Artistic Licence: Still Life paintings by Ian Mastin present a banquet of fruit, cheese, brandy and wine with classic style.
This most inspiring exhibition of Still Life paintings opened on Saturday 3rd April, 2021 at “Art on Cairncross”, Maleny, Queensland, Australia.
The good news is that the artwork is also now available as an online exhibition in the UK, through select galleries such as The Torrance Gallery, Ian Mastin’s exclusive agent in Edinburgh.
“The concept of a physical exhibition in Australia accompanied simultaneously by the same exhibition online in the UK was not something I’d ever have considered pre-COVID – an experimental endeavour.”
Ian Mastin was born in England before his family later emigrated to Australia. With no formal training, he enjoyed sketching for recreation, and when living in Scotland for over a decade, he began to study artistic technique and styles, and is now a full time, professional artist, based in Queensland.
Known in French as Nature Morte, Still Life paintings are a stylised arrangement of objects on a table, such as fruit, flowers, glassware and textiles.
It really is extraordinary to compare Mastin’s exceptional natural talent and skill with the 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish Masters. Their subjects ranged from flowers, human skulls and candles to depict Memento Mori, the fleeting nature of life, to simple breakfast dishes and lavish Baroque displays of fruit, wine goblets and books to illustrate culture and wealth.
A superb example is ‘Still Life with Cheese’ by Floris van Dyck, an elaborate feast of grapes, apples, nuts and wine.
From this Golden Age, fast forward to see how these domestic scenes were modelled and modernised by such Impressionist artists as Cezanne, Gauguin, Manet, Van Gogh and Valadon.
“Bring a brioche, I want to see you paint one: Still Life is the touchstone of painting.” Edouard Manet.
Paul Cezanne seemed to be fascinated by orchard fruits especially apples of all shapes and sizes which were the star subject for numerous paintings.
” I am captivated by the deep roots of the past .. the relationship between inanimate objects and our origins .. a simple relic of some antiquity immediately stirs within a hunger to connect with its provenance.”
Let’s take a look around the ‘Artistic Licence’ exhibition of contemporary Still Life acrylic paintings:
Bread, Wine and Cheese
You could be forgiven for assuming this softly lit composition was painted around 1620 …..not 2020. Here the dark varnished, cracked old wooden table is set for a meal: the delicately, draped fold of a linen napkin, the glistening glass of white wine, a scatter of crumbly cheese and crusty bread, all finely crafted with such intimate precision.
Still Life with Pears and Grapes
It may appear a more simplified display, but this has exceptional photographic quality. Look at the surface of the splintered table, the purple-black skin of the grapes with sharp stalks and shapely pears with tiny nicks in the skin. All so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Spoilt for Choice
Following the recurring theme of Paul Cezanne, here too is a fine collection of crisp, shiny, polished apples – perhaps Gala, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Pink Lady et al. – in contrast to the gnarled timber grains of the table.
“I always love painting fruits and never tire of the subtleties and richness of their colours and textures. I’m also drawn to the bonhomie evoked by images of good wine and food. I never need much encouraging to go searching for a succulent cheese to complement a classic burgundy – used purely for artistic purposes, needless to say.”
Moulin des Carruades 1977
A meticulously detailed and most appetising Study of wine, bread and cheese as similarly depicted by the Dutch Masters. You could view this for hours and still find hidden facets in the tactile textures. First the dusty sheen on this vintage wine bottle, as if just retrieved from the cellar, the ripe, melting Camembert in greaseproof paper with freshly baked bread. Note too, the hinged metal lock on this antique chest.
Moulin Des Carruades from Domaine Barons de Rothschild: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – “Rich fruit, blackcurrant, tobacco, cedar, oak, well-balanced.”
Chateau d’Angluet Margaux
The wine estate, Château Angludet has belonged to the Sichel family for six generations so this represents a real sense of heritage: the dark green bottle with its intricately sketched label and the reflection of glinting sunlight. Uncorked, it’s ready to serve with grapes and slice of cheese. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, & Petit Verdot, this vintage 2006 Bordeaux is described as deep red with black tints, ripe and elegant.
Age Before Beauty
This may certainly appeal to those in Scotland and worldwide who relish a dram of these fine Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from the Speyside and Highland regions. The fisherman’s rod and basket create a dramatic setting, to illustrate a day out on the River Dee, Aberdeenshire or, indeed, Baroon Pocket Dam, Queensland. Slainte Mhath!
Still Life paintings provided the best opportunity for the pioneering 16th century artists to show off their painterly skills.
With artistic licence and photo-realism accuracy, as a modern master of the genre, Ian Mastin demonstrates such delicate beauty and classic style in these exquisite compositions. Whether a bowl of cherries, a carafe of port or a pile of antiquarian books, this is an artist with a dedicated passion for perfecting this iconic, timeless tradition.
Artistic Licence – a showcase of Still Life paintings by Ian Mastin
3 – 25th April, 2021
Maleny, Queensland: ‘Art on Cairncross’ – if you live locally, visit the gallery.
Edinburgh: available online at The Torrance Gallery
View the exhibition here:
Prices include P&P, insurance, tracked shipping and UK customs duty.
Browse the E-catalogue:
The Beautiful Planet Store @ the Biscuit Factory: local, ethical food, drink and home essentials for a zero waste, Brave New World.
“In a world that is rightly concerned about climate change and the atmosphere, to be so neglectful of our oceans is deeply troubling. Having woken up to this living disaster… it’s not too late to turn things around.”
Pawel Ferguson, The Beautiful Planet Company Scotland
The former 1940s Crawford’s Bakery just off Bonnington Road, Edinburgh has been transformed in recent years into the aptly named Biscuit Factory, a multi-functional Events venue and community hub for arts, lifestyle, food, drink and Edinburgh Gin businesses.
The concept is reminiscent of the historic manufacturing districts of downtown NYC, now transformed into fashionable galleries and nightclubs. The pioneering spirit behind this was perhaps Andy Warhol’s Factory, 231 E. 47th St. on the fourth floor of the 1887 Cold Storage Warehouse, the studio for the creation of his iconic Pop Art from Marilyn to Campbell’s Soup.
In similar vein, just launched on 27 March 2021, in a large warehouse space at the Biscuit Factory, is the innovative Beautiful Planet Store: quality food, drink and household essentials, based on a policy of less-waste – if not zero-waste, sustainable, ethical products.
According to the Vegetarian Cities Index 2021, Edinburgh has the most vegetarian-friendly restaurants per population in the world, (followed by Munich and Ubud), based on affordability and availability, the price of fruit, vegetables and plant-based protein foods; take-away/home-delivery, (especially when restaurants were closed during the pandemic lockdown); Events and Festivals. (Link to Survey below*)
Pawel Ferguson follows a Vegan diet and is a keen cook, with a background in the hospitality and retail industries. In collaboration and with great encouragement from his partner Peter Ferguson, The Beautiful Planet Store is a plastic and package-free, eco-friendly environment, with imaginative, entrepreneurial vision.
