Surgeons’ Hall will throw open the doors of its historic Main Hall within the Playfair Building to give up to 16,000 visitors a year a Scottish night to remember and is expected to deliver a boost to the Scottish tourist industry.
This will be of great benefit to the conference and event industry providing the opportunity to partner with Surgeons’ Hall to promote the night to tourists around the world. A mix of international travel agents are among those eyeing the new venture, with other major agents and trusted local agents also interested.
Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Edinburgh, has welcomed the event saying: “The Slàinte Scottish Experience will provide a new and exciting twist to one of the city’s most iconic venues, giving visitors from all over the world a taste of our unique culture and our fabulous food and drink.
“The Spirit of Scotland – VisitScotland’s new global marketing campaign – highlights national traits such as our sense of warmth and fun, and the Slàinte Scottish Experience certainly encapsulates this.”
The traditional evening is the latest development of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Commercial Enterprises, which makes the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, to help safeguard the College’s globally important work.
The Slàinte Scottish Experience will run regularly from May to October, providing a taste of Scottish cuisine, history and culture in the magnificent setting. The idea was conceived because the redevelopment of the Edinburgh St James area means the closure of the King James Thistle Hotel – and end to the popular ‘Jamie’s Scottish Nights’ which have run there for 40 years, entertaining tourists.
Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director at Surgeon’s Hall said: “When we heard Jamie’s Evenings were coming to an end something clicked into place and we realised there was an important opportunity for the Royal College – and a fantastic service for visitors to the city.
“There is an undoubted demand because for 40 years visitors have been flocking to these evenings in a hotel function suite. Think how much more amazing that experience will be in the unparalleled setting of our Playfair Main Hall.
“We are hugely excited about the possibilities, opening up a genuine Scottish architectural gem to visitors. In fact, we are pretty confident that it won’t just be tourists who come along.”
News of the addition to the capital’s tourism offering has also been praised by Marketing Edinburgh, the organisation which promotes Edinburgh to the world.
Lesley Williams, its head of business tourism, said: “The success of Edinburgh is closely linked with the success of its conference and events industry, which generates around £300 million annually for the local economy.
“Marketing Edinburgh is delighted to see new experiential events like this being developed, which encourage more visitors and promotes collaboration. The fact that Surgeons’ Hall is working closely with renowned agents is also commendable.
“We genuinely hope this exciting new service will succeed. It is good news for visitors to Scotland, for Edinburgh’s tourist sector and for strengthening the reputation of the city at home and abroad.”
Visitors to the new Slàinte Scottish Experience will be treated to a show featuring bagpiping, a traditional display of Scottish dancing and a journey through Scottish history. A delicious Scottish meal will be served by the Royal Warranted caterers, Heritage Portfolio, with a choice of wines from the Royal Warranted wine merchants, Corney and Barrow.
But the real star of the show promises to be the setting itself. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is one of the world’s oldest medical institutions founded in 1505 after receiving a Royal Seal of Cause from King James IV.
It is renowned for its Playfair Building, dating back to 1832, including the magnificent, Playfair Hall, where the events will be held. The College is also home to the famous Surgeons’ Hall Museum, which houses collections of international importance.
The Royal College is one of the most august institutions in Scotland. It provides education and assessment for medical students, surgical trainees and consultants and supports research to advance standards of care for the future. Surgeons trained and assessed through the College take their life-saving and life-changing skills all over the world.
The college’s Commercial Enterprises promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the College Campus, which include the four-star, 77-bedroom hotel, Ten Hill Place. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery.
The nights will officially open to the public in May with tickets priced at £65 per person. This includes the show, dinner, a taste of whisky at the Address to the Haggis and unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks.