The Perthshire Magazine, February 2019

Page 1

February 2019

A Day Out that’s Off the Beaten Track

Improve your winter photography

ÂŁ250 of Restaurant vouchers to be won!

treat yourself to a weekend in Kenmore

Glenmorangie Distillery and Wild Oysters







7 Reasons YOU Should Get On Your Bike in 2019


Gear Up for New Junior Off Road Driving School at Gleneagles


Kenmore Can Offer No More


This Month in History - February


Unorthodox Roasters, Review


Southern Fried Chicken, Recipe


10 Tips for Winter Photography


Two £125 Vouchers Up for Grabs!


A Day Out that’s Off the Beaten Track



Fillet of Turbot, Recipe


Glenmorangie Distillery and Wild Oysters

A Reely Great Start to the Season at Dunkeld House Hotel


Giant Sketch of Perth Unveiled


Proving Authentici-tea


Ramblings of a Retired Whisky Blender


GrowBiz, Enterprising Rural Perthshire P72

“As always, we have an amazing issue this month with lots of ideas for places to visit, local products to try and fun things to do. We also have a fabulous competiton with two £125 restaurant vouchers up for grabs! You can (and should) enter on page 54“ Abigail Shepherd, Editor of The Perthshire Magazine


Reasons YOU Should get on Your Bike in


Every year, we reach January 1st and start thinking about what we want to change or do better in the New Year. One of the most common goals is to get fit. But, how many of us actually see our well-intentioned New Year’s resolution through? One of the most popular and economical ways to get the blood pumping is to cycle. Here’s a list of powerful reasons why you should consider getting on a bike in 2019.

1. It’s great for your physical health It’s obvious, but incredibly important. Cycling is a fantastic way to burn calories, increase your cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle strength. It’s a low impact sport so there’s less chance of you doing any kind of long-term damage to your body, particularly your legs, knees and ankles, when exercising. We do recommend that you build up to completing long distances - it can be a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be cycling hundreds of kilometres.

2. It improves your mental wellbeing Like all forms of exercise, cycling can make you feel better mentally as well as physically. Exercise offers you a boost through your body releasing adrenalin and endorphins which will make you feel positive. The exercise will also give you the confidence to try new things. Maybe sign up for a cycling event? In 2019, Etape Caledonia, the UK’s original closedroads sportive, is returning to Highland Perthshire with 85 and 40 mile routes for cyclists to take in some of the most spectacular locations in the UK.

3. It gets you out and about What can be a frankly sad reflection of our daily lives is the reality that the majority of us spend our weekdays indoors, in our jobs. It’s unavoidable for most people. Cycling can offer that burst of fresh air and wide-open space that you’ve been craving when stuck indoors all week. Also, if the sun’s out, you can soak up some all important Vitamin D which is great for your immune system and overall health. Don’t forget the sun cream though!

“Cycling is one of those sports that is genuinely universal. Whether you’re 18 or 80, if you can pedal, you can enjoy cycling”

4. It’s a social sport There’s a massive cycling community in the UK and it is growing. Cycling on your own is great fun, but cycling with friends or with a cycling club can also be brilliant and really rewarding. It’s definitely easier to power through a tough cycling event (or just a massive hill) when you’ve got other people to share the challenge with.

5. It’s kind to the environment

7. Age is only a number

While cycling is kind to your mind and body, it’s also kind to your surroundings. More and more people are choosing to tackle their daily commute by bike rather than adding to the escalating fuel emissions across the world. As well as being a green way to travel, it will save you the expense of fuel bills and will energise you ahead of a day in the office.

Cycling is one of those sports that is genuinely universal. Whether you’re 18 or 80, if you can pedal, you can enjoy cycling. Not all bike rides have to be a cycling sportive. There are few better feelings than the wind on your face and taking your feet off the pedals when going fast down-hill - you can be any age to enjoy that.

6. You can inspire people Many people take up cycling to participate in an event to raise money for a cause close to their heart. This year, Etape Caledonia’s charity partner is Marie Curie and hundreds of those participating in the sportive will be raising money for this great cause. People’s reasons for getting on a bike can vary from fighting illness themselves to cycling on behalf of a loved one. These stories are always inspiring and definitely give people an added motivation when taking on a tough sporting challenge.

Photography for this article was provided by Mikael Buck

To register for Etape Caledonia 2019 visit

Kenmore Can Offer No More Why Mains of Taymouth is the perfect location for your next holiday


ur journey to Mains of Taymouth Country Estate in Kenmore, a charming little village on the banks of Loch Tay, was accomplished on one of those glowering, damp evenings that make you feel chilled and a bit low when looking out on it from the car windows. No doubt the surrounding scenery was beautiful, but we couldn’t see much of it. So it was especially heartwarming to arrive at our self-catering accommodation in Bell Tower and find the heating blasting away and lots of cosy lamps on to make us feel welcome. On three levels, Bell Tower consists of an impeccably thought out open-plan kitchen, living and dining area on the ground floor, featuring a wood burning stove in the centre; a luxurious bathroom on the 1st floor, with powerful shower, deep bathtub and even a sauna; then the bell tower itself on the 2nd floor, with a very comfortable poster bed and romantic feel. It’s all very well-appointed, with a modern Scottish design, but not so pristine that you don’t feel able to relax. I certainly don’t have a problem doing so anyway, and am soon stretched out on the sofa in my pyjamas with a good book.

“A quantity of coffee and sausages later we decide to head out and explore”

After a restful evening we get up to a brighter day, the large windows showing beautiful views of gently falling snowflakes and glimpses of sunshine. A quantity of coffee and sausages later we decide to head out and explore, first turning on the sauna so it will be ready when we get back. As we brave the cold it’s very comforting to know we’ve got this treat awaiting us. It would be worth going out even if we didn’t though, as Kenmore is a truly special place.

Our walk first takes us onto the golf course. Designed and built in 1992 by estate owner Robin Menzies, it was quite a feat to turn the original farmland into a challenging golf course, but it was worth it as it brings many visitors to the area and, I’m told, has become know locally as ‘Perthshire’s finest nine hole.’ Find out more and book here. We also pass by the Riding Stables, which offers trekking over beautiful forest tracks for between half an hour to two hours. Read more here. Looping back up towards the road, we now pass The Courtyard, which includes a lovely gift shop and cosy bar and restaurant. An added incentive to try the latter is the voucher for a free bottle of house wine with your meal that guests at Mains of Taymouth Estate receive on checking in. Over the bridge leads to the main village of Kenmore, with its picturesque hotel, church and cottages, plus a tiny shop and post office that it’s nice to support. Further down the hill leads to the famous Kenmore beach, with its breathtaking views across Ben Lawers. I honestly don’t think a better view is available anywhere. Differently beautiful yes, but not better.

The Taymouth golf course is one of the finest 9 hole’s in Perthshire

In the summer the beach makes a delightful spot for swimming, and water-sports are available from Taymouth Marina, but even now it’s the ideal place for a bracing walk. The award-winning Scottish Crannog Centre can also be seen from here and is within easy walking distance; it’s open from spring to autumn and comes highly recommended. You can check more specific opening times here. On our way back from the beach we try a different route and take the path along the river. The sun is properly out now and the abundance of bird life makes it a very rewarding meander. The many ducks are quite tame and I wish I’d brought something to feed them. In the end, though, the cold gets to us and we head back to our perfectly heated sauna and our perfectly chilled beer.