The attractive layout retains the shabby chic, industrial heritage with quirky style. Around the walls and island centre are long wooden tables made from old scaffolding planks. Instead of bright strip lighting from the high ceiling, strings of small, energy-saving bulbs are looped between the pillars.
Pawel and Peter work with local, Scottish and independent suppliers and producers to source all your favourite essential ingredients for the store cupboard – organic vegan/vegetarian food and drink for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Let’s take a look around this enticing Store with its rows of huge glass jars and giant containers filled with flours, rice, gluten free Porridge oats, Muesli, nuts, seeds, colourful fragrant spices, as well as beans and pulses for cook up delicious soups, stews and curries.
As you will see in these images, everything is clearly labelled, handwritten in chalk with calligraphic artistry.
Purchase here or bring your own containers and bottles for grains, cereals and oils etc. and fill a traditional brown paper bag with nuts, seeds and Brazilian coffee beans.
Santu coffee is actually roasted next door to the Beautiful Planet Store at the Biscuit Factory. All coffees are from Espirito Santo, Brazil, a mountainous region of protected Atlantic Forest, making it the most biodiverse place on earth. Having sampled Santu freshly ground coffee, it has a strong aroma with a mellow, smoky flavour.
A range of quality loose leaf and tea bags from the renowned Edinburgh company, Eteaket and also healthy drinks, organic soya, fruit juices and cordials. Snacks too with a range of nuts and Just Crisps – Sea Salted Parsnip and Potato crisps, have a delicious, natural flavour – made by an independent farmer.
On open days at the Store, there might be Pear & Ginger Scones, Chocolate brownies, or other cakes on offer freshly baked by Pawel. A selection of organic chocolate and vegan sweets available too.
Stock up the bathroom with floral scented handmade soaps and cosmetics from Deeside Lavender, Aberdeenshire and for the kitchen, Bio Laundry liquids which are both kind to your clothes and the planet.
Your doggy friends are also looked after with Pawel’s home-made, nutritious ‘Peanut butter and Sweet potato’ bone- shaped biscuits. Chewable toys too – Terry the Turnip has a suede covering filled with natural jute fibres, which is tough and long lasting. Shoppers can bring their dog to the store and leave in a cordoned off den, rather than leave, tied up, outside the Biscuit Factory.
“We have not reinvented the wheel – just offer our own approach and style on the supply of zero waste shopping – online, by delivery or collection. Beautiful Planet offers a happy and welcoming shop and we cannot wait to meet all our customers.”
The philosophy behind this truly inspirational Store is all about creating a genuine artisan, rustic and Indy business, focussed on an eco-friendly, healthy lifestyle and protecting our beautiful, natural world.
David Attenborough would, no doubt, be most impressed!
The Beautiful Planet Company Scotland,
Biscuit Factory, 4-6 Anderson Place, Edinburgh, EH6 5NP
Order on line for next day home delivery: Monday to Saturday – Farr Out Cargo Bicycles (radius, 5 km).
Farr Out Deliveries, Edinburgh, supports ethical local businesses and individuals to provide a responsible, sustainable bicycle courier service for the local community.
Click & Collect and Walk In shoppers: Store Opening Hours: Monday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm
Photographs illustrating the Beautiful Planet Store by Fiona Dawson and Marta Zdrójkowska
*The Vegetarian City Index 2021:
Summertime at the Biscuit Factory
When hospitality venues can open up again soon, The Biscuit Factory will welcome visitors to a pop up café called the Biscuit Box serving goods made inhouse including Santu Coffee and The Bearded Baker, with cakes from Mrs Macs Bakery, Linlithgow. Cocktails and pop up street food outside, sharing platters and Gin garden from the Old Poison Bar – everything on offer produced within the community.
Enjoy a leisurely drink and good food at the Biscuit Factory – then visit the Beautiful Planet Store too!.
C’est Le Printemps – Bienvenue FFF @Home 2021: a season of six French films for the perfect cultural night in.
The French Film Festival UK is the only festival dedicated to French and Francophone cinema. The 28th FFF 2020 was all due to set off again on a tour of 28 independent Art House cinemas from Aberdeen to Plymouth but unfortunately in early November, a second lockdown was announced. With cinemas suddenly closed, FFF@home was an innovative venture to view a small selection of movies on line with great success.
As a special Springtime treat, the FFF has launched another season of FFF@home, featuring exclusive online screenings of six films available to view over three weekends this month.
Richard Mowe, director and co-founder of the Festival, said: “We wanted to make sure that audiences did not miss out on some of the most anticipated films of the Festival due to the Covid disruption … and now they’re available to view online as part of the extended Festival. Bon film!”
Following the recent Golden Globes and the shortlist for the Academy Awards – the 93rd Oscars – announced on the 15,th March is movie month indeed. This online mini FFF is launched most appropriately on 12 March – the date when the French film industry celebrates the best new films, actor and creative achievements at the César awards.
Tickets to access your FFF@home cinema are available to purchase in advance – full details below. There’s an extra bonus too with subtitled conversations with the directors for a virtual FFF experience. All films are in French with English subtitles and available for 48 hours from the screening date and time listed in the schedule.
As an enticing taster, here is a snapshot of the French movies on offer across wartime drama, crime thrillers, comedy and romance.
Friday 12th March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
LOVE AFFAIR(S) (Les Choses qu’on dit, les choses qu’on fait)
Official Selection at Cannes 2020 and Best Film nomination, Césars 2021.
The French title is translated as “The Things We Say, the Things We Do,” and is a classic romantic tale of two strangers thrown together by chance, set against the lush green French countryside. Exploring their notions of what real love is, the chemistry between Daphne and Maxime covers a rich tapestry of emotion. Directed by Emmanuel Mouret, the film has been described as “a more serious “Love Actually” pitching between the sexy and the silly, the philosophical and farcical.”
Saturday 13th March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
Directed by Anne Fontaine and based on a novel by Hugo Boris, Night Shift focuses on three Parisian police officers charged with escorting a foreigner to Charles de Gaulle airport to be sent back to his homeland. “Am I a good cop or not?” the moody, gritty narrative, told from different points of view, explores the line between professional duty, personal conscience and moral values. A highly dynamic and stylised blend of realism and impressionism. Nightshift was premiered at the Berlinale Special Gala, 2020.
Friday 19 March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
HOMEFRONT (Des Hommes)
Officially selected for Cannes 2020 and for Deauville Film Festival 2021
In 1960, Bernard, Rabut, Février were called up to fight in the Algerian War, and returned two years later to France. Fast forward a few decades to a birthday party, when an incident triggers memories for the veterans who have kept silent about what they saw, felt and endured. Directed by Lucas Belvaux, the different voices and perspectives are artfully intertwined as the men confront the past and how the traumatic African experience shaped their lives. “It’s a film about the wounds of war rather than the war itself.”
