A venue for gatherings of the political elite and the Royal Court in the seventeenth century, Winton House was delighted to be hosting a dinner for Scotland’s recently elected MSPs. Amongst them were David McLetchie (former leader of Scottish Conservatives), Nicol Stephen (Leader of Liberal Democrats), Adam Ingram (Minister for Children and Early Years), Rhona Brankin MSP (Party Spokesperson on Rural Development), Tavish Scott MSP (currently Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee) and Tom McCabe MSP (former Cabinet Minister for Finance and Public Services).
The event was organised through the East Lothian Golf and Tourism Alliance, and followed a charity game of golf at Craigielaw Golf Course in which the MSPs defeated the team of journalists on the last hole. Donations from GNER and Royal Mail meant that £2000 was raised for both Columba’s Hospice and Cragielaw Golf Trust.
Sir Francis Ogilvy, the managing trustee for Winton Estate, welcomed the guests with a short speech about Winton:
“We provide hospitality which is focused around business and recreational tourism. This includes public bodies and institutions such as we have tonight, as well as private companies, often to plan strategies away from other distractions, or to entertain and party. Winton House is also used for private parties and weddings, and we have two 4 and 5 star self-catering farmhouses.
“The production on Winton Estate principally involves farming and forestry. We grow arable crops and rear livestock, some of which is processed as Winton Beef or Lamb and served at Winton House functions. Our forestry now covers over 850 acres which includes 100 acres planted last year. The carbon offset of this area of woodland and the farmland around it is likely to be in the region of around 2500 tonnes of carbon per year. This can be compared with carbon waste from 250 average households. We are creating jobs in the countryside and understand that we are the only place in Scotland where we are growing timber and harvesting for wood-fuel. We were one of the first to install a wood-fuelled district heating system and have visions of extending this further.”
Over the centuries, the owners of Winton have played some important roles in Scotland’s history. The Ogilvys, ancestors of the current owners of Winton, were responsible for saving Scotland’s Honours, the Scottish crown jewels, from Cromwell at Dunottar Castle, and the Earl of Winton, part of the powerful Seton family, was locked up in the Tower of London for supporting the Jacobites in 1715.
Winton House was designed for entertaining royalty. After being burnt down under Henry VIII’s instructions, Winton House was rebuilt in the style of a Scottish Renaissance palace with carved twisted chimneys and intricate plaster ceilings. Appropriately given today’s political currents, the plasterwork in the King Charles Room represents the unification of the crowns under James I and VI with the symbols of the four countries of Britain as well as France.
There is a strong East Lothian theme at Winton where most of the employees live in the local community. Traditional country house dishes are prepared by our award-winning local chefs using local, East Lothian ingredients such as Winton beef, game birds, venison, chicken, lamb, fruit and vegetables, hand-baked organic bread and Belhaven trout. Meals at Winton House are washed down with mouth-watering wines, Belhaven beers, Glenkinchie malts, Brammle liqueurs and rich coffees and teas from Brodie’s of Musselburgh. Even Winton’s pipers, bands and Clarsach players are local.
Sir Francis Ogilvy concludes:
“Clients always comment on the relaxed and informal ambience at Winton House; the grand surroundings, remarkable ceilings and the masterpieces hanging on the walls next to them. Visitors are our house guests, and they have the House to themselves – you could say that we offer old-fashioned hospitality with modern informality. We always aim to inject some fun and humour into their experiences here; I want people to be inspired by their visits and take away more than just a memory.”
Background for Editors
Winton House is a stunning venue hidden in the heart of East Lothian countryside, only half an hour from the centre of Edinburgh. Winton is perfect for meetings, seminars, dinners and activities. Winner of World Travel Awards in 2005 and 2006 for its exceptional customer care, Winton’s corporate guests have included Barclays, ING, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, Tescos Personal Finance, G4 Security, BBC Worldwide, Cisco Systems, Hartford Life, Fuji, Citrix Systems Benelux, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, Scottish Widows, Toyota, PGA of America, and blue chip companies from France, Spain and Sweden.
Winton House’s layout with inter-connecting halls, drawing room, King Charles room, Cabinet Room and dining room means that it caters well for intimate corporate dinners and business lunches for up to 72 people, as well as for bigger dinners of up to 200.
For more information, please contact our Events and Marketing Manager, at Winton House on 01875 340222, 07867 802730 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, contact Christopher Lamotte on 01620 829926 or 07957 870071.