Mains of Taymouth Estate offers extremely comfortable accommodation with no shortage of things to see and do

Bell Tower is absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway for two people, and there’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do. Indeed, there’s more than enough to satisfy the entire family, and larger lodges sleeping up to 10 are also available. Some even have outdoor hot tubs. Decide which you would like to stay in here. At Mains of Taymouth Estate you can choose between relaxing in the comfortable accommodation, playing a round of golf on the beautifully designed course, trekking round the stunning surroundings, taking some of the amazing walks, shopping at the delightful Courtyard, or a family day out at The Scottish Crannog Centre. There’s a beach, bar, cafes and restaurants, and even a marina, all nestled in the village of Kenmore, where Loch Tay becomes the River Tay. It’s a truly special place that everyone should definitely visit, if for the scenery alone. And after staying once, it’s sure to become a favourite destination, as it really has everything.

Unorthodox Roasters T wee


he delivery from Unorthodox Coffee Roasters in Kinross arrives beautifully packaged in a flat parcel that fits through even our little cottage letterbox. It’s an exciting moment to open it and breathe in that smell of freshly roasted and ground coffee beans. You can get these wonderful boxes delivered by subscription every month if you wish - how much and what sort of coffee is up to you - then you can just sit back and wait for it to arrive. It strikes me as a great gift idea too, especially for someone otherwise difficult to buy for. Who wouldn’t like fresh coffee delivered to their home for, say, three months? I certainly wouldn’t be complaining.

“We tried the Wee Stoater and were impressed by the strong yet mellow flavours of chocolate, caramel and hazelnut. It’s smooth and rich”

Unorthodox Roasters is the creation of two travellers to Latin America, who fell in love with the coffee making process and spent ten months visiting most of the coffee growing regions on the continent and learning from the best coffee roasters. They describe a puzzled mum discovering a 60kg bag of Brazilian coffee had been delivered to her hallway before her son returned from his trip. She must indeed have wondered what was going on and, perhaps later, if it would work, but after opening in 2016, Unorthodox Roasters quickly reached roasting capacity, resulting in upgrading their equipment and opening a shop on the high street of Kinross in 2017. Also a cafe, they serve coffee in imported Japanese mugs and tea in glass cups. They believe your visit there should be a memorable one. So what’s been the key to their success? Well, once you’ve tried their coffee it’s not hard to guess. It simply tastes great. We tried the Wee Stoater and were impressed by the strong yet mellow flavours of chocolate, caramel and hazelnut. It’s smooth and rich, but with the slight acidity you would expect from a Brazilian coffee. It quickly became a favourite with The Perthshire Magazine team and we’ve make a note to get some more, as well as visit the cafe, sometime in the near future. Don’t just take our word for it though, why not try Unorthodox Roasters coffee for yourself? We highly recommend it! Visit their website here:

I’m Jules Akel, designer of wonderful ways to promote your business, things that tell persuasive stories—influential, eΩective and typographically delicious. ^ Have a look at:; it is worth the visit, promise. ^ After seeing these compelling creations, why not telephone me for a thoughtful chat: 07 802 753 193. ^ If you become one of my clients you would qualify for umpteen bottles of Dalwhinnie whisky—a truly worthwhile incentive, don’t you think ? ^ Actually, even better, you should come round to the studio, sit by the crackling fire, eat Elizabeth’s glorious shortbread and see my portfolio, then commission me. ^ You will soon discover that I am a very useful contributor to your prosperity.


By Cat Burton

Tips For Winter



fter a mild December and start to 2019, many of us are hoping for some snow. As I write this, there are hints of some wintery weather heading our way in February which means lots of us will hopefully be out taking photos.

Winter poses its own unique challenges for photography. Here are some tips to help you make the most of any snowy conditions we get.

1. First things first: winter photo trip safety Plan your trips and pack accordingly. Tell someone where you’re going, especially if you’re going alone. If you need to drive, keep a blanket in your car and only travel if you’re confident in your ability to drive safely in the conditions. If you’re intending to hike, or walk a reasonable distance - remember to take snacks and a warm drink. If there’s a chance you’ll be out late, take a small torch with you.

2. Wrap up warm It seems obvious but it’s so easy to wear the wrong clothing for winter photography trips. As you walk around or drive, you’ll warm up, but as soon as you stop to take photos, your temperature will rapidly cool. Wear plenty of layers and ensure you have a good hat and gloves. If you can keep yourself comfortable, you’ll be able to relax and spend longer taking photos.

3. Keep your batteries warm If you have spare batteries for your camera, keep them in a warm place - whether that’s somewhere snug in your bag, or in a pocket. Batteries drain quicker in cold weather and you don’t want to hike in snow to photograph something only to find your batteries are empty.

4. Check your exposure Bright snowfall can play havoc with camera sensors. If you find your shots are coming out too dark, look for an exposure compensation setting on your camera. If it has one (usually with + or - symbols), try setting it to +1 or perhaps +2. If you’re shooting in manual mode, keep an eye on your histogram. Snow can very easily turn into a pure-white blob in an image. Try to expose for the snow and ensure you retain the lovely soft texture and detail.

“Don’t let the cool weather put you off winter and snow are beautiful for photography”

5. Tripod If you have a tripod, take it with you. Yes, they can be cumbersome to carry around, but they bring some essential benefits. If you’re cold, you will shiver and your hands will tremble, whether you mean to or not. Hand-holding your camera could result in blurry images that a tripod easily resolves. Tripods will also let you take long exposure shots if you want to show movement in the snowfall. They also provide you with somewhere safe to stand your camera - meaning you can keep warm by putting your thicker gloves on or putting your hands in your pockets while you wait for the right conditions or light.

6. Focusing through snow It can be tricky for cameras to focus through falling snow. If you find your camera starts hunting for focus and can’t seem to lock onto your subject, consider switching to manual focus. This will make sure you’re in control and will help you get the shot you’re after. If you find manual focus difficult, some modern cameras offer “focus peeking” which enables you to zoom in on an area of your image and check the focus. A tripod can help with this as it keeps the camera still and makes manual focusing easier.

“If it’s snowing, this can provide you with a great opportunity to try different shutter speeds for different creative effects”

“This will make sure you’re in control and will help you get the shot you’re after”

7. Keep your camera dry We all know that moisture and electronics do not mix! Keep your camera dry in the snow by using rain protectors. These are very cheap online and will keep your gear dry. If you don’t have one or want a really cheap alternative -make your own! To do this, take a clear sandwich bag or any carrier bag, cut open the bottom of it so you have a tube, slide it over your camera lens and attach with a rubber band. I usually also take a tea-towel with me on photo trips for quick drying of my gear if necessary.

8. Pick the correct shutter speed If it’s snowing, this can provide you with a great opportunity to try different shutter speeds for different creative effects. Want to “freeze” falling snow so that it looks all soft and floaty in your images? Choose a fast shutter speed - 1/125 sec or 1/250 sec would be a good starting point. If you want to show movement in the snowfall, with streaks of snow in the sky, pick a longer shutter speed - somewhere around 1/20 sec. The speeds will of course vary depending on how quick the snow is falling and what effect you wish to achieve. Have a play and see what works!

