The food old days!

Image Credit Colin Hattersley

PRESS RELEASE: Visitors to Edinburgh are to get a taste of the Capital’s culinary past and present courtesy of a new self-guided trail.

Supported by £7000 from the VisitScotland Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund, the Edinburgh Food Heritage Trail will highlight locations in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site with historical food connections.

From the fully equipped eighteenth century kitchens at The Georgian House in Charlotte Square, to Rose Street, the birthplace of household favourites, McVities biscuits – the trail represents the first time that food and heritage have been linked as a way of promoting Edinburgh to tourists.

Available both online and in leaflet form, the trail map will promote 15 points of interest across the Old and New Towns. From tasty favourites like the Grassmarket and Edinburgh Farmers Market; to delicious hidden gems such as the Dean Village and Queen Mary’s Bath House – a private banqueting house where Mary, Queen of Scots would entertain her guests with a dessert course.

The most recent visitor figures show that in 2013 more than 3.4 million trips were made to Edinburgh, making it the most visited city in Scotland.

It is hoped the project, which sees heritage charities, public institutions, restaurants and a cooking school working in partnership, will help grow the capital’s culinary reputation.

The Edinburgh Food Heritage Trail includes Edinburgh World Heritage, National Trust for Scotland, National Library of Scotland, New Town Cookery School, Ondine’s Restaurant, Essential Edinburgh and Contini Edinburgh.

David Hicks, Communications Manager for Edinburgh World Heritage said: “The food heritage trail offers a completely new angle on the World Heritage Site, highlighting the links between its historic buildings and its food traditions. The aim is to encourage visitors to explore off the beaten track, to discover some of the nook and crannies of the World Heritage Site, and to experience the city’s food traditions on the way. Edinburgh is famous for its historic landmarks, but we hope that this trail will show that the city’s food 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.”

The Year of Food and Drink is a celebration of Scotland’s exceptional natural larder as well as the people, landscapes and culture, which make the country’s food heritage so unique.

The Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund is in addition to the existing VisitScotland Growth Fund, which between 2011 and 2013 awarded over £1 million in match-funding to national, regional and sectoral tourism groups resulting in £2.3m being invested in marketing campaigns, involving more than 2,000 tourism businesses across Scotland.

The Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund supports groups with up to 50 per cent of approved total marketing costs, from a minimum award of £2,500 up to a maximum award of £20,000.

Funding is awarded to marketing campaigns that promote the use of quality Scottish produce and aim to increase visitor satisfaction with the Scottish food and drink offering.

For more information on the Year of Food and Drink please visit

Image Credit: Colin Hattersley

Notes to Editors:
* Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
* VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
* According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
* For Scotland go to

Year of Food and Drink 2015

* 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
* Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
* A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat.
* For more information, visit

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