Mary Queen of Scots Festival 2017

Mary Queen of Scots Festival 2017


The Mary Queen of Scots Festival 2017

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September
Market Park, Kinross – FREE ENTRY!



The Mary Queen of Scots Festival is part of Scotland’s ‘Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology’ and set to inspire visitors to #facethepast #HHA2017

The Mary Queen of Scots Festival 2017 will celebrate the rich cultural and history and heritage of the Kinross area, most notably it’s famed connection to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. The event will commemorate Mary’s life as Kinross poignantly marks the 450 year relationship with the Castle on Loch Leven Island where she was held captive and where spent some of her most troubled years, and the end of her reign in 1567.

The festival will take place over the first weekend in September (2nd & 3rd) at Market Park, Kinross and the programme will include living history encampments, music, food and drink and a programme of children’s entertainment to explore; all activities will guarantee a great day out.Working with our partners It’s Not All Black & White (who created the original concept in 2015) the new Mary Queen of Scots Festival programme for 2017 will be created, developed and delivered by Unique Events, Scotland’s leading independent event organisers and festival creators.

The festival will showcase the varied pastimes the Queen enjoyed as well as create a medieval atmosphere. Aspects of the festival include:


 The festival will have its very own royal encampment filled with the sounds and scents, the hustle and bustle of 16th century Scotland with Mary, herself, in attendance. It will be impossible for the visitors not to be instilled with a sense of enthusiasm and excitement for the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. We are delighted to have Clanranald Trust for Scotland, Scotland’s premier living historians, onboard to provide both historically accurate and spectacular activities throughout the day.

Mary herself, will hold court dressed in her finery, going about her royal business and enduring her captivity in style. Visitors will be invited to have an audience with Her Majesty and to join in with the revelries as Suitors, Court Advisors and servants vie for her attention.

Medieval Encampment

The Royal Stuart Kitchens

This is a hands on activity showcasing the food of the time period, both for Royalty and peasantry. Enough to make anyone’s stomach turn!

In addition to this dining display, a large variety of the best catering companies in the area are joining us at the festival to bring you a brilliant selection of delicious cuisine. Companies such as Woodburns Pizza, Jarvis Pickle, Alanda’s Fish and Chips and Nelson’s Ice Cream will all be attending the. To plan your meal or more information about these delicious treats find out more here.


Blacksmith Armoury

Queen Mary’s reign was a turbulent time for Scotland. Armourers and Smiths all over the country wer

e very much at the heart of the period’s constantly evolving War industry.  Visitors can experience the creation of the elaborate weapons and armour of the day. The armoury will also house a selection of weapons throughout the ages, showcasing the development that happened throughout Mary’s reign.


Stuart Pastimes

Pastime and leisure entertainment is something we value today but was equally important to all classes 400 years ago.  In Mary’s time, theatre was very popular and most of the plays were about morality.  Most of the actors at the time were men, even the women!  Other popular games included, balloon ball, ring ball, dice, cards and mummery.  Fully interactive set up hosted by costumed characters.


Topiary tent

MQoS introduced the concept of formal gardens to Scotland.  Come and meet her gardeners, see the tools and have a go at topiary.


Tudor pottery

Tudor pottery for domestic and leisure use – Using a drum kiln and employing traditional and modern types of clay and techniques, we want to have a hands on area for children (and adults) to make their own ‘poppets’ and learn about the importance of clay industries of the time.


Medieval Falconry


Visitors will also be able to visit a falconer with a chance to meet the amazing birds of prey and learn about their role in medieval society.





With the invention of gunpowder, most traditional ways of war suddenly became obsolete therefore armoured combat became a sport in the form of jousting and man on man armed competitions a bit like today’s riding and fencing competitions.

In magnificent tailored armour, Jousting Knights come from all over the realm to show off their finery and prowess in the saddle. There will be Knights from the Kingdom of Cornwall, the Shire of Nottingham, the Flatlands of Mercia and our own home-grown Caledonian Knights.  You will be able to mingle with these flamboyant characters, hear details of their training, lives, loves and losses. In between the jousting demonstrations our knights will be “tilting at the ring”.

The jousting demonstration will run both days with overall ‘winner’ receiving the Queen’s favour the MQoS Festival Shield.



The Gorns

Traditional Scottish music typical of the time period will be played throughout the festival In the Belhaven tent. The Gorms are an exciting act coming to in the Belhaven Tent for the Mary Queen of Scots Festival and will be playing a large range of Scottish Folk music hits.  Other acts to appear in the Belhaven Tent over the weekend include The Cognac TwinsCalum Baird and Ruth Gillies. Definitely worth a watch!