“Get out there and enjoy yourself!”

“Try to expose for the snow and ensure you retain the lovely soft texture and detail.”

9. Be careful of heat changes Sudden changes such as going from the warmth of your car or house to a cold outdoors (or the opposite) can cause condensation inside your camera and on your lens. This will cause your images to be soft/blurry and can cause damage to the internal workings of your camera. Allow your camera chance to climatise slowly by leaving a small ventilation gap in your bag if possible. You can do this when you stop to take a shot - simply unzip your bag but don’t open it or remove your camera immediately - give the temperatures a bit of time to stabilise.

10. Get out and shoot! Don’t let the cool weather put you off - winter and snow are beautiful for photography. Whether you want to photograph landscapes, animals, pets, your friends and family...get out there and enjoy yourself!

We’d love to see your winter photos! Share them with us on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #PerthshireMagazine and we will share our favourites!

Do you have a request for a photography topic you’d like Cat to write about in the future? Get in touch via her website. If you found this article helpful and would like personalised help with your photography, Cat offers bespoke 1-1 photography workshops in Perthshire which are available here.


Cat Burton

Cat Burton is a fine art photographer based in Scone. Her artworks tell stories of the land around us, inspired by the Scottish landscape, its nature and folklore. Regularly featuring Scotish scenery, wildlife and castles, her work is described as atmospheric and ethereal, like walking through a dream. Cat runs photography workshops across perthshire and regularly exhibits her work in galleries across Scotland. You can find more about Cat on her website: or follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.




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A Day Out that’s Off the Beaten Track


s we drive down to the only Land Rover Experience Centre in Scotland it’s easy to see why many people choose to travel up to this Perthshire location, situated as it is on the shores of the stunning Butterstone Loch. The reception lodge is a beautiful building, as cosy inside as it looks from the outside. The comfortable reception area features a log burner blazing away; that and the proffered hot drinks combine to banish the chill of the early morning, which promises, however, to clear into a glorious day. After filling in a health and safety form we are introduced to our guide/instructor Tricia, who soon takes us out to show us the new Land Rover Discovery that photographer Nathan will be driving. She explains that the Land Rovers they use are unmodified, and can be bought from the showroom exactly as they are. We are now more than ready to get started and, as we settle ourselves into the heated seats that Tricia has so thoughtfully put on in advance for us, we are expecting a fun and instructive day ahead. The off-road course is located in the nearby town of Dunkeld, in the former gardens of Dunkeld House, now a hotel but previously owned by the Duke of Atholl. As Tricia shows us some of the basics of driving the car she takes us through what should be our risk assessment procedure when off-roading, which involves looking after three things: the environment, the car, and yourself. Land Rover’s principle, she adds, is to go as slow as possible, as fast as necessary.

Land Rover’s principle is to go as slow as possible, as fast as necessary

Now it’s Nathan’s turn to have a go, and, though no stranger to Land Rovers, we are both amazed at what the Discovery can do. The first thing we tackle is steep slopes, first up and then down. Sometimes the angle is such that you cannot see the ground out of the windscreen, which is when the camera mounted on the mirrors really comes into its own. But really, the car is doing everything anyway, with Nathan not even needing his feet on the pedals most of the time. There seems to be a setting for everything too - I’d certainly recommend this course for anyone with a Land Rover who doesn’t feel they are getting the most out of it. The next part of the course consists of some incredibly bumpy tracks, some of which take two wheels off the ground! Yet the Land Rover takes everything in its stride, even the terrifying ‘toblerone’ as it’s called, which positions the vehicle with one front wheel high in the air, which, as we inch forward, results in a sickening lurch as the weight shifts to the front and we come down on it suddenly. This is the only part that surprises a squeal out of me, but it’s great fun.

“This is the only part that surprises a squeal out of me, but it’s great fun!”

A Land Rover will get you places no other vehicle will

I never imagined you could do in a car what the Discovery can do, despite having had a Defender for four years, and both Nathan and I are very impressed. The beautiful scenery adds to the experience, and in spite of being in a car we see lots of wildlife, including fallow deer, buzzards and red squirrels. Tricia also takes us to see what they call the ‘Harry Potter Tree,’ which is a favourite photography spot for guests. A half day booking ends here, and great fun it is too, but for full day guests it’s now time for a simple lunch from local cafe Palmerston’s, of warming soup and a hearty sandwich, followed by scones and jam back at the Centre and overlooking the loch. Afterwards, guests get to head up the local forest tracks. There are both easier and more challenging tracks, as well as stunning views and more wildlife, including deer again, a squirrel dray and a even beaver lodge once we reach the Mill Dam. It’s a real privilege to be able to drive up into this gorgeous area and while Nathan enjoys the driving challenge, I enjoy the location. There’s a perfect maze of tracks available here and Tricia very much tailors our trip to our abilities and what we are most enjoying, as she generally does for all guests.

“Tricia also takes us to see what they call the ‘Harry Potter Tree,’ which is a favourite photography spot for guests”

By now we’ve been through the five principles of off-roading—ascents, descents, overland, mud and water, and have fallen in love with the new Discovery. I would recommend the trip to anyone who enjoys driving, whether they own a Land Rover or not, and to those that do I would say it’s an essential experience to learn how to get the most out of a remarkable vehicle. The opportunity to drive round the course is also not to be missed—a site of special scientific interest, Land Rover Experience Scotland is careful that their activities have no adverse impact on the local environment, and indeed they are very proud of the fact that the course is made up of only naturally occurring materials. It’s very much a business with a conscience; they also go out of their way to support local projects such as the young musician programme within the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. Land Rover Experiences range from one hour to full days and can take up to three passengers usually, or four if the party includes a small child (but of course, the less people you have the more driving time you get). For a great adventure, plus a unique view of Perthshire, book your Land Rover Experience here:

FILLET OF TURBOT, GLAMIS ASPARAGUS AND SMOKED MUSSEL BUTTER SAUCE SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 4 Fillets Turbot 150/200g 500g Glamis Asparagus (only in season for 2 months) 500ml Fish Stock 150ml White Wine or Vermouth 150g knobs Unsalted Butter 250g Smoked Mussels 150ml Katy Roger’s Crème Fraiche 1 small Carrot cooked and diced tsp chopped chives tbsp Olive Oil Juice of 1 Lemon Salt and Pepper for Seasoning (or use Mara Seaweed’s Dulse)

METHOD To prepare asparagus spears hold each end and bend until it snaps naturally– this removes the woody part of the stem. Place spears in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove immediately and plunge into iced water–this keeps them the prefect green colour. Remove and leave to drain on kitchen paper. (Have pan of water boiling ready to reheat asparagus before serving). Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season top side of turbot fillets and place seasoned side down in pan. Fry for 3–4 minutes. Turn and fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to rest in a warm place. Pour fish stock into frying pan and bring to boil, add wine or vermouth and reduce mixture by half. Add crème fraiche and, while boiling rapidly, whisk in knobs of butter. Add diced carrot, chives, smoked mussels and lemon juice. Remove pan from heat and place turbot fillets on top of sauce. Reheat asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute, remove and drain. To serve, place turbot fillet in centre of plate, top with asparagus spears and drizzle smoked mussel sauce around as per illustration. To finish I would suggest serving with new minted potatoes.

