Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Edinburgh Food Heritage Trail

The Edinburgh Food Heritage Trail reveals some of the hidden links between the city’s unique built heritage and it food traditions.

May 28, 2015

Some of the historic locations highlighted include the Georgian House in Charlotte Square with its fully-equipped eighteenth century kitchen, the banqueting house where Mary, Queen of Scots would entertain her guests with a private dessert course, and Parliament Hall which hosted Edinburgh’s most lavish dinner in 1822 in honour of King George IV. The trail also shows how visitors can experience some of the city’s food traditions today at places such as the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, and dine in historic style at venues like the seventeenth century Cannonball House.

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The trail also reveals some little-known areas of the city’s food history. For example, Edinburgh produced a series of celebrity chefs from the mid-1700s, each running their own cookery school and publishing their own best-selling recipe book. The city was also once famed for the quality and quantity of its oysters from the Firth of Forth, to the extent that ‘oyster cellar’ parties were a uniquely fashionable entertainment in the city.

In the autumn, a series of videos will also be produced to support the trail along with a programme of guided tours, highlighting more hidden aspects of the city’s food history. The project is supported by the VisitScotland Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: “The way to our hearts is through our stomachs, and the food heritage trail offers a completely new angle on the World Heritage Site, which the people of Edinburgh hold so dear. This trail highlights the links between our city’s historic buildings and its gastronomic traditions.  The aim is to encourage visitors to explore off the beaten track, to discover some of the nooks and crannies of the World Heritage Site, and to experience the city’s food history on the way. Edinburgh is famed for its landmarks buildings, but this trail will show that the city’s heritage is more than skin deep – our culinary traditions also helped to put Edinburgh on the map.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Partnership Director, said: “This fantastic project is certain to whet the appetite of visitors to Edinburgh, particularly in the Year of Food and Drink 2015.  Edinburgh is a hotspot for tourists but it is vital the Capital continues to grow and develop its tourism offering if we want to keep attracting visitors. The Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund is designed to help businesses, with an interest in this area, to work together. With such a rich culinary history, I’m sure this self-led tour, coupled with the amazing variety of eating experiences on offer throughout Edinburgh, will help make the Capital a ‘must’ for foodies.”

Led by Edinburgh World Heritage, the trail is a unique partnership project, bringing together a range of public, charitable and private sector partners to showcase the city’s built heritage and food traditions.

The project partners are Edinburgh World Heritage, the National Library of Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, Victor and Carina Contini, Essential Edinburgh, the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, Ondine Restaurant, Welch's Fishmongers, the Fudge House, Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Gardener's Cottage.


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