but my picture (above) doesn’t do me justice! So next year I promise I’ll get a new one! Of course there are now 14,000 people a month now reading the magazine online… so the reach of the DRAM has never been greater. Long may it continue.

I don’t know about you guys but over the last year or so my friends and I have taken to going out on Saturday or Sunday during the day! We meet in town, go for a few drinks, a bite to eat, and few more drinks and then home. Getting in around 10pm. The best thing is the places we go are always buzzing and busy. There’s a great atmosphere but best of all… the next day is not a write off. So it was nice to hear from Mario Gizzi, that actually he thinks Saturday afternoons are the new Saturday nights! And I thought I was just getting on a bit!

Anyway, to all our readers, here’s to a prosperous festive season. Look out for our annual Supplier Guide, it will be winging its way to you next month.