Willie Little, Chef/Proprietor of Little’s Restaurant, Rattray – a stunning redevelopment of the former Riverside Methodist Church into a restaurant – brings us a fantastic recipe to try at home.

A Reely Great Start to the Season at Dunkeld House Hotel


he salmon fishing season for the River Tay starts on the 15th of January and, for anglers, this date is something they look forward to for weeks. Time in the closed season is spent making new flies, servicing tackle, trying to convince the wife you need a new reel and generally feeling impatient to get fishing again. To mark the opening of the season many beats along the river Tay have a short ceremony, with traditions that go back generations. We were kindly asked if we would like to see the opening of the season at the famous Dunkeld House Hotel beat and jumped at the chance to see the season get started. Gathered around the fishing hut was a group of eager fishermen, all itching to get fishing. The opening ceremony begins with the fishermen getting piped onto the river, starting from the recently refurbished hotel. Upon arriving at the beat everyone gets a dram—this is consumed with a babble of suppressed excitement and anticipation. Everyone want to talk about the chances for the days fishing and head ghillie Gordon Pollock feels the mild weather should mean there are a few fish on the move. The river certainly looks in great shape. Salmon fishermen are perpetual optimists, so there’s no shortage of hope for a fish.

“Time in the closed season is spent making new flies, servicing tackle and trying to convince the wife you need a new reel “

“Upon arriving at the beat everyone gets a dram”

Down by the river there’s a short speech of welcome made, the hope for a record year is expressed, then the river and the boat is blessed—being drenched in whisky by Sharon Rice. It then comes to that first magical first cast of the season. This year the honour falls to Mike Ashton. Mike wades into the river a little and starts to strip line from his reel. The anticipation is palpable, but despite 20 pairs of eyes looking at him, Mike executes the perfect Snap T Spey cast. The 2019 season is open! After watching Mike have a couple more casts just to be polite, the rest of the anglers scuttle off to have their first cast of the season.

“After watching Mike have a couple more casts just to be polite, the rest of the anglers scuttle off to have their first cast of the season”

“It then comes to that first magical first cast of the season. This year the honour falls to Mike Ashton.�

It’s great to see the conservation of the Atlantic salmon is being taken seriously by fishermen and fishery owners on the River Tay, as this fabulous fish has come under increasing pressure from a number of factors in recent times. The demise of stock levels has been well reported on in the press. The management of the river is controlled by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board and they have made some great strides in protecting both the river itself and its fishing, notably the removal of all the commercial fishing nets in 1997. It is estimated that these nets took 90,000 fish per year out of the river in the late 60’s. It’s vital that this valuable resource is protected and this is certainly being done by anglers, with the vast majority of them returning their catch these days. These anglers are bring important revenue into rural areas, helping to provide employment and funding to protect this natural resource. The Dunkeld House Hotel beat consists of 1.5 miles of single bank fishing, with plenty of room for its maximum of 8 anglers per day. The beat has a total of 17 named pools with a variety of water that suits both fly fishing and spinning. There is also boats to fish from if required. The five year average for the beat is 130 fish, as with many Tay beats it is famous for its large spring fish. The largest of last year were fish of 32lb and 28lb, with numerous other specimen fish also being caught. Experienced fishermen will find plenty of water to cover, but with a professional fishing guide to hand this is a great place to try salmon fishing for the first time. To fish from the bank prices range from £50 to £90 per day, to fish from one of the boats costs £250 for up to two anglers. The nearby hotel offers a great place to eat or stay during your trip. Book your salmon fishing adventure here:

“It’s vital that this valuable resource is protected and this is certainly being done by anglers, with the vast majority of them returning their catch these days”



Full Scottish Breakfast 3 Course Dinner in the Riverside Restaurant Glass of House Wine on Arrival Complimentary use of the Health Club Facilities 20% Off pre-booked Afternoon Tea


£74.50 PP TERMS AND CONDITIONS From’ price is based on stays Sunday-Thursdays. A £10 per person supplement applies on a Friday and Saturday. Rates advertised are from rates and are subject to change and may vary throughout the year. Offer is subject to availability and based on two people sharing a double or twin room. From rate is valid November and December only. Full prepayment is required at the time of booking, no refunds or amendments. Bookings made up to and including 28th November 2018 include a 2 course dinner. Bookings made after 29th November 2018 include a 3 course dinner. We strongly advise that guests make dinner reservations for our Riverside Restaurant at the time of booking to avoid disappointment, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.


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Ramblings of a Retired

Whisky Blender A Guest Article by Alastair Gilchrist


c a n’t r e m e m b e r a t i m e w h e n Ta l i s k e r w a s n’t my favourite whisky. Of course, growing up I experimented with the likes of Grouse and Bells and White & Mackay, and (in those days) Teachers, but without any great enthusiasm. It wasn’t until around 1984, when I was 30-ish, and discovered single malts, that I began to have an inkling of what it was all about: the nuances of aroma and flavour, mouthfeel and finish. I was in the trade by that time, licensee of various bars in Edinburgh, specialising in real ales and real whiskies. Over the next decade a love and a knowledge of whisky in all its forms developed within me…

It was probably Charlie MacLean who started me off on this journey. Even in those days, Charlie was a “Nose”, and he was a regular in the first bar I ran, and used to drink the excellent Te Bheag (unchill-filtered), from Praban na Linne on Skye. Created to be “whisky as it should be”, and still one of my favourite blended whiskies; I drink it whenever I see it. I am up on Skye now and then, and I always purchase some to bring home. Rich, smooth with saltiness and peat, sherry, some caramel…great whisky! Good body, with a natural oiliness which coats the palate and leaves a long finish.

Back to Talisker. Back in the day the standard Talisker expression was the 12yo, rich, smoky and peppery. Full-flavoured and dry, wonderful mouthfeel. For me, Talisker will always be associated with the outdoors… and I love the outdoors. Whether hillwalking, fishing, camping or generally stravaigin’, Talisker is my go-to malt. Especially around the west coast of Scotland, and the islands. Although I am also a great believer in ‘a malt for every occasion’. For example, the image opposite, taken a few (!) years ago, looking down on Barrisdale and Loch Hourn, was part of a few days’ wild camping and the malt then was an Old Pulteney 12yo, which in those days had a lot of character. Change is never far away though, and by the late 90’s I think, might have been earlier, demand for Talisker was growing so much that distillery stocks couldn’t keep up. (Most distilleries found this happening to them around this time. After decades of slow growth, distilleries were mothballed and production reduced. Now of course they can’t produce enough of the stuff. Consequently, every distillery is selling non-aged whisky, some of which is very rough stuff indeed, closed distilleries have reopened, new ones are being built. And thus the rise and rise of gin). Because of this the 12yo was reduced to 10, and it wasn’t the same. Didn’t have the same bite, or peppery-ness. Oddbins, which at that time was THE place to go for wine and malt, obtained some 12yo which they sold under their own label, but it didn’t last long…