Saturday 20th March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
MAMA WEED (La Daronne)
Set in Paris, this comedy caper stars Isabelle Huppert as Patience Portefeux, a French-Arabic interpreter working for the anti-narcotics Police squad, when she unwittingly becomes involved in the drug trafficking world. “Huppert is a chameleon of an actress and the transformation from world-weary translator to drug kingpin is remarkable, donning a leopard-print hijab, gold chain and massive shades. Her whimsical, light-hearted performance gives Patience an irresistible charm”. Mama Weed is directed by Jean-Paul Salomé.
Friday 26 March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
THE TRANSLATORS (Les Traducteurs)
Directed and co-written by Régis Roinsard, this is an ingenious literary Agatha Christie-style whodunit in which a multi-lingual group of translators are all suspected of stealing a future best seller. This is the upcoming release of the final book in the Daedalus trilogy, which has been a global sensation. “The script is filled with twists, red herrings, false clues. Roisnard’s meticulous sense of craft and you get an altogether slick package. A thrilling ride which will satisfy audiences who appreciate a good bookish mystery.”
Saturday 27 March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
IN BED WITH VICTORIA (Victoria)
In this stylish Parisian Romcom, directed by Justine Triet, Victoria is a thirty-something, divorced, single mother, juggling her work as a criminal lawyer, family life and trying to find love again. At a rather drink-fuelled wedding, she meets an old friend Vincent, who is soon charged with attempted murder, and also bumps into a former client, Sam, a drug dealer. “ An amusing watch, this has freshness and naturalism .. with just enough kookiness to set itself apart from the pack.”
This latest FFF@home season is presented in partnership with the new platform INDY On Demand powered by Shift72 and films can be viewed on all browsers and devices.
You can purchase each film separately with tickets priced at £8 or the Festival Pass gives access to all six films for £40. There are concessions for 16-25s. Films are available for 48 hours from the release date and time of the screening. Once you have bought your ticket and pressed PLAY, you have 48 hours to watch the film as many times as you like!.
Just like in a cinema, space is limited so make sure you book tickets in advance to ensure of the best seat in the house. Then time to make a large tub of popcorn and settle down to enjoy FFF@home.
Browse all movie info, watch trailers and book your tickets here:
Fenton Tower, North Berwick – this ancient Scottish Castle is a unique, magical hideaway with all luxury, homely comforts
Located a forty minute drive from Edinburgh, near the seaside town of North Berwick, Fenton Tower is a hidden, historical gem of a property. Constructed around 1560, this Medieval Tower house was once a place of refuge for King James VI of Scotland, and later destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. It became a derelict ruin for 350 years until it was tastefully and imaginatively renovated into a 5 star property in 2002.
This is an authentic Scottish castle but far from being cold and draughty, expect a warm welcome from the House Manager, his staff ….and a roaring log fire. Within the ancient stone walls, Fenton Tower has been transformed into a graceful country house, where everything is perfectly polished from the tableware to hospitality: this is a luxuriously relaxing home-from-home for the perfect escape, family celebrations, golf and sporting trips.
The owners of Fenton Tower – Ian Simpson, whose family have farmed the surrounding estate since 1900s, and his friend John Macaskill – shared a passion to embark on a four-year project to resurrect this A listed historic monument.
As Historic Scotland stipulated the preservation of the existing structure, they sourced the original quarry stone to renovate the staircase and purchased suits of Armour, Clan heraldry, fine art and furnishings for an authentic period setting.
This is an exclusive-use property suitable for family getaways, romantic retreats, birthdays, weddings, golfing trips, country sports, or a leisure and cultural break to explore the countryside and coastline of East Lothian and the city of Edinburgh.
At the centre of the Tower is the marvellous oak beamed Great Hall features a huge original Hearth, antiques, armour, old portraits, artwork and tapestries as well as contemporary sink-into sofas piled with cushions, a blend of classic style and all modern comfort.
The overall aim here is for relaxation with the adjacent cosy Library (books, games, TV), and help yourself to a drink – the local NB Gin, sherry or whisky – from the Butler’s Pantry.
Two spiral carpeted staircases lead up to the seven bedrooms, each themed and named after Scottish families associated with the Tower – Stewart, Erskine, Carmichael etc. with a clan plaque on the door.
Each is distinctively designed with Four Poster, Half Tester and Italian silver framed beds, tastefully decorated with vintage European furniture: Armoire wardrobes, armchairs, writing desks, dressing tables, white bedlinen, flowered bedspreads and curtains.
Large, lavish bathrooms boast clawfoot, canopied or copper tubs and separate showers. The Stewart suite has French double basins, a huge clawfoot tub (a warning states that it fills up in just 3 minutes!), fluffy towels, Penhaligon toiletries, cream satin-edged bathrobes.
A modern Lodge in the grounds – charmingly furnished in tweeds and artistic colour scheme – has two double bedrooms, kitchen and lounge offering extra accommodation for guests.
Fenton Tower offers the true experience of a traditional, personally-tailored, house party, fully catered with menus prepared and served by the professional team.
This is the chance to dress up elegantly for the evening, starting with a G&T, champagne or cocktails in the Great Hall before a grand, candle-lit dinner in the stone arched Dining Room.
This period theatrical setting with fine china, silver and glassware, brings to mind a blend of Agatha Christie and Downton Abbey lifestyle – so glamorously romantic!.
Indulge in a feast of Scottish cuisine: fresh lobster and crab from North Berwick, Belhaven smoked fish, prime beef, seasonal venison and pheasant from Fenton Tower’s own Shooting estate. End the evening back in the Grand Hall for a dram of Whisky as a warming nightcap.
Breakfast is also traditionally served with a cold Buffet laid out on sideboard – fresh fruit, prunes, apricots, yogurt, cereals, warm croissants and muffins with home made jams, strong hot coffee – Steam Punk, specially roasted for Fenton Tower. A selection of hot dishes is made to order such as Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, Kedgeree and omelettes. As at dinner, you can be assured of quality produce and personal service.
Family parties, Christmas celebrations and summer holidays would be ideal here with children welcome – this was the film set for Archie’s Castle in the TV series Balamory and there are 350 acres of private grounds for outdoor adventures. Visit the Museum of Flight to see the Concorde aircraft, beach walks galore, horse-riding and boat trips to the bird sanctuary on the Bass Rock.
For sports enthusiasts, there are 15 golf courses within 10 miles of Fenton Tower, including Gullane, North Berwick and the famous Championship course, Muirfield. In the Tower, a collection of photos of famous Scottish golfers including the legendary Tom Morris, is displayed in the old wood panelled Washroom complete with a traditional Thunderbox Loo.
Guests can also arrange to visit Fenton Brunt Estate for pheasant and partridge shooting or go fly fishing in rivers and lochs.
