Well I went to my very first festival last month – I have managed to miss T in the Park and even Rewind, but an invitation from Glenfiddich sounded interesting. It was to a Festival for only 350 people, invitees only and free food and drink… and of course entertainment from Twin Atlantic and The Fratellis. Held in the distillery grounds, everyone was invited to bring their camping gear … mind you that was a step too far for me. But myself and my partner headed off and despite his bet that I wouldn’t last the whole day and night I am quite proud to say I did, and thoroughly enjoyed it too.
And hats off to the organisers despite the copious amount of rain the next day – the convivial teppees provided a perfect backdrop for The Fratellis. Well done to all concerned. It was certainly a Glenfiddich Experiment worth repeating. See roundup for more pictures and of course some of the hardcore festival goers are featured on our cover.
If you have come across Brian Fulton of Holdfast recently you may have noticed that his beard has been dyed bright blue – no it’s not boss Donald Macleod’s latest ploy to create anarchy, but a fund raising initiative by Brian who is raising cash for The Samaritans who he says “do such a great job in helping those struggling in their lives.” In comes in the light or recent suicides that have affected his friends, family and colleagues. If you fancy donating there is a just giving page, or I’m sure you could just send him a cheque!
The business coalition campaigning for a review of business rates which consists of Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has welcomed Finance Minister, Derek Mackay’s response to the Barclay Review. He has recommended that the methodology for calculating business rates continues to be reviewed with the aim of shaping a more equitable system for all businesses, irrespective of size or ownership and has supported the proposed reduction in the revaluation term from five years to three years to sit more in line with market trends. Here’s hoping that the measures are implemented. Here’s hoping that you’ve also remembered to put in your ratings appeal – the deadline was 30th September!
I’ve got a real bug bear about good service… as many of you know. So here is my latest one… I can’t quite understand why waiting staff forget you after you have been served a coffee. Do they not think you might order another one, or even a liqueur? The number of times that I have sat a table and the waiting staff have been too busy cleaning to invite you to buy another cup? It happened recently and all four of us at the table would have liked another drink but could we get the attention of the waitress…nope…bang goes at least £15 worth of revenue. Just saying!
While I’m ranting… I was in Dundee recently, at a well known wedding venue, and eating in the restaurant was like eating in a school canteen – the lighting was not dimmed at all for evening diners and not a candle in sight. There was even kiddies playing equipment lying around. The service was excellent as was the food, but it was totally let down by the ambience. People are buying into experiences and this certainly wasn’t the best.
Early next month sees the inaugural Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend. I am hoping to get through and sample some of the cocktails specially created for the event. I hope it goes well.
Community involvement has always been at the very heart of the pub and I’m delighted to see so many pub companies supporting their local charities. There is hardly a week goes by that I don’t get a press release about charity or community involvement – from climbing mountains to cycling, from coffee mornings to afternoon tea’s. It is certainly encouraging. Keep them coming.