However, at this time of year (late December at time of writing) there are many bargains to be snapped up, and one of them in my local Tesco is the un-aged Talisker Skye at £25. I would estimate this to be a blend of different years from the distillery, from 5 to 8 years old, from good casks, probably with a top dressing to smooth out the rough edges. So I decided to give it a try. For me there is only one way to nose whiskies. I prefer the liquid to be below room temperature, unless I am in a mountain bothy in February, since this affords me the opportunity to discern aroma changes as it warms in my hand. These notes are for the Talisker expression mentioned above: 1. Glass. Specially designed back in the early 2000’s for nosing, the Glencairn Whisky Glass does what it says on the tin. When I’m working I also use sherry copitas—perhaps more of that in a later article. The Glencairn glass does it all, really— fits the hand snugly, allows aromas to gently lift off the liquid, rise up the curved glass and arrive at the nose softly focused. 2. Pass glass under nose few times. Initial aromas of light smoke, beach, rocks at low tide. 3. Hold nose over glass. Begin to sense deeper aromas— more smoke, fudgy, some spice. 4. Nose into glass—Cold ashes from a driftwood fire on a west coast beach, mild citrus, wood, mild chocolate caramels. As the liquid warms in the glass I find some leather, honey. On the palate there is all of this, with aged oak and spice. It is very smooth, and sweeter than the current 10yo, and than the 12yo of my memory, so I am pleased to discern a dryness in the finish, with more smoke. The unusual abv of 45.8% lends a good body, or mouthfeel, to the liquid. A softer version of Talisker than the 10yo, more rounded, less rugged. Very nice, and not bad value for 25 quid.

“For me, the finest expression from Talisker is the 18 year old, a veritable masterpiece of a malt”

For me, the finest expression from Talisker is the 18yo, a veritable masterpiece of a malt. Sadly I don’t have any just now, but I can almost sense a future review of this fine malt. Remember though—when buying your bottle for special occasions, do not get carried away by age statements. For many distilleries, individual casks can reach their optimum after 18-20 years; after around 25 years often all you get is more wood and sweetness and the liquid loses the essential distillery character. Perhaps more on this, too, some other time… OK enough. Off to drink the remnants of a Tomatin 30 (which I created, indeed). Slàinte mhath Please drink responsibly. This article is intended for adults above the legal drinking age only.

Gear up for new

Junior Off Road

Gleneagles driving school at


leneagles has launched a new Junior Off Road driving school to help younger guests and their families make the most of the glorious 850-acre Perthshire estate this February half term holiday (9th-24th February).

Children aged four to nine years old can now enjoy this unique off-road driving experience in a fleet of mini Land Rover Series one replicas, with expert tuition from Gleneagles’ friendly instructors. As soon as junior drivers have mastered the mini Land Rover controls on level ground, they can complete a circuit of off-road obstacles, including log piles, sleeping policemen and a water splash on the purpose-built junior course – leading to an off-road skills certificate.

“Guests have the chance to join a walk with Henry, Gleneagles’ one-year-old golden Labrador, who’s cuddly appeal makes him a big hit with children and adults”

Junior off-road driving is just one of many thrilling countryside adventures offered for wee ones throughout the year, with little guests also invited to try their hand at horse riding, fishing, shooting, tennis, golf camp; zip wiring, archery and createa-bear workshops. A team of Playground Planners can create bespoke itineraries for fun-seeking families throughout the February half term holidays. Personalised skilfully to match individual family needs, itineraries can even include hand selected picnics for all ages and dietary requirements.

A special February half term family programme for two to 15 year olds offers an additional raft of complimentary activities – from stable tours, daily movie screenings and play time in Little Glen and The Den, to unlimited swimming, pitch n’ putt and Pashley bikes, as well as the chance to join a walk with Henry, Gleneagles’ one-year-old golden Labrador, who’s cuddly appeal makes him a big hit with children and adults alike.

Commenting on the new Junior Off Road experience at Gleneagles, Playground Planner Sara McEwan said: “Whether your wee ones are intrepid explorers or thrill-seeking adventurers, Gleneagles is a playground of discovery and fun for curious minds, which can kindle everyone’s spirit of adventure. “We’re proud to give our little guests the chance to enjoy almost everything our adult guests can do. The fleet of Mini Land Rovers is a great addition to our line-up this half term and offers an exciting and fun way to learn new skills.” From January to April, Gleneagles is running a special kids go free offer – ‘Wee ones are free ones’ – as the perfect tonic for the mid-winter blues – from £360 during January - March, and from £410 in April, based on two adults and two children sharing a Sovereign Room.

For more information on February half term family activities at Gleneagles, contact Gleneagles’ Playground Planners on 01764 69 4455 or at To make a reservation, contact Resort Sales on 0800 704 705 or at Complimentary transfers are available by prior arrangement from Gleneagles Train Station.

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By Dr Paul S. Philippou


here has been a church/chapel at Kilspindie since at least the early thirteenth century. Today, nothing remains of this medieval edifice. A nineteenth-century construction (which incorporates in its design architectural elements of earlier buildings - possibly even the long lost Kilspindie Castle, once home to the uncle of William Wallace, whose former location is occupied by Kilspindie Farm House) instead performs the role of Kilspindie & Rait Parish Church (Church of Scotland). Enveloped by a nest of trees, Kilspindie Church lies within the village of Kilspindie (PH2 7RX) on the Carse of Gowrie, just under three miles from Errol and not far from Glendoick Gardens Rhododendron Specialist Nursery (founded in 1953 and still run by the Cox family) - Recent repair work on Kilspindie Church as part of the ‘Historic Churchyards Project’ has revealed a gateway previously hidden by ivy that not only linked the church to Kilspindie Castle but was likely to have been used by William Wallace during his time as a fugitive from English Crown forces.


A focus on a moment in Perthshire’s past; and the places involved

This Month in History

Within the church’s burial ground are gravestones from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and a Commonwealth War Grave: G. Wilson, a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps who died 17 May 1917. It is a family tomb erected in 1822 (restored in 2007) - that of the Stuarts - which is of particular note. The stately tomb includes a plaque to Lieutenant General Robert Stuart of Annat and Rait who died this month in 1820 (18 February) aged 75 years. Written in Persian, the epitaph to Stuart acknowledges his service to the Moghul Empire of the Indian subcontinent: The Support of the State, Helper of the Kingdom General Robert Stuart, Behadur War a Veritable Sword of Mohammed A Faithful Servant of Shah Alam Ghazi 1212 AH (1834 AD) [in translation] (The title ‘Behadur’, ‘the Brave’, was awarded to Stuart by Shah Alam Ghazi, the then Moghul Emperor.) Stuart’s journey from being born the son of a farmer from Powblack Farm, Doune, on 13 May 1744 to fighting in the Indian sub-continent was not that unusual for a Scot in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, due to the role in that region of the British East India Company (EIC).

“In his four decades of service, Stuart rose from cadet to Lieutenant General”

The EIC was formed in 1600 as a rival to Dutch-Portuguese colonialism in India. By 1720, when Britain was importing fifteen per cent of its overseas goods from India, the EIC was as rich and powerful as many countries. The EIC succeeded in controlling trade across vast stretches of India by forming alliances with local elites and running its own armies: the Bengal, Bombay, and Madras Armies, some 271,000 men under arms in 1857; mostly recruited locally but including many British troops. In the 1780s, for example, the EIC military had 15,000 British men serving in its ranks, many of whom were Scottish. Scots were especially plentiful among the armies’ officer corps. Stuart thus joined many of his own nationals when he enlisted in the Bengal Army of the EIC in 1764. In his four decades of service, Stuart rose from cadet to Lieutenant General. Thereafter, he served in the British Army of India before retiring to Perth.