Surrounded by an authentic sense of Scottish royalty and clan history, indulge in luxurious, cosy comfort and personalised service – guests are truly spoiled. Vintage styled bedrooms, exemplary cuisine and Great Hall with roaring log fire, all create the perfect ambience of a grand country house.
Whatever the occasion, the opportunity to stay in your own private wee Scottish Castle is simply a magical, memorable and unique experience.
What other guests say:
A family celebration – loved every minute, we all want to do it all again, I can’t thank Alan and his team enough for making this stay so memorable.
We promised the grandchildren a weekend in a Scottish castle – wonderful!.
The Tower itself is stunning and cosy whilst the hospitality was spot on.
Fenton Tower was named the National Exclusive Use Venue of the Year at the Scottish Hotel Awards, 2020.
Fenton Tower: Sleeps 13 | 7 Bedrooms | Dogs Welcome. From £185 per person per night, based on a minimum of 10 guests on an exclusive use basis with breakfast. Minimum two-night stay.
A self-catering rate during low and mid-season will be considered on request.
To book, visit www.crabtreeandcrabtree.com or call 01573 226711
The World Atlas of Beer (3rd Edition) by Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont – a pub crawl around the planet with two expert drinkers.
This beautifully illustrated guide sweeps through the fascinating heritage, culture and creativity of brewing over the centuries to the most exciting and exemplary new brands of ales and beers today. Travel around the six continents from Czech Republic to China, Mexico to Mauritius, UK to USA on an exuberant, thirst- quenching road trip.
First published in 2012, the third edition has been completely revised and updated by the co-authors, Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont. Beautifully designed with world map of chapters to browse through at leisure.
Beer is, they say, “the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage” made from fermented, boiled grain, hops, and the finely crafted creation of flavour: “citrus, dried fruits, herbal, floral, toffee, spicy, earthy, vanilla, chocolate and old bookshops … beer is not simple.”
The four largest brewing companies are based in Belgium, Netherlands, China and Denmark, producing the best-selling brands. This book however explores the growth of independent, Craft breweries offering distinctive taste and local character.
The origins of beer dating back to 9000BC in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and then the Egyptians who used barley, followed by the Celts who brewed with barley, wheat and oats, from 2000 BC.
In the 7th century hops were added as a preservative and the French chemist, Dr. Louis Pasteur discovered in the mid 19th century that yeast was key to the fermentation process. Learn all about the history and heritage from grain to glass, with diverse international techniques.
Stephen and Tim have selected their favourite bars worldwide, including the charming old pub, The Bow Bar, Edinburgh, Oliver Twist, Stockholm, ‘t, Brugs Beertje, Bruges, Frango, Sao Paulo and Toronado, San Francisco.
The British Beer industry is a fascinating story such as strong, dark Porter, so named as it was popular with stevedore dockworkers, and the export of special pale ale to India, is the original IPA. The entrepreneurial brewer, Samuel Allsopp developed refined IPA for the UK and Empire as well as draught Bitter with great success.
Scotland is renowned for innovation and quality – Traquair House in the Scottish Borders opened the world’s first modern craft brewery in 1965, while Fyne Ales and Tempest are two new award winning companies, leading the way.
Other recommended British brands include Burning Sky, Buxton, Beavertown, and Red Rock wheat beers from Devon. Vintage breweries include St. Austell and Timothy Taylor.
Think of Ireland, think of Guinness, the dark, dry, creamy stout, first produced by Arthur Guinness, Dublin in 1759, one of the most successful alcohol brands worldwide. But there are around 75 small independent, craft breweries vying for attention.
In 2016, Belgian Beer culture was given Unesco Heritage protection status given its global importance. Why? “Striking, expressive beer (with) poise and balance.”
Medieval Abbeys have historically made beer and there are still six Trappist breweries with all profits benefitting the community. Beer-themed tourism is a big business with visitors travelling by train, tram or bike to breweries, bars and Festivals galore.
In the Netherlands, Heineken, is the market leader for industrial lager, as well as around new 700 companies striving to create a distinctive Dutch style beer – names to check out: Walhalla and Oersoep.
France is slowly developing a beer scene with small craft breweries experimenting with spelt and buckwheat. This 1920s advert tried to encourage French wine lovers to drink Bieres Francaises.
Copenhagen, Denmark – Jacobsen and Hansen founded the Carlsberg Brewery in 1847, stating that “Whoever possesses the complete understanding of chemistry will be Europe’s leading brewer in the next generation.” Modern breweries are “outrageously experimental” such as Warpigs and Baghaven.
Germany is a leading grower of hops and the majority of its beer is sold to the home market, e.g. Bavarian blond. Pils, Black and Bock beers. Festivals in September and October.
If you have visited Prague, it may be no surprise to know that the Czechs are “the most dedicated beer drinkers”. Bohemia offers welcoming brewpubs, hotels and restaurants – Zkikov brewery is located within a lakeside, medieval Castle.
A century after Prohibition, the USA has gradually developed its beer industry with 8,000 breweries in 50 states. West Coast is famous for “boldly hoppy, citrusy India Pale Ale.” Washington is on the map for its lively beer scene, new breweries, DC Brau and Red Bear, exciting bar diners and taverns, and in Chicago you can follow the beer trail to taprooms on a Train Crawl. The Great American Beer Festival founded in Denver represents the largest collection of U.S. breweries and beers for a public tasting event as well as a competition, to celebrate the American craft brewing industry. Attracting around 800 breweries and 60,000 visitors, this year’s Festival runs from 7 – 9 October, 2021.
The laid-back Caribbean islands need refreshing cold beers to sip in the sun: Jamaica, Red Stripe, Bahamas, Pirate Republic, Trinidad and Tobago,Tommy’s Brewing, (perfect with a Bake & Shark wrap).
In Canada, Belgian-styled ales are a tradition of French-speaking Quebec and Montreal, with influential breweries, Le Cheval Blanc and Unibroue – strong, dark beers and the award winning La Fin du Monde. Mexico best known for Corona and Cerveza has 1,000 small, independent breweries, with an imaginative use of Tequila barrels and blue Agave hearts as in ingredient in Fiesta Latina.
Brazil is a huge beer drinking nation and Brewing schools have created enthusiastic graduates with technical knowledge to develop modern craft breweries. Amazonian wood barrels and using Tropical fruits has created such beers as a tart, fresh tasting Catharina Sour. Ecuador can boast the first brewery in the Americas, at the Convent of San Francisco, Quito founded 1566 and operating for four centuries. Today, there is a boom in beer making such as Cerveza Santa Rosa producing quality Sours and the 8% ABV Love Bird.
Mention Australia and you think of Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX. Little Creatures began the trend for Indie Beer which has expanded substantially with Stone & Wood launched in 2008 at Byron Bay. Pacific Ale is a flyaway success, “An iconic brew, influential, internationally respected and enjoyable.”
Sail across the Pacific to Rarotonga, where you can sample Cook Islands lager, (Rarotonga brewery), or a pilsner, pale ale and an IPA from Matutu brewing.
