A party of French notaires (notaries) recently visited Winton Castle for their celebratory gala dinner. The special event was planned through France Angleterre, who has been organising original corporate incentive events in the UK for French businesses since 1989.
They chose Winton Castle “to be able to share the life of a lived-in castle, just for one evening,” says Claude Garnier-Brown from France Angleterre. “Winton’s proximity to Edinburgh city centre while being in the countryside was a big advantage.
“The guests were a group of thirty-seven French notaires [lawyers and public officers]. These visitors organise an annual get-together to catch up with each other and wanted to experience life in a real Scottish castle.”
The guests chose a Scottish-themed menu and were very keen to taste haggis. They were treated to a theatrical Address to the Haggis by The Pickled Piper, before enjoying their gala dinner with:
- Hot smoked salmon roulade, lemon mayonnaise, quails’ eggs, caper berry, pickled shallots, chervil and melba toast.
- Roast venison haunch with red cabbage purée, roast celeriac, wild mushrooms and confit potato.
- Chocolate truffle mousse cup with toasted oat crumble.
“The evening at Winton was the highlight of the whole trip, and took place just before going home to France,” continues Claude Garnier-Brown.
“The evening flowed very well thanks to the warm welcome we received and the immaculate service.
“They were made to feel at home, and indeed, they did settle in very quickly (maybe too quickly!). All in all, they loved it.”
“The notaires thoroughly enjoyed the Address to the Haggis and some asked for seconds of haggis. Others were not so adventurous!
“Despite being an impressive Scottish Renaissance castle with masterpieces on the walls, Winton is a very homely and cosy place. The rooms are not stuffy and very much alive with the Ogilvy family’s memorabilia.
“You can easily imagine yourself living in the castle. Visitors sense Winton’s rich past and after spending the evening there, you feel that you are adding a little bit to its history.”