April Canteen Street Food Festival @ Archerfield

How about having an AMAZING day of street food, music & fun at Archerfield Walled Garden?!

No booking required – £1 Adults, kids go free (dogs welcome)

April Trader Line-Up :

Chick & Pea (Middle Eastern)
Taste Like Crepe (Sweet Crepes)
Spice Pots (Indian)
Mac Shack (Mac n Cheese)
Sugar Daddys (Gluten Free Cakes)
Big Blu (Pizza)
Harajuku Kitchen (Japanese)
Mimis Bakehouse (Gourmet Toasties)
Fat Hippo (Burgers)
Hooked Street Food (Seafood)
Fizz Bar (Prosecco Bar)
Herringbone (Cocktails & Mocktails)
Archerfield Courtyard Bar (Craft Beers & Wines)

New university scholarship to address LGBT issues in tourism & events sector

Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Musselburgh, East Lothian, has launched a new scholarship geared towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) studies in the tourism and events industry.

With its specialisms in tourism and events, Queen Margaret University (QMU) has teamed-up with US-based TravelAdvocates to offer the scholarship to up to two students a year over the next three years.

The TravelAdvocates LGBT Studies Travel and Research Scholarship will help selected QMU students carry out their own independent research into the current LGBT issues affecting the tourism and events sector.

QMU’s Professor Joe Goldblatt, said: “We’re extremely grateful for the generous support that TravelAdvocates is providing our students. This is the first time in the 140 year history of QMU that a research scholarship in this important area of study has been established.

“This generous and pioneering support is initially committed for up to three years and will provide much needed financial support and other resources for current and future generations of QMU students.”

TravelAdvocates is a global hotel site selection company founded in 2005 by Robert Miller in Hoboken, New Jersey. The company’s team has more than 75 years of combined experience providing personalised hotel site selection and booking thousands of hotel room nights for groups each year. They are a trusted advocate for their clients, who come from the corporate, government, association, tour and travel, athletic and social markets.

Robert Miller, CMP, Esq, President of TravelAdvocates, said: “As an openly gay member of the global tourism industry, I think it is important to explore and identify the specific needs and interests of the LGBT segment as it relates to travel and events. It is a unique market that continues to grow, and TravelAdvocates is proud to support research in this important field.”

Any undergraduate or postgraduate student at QMU can apply for the scholarship. A call for applications will be announced in September 2016 and the award will be made in November 2016. A committee chaired by the Queen Margaret Students’ Union President with members from the teaching staff and other students will select the recipient(s).

Commenting on the new scholarship, Heidi Vistisen, President of the Queen Margaret Students’ Union, said “I’m incredibly pleased and excited to see such a fantastic scholarship made available to QMU students, especially when we still in 2016 see discrimination against LGBT people to a very high extent.

“I’m honored to be chairing the selection committee and I know that students at QMU will use this opportunity to influence the community and society they live and study in.”

For more information on the Travel Advocates LGBT Studies Travel and Research Scholarship, contact the Queen Margaret Students’ Union President, E: studentpresident@qmu.ac.uk; T: 0131 474 0000.

Funding boost for ploughing championships in East Lothian

The first European Reversible Ploughing Championships to be held on Scottish soil is among 21 events across the country which are receiving backing from the latest round of awards from the EventScotland National Funding Programme, as part of VisitScotland’s work to deliver the national events strategy Scotland the Perfect Stage.

The European Reversible Ploughing Championships (19-20 October) and Scottish Ploughing Championships (22-23 October) both due to take place in East Lothian have been awarded £7,000 in total funding.

Ploughers from 13 countries will compete in the 33rd European Reversible Ploughing Championships at Saltcoats, Gullane – the first time the championships have been held in Scotland. Around 1000 visitors are expected to attend the spectacle involving countries including France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Scotland.

The 54th Scottish Ploughing Championships will take place at West Fenton, North Berwick, in front of an expected 2000-strong crowd. Alongside the competition ploughing there will be machinery stands, demonstrations by modern farm machinery as well as vintage machinery and a display of vintage tractors and stationary engines on site.

The ploughing championships and the other 20 forthcoming events across 13 of Scotland’s local authority areas have received a combined total of £232,700 from Round 32 of the National Funding Programme.

The National Funding Programme – which is administered by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate – was established to enable the strategic development of events taking place outwith Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the aim of driving domestic tourism and increasing economic impact for local communities throughout Scotland.