The first Japanese-owned Beer Brewery was founded by Syozaburo Shibutani in 1872, in Osaka. For 2,000 years Sake, known as rice wine, has actually been brewed using the same method as beer, but it’s not so popular with the Millennials. Tokyo is now a city of beer bars serving Pilsners, Grape ale, & Hitachino Nest Classic Ale using Sake barrels.
China keeps most of its beer for the locals with just Tsingtao as a key export. Snow, the world’s best selling beer almost unknown globally. San Miguel is the famous brand of the Philippines, with a few new companies, such as Turning Wheels Brewpub, Cebu City.
As an import during the British Raj, India Pale Ale was never produced there, and since 1947 there has been little demand for beer or alcohol with high taxation and strict licencing laws. Craft breweries to check out: Toit, Bangalore, Arbor, Goa and Doolally, Pune.
Sri Lanka is famed for Tea, but a Belgian, Auguste de Bavay, began brewing here in 1881, later developed as the Ceylon Brewing in 1911; today the company name is Lion, renowned for its Lager and Stout, as part of a 125 year tradition.
The scenic Winelands and Dutch industrial brewers take centre stage in South Africa with small progress for small scale beer makers – Mountain Brewing, Western Cape produces a distinctive range and also Banana Jam, Cape Town. Great story behind Red Island brewing in Madagascar, where a group of American, British and Australian Ex-pats are experimenting with recipes using the island’s home grown vanilla.
Just a dot in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has two breweries, Flying Dodo with its own Lambic café-bar-shop, in Port Louis. Wine merchant, E.C. Oxenham is also developing its Thirsty Fox beers.
And so time to drink.! The last chapter is entitled Enjoying Beer, with advice on buying, reading labels, understanding ABV, serving and glassware from British pints, to German flutes and stemmed “wine” glasses.
A fascinating section is on Food Pairing – Pub food, sharing platters as well as an extensive Affinity Chart. Check the most suitable ales and beers to complement Oysters, Salmon, Cheese, Beef, Pizza and Burgers etc. This colourful, informative and entertaining Atlas will certainly entice you to plan a travel trip to breweries and bars and Beer Festivals worldwide.
Cheers, Salute, À votre santé, Proost, Na zdravi, Cin cin, Kanpai …
The World Atlas of Beer, by Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont (3rd Edition, 2020)
Mitchell Beazley (Octupus Books) ISBN-13 : 978-1784726270
Lachlan Goudie certainly knows how to communicate with vicacious exuberance as an artist, broadcaster and writer. This lavishly illustrated survey is a fascinating journey from Pagan crafts to Portraiture and Pop Art, to show how the colourful imagination of Scottish artists became a creative influence worldwide.
With 42 chapters across four distinctive Parts, there is a clear road map to follow, or dip into the historical and artistic era of interest.
Let’s start at the very beginning, as they say, 3,000 BC at Kilmartin Glen, Kintyre where you can see ancient stone Cup and Ring carvings and Standing stones across this Neolithic landscape. Similar stone circles and objects are found on Orkney. Here in 2009, on the Isle of Westray a tiny, sandstone figure of a woman was found buried in the sand: “with disarming simplicity, the artist engraved a nose, two pinpricks for eyes, transforming the pebble into an icon of Neolithic civilisation. … the earliest carving of a human figure ever found in Scotland.”
The Westray Wife” is almost Picasso-esque in its simple, naïve, deconstructed form. Archaeological sites have sourced other bone craftwork and pottery, leading to the Bronze Age and the creation of tools for elaborate brooches and jewellery.
Columba arrived on Iona, from Ireland, in 563, “an isle of big skies and turquoise tides,” a place of peace and spirituality; from early Celtic crosses and the decorative Abbey, artists have always been enticed to visit Iona for generations, to capture its natural beauty.
It is believed that the Book of Kells, the 9th century illuminated manuscripts of four Latin gospels was created by the monks at Columba’s Monastery, Iona – “a masterpiece of Christian art .. a work of transcendental beauty.”
Ancient Pictish craftsmanship is preserved around Aberlemno, Angus, with around 250 sandstone monoliths carved with symbols, crosses, figures, horses and a hunting scene. This is also the subject of the elaborately carved St. Andrews Sarcophagus, (8th – 9th century), featuring a hawk, two lions, a ram and a dog.
The Vikings arrived in the late 8th century, “to colonise the isles, Orkney .. and across the Hebrides.” A treasure trove of Viking sculptures was unearthed at Uig, Isle of Lewis in 1831, a set of 93 figures carved from Greenland walrus ivory and whales teeth – the Lewis Chessmen. It is thought they were made in Trondheim (1150-1175), and brought to Lewis by a merchant on route to Ireland, but buried in the sand for centuries.
As Goudie wittily describes these delicately engraved sculptures: “The figures resemble cartoon characters. .. the wild stare of the king, the bishops’ faces bursting with bug-eyed horror .”
Trade with the Low Countries brought “cargoes of exquisitely carved furnishings and Netherlandish paintings.” This led to the commission of Hugo Van der Goes, a celebrated artist in Bruges to paint a new Alterpiece for the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, Edinburgh.
The marriage of James V and Madeline, the daughter of Francis 1 of France led to Royal patronage of the Arts to promote a Renaissance of decorative sculpture and classical painting.
Fast forward to the Union of the Crowns with James VI/1 of Great Britain. His son, Charles 1 was an art collector and commissioned portraits by Van Dyck and Rubens. But George Jamesone from Aberdeen would soon be hailed Scotland’s Van Dyck. To celebrate the Scottish coronation of Charles I, Jamesone painted 109 portraits of the Royal family tree and the King himself with great success.
This encouraged 19 year old Michael Wright to travel from London to Edinburgh to be George’s apprentice, before studying in Rome,“ an unrivalled boot-camp where he acquired technical expertise.”
Charles II was now on the throne and (John) Michael Wright was selected to paint the portrait., a fashionably glamorous portrayal of “a curly-wigged young man with a raised eyebrow and a spiv moustache.”
There is a marvellous narrative about the 22 year old Allan Ramsay on a Grand Tour of Europe in 1736, an early ‘backpacker’, cultural adventure through France and Italy. In the early 1990s, when Goudie was an art student, he “emulated Ramsay’s pilgrimage and spent a year in Rome painting and drawing. An overwhelming experience”.
Ramsay became an eminent portrait artist with “delicate style of brushwork and soft colour palette”, as well as a leading philosopher, central to the intellectual aims of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Henry Raeburn was advised by Sir Joshua Reynolds to study in Italy, before returning home to Edinburgh to set up his studio, painting romanticised, theatrical portraits to great effect.
Moving into the 19th century, the popularity of Landscapes soon took centre stage through Nasmyth, Wilkie and Landseer – “The Monarch of the Glen”, an iconic vision of the majestic wilderness of the Highlands.
