Showcase: Celebratory events - Edinburgh

The Scottish capital knows how to host parties on a grand scale.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations are world renowned, and last year's Street Party, which attracted 100,000 people, again saw the city celebrate the turn of the New Year in style.

Although the project forms some of the city's most high-profile work, Edinburgh offers an impressive backdrop for events all year round, with a wide range of suppliers, event agencies and unique venues on its doorstep.

One unusual space is The Falkirk Wheel. The venue's primary role is as a rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal and can carry two boats down the 35-metre drop. The venue offers a waterside view and the visitor centre can accommodate 200 guests for a seated dinner, 250 for a buffet or up to 300 for a reception.

Another venue, The Glasshouse, is a hotel that offers floor-to-ceiling windows, a lavender-scented roof garden and a wide range of event spaces, such as the Observatory that can accommodate 112 people for a reception. The temporary marquee on the roof terrace can accommodate 60 for a dinner and dance or 120 for a reception. Delta Airlines launched its route to Edinburgh in June last year in the space. The event was attended by 69 of the airline's clients and had a Scottish garden party theme. Entertainment included Pipe Major Roderick Deans and a three-piece jazz band. The temporary marquee is scheduled to be replaced by a permanent structure, called the Calton Suite, on 8 May.

One of the city's many highlights is its eclectic food and drink offering, which includes fresh seafood and, of course, a huge range of whiskies. Caterers such as Prestige Scotland, part of Sodexo Prestige, and Wilde Thyme can accommodate most guest's tastes. Prestige Scotland catered for the Scottish Business Achievement Award Trust's 25th anniversary lunch in April 2007 at the Palace of Holyrood House, the Queen's official residence in Scotland. The menu included a tian of smoked salmon and a loin of lamb with roasted Mediterranean vegetables.

Wilde Thyme provides a full event production offering, and created a Bavarian Christingle Market theme at a Christmas party for investment management company Bell Lawrie White last year. It was held a the Assembly Rooms and was attended by 800 people. Guests could choose from bratwurst sausages and mini toffee apples from a variety of Bavarian stalls.

Another Edinburgh-based supplier is agency 20/20 Productions. It organised Health Scotland's Healthy Working Lives Awards event in January this year. The ceremony was held at historic venue Mansfield Traquair and celebrated the efforts of Scottish workplaces to improve the health of their staff.

For the those extras that will boost your celebratory event, contact suppliers such as The Ice Box Scotland, to create a branded ice wall or sculpture, and MCL Edinburgh for the latest audio-visual technology. They are ideal for creating the unique environments that celebratory events often rely on.

With an established calendar of public events, including Hogmanay and annual festivals, Edinburgh has proven itself adept as a host city, which is something to celebrate in itself.

CONTACTS

Assembly Rooms
www.assemblyroomsedinburgh.co.uk
(0131) 220 4348

The Falkirk Wheel
www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk
08700 500 208

The Glasshouse
www.theetoncollection.com
(0131) 525 8323

The Ice Box Scotland
www.iceboxscotland.com
(0131) 665 6315

Mansfield Traquair
www.heritageportfolio.co.uk
(0131) 555 2229

Pipe Major Roderick Deans
www.roddythepiper.com
07974375761

MCL Edinburgh
www.mcl-av.com
(0131) 314 0650

Prestige Scotland
www.prestigescotland.co.uk
0800 328 1373

20/20 Productions
www.2020productions.com
(0131) 556 2020

Wilde Thyme
www.wilde-thyme.co.uk
(01764) 679736


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