In 1791, when he was commander of the 6th Native Infantry Brigade, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, Stuart was captured by a large force of Sikh outriders who had incurred into the Western frontier area of Oudh. An attempt to recapture Stuart failed and he found himself a prisoner of Banga Sing who sought a ransom for his hostage.

To that end, Stuart was allowed to write letters to the EIC, British authorities, and Begum Sumroo, the ruler of Sardhana who helped with negotiations and provided Stuart with food and clothing. It would seem that censorship was not considered, for much of Stuart’s correspondence involved plans and appeals for his armed rescue. Eventually, after a ransom of 15,000 Rupees was paid by the EIC, Stuart was released (24 October 1791), having spent ten months in captivity.

“Upon his return to Scotland, Stuart purchased Annat Lodge, Kinnoull Hill”

Upon his return to Scotland, Stuart purchased Annat Lodge, Kinnoull Hill, a house later associated with the artist and illustrator John Everett Millais and Effie Gray the former wife of the art critic John Ruskin; who later became Millais’s wife. Possibly, to remind himself of India, Stuart imported buffalo and Arabian horses to Scotland, which must have made a curious sight wandering around the grounds of Annat Lodge. Stuart planned to use his great fortune to build himself a castle at Rait, but the plan remained unfulfilled at the time of his death in February, 199 years ago. Perth & Kinross Archives is home to the papers of General Robert Stuart. These include 41 of the letters written by Stuart while a prisoner. Other holdings relating to Stuart are in the care of Perth Museum & Art Gallery including: a portrait in oils - ‘General Robert Stuart of Annat and Rait’ - by Baird of 1816; a pocket watch (John & Thomas Hilsby Watchmakers, 1819-20); a gaming box; wood panel; and a matriculation of arms in ink and watercolour on vellum. (Before visiting the museum to view the Stuart holdings, check as to the availability.) The museum is also home to portraits by John Everett Millais - a founder (in 1848) alongside William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti of the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a critically-important reformist art movement.

A trip to Kilspindie Church (by car or bicycle) can be combined with a visit to Glendoick Garden Centre or the Cairn O’Mohr winery, which lies about 2.3 miles away at East Inchmichael, Errol, PH2 7SP. The winery has a café (open Wednesday-Monday 10.00-17.00), shop, and offers tours from April to October (Wednesday and Sunday): A visit to Perth Museum & Art Gallery can be pooled with a visit to Perth’s newest public house - Perth Brewdog - - with its fourteen taps and pizza menu; or the nearby and very popular Post Box Restaurant - http://www.thepostboxperth. More information about the military history of Perthshire can be found in Battleground Perthshire: Two Thousand Years of Battles, Encounters and Skirmishes - available to purchase online or from bookshops. For further information see Dr Paul S. Philippou is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History, University of Dundee. His next book, Scott’s Fair City is available now. Paul is Joint Director of ‘Words of War’, the Perth Military History Book Festival (21-22 September 2019). Paul is also the driving force behind, Perthshire’s local history website. The photographs are copyright Roben Antoniewicz, a Perth based professional photographer. He is co-author of The Early Photographers of Perthshire and in 2003 won the ‘Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize’ run by the National Portrait Gallery.

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Southern Fried Chicken Recipe by

Ingredients 600g Self Raising Flour 150g Corn Flour 1tbls of Ground Black Pepper 1tbls of Ground White Pepper 1tbls of Garlic Powder 1tbls of Onion Powder 2tbls of Paprika 2tbls of Salt 4x Skin on Chicken Breasts 750ml Milk 2 Whole Eggs

Method Mix all dry ingredients together and set aside. Cut chicken breasts in half at an angle to ensure you have the skin on both pieces. Whisk the milk and egg together and pour into a large container. Place chicken pieces into the mixture and leave in the fridge overnight. Now place one piece of chicken at a time into the coating mix and cover the chicken. Do this process again so each piece has been double dipped in the milk and dry mix. Cook in a deep fat fryer or a large pan of oil at 170 degrees. Place pieces into the oil very gently and make sure not to shake. Cook for 10 minutes then place on a paper towel and season with salt.

The Tale o the Wee Mowdie that wantit tae ken wha keeched on his heid

“A braw new buik fir bairns” - Scots Langauge Centre “We haven’t laughed so much in ages!” “Outrageously funny…will leave kids laughing and learning”.

Two £125 Vouchers

Up for Grabs! A chance to experience either Perthshire’s only American Diner, Little America, or the classic Little’s Restaurant in the stunning former Riverside Church in Rattray!


his month we have two separate prizes to give away for all the foodies out there—a fantastic £125 voucher to spend at Little America at 4 Wellmeadow, Blairgowrie, the latest quality offering from award-winning restauranteur, Willie Little, and £125 to spend at his classic Little’s Restaurant within the stunning former Riverside Church, over the bridge at Rattray.

Little’s Restaurant is a beautifully atmospheric space with a breathtaking stained glass window as its centrepiece; this amazing building is further enhanced by the delicious cuisine served by Willie and his brigade—everything from steak, to fish and seafood, to homemade pizza, delicious desserts and traditional Sunday lunch! Little’s is known for using the freshest, locally sourced seasonal produce in all dishes. Find out more here: At Little America you will discover all American classics—delicious, 100% meat burgers (handminced and moulded on the premises), mac ’n’ cheese, spare ribs, BBQ wings and Southern Fried chicken! And don’t forget the desserts— American pancakes, New York cheesecake and tempting banana split! Little America is a taste of the USA right on your doorstep—come inside to the 1950’s retro diner interior and enjoy some finger-licking treats! Find out more here:

For your chance to win one of these two amazing prizes, simply email in the answer to this question: The famous statue in New York harbour is called what? A. Statue of Liberty B. Statue of Freedom C. Statue of Equality Terms: The random prize draw closes at midnight on the 15th February 2019 and the winners will be notified shortly thereafter. The result is final. The winner must claim their prize by email within 14 days of being notified. No cash alternative is available. You must be over 18 to enter or have the permission of a parent or guardian. By entering you agree to receive email communications from The Perthshire Magazine. Your email address or other details will not be passed on to anyone else. Only one entry per person will be counted. This competition is for two separate prizes of one £125 voucher, for two different winners.

Photography provided by Glenmorangie


Glenmorangie Distillery and Wild Oysters — an Unlikely Partnership to Clean Up Scottish Waters. Living in bonnie Scotland with our world-famous lochs and beaches, it is easy to feel removed from the conversation around water pollution. Oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and mercury poisoning on the coastline of Japan are far off incidents from our Scottish shores. Or are they? Since the dawn of the industrial revolution we, the collective human race, have dug, spun and squeezed our planet’s finite resources to enable modern day living. And water, although continually replenishing through its magnificent cycle, has not escaped harm. From the rising temperatures of climate change decreasing the levels of oxygen in our water, to the contamination of soil and ground source water through the use of pesticides and fertilisers to enhance our crops, water pollution is happening everywhere.