“A new generation of truculent art students” would soon shake off tradition. The Glasgow Boys, were a group of artists (Guthrie, Walton, Paterson, Macgregor et al), who were keen to paint en plein air, depicting farming life around Berwickshire, Scottish Borders in the manner of the French Impressionists.
John Lavery went to Paris to be at the heart of this blossoming avant-garde art scene, painting “sun dappled” rowing boats on the river at Grez. Fascinating too to read about the feisty Glasgow College of Art student Bessie Nicol, who went off to Paris in 1892 to study Life Drawing at Academie Colarossi by day, and observe the decadent Bohemian society by night.
A cacophony of creative styles was now embracing the work of Scottish artists. Floral images and geometric lines were interlinked for the architectural designs of Charles Rennie McIntosh, whose modern, minimalist interior décor, created “the greatest genius … a giant of the age rivalling Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Gaudi.”
The exuberant portraits and nudes by J. D Fergusson, elegant studies of Edinburgh ladies by Francis Cadell, Samuel Peploe’s exquisitely crafted Still Life paintings and Cezanne-styled landscapes from George Hunter, would soon lead to the collective term, The Scottish Colourists,
From an early struggle to entice dealers, the Colourists’ distinctive, timeless work continue to be a regular highlight at auction house sales today. Cadell and Peploe frequently visited Iona to paint tranquil seascapes.
Then, a fairly brisk sprint through the leading Scottish artists of the 20th century, picking out William McCance, with his bold Cubist form, and the partnership of the two Roberts – McBride and Colquhoun “celebrated as the most pioneering British Artist of his day. Francis Bacon said that he had learnt virtually everything from Colquhoun.”
The era of Abstract Expressionism would soon be the focus with bold, brash canvases by William Gear and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. Read all about the rock ‘n roll life and times of Alan Davie, whose love of jazz and sports cars informed his improvised, energetic compositions. Peggy Guggenheim bought one at a Venice gallery thinking it was by Jackson Pollock – who, in fact, would later attend a private view of Alan Davies’s work in New York, bringing the two artists together.
Move aside Andy Warhol – Eduardo Paolozzi is widely viewed as the Father of Pop Art with his collages of cartoons, food and Coca Cola adverts. “Imagery of popular culture repackaged as art.” This is ‘Meet the People’ (1948) from the series Bunk.
There’s a quick, comprehensive scamper through the careers of Joan Eardley (quirky street kids and dramatic stormy skies) and John Bellany, renowned for his allegorical studies of fishing boats and wild, red haired women of the sea.
The chapter, ‘The Shock of the New ‘ features a handpicked selection of distinguished. diverse artists – the author’s late father, Alexander Goudie and contemporary work by Bruce McLean and John Byrne.
Alison Watt came to prominence while still at the GSA, when she won the John Player Portrait Award in 1987 and soon commissioned to paint a charming portrait of the Queen Mother, complete with Watt’s emblematic tea cup.
Since then, her exemplary, cool, crisply paintings have moved from the figurative to large, meditative studies of draping, flowing fabric. Over recent years, many graduates of Glasgow School of Art have received prestigious awards including Turner Prize winners and nominees – Christine Borland, Martin Creed, Karla Black, Richard Wright.
Lachlan Goudie writes with a flowing, poetic prose to take the reader on a most inspirational, time travelling, artistic journey through the nation’s cultural heritage. With a passion and talent for art as a birthright, he has followed and been inspired by Hebridean seascapes, beloved by the Scottish Colourists, over a century ago.
“The art of Scotland has its own particular accent … in an international trade of inspiration and global creativity. ” Lachlan Goudie
‘The Story of Scottish Art’ by Lachlan Goudie is published by Thames & Hudson – RRP £29.95.
Scottish Ballet present “The Secret Theatre,” a fantastical, sparkling, Festive Fizz of a Christmas movie.
Every year, Scottish Ballet kickstarts Christmas entertainment, staging sixty- eight performances of a Festive ballet around six cities from early December to February. Sadly, it has now been nine months since all theatres closed and to reflect the company’s artistic commitment for creativity and performance, the Artistic Director, Christopher Hampson decided that the Show must go on.
The world premiere of Scottish Ballet’s first, full-length, feature film “The Secret Theatre” can be viewed in the comfort and safety of your own home from Monday 21st December.
The enchanting story is about a little boy, Leo, who embarks on a fantastical adventure as he kicks his football along a city street until it hits an old door, which opens with a screech; like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, he steps inside the auditorium of a grand, Victorian theatre, its rows of plush red seats left empty and in darkness.
The curtain opens and he ventures backstage, where suddenly, amidst a clutter of costumes and props, a cast of clowns, acrobats and colourful characters from The Nutcracker and The Snow Queen, spring into life.
They are the forgotten, dusty ghosts of Christmas past. hidden in the wings of this secret Theatre.
Jumping out of a wicker basket is Lexi, (aka, the Summer Princess in The Snow Queen) who guides Leo into a magical mash-up of fairy tales, featuring the Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker Prince, Snow wolves, Jack Frosts and dazzling white Snowflakes.
Leo is spellbound, his wide eyes full of joy and wonder, as we follow his rollercoaster ride through snapshot scenes, moving swiftly between the Circus, Roma camp, Ice Kingdom and a glamorous, glittering Christmas Eve party.
The graceful, playful choreography by Christopher Hampson and Peter Darrell, flows together seamlessly, linking the scores of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky – the glorious, romantic music recorded live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.
Instead of simply filming a staged production, The Secret Theatre is a genuine work of cinematography. set in outdoor locations, the Tramway, & the King’s Theatres in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Creative camera work and special effects too – disappearing dancers, flying white drapes and a magic carpet with Disneyesque wizardry.
The spectacle is captured through the intimacy of camera lens, observing every swirling step and pirouetting pas de deux, with all the fabulous, glittering costumes, in such fine detail.
The superlative performances are all the more dramatic due to the stunning close ups, such as The Snow Queen, with her ice-blue lips and the prancing peacock of a Ringmaster in his feathered top hat.
This is pure theatre on screen, blending two classical Fairytale ballets with fantastical Narnia and Toy Story– style vision and childlike imagination, all the way to the last magical, tearjerker moment.
While nothing beats seeing Scottish Ballet live on stage, their heart-warming movie is the essential, sparkling Festive treat for 2020 which will appeal to all ages. Book your free tickets now.!
The World premiere of The Secret Theatre is screened on Monday 21 December at 6pm.
Tickets are free and must be booked in advance on the website: 21st December to 24th December, 2020.
Performance duration: one hour.
Donations are welcome to support Scottish Ballet and local theatres. There is an accompanying programme, as well as a series of talks and workshops.
Created by the CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, Christopher Hampson and Lez Brotherston
Co-screen directors: Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple.