Thanks to the funding, and in keeping with the objectives of the National Funding Programme, organisers will now be in a position to further develop by extending and enhancing its programme in order to increase attendance figures and improve the overall spectator experience.

John Tait, Chairman of the Scottish Ploughing Championships, said:

“The support from the EventScotland National Funding Programme has enabled us to promote the event to a wider audience than would otherwise have been possible.

“We are looking forward to welcoming ploughers and visitors from all over the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Europe and Russia to East Lothian to showcase the best in modern, vintage, classic and horse ploughing.

“The European event on the 19 & 20 October will be a great contest to select the Champion European Reversible plougher, followed by the 54th Scottish Ploughing Championships on 22 & 23 October with over 200 ploughers competing to be Scottish champions.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Ploughing Championships have been selected as funding recipients in the latest round of EventScotland’s National Funding Programme. I’m sure that the financial boost combined with the fantastic programme the organisers have planned will ensure they are a superb success.

“These funding awards for regional events provide invaluable support by helping them create an even more attractive proposition to attract increased attendance – not only from their local areas but also from much further afield. That promotes the venues as excellent visitor destinations and contributes greatly to the region’s economy – which is hugely important.”

Music lovers and foodies are in for a treat at Gardening Scotland 2016

With just over one week to go until the start of Gardening Scotland – the country’s Outdoor Living Show – the event’s organisers are reminding people that the show is more than just a fantastic day out for gardeners.

This year’s event, which takes place from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th June at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, promises to be an action-packed day out for everyone, whether you are interested in food, cookery or music, as well as gardening.

Foodies will take inspiration from the event’s Cookery Theatre, which will play host to a range of well-known chefs such as Wendy Barrie from the Scottish Food Guide and Neil Forbes from Café St Honoré. Visitors will get expert tips for delicious and inspiring recipes using the very best Scottish produce. The Living Garden exhibition will also demonstrate how you can grow your own delicious produce, from herbs to fruit and vegetables, for your own kitchen.

Music lovers are in for a real variety show during the three day event with a host of live performances from Scottish and international artists. Glasgow trio The Ragtime Dolls will entertain visitors with songs inspired by the 1940s group The Andrews Sisters, while the Dojo Performers promise to provide both a visual and audio spectacle for children and adults alike.

Outdoors enthusiasts will be kept entertained as they travel through the show gardens and floral hall by Beverley Smith on Alto Saxophone and Chris Reynolds on Trumpet.  As well as performing on the event’s band stand, the Vibe will be popping up around the showground keeping visitors entertained with spontaneous performances.

Musical hits from The Barrowband will enthral gardeners and foodies alike. This band’s mission is to change the eating habits of a nation whilst singing and playing the finest set of fruit and veg songs on Earth and beyond. They will be holding interactive performances in the Big Back Garden and will be featured in the bandstand – a guaranteed hit for the children to encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Martin Dare, event organiser, said:

“There will be something for everyone at this year’s Gardening Scotland. People love their gardens for all sorts of reasons, whether that’s for flowers, enjoying food or having an outdoor space to have fun in and enjoy time with friends.

“That’s why Gardening Scotland has it all covered. Our band stand will provide a great source of entertainment throughout the three day event for children and families alike, and once again we guarantee that foodies will have a day filled with gastronomic delights with our jam packed Cookery Theatre agenda and Living Garden exhibition.

“With just over a week to go we are counting down the days and look forward to seeing you there!”

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like tickets to Gardening Scotland

February is here and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. This year, instead of giving a dozen red roses, why not surprise your loved one by treating them to a pair of tickets to Gardening Scotland?

What could be more romantic than giving your heart’s desire the opportunity to see the most beautiful floral fair in the country, taking place at the Royal Highland showground at Ingliston from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th June?

Tickets to Scotland’s biggest and most renowned outdoor living show will give the love in your life the opportunity to learn about growing gorgeous flowers for cut displays as well as access to the best seasonal gardening tips, foody delights and maybe even a champagne afternoon tea.

If roses are on your mind as Valentine’s Day approaches, then perhaps you may also appreciate some tips on how to take care of them at this time of year.

rosa-ena-harkness-While roses may be prominent in February, they do not naturally flower at this time of year. If you are a fan of this full bodied bloom, then winter is the perfect time to order bare-rooted roses to ensure you can get them off to a flying start for summer. There is a huge variety of roses on offer, from floribundas to hybrid tea cultivars, bush varieties and creeping vines. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when caring for them.