Photography provided by Glenmorangie

‘The vast majority of Europe’s rivers, lakes and estuaries have failed to meet minimum ecological standards for habitat degradation and pollution...despite EU laws and biodiversity protocols.’’ claims a 2018 report by the European Environmental Agency. Well, folks do say that the water in the Thames has been peed 7 times! But enough of this dreary talk, this feature is here to tell us about those who are doing something to turn the tide on environmental issues, such as water pollution. Let me introduce you to Glenmorangie Distillery, perched on the banks of the Dornoch Firth near Tain in the Scottish Highlands since 1843. Glenmorangie has a special connection to the Dornoch Firth, the waterscape creates the perfect backdrop for the distillery and adds to the magic of the Glenmorangie experience.

Glenmorangie also has a dependency on the firth, water is not only a key ingredient in the age-old process of making whisky, but it is also a waste product. Wastewater leaves the Glenmorangie distillery and is pumped into the nearby Dornoch Firth, and although fully compliant with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s (SEPA) guidelines to manage the release of this wastewater, Glenmorangie wanted to take things further. And go further they have! In 2015 Glenmorangie built a unique anaerobic digestion plant in the grounds of their distillery to the tune of £6 million. The plant purifies the distillery’s wastewater, which is discharged into the firth, by reducing its organic material content by 95%, the remaining 5% of the organic matter is naturally cleaned by, wait for it...


Oysters, those much adored salty, slimy, crustaceans have been absent from these waters for over 100 years! Glenmorangie’s vision was to improve water quality in the firth and enhance biodiversity to a point which would see oysters safely returned to the area.

Photography provided by Glenmorangie

As an environmental first for a distillery, the plant will work in tandem with the oysters to purify the distillery’s wastewater and other byproducts created through the distillation process, maintaining a balance in the firth’s ecosystem. The unique project required a team of experts. Glenmorangie forged a partnership with HeriotWatt University and the Marine Conservation Society known as the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP). Together, DEEP ran an 18-month pilot test which introduced 300 wild oysters to 2 separate sites in the firth. The pilot was a success and they have since introduced many more oysters with the aim of establishing a large and healthy oyster reef in the Dornoch Firth within the next 5 years. Dr. Bill Sanderson, Associate Professor of Marine Biodiversity at Heriot-Watt, commented, “Oyster reefs are amongst the most endangered marine habitats on earth and it is thanks to Glenmorangie’s foresight and long-term commitment that we can create a pioneering reef restoration project in the Dornoch Firth. It will take many years, but we have the ambition that the DEEP project is an example that could be replicated in other parts of the world.” But, as mentioned, the oysters contribute just 5% towards Glenmorangie’s water cleansing target. The lion’s share of the water treatment work takes place in the anaerobic digestion plant, within the grounds of the distillery.

Photography provided by Glenmorangie

To give you a quick overview of the process: The treatment plant breaks down the distillery’s various organic waste materials collected throughout the distillation process. The waste is poured into a reactor chamber where bacteria respond to the absence of oxygen by breaking down the organic waste - this process is called anaerobic digestion. Out of the reactor come three by-products; water, a copper-rich sludge, and biogas.The water and sludge are separated by a complex filtration process and the resulting high-quality, filtered water is discharged into the firth to be met by the oysters. The biogas is used to power the distillery, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. And last but not least, the sludge, which contains copper from Glenmorangie’s signature stills, is passed to local barley farmers, reducing their reliance on fertilisers for the local land, which is naturally copper deficient.

‘ is thanks to Glenmorangie’s foresight and long-

term commitment that we can create a pioneering reef restoration project in the Dornoch Firth’.

At this point, are w e all feeling a bit more positive about water pollution?

Photography provided by Glenmorangie

At the end of the day, it’s down to all of us as individuals to prioritise looking after our local environments and sometimes taking the initiative to say, ‘the standard that’s been set isn’t good enough, we can do more’, much like Glenmorangie have done on this occasion. I’ll leave you with the words of Hamish Torrie, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Glenmorangie, “Glenmorangie’s Distillery has stood on the banks of the Dornoch Firth for over 170 years – and we want to ensure that the firth’s pristine habitat will be preserved and enhanced over the next 170 years.” Next month we’ll explore Scotland’s largest producer of leather to find out how they have closed the loop on their craft, using only their waste to produce low carbon leather.

Fiona Murray Fiona is the owner of Content Marketing firm, Straight Talk - A strategic content marketing firm with none of the usual advertising waffle. Her new regular feature, Sustainable Scotland At Work, is intended to be an uplifting and educational piece that gets us all talking about environmental issues. Investigating and showcasing what’s taking place in Scottish enterprise to improve our environment is a topic close to Fiona’s heart.

Breathtaking Hand Drawn Giant Sketch Of




emember that feeling you get when you fly over your home town or city, maybe seeing it for the first time from the air? It gives you a special kind of ‘tingle’—a rare perspective on the place you live.

Perth residents will now be able to experience a unique perspective on their city, in an intricately detailed and massive hand-drawn sketch which is quite simply breathtaking. From a distance, the giant 3 metre by 1 metre sketch looks like “In 2016, Carl teamed up an aerial map, but it’s when you with photographer Lorna get closer the magic begins.

Le Bredonchel and the ‘69 Cities’ project was born”

You’ll begin to see familiar city structures hovering and disintegrating, suggesting the process of creation, collapse and re-creation, mirroring the rhythm of the city itself, a complex network of lines tying and unravelling, an urban landscape in perpetual, dynamic transformation.

The work by artist Carl Lavia is part of the nationwide ‘Portrait of the UK’ project; an ambitious series of 69 hand-drawn cities from across the UK. In 2016, Carl teamed up with photographer Lorna Le Bredonchel and the ‘69 Cities’ project was born. During their epic road trip, Carl is sketching in large scale every single city within the UK, alongside Lorna, who is documenting the entire process. Each artwork takes between 2–4 months create, during which time they explore the city by foot, Carl making sketches and Lorna undertaking research and taking photographs.

“I’m really happy it will be in the Perth

The giant Perth sketch has already Museum and Art Gallery so it can be been purchased by collector Tony enjoyed by everyone, for free. I’ve Banks. He said as soon as he saw it, he had to have it! “I am so im- never understood why private art pressed with the drawing and the collectors hide things away” thinking behind recreating each of Scotland’s cities in sketch. I got in touch as soon as I heard about it—I just had to nail it down.” He added, “I’m very proud to be Scottish and it was important to me that we kept the sketch in Perth, which is also home to Balhousie Care Group Head Office, with many of our care homes in the surrounding area. I’m really happy it will be in the Perth Museum and Art Gallery so it can be enjoyed by everyone, for free. I’ve never understood why private art collectors hide things away.”

It’s also been confirmed the artwork will feature as the cover of a new book, “Perth & Kinross: A Pocket Miscellany”, by Trish Colton, due to be published at the end of January. After Perth, the ’69 Cities’ tour continues in Scotland, visiting Inverness, Aberdeen and Glasgow. The giant Portrait of Perth sketch will be on display in the Sculpture Court at the Perth Museum & Art Gallery from January 29th until October, when it will be relocated to AK Bell Library until the end of the year. A spokesperson said, “Culture Perth and Kinross are delighted to have the opportunity to display this drawing of the City of Perth as part of the ’69 Cities’ project. We hope it will help tell the story of Perth, adding new perspective to the city.” You can follow the ‘69 cities of the UK’ project via social media, @sketchnthecity, @Lebredonchel, #69cities. Contact Lorna to discuss partnership opportunities, licensing and commissions.

