To celebrate VisitScotland's plan to dub 2015 the "Year of Food and Drink" member properties of Connoisseurs Scotland are offering special foodie experiences.
In Edinburgh, One Square at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa has launched its own brand of small-batch premium gin in collaboration with Pickering’s Gin at Summerhall Distillery, Edinburgh’s first gin distillery to open in more than 150 years. One Square Gin is based on a unique recipe created by One Square’s team of gin experts—known as the Gin Concierge—in cooperation with the team at Pickering’s. The small-batch creation features 15 botanicals including juniper, bog myrtle, pink grapefruit and Scottish heather. To celebrate the launch of this new spirit, the Sheraton Grand has created an exclusive Gin Package, which showcases the hotspots in Scotland’s gin capital. The package includes accommodations at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa with full Scottish breakfast, a gin amenity in guests’ room on arrival, a tour of Summerhall Distillery where One Square Gin is distilled, and a meeting with a member of the Gin Concierge over a cocktail at the bar.
Also in Edinburgh, the new Observatory Restaurant is now open at the Glasshouse Hotel. Through its floor-to-ceiling windows, the restaurant offers views of World Heritage Site Calton Hill. The Observatory, which is now open five days a week from 6 p.m., will serve an upscale dinner menu as well as a pre-theater menu.
In the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Hebridean Princess's "Flavours of Scotland" cruise offers travelers a seven-night sailing departing out of Oban that visits three Michelin-starred restaurants - including the Kinloch Lodge -- as well as a variety of local food and drink producers. In Islay, a visit to one of the island’s most famous distilleries, Laphroaig, introduces guests to the peaty whiskies for which the region is known. The ship’s local oyster supplier, based on the Isle of Colonsay, will be on hand to talk about fishing for local seafood as well as his other passion, honey and the black-tailed bees he keeps. A cooking lesson paired with lunch at Kinloch Lodge and a tour of Isle of Mull Cheese, a small, family dairy farm, offer guests the chance to sample more local fare. The sailing concludes with a Champagne reception in Mull at Duarte Castle. The “Flavours of Scotland” cruise will depart April 5 and October 4, 2016.