Roses are hungry plants, so make sure you add plenty of organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost, to the soil before planting.

Newly-planted roses will need to be kept well-watered when they are trying to establish.

Add rose fertiliser in March or April, at the start of the growing season, and again in June to repeat-flowering varieties.

When flowers are ready, cut them regularly to encourage further growth.


The Gardening Scotland event, which takes place in the grounds of the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh from 3rd-5th June, welcomes a new Chairman to the fold ahead of the 2016 event.

 Jimmy Gilchrist, who runs family business GP Plantscape Ltd, based in Lanark, takes over from longstanding Chairman Donald Wemyss.

Scotland’s national gardening event has long been about gardens and not just gardening, offering ideas and inspiration for anyone who would like to better embrace their outdoor space and not simply those who are already knowledgeable gardeners. However, new Chairman Jimmy Gilchrist is determined that the event continues to evolve for the benefit of a wider audience.

Speaking of his appointment, Jimmy said:

Donald has provided me with a very sound footing and his knowledge and contacts within the sector have developed Gardening Scotland into a superb event.

I am now passionate about pushing the boundaries and maximising opportunities to ensure that everyone feels welcomed into Gardening Scotland and that by providing a day of entertainment, education, information and inspiration, the event can change the way people see their gardens. Gardening Scotland will evolve alongside the needs and demands of the public and hopefully enthuse many more people about their gardens along the way.

Outgoing Chairman, Donald Wemyss, who steps down after 6 years as Chairman and 13 years on the Gardening Scotland Board, said:

During my years at the helm, Gardening Scotland evolved from a pure flower show to an event which promises fun for all the family and I’m proud of how I have contributed to that. I am excited to see Jimmy further develop the show and enhance its appeal to a wider range of age groups, a great diversity of garden user and a wider geography than just Edinburgh.

The synergy we have managed to develop between Gardening Scotland and, for example, the food sector, really demonstrates how the event offers a superb day out for all the family, and the fact that much of the show has now been ‘weather proofed’ also means that whatever the sky throws at us, the show will go on!

I am proud to be handing the Gardening Scotland ship over to Jimmy on an even keel and am excited to see how he further develops the show, particularly given his strong commercial skills.”

Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches 2016 announces its principals

Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches 2016 has officially launched with the introduction of the seven Principals, who will lead the pomp and pageantry of  this historic event.

RoM2016 is one of the most ancient ceremonies in the UK. Although it is thought to date back to the 5th Century, it was first recorded in 1682. But as the first Musselburgh RoM of the 21st Century, this year’s festivities look forward to fresh changes as well as celebrating its rich history.

Now the Town Champion, Turf Cutter, Turf Cutter’s Assistant, two Squires and two Halberdiers have all been chosen, including Fiona Grant-MacDonald, the first ever woman to take a major role in the event, which is held once every 21 years.

All the Principals will take part in the official RoM ceremony, which is the central occasion in a week of celebration. This commemorates the marking of the ancient boundaries of the Burgh, and highlights the unique history and heritage of the Honest Toun of Musselburgh.

The party ride out under the close protection of the armour-clad town champion, and stop at 12 boundary stations around the town to cut a sod of turf and proclaim “it’s a’ oor ain!’

Other Principals are Town Champion Neil Wilson, Turf Cutter Iain Clark, Squiers David Finlayson and Graham Bennet, and Halberdiers Scott Robertson and Alan Williams. All were chosen for their good work in the town.

The ceremonial aspect of the week-long event – which runs between between July 24-30 – also includes a huge procession, a pageant, an exhibition, a civic ball, a concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as various sporting events, and entertainment for young and old. The week will conclude with a spectacular Lumiere at the mouth of the River Esk and a huge fireworks display.

Preparations for RoM2016 began at the end of 2014 with Hogmania, the largest family party in the county at the Brunton Hall, carried on into the next day with the first ever New Year’s Day Loony Dook at Fisherrow Harbour – repeated on 1st January this year. All of the town’s big tournaments and sporting events in 2015 were put on as part of the build-up, and this will continue throughout this year.

Artists from Musselburgh are also making their mark and as street art and yarn bombing are already popping up throughout the town. The highlight of this will be the Riding of the Marches Horse Parade, with ten life-sized model horses decorated mainly by school kids will appear at prominent positions.

(see original article at EventScotland here)