Proving Authentici-tea


n important step has been made in being able to authenticate the provenance of Scottish tea in a study by Dr. David Burslem of Aberdeen University, in collaboration with The Scottish Tea Factory and Tea Gardens of Scotland, a group of 9 Scottish tea growers. Why is this study important? Tea grower Beverly Wainwright tells the audience crowded in her new tea factory that there exists a huge confusion about the difference between Scottish blend teas and Scottish grown teas, with many consumers not realising the difference. The study, the results of which we are all gathered to hear, is intended to make it possible to test whether a tea described as Scottish has actually been grown in Scotland, perhaps with the potential for then de“It was truly veloping some extraordinary kind of provenance labeland spoils you ling system. for ordinary, Such a system would protect teabag tea” the interests of Scottish tea growers, in addition to reassuring consumers that they are buying the real thing. Scottish grown tea can therefore become a distinctive product in its own right. And it deserves to be so, with the Scottish climate stressing the plants and only allowing slow growth, resulting in a unique, special tea. We are privileged to be able to try a sample, and discover the unusual mix of a deeply comforting, malty flavour, which then dissipates to leave an impression of delicacy and lightness. It was truly extraordinary and spoils you for ordinary, ‘teabag tea.’

So what has the study discovered? Is it possible to determine where a plant was grown by a scientific authentication test? This was the challenge faced by Dr. Burslem, who’s background is in plant and soil research. After considering several possible approaches, he settled on something called Ionomics, which is a multi-element analysis, rather like a chemical fingerprint. It relies on the fact that plants take nutrients from the soil, which varies from place to place. Many different elements are therefore detectable and can be put together into a ‘sig“we can say nature’ for a location. The visual representathat Scottish tion for this on a chart is called clustering where out of a number of different locations teas appear to tested, those close together geographically be chemically would also appear together on the chart bedistinct to tea cause of having a similar chemical make up. The example chart opposite shows the results from overseas” from the testing of various different samples from four Scottish tea plantations, organised by colour. We can clearly see that each tea plantation’s samples are clustered together, demonstrating that they all have a different chemical make up to each other. This principle can then be applied to the larger field of comparing Scottish teas as a whole to those grown in the rest of the world.

“We can clearly see that each tea plantation’s samples are clustered together�

For this study, Dr. Burslem tested 21 Scottish teas, and 82 teas from the rest of the world for comparison purposes. He analysed these 103 samples by 9 elements, then compared the Scottish grown teas with those from overseas. Did they stand out as distinct? Yes indeed they did, significant clustering was present. Scottish tea in particular showed relatively low cobalt and copper concentrations in comparison to the rest of the world. So we can say that Scottish teas appear to be chemically distinct to tea from overseas. Dr. Burslem explained that based on this, if you were to take an unknown tea sample and analyse it, you could now identify which cluster, and therefore which location, the tea was from. Of course, there is more work to do on this, including more analysis, expanding the existing database and understanding the effects of fertilisation, but the first steps have shown much promise in this area and raise an interesting question- should Scottish tea have to go through an authentication process before it can be labeled as such? Only time will tell. This research study was generously funded by Interface and match funded by Angus, Perth and Fife Leader.




rowBiz provides a community-based enterprise support service throughout rural Perthshire. Our ‘Enterprising Rural Perthshire’ programme, with funding support from LEADER* provides support to anyone who is considering becoming self-employed or starting (or growing) a small business or social enterprise. This is regardless of your age or experience–in fact, it works right across the community to include people from all backgrounds and sectors

All of our services are free and confidential These include 1-1 meetings, peer support, learning sessions, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. If you are thinking of starting an enterprise, or expanding an existing business, in rural Perthshire, more information is available at the GrowBiz website: Or email on to find out more, or make an appointment. We regularly hold Learning Sessions on a range of topics, as well as networking events, throughout Perthshire. Our events are informal and relaxed and anyone is welcome to attend regardless of where you are based in Perthshire–and whether you already run a business, have just started up, or are only at the stage of thinking about it.

Enterprising Rural Perthshire

“Grants from £1,500 to £5,000 can be applied for, covering up to 90% of eligible costs”

Rural Perth & Kinross Micro Enterprise Fund The Rural Perth & Kinross Micro Enterprise Fund is open with an overall aim to support business growth and business start-ups in Rural Perth & Kinross” has been designed to assist rural businesses and other organisations looking to undertake viable growth projects, and individuals looking to set up a business. Grants from £1,500 to £5,000 can be applied for, covering up to 90% of eligible costs. Examples of potentially viable projects which could be considered include the purchase of capital equipment, product or market development and commercial property acquisition or improvement. All business sectors are eligible for support (with the exception of betting shops and off licence shops)

GrowBiz is on hand to provide advice and assistance to any rural business or organisation wishing to apply to the fund. Contact us on Go to and search for Business Advice and Funding for more information and to access the Funding Criteria and Application form. Follow us on social media for news and updates - Facebook (@GrowBizPerthshire) and Twitter (@Grow_Biz) – you can also sign up to our Newsletters on the website. * The Enterprising Rural Perthshire project is supported by the Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. For more on LEADER go to

So, what do you think of this issue? We are quite proud of it. It’s been fun putting it together too. Our article about tea raises a serious, well semi-serious, question. When can something be called Scottish? It’s a question that’s well worth raising if you grow tea. Or other things for that matter. You see, you can pop down to the Co-op (other stores are available) and buy some “Scottish tea” and it will probably cost you around a couple of quid for a goodish number of tea bags. But have you ever wondered what’s Scottish about it? Probably not. And I can sort of see why not; after all, you are buying the tea in Scotland and most likely drinking it here too. Makes sense to have Scotland on the package. Unless you actually grow and process tea in Scotland. Then it gets really annoying. Growing tea in Scotland is really hard, the climate makes it slow, the plants are very expensive, and the land to grow it on can be eye-wateringly so. Real Scottish tea will never be 2 quid for 150 cups. And don’t even think you will get it in bags. It’s definitely going to be a premium product. So, is it worth it? Well, the other week I was in the privileged position to have a cup of Scottish tea. Now by this I mean Scottish tea and not ‘Scottish’ tea. Not very many people have got to try this one yet, as these tea plants are not mature enough to produce a proper harvest. But the results of all this tea-growing endeavour is fabulous, the tea is amazing. Even better was seeing all these excited tea enthusiasts drink their first cup of proper Scottish tea. They got so excited about it, and quite rightly too, it was a fantastic moment. Shopping local does more than reduce food miles and keep revenue in the area, it gives someone the chance to pursue a passion. Makes sense. Now I am now aware that that rant went on a bit and was about something quite exclusive. So the snack suggestion is going to be short and cheap. A nice bowl of homemade soup. The great thing about making soup is that you can chuck anything in it and it will come out amazing. I have soup cooking now as I write this. I have started with a chicken that has been ravaged by a roast dinner and a curry. I plan to lob in some spuds, carrots and any other slightly rubbery veg that’s lurking in the bottom of the fridge. Cook it for some time, how long is not that important, take the bones out and then whizz it up in the whizzy thing. Job done. Just the thing for a February day when its -5 outside.