Choreographers: Christopher Hampson and Peter Darrell
Designer: Lez Brotherston
Writer: Sam Brown
Producer: Beth Allan, Forest of Black
Director of Photography: David Liddell
Callan at 60 – An exhibition of evocative and elegant Figurative paintings by Damian Callan @ the Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh
As he celebrates his 60th birthday in December 2020, Damian Callan can reflect on a most successful career, specialising in figurative painting and portraits, teaching art classes for adults and children, and as the author of two books, Paint Like Degas and Paint Like Renoir.
This exhibition is partly a retrospective collection from the past twenty-five years (kindly lent by the owners), which are complemented by new sketches and paintings. The subjects for these figurative scenes are his wife Ruth, their four children, cousins and friends while on holiday in Argyll and Outer Hebrides.
Damian Callan has followed in the tradition of two Scottish masters in the genre of painting children. Joan Eardley is renowned for her iconic portraits of the twelve Samson bairns who lived near her Glasgow studio. Born in 1835, William McTaggart grew up on a remote farm in Aros, Kintyre, a memory which would later permeate the subject of his paintings: “the fisherfolk of his past and a recurring vision of children playing in the surf …rosy cheeked kids, bathed in perpetual summer sun.“ Lachlan Goudie, The Story of Scottish Art.
Here too are Callan’s painterly reflections to illustrate the family’s seaside adventures in the summer sun, between 2003 to 2014, from Skipness, Kintyre to the Isles of Berneray. These colourful “snapshot” images capture the joyful sense of freedom as the kids run on the beach, play in the sea, and gather cockles in rock pools.
There is such a tangible feeling of movement in their exuberant, arm waving gestures, as the kids jump and splash in the waves. Several charming paintings show the fun of messing about in boats and rowing a dinghy.
The process starts with photographs and from these prints, sketches are made to create a loose impression of the realistic images, and then finally, working on the composition in oil on canvas, panel or paper. Callan has perfected the inventive use of a printmaker’s roller, to add texture to the surface of the paint to depict the shimmering water and frothy white surf.
These timeless images of happy carefree days bring a real sense of nostalgia for our own childhood, whatever age we are. Children and Lighthouse in particular, has a vintage quality, reminiscent of favourite stories such as Swallows and Amazons and the Famous Five adventures by Enid Blyton.
Fast forward to 2020 and a diverse range of new work – seascapes, figurative sketches and fashionable frocks with oil paintings, small studies and prints for sale.
From the earlier style of composition with impressionistic, smudges of brush strokes, there is now a bolder, brighter approach with vivid colour and clarity.
As shown in Running In and Running Out, these are gleeful moments of youthful energy with a fine depiction of movement, in Callan’s distinctive, characteristic painterly style.
Escape is a lovely picture of a wee boy, standing in the boat as if pretending to be a Venetian gondolier, as the children look out for fish and crabs along the seashore. Again, the vision of carefree, childhood fun, evoking the nostalgic world of Enid Blyton.
Damian Callan has long been influenced by the figurative paintings of Edgar Degas, whose work he examined and explored in academic detail, to write his book, “Paint Like Degas.”
“Degas was spectacularly inventive in his approach to composition,” he says, “Movement characterizes many of his subjects –the dancers, the racehorses – .. .. the pattern and rhythm of repeated figures, the dancers in a line on the Barre.”
With similar, elegant, Degas-esque mood and manner, there is a series of beautifully composed paintings of Damian’s wife Ruth, pinning up her hair, dressing and posing in silky, floaty cocktail gowns.
These are delightful, intimate portraits of the artist’s slender model, as she zips up a blue dress and shows off her posh, crimson-plum frock – humorously described as Lockdown Bedroom Dress. Sadly all dressed up and nowhere to go for a night out at the Ballroom or go to the Ballet.
“Callan at 60” is a most impressive retrospective of his career, from the tranquil, domestic portrait, Ruth, Daffodils and Kettle, (1995), through a time-travelling trip around atmospheric seascapes to the recent Vogue-style fashion shoot.
William McTaggart painted young children to portray “an optimistic symbol of renewal and rebirth.” Likewise, Damian Callan has preserved his memories to portray family life and the innocence of childhood with imaginative vision, humour and heartfelt love.
Callan at 60 @ Dundas Street Gallery, 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ
11th – 17th December, 2020 – open daily, 11am to 6pm.
A well illustrated catalogue with an inspiring introduction by Ruth Callan is available at the gallery.
For more information, view a Gallery of images and details of Online events, see the website:
Monday 14th December: 10am, Live Virtual Tour of Exhibition
Tuesday 15th December: 10am. Artist’s Talk & Short Film with contributions from collectors
Wednesday 16th December: 10am, Painting Demonstration
“Christmas at the Botanics” – an enchanting walk in the park amidst the glittering glow of fairy lights and festive fire.
After enticing 70,000 visitors to the inaugural event in 2017, and 76,000 in 2019, “Christmas in the Botanics” is back again, transforming the garden at night into a winter wonderland. With the pantomime season cancelled for 2020, this outdoor entertainment offers a magical treat for all the family.
Just a short walk from the West Gate, a choral rendition of Joy to the World will put you in festive mood as you stroll beside a meadow of giant snowballs like sparkling Christmas Tree baubles.
All around, the bare winter trees and evergreens glimmer and shimmer in colourful shadows. Wander over the Chinese Hillside with a garland of lanterns hanging from the branches beside the lake with a spouting fountain.
One of the highlights is the ‘Laser Garden’, where you are enveloped in a thick beam of green, glittering fairy lights, while a white mist swirls between the trees, creating a very spooky woodland atmosphere.
Kids will love to try to catch hold of these tiny, Tinkerbelle fairies, as they dance around you and sparkle along the path. This is a magical, theatrical moment and I really felt like a child again.
Another surreal sight, is the beautifully lit, tumbling waterfall at the Rock Garden, where the trees and plants are ‘painted’ in soft shades of green and purple. With the floating waterlilies in the pond, it’s like a landscape by Monet come to life.
Turning along each path of the trail, the Botanics is brightly illuminated with installations such as a crystal, be-jewelled Christmas Tree, ‘Starfield’ featuring twenty twinkling stars, and ‘Constellations’, with sculptures of Orion, Little Bear et al.
Warm up in the ‘Fire Garden’, ablaze with flickering bulbs and flaming torches, while you sing along to Silent Night. Through each different landscape, the air is filled with the familiar classics, Michael Buble is Walking in a Winter Wonderland, Chris Rea, Driving home for Christmas and for Kylie, It’s the Most Wonderful Time.
Listening to the sharp, clear quality of the soundtrack, you would think that the performers, choirs and orchestras are hidden behind the trees!
Enter the ‘Cathedral of Light’, an arch of flower bud lights through a long tunnel with a clever optical illusion. A dazzling, zigzag display of colourful Diamond lights is projected on the architectural structure of the towering Glass Houses, choreographed perfectly to the jazzy-rock music score by Metallica.
