Since Sleek Events launched in 2014, we’ve been searching for the best locations for business and social events. Our team spend at least 30 days a year visiting and testing out venues and suppliers so that when a client asks us to fulfil their needs, we know exactly what their experience will be from the event we create.
Our blog will review some of the locations we’ve visited and suppliers where we’ve tasted and tested. We have to start somewhere and where better than Edinburgh during Whisky Month?
A taste of the future and historical sites to keep you busy for a year
Whether you are looking for a conference venue for 2,000 or an intimate birthday party for 10, Edinburgh has options galore. Our Events Executive, Erin Corrigan, spent three full-on days scouting out the best that Edinburgh has to offer and only just scratched the surface.
Big venues with big personality
Set in over 150 acres of rolling parkland only twelve miles from the centre of Edinburgh and 15 minutes from the airport, Hopetoun House is an incredible estate that offers flexibility. They can cater for up to 2,000 in their luxurious marquee in the grounds of this Georgian stately home and so, whilst their options for smaller dinners and balls inside this beautiful building are tempting, Erin thought that Hopetoun would be sensational for outdoor events in the Summer.
Slick business conferences should consider the venue with the largest lecture theatre in the city, Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre. Not only is it the best in Edinburgh but it also won Best Conference Venue for over 900 Delegates at the 7th annual Conference Awards beating competition from some of the world’s top venues including the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and ExCeL London.
Time to relax
Erin stayed at Kinross House during her stay in Edinburgh. This beautiful house has a spa in the coach house which is open to the public as well as overnight guests. With just 14 en-suite, four poster bedrooms in the main house, this venue is ideal for a luxurious spa break where you’re unlikely to come across the manic hen parties that adorn many public spas.
Kinross used Hickory Food for catering the dinner and Erin couldn’t fault the menu which used the finest seasonal Scottish ingredients and included some great vegetarian choices. With views of Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned, this stunning location also employs some of the most attentive and friendly staff we have ever had the pleasure of meeting – definitely one for the Sleek Events Book of Favourites.
But the spa experience didn’t stop at Kinross, we had a lunch date with the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa which overlooks Edinburgh Castle. The location is remarkable and ideal for those looking for a city break with all the trimmings. Their award-winning spa can soothe you after a day of sight-seeing while their restaurant and bar, One Square, can refuel you with a tasty range of British classics – and you’ll need a hearty meal if you want to try some of the 50 varieties of gin they stock!
Something a bit different
The Royal Yacht Britannia is open to the public but can be booked in the evening for private dinner or drinks parties. If you’re a fan of the Royal Family or you’re thinking of holding a regally-themed soiree, then this is the one for you.
If you want to get your guests talking then Erin recommends inspiring them with a drinks reception at the National Portrait Gallery. This unique setting brings together art and architecture and cannot fail to provoke lively discussion.
Don’t forget May is Whisky Month!
Whilst the Highlands are considered the home of whisky production, Edinburgh is a hub of whisky activity and never more so than during Whisky Month. ‘Aqua Vitae’ meaning ‘Water of Life’ was the ancient name for whisky, distilled as a medicine and the earliest record of distillation in Scotland was in 1494, as documented in the Exchequer Rolls, which were records of royal income and expenditure.
Set up in 1987 to educate visitors to Edinburgh about the joys of Scotch whisky, the Scotch Whisky Experience is still going strong, and is now home to the world’s largest private collection of Scotch whisky, which has been called one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Scotch whisky world’. It is held in a glittering vault that can be viewed as part of the attraction’s whisky tasting experiences. Erin had dinner at this five-star visitor attraction at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. A three-course dinner with two whisky tastings is ideal for the beginner but you can choose to join them for a day in their Scotch Whisky Training School or step into the shoes of a Master Blender, create your own whisky and take a bottle home.
Edinburgh, we’ll be back for another taste soon!