An artistic pile of Sledges is reminiscent of the sculpture, “Sled” (1969) by the German Fluxus artist, Joseph Beuys, who in fact visited this garden a few times, for an exhibition at Inverleith House.
This grand 18th century mansion is the backdrop to a magnificent animation with images of iconic places around the city from the Castle to the Forth Bridge.
The windows of the house are like the boxes of an Advent Calendar with the dates flicking over from 1st to 24th December, as Mariah Carey belts out, “All I want for Christmas is You.”
This enchanting walk through this series of installations is like a mixed box of well-designed, glittering Christmas Cards …. but unfortunately, there is no narrative or overall theme. At its heart, this event is for families with young children, so a simple story could link these different theatrical scenes together.
The Fairies in the Laser Garden could be trying to help a lost Reindeer in his search for Santa Claus. Children could then follow a fun and fantastical, Peter Pan-style journey, flying through the Constellation of stars, land of ice, snow and fire, from the Chinese Hilltop to Lapland. (Just an idea!)
And yes, a jolly Father Christmas does makes a magical appearance with his flowing white beard and a majestic red coat, waving outside his log cabin in the forest.
‘Christmas at the Botanics’ runs at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on selected dates from 2nd December, 2020 to 3rd January 2021.
Information on dates, opening times, travel, parking, entrance gates and tickets: https://www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/christmas-at-the-botanics-2020/
Tickets prices range from: Adult £19, Member £16, Child £13 (4-16), Family £60. Carers and children under 4, free. (subject to a single transaction charge).
A Pop-up Bar serves a range of food and drink *: e.g. Mulled Wine, Prosecco, Beer, Cider, Hot Chocolate, Tea, Coffee, soft drinks; Hot Dogs, Burgers, Veggie Burgers, BBQ snacks, Fries, & Children’s portions. (* but where are the traditional roasted chestnuts and mince pies?!)
‘Christmas at the Botanics’ is produced by events promoter Raymond Gubbay Limited a division of Sony Music, in partnership with the RGBE and Culture Creative, in collaboration with Mandylights, Lightworks, ArtAV, & Liverpool Lantern Company.
The Holyrood Distillery 2021 Heritage Whisky Cask Auction – recreating a spiritual taste of history …in a dram.
Whisky lovers, collectors and connoisseurs can be part of a unique event when Holyrood Distillery offers a limited edition of thirty casks of specially crafted single malt whiskies at auction. The casks are the innovative recreation of heritage whiskies based on those formerly produced by Edinburgh’s historic distilleries.
In partnership with Whisky Hammer, the Aberdeenshire specialist whisky auctioneers, these unique whisky casks will be sold at an online auction with bidding open from 4th to 13th December, 2020.
Holyrood Distillery was launched in Edinburgh in 2019 to resurrect the lost tradition of whisky making in the Capital after almost a hundred years; the majority of the distilleries closed in the 19th century with the last two, Dean and Glen Sciennes closing in 1922 and 1925.
Using recipes dating back a hundred years, the Distillery has sourced the ancient ingredients, old style brewer’s yeast and authentic barley varieties: Chevallier was used in the 19th century by Bonnington, Croftanrigh and Yardhead distilleries; Plumage Archer was used from the early 20th century by Dean and Glen Sciennes. Only sherry casks will be used – fifteen American oak, Oloroso Sherry Hogsheads and fifteen Spanish oak, Pedro Ximenez Sherry Hogsheads – in the tradition of these former Edinburgh distilleries.
“This is a rare opportunity to own a single malt whisky which is based on the techniques and ingredients used by Edinburgh’s distilling forefathers. Purchasing one of these rare casks is an invitation to own a piece of history and tread in the footsteps of the people who created the city’s whisky industry.” David Robertson, Co-founder of Holyrood Distillery.
The re-creation of an historic whisky has been a successful branding concept for Whyte & Mackay with their iconic Shackleton whisky in tribute to the great Antarctic explorer. Three crates of Mackinlay’s whisky were discovered in 2007 at the Expedition base camp for the officers and crew of the Endurance ship, stranded in the ice in 1915. Master blender Richard Paterson worked with the whisky salvage team to profile the original Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt, Shackleton’s favourite, to create a contemporary, blended malt.
Likewise, the production of these classic Edinburgh whiskies is an inspirational venture for Holyrood Distillery to preserve a taste of the city’s “spiritual” heritage.
The Scottish, family business, Whisky Hammer, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, was established in 2015 by brothers, Daniel and Craig Milne, to specialise in rare and hard-to-find bottles for whisky connoisseurs worldwide: “The motivation behind the company was from our passion for whisky. We were brought up in Macduff, on the edge of the Speyside region, where some may argue, the best whisky in the world is produced.”
Now one of the most renowned, global, online whisky platforms, at their October auction, a bottle of Macallan 78 year old (Red Collection), sold for £922, 500. Also under the hammer, was a rare Bowmore Hogshead cask, 1987, snapped up for £64.700, and also a Tullibardane, Oloroso cask, 2018, for £1, 550.
“We’re honoured to partner with Holyrood Distillery to offer 30 unique casks exclusively on Whisky Hammer. Having seen increasing interest and demand for old, vintage whisky and cask purchases, this is a golden opportunity to make history and fully participate in crafting a deeply personal and rare spirit, …. an offer not to be missed by our members, who love interesting and unusual whiskies.” Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer.
Bidding is expected to start at £3,000 for each numbered, sherry hogshead allowing bidders to select the barley variety, cask type and number. The casks will be filled with the fledgling spirit in early 2021 and put to rest in the warehouse to become unique single malts.
Winning bidders will be invited to see their spirit being created and cask filled in the Warehouse and then follow each stage of the maturing process of their own whisky. The hammer price paid will include storage of the cask for up to ten years, annual sampling and insurance.
Holyrood Distillery was founded by a Canadian couple, Rob and Kelly Carpenter and Scottish whisky expert, David Robertson. Rob launched the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society with wife Kelly, while David has 25 years’ experience in the industry with The Macallan and The Dalmore, as well as co-founding Rare Whisky 101.
Located on St. Leonard’s Lane with views over Holyrood Park, the Distillery is based at a B-listed, 1835 era building, formerly part of the Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway. As well as single malt whisky they distil gins and liqueurs and there is a 5-star visitor centre offering an interactive, educational experience.
Owning a maturing cask is a dram lover’s dream, the ultimate indulgence, but also be a sound investment for the future. In eight, ten, twelve + years’ time, you will be able to bottle this speciality whisky for your own unique collection.
Whisky Hammer will host the online auction for these thirty heritage whisky casks which kicks off at 7pm (GMT) on Friday 4th and open until Sunday 13th December, 2020.
To register to bid on the Holyrood 2021 Heritage Whisky Cask auction, visit: www.whiskyhammer.com
For more information on the Holyrood Distillery and shop on line: https://www.holyrooddistillery.co.uk/