To  accompany the great traditional music, a blend of debates and talks from a range of guest speakers will also be hosted in the Belhaven tent .




The Wee White Dug

The Wee White Dug

Casper aka the Wee White Dug will be joining festival goers on Saturday 2nd September, and is hoping for an audience with the queen and maybe even a selfie if he’s lucky. Casper recently spent an enjoyable morning with Thomas from Visit Dunfermline, exploring the historic centre of Dunfermline.  He’s looking forward to visiting Kinross to find out more about Scotland’s most iconic queen, and the time she spent in captivity at Loch Leven Castle. Casper is the star of BBC featured, Scottish travel blog ‘Scotland with the Wee White Dug‘.  Written by his history geek Mum Sam, the blog follows Casper as he travels around Scotland.



Programme Details


Morning Programme

In the morning we will spend some time thinking and talking about Mary Queen of Scots.

Genealogy talk – Join us as one of Scotland’s top Genealogists gives us an insight into tracing your past.

Discussion – Some healthy and good natured debate about Mary, her reputation, her influence and, of course, her story.


Afternoon Programme

Throughout the afternoon there will be an amazing array of music, with lively trad and folk bands with some of Scotland’s best musicians and fantastic local, acoustic acts.

Children’s Entertainment
Alongside the amazing activities in the Encampments we will have face painting, games, arts & crafts and storytelling. Children will enjoy tales from Scottish folklore and history.

Food & Drink
Our fantastic sponsor Belhaven will be on site providing an excellent selection of ales and beers alongside a spirits, wine and non-alcoholic offerings.

There will be a great selection of hot and cold food offerings available on the day, don’t worry, we’ll tell you who will be coming before then event so you can plan your eating schedule!

There will also be a quality retail village offering Scottish food and drink produce and quality gifts made by Scottish crafters, with ‘meet the maker’ opportunities as well as specialty Mary Queen of Scots branded merchandise available.

Don’t miss out!

This action packed weekend is a must see event for anyone interested in Mary Queen of Scots – and all aspects of medieval history. With such a large variety of entertainment being displayed there really is something for everyone. And best of all its totally free to attend!

To register your interest in the festival and keep up to date with the latest news, simply sign up to the Facebook event.

Review of Breizh Restaurant, Perth

Review of Breizh Restaurant, Perth

Breizh Restaurant is a popular and lively restaurant that’s been a bit of an institution on Perth’s High Street for many years serving delicious, unfussy food with a Breton influence, such as galettes (buckwheat crepes). It’s now under new management and the interior has been given a fresh new look by owner Vinod Mathew, with changes to the menu coming soon too. So Perth City Centre asked me to pop in and check out the changes. As my husband’s birthday was fast approaching, what better time to sample its cuisine and wine list (and get brownie points into the bargain)?

We book a table for the Saturday of the annual Perth show, so the city is busy with locals and visitors. After a quick aperitif at The Venue just round the corner (well, it is his birthday!), we pop round to Breizh. It’s busy and lively, too, but with a relaxed atmosphere.

A friendly waiter greets us at the door and shows us to our table by the large picture window (which has a great view up George Street to Perth Museum & Art Gallery). The décor has been revitalised in a fresh and contemporary grey-and-white palette, with pops of red on the seats and upholstery. The new monochrome logo is in honour of the colours of the Breton flag.


While we’re browsing the menu, I order a gin and tonic and Mr C opts for the delicious Breton cider, which always arrives in a striped china cup. For wine with dinner we order a bottle of 2015 Fleurie, a light silky red packed with berry flavours.


Being a French-influenced restaurant, there is a fine choice of seafood including mussels, a smoked-/cured salmon duo, pan-fried scallops and a seafood soup. There are also escargots (snails with garlic butter), a chicken liver parfait or a poached egg with smoked pancetta and baby onion jus.

Mr C opts for the seafood soup, a rich, ochre-coloured bisque packed full of tender white fish and served with croutons and alioli (a creamy garlic sauce).

I’m vegetarian, which can occasionally be a bad word in French dining, but I spot the Superfood Salad which sounds intriguing. It’s sliced avocado on salad leaves, surrounded by fresh red chilli pieces, toasted seeds and flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds, creamy dots of feta cheese, quinoa and wild rice. It must be the healthiest starter I’ve ever ordered and it’s very tasty.


To follow, although I’m tempted by one of the pizzas I can’t miss the chance to check whether the galettes are still as delicious as always, so I order the Chèvre, a savoury crepe which is tucked round a sauce of sunblushed tomatoes and marinated artichokes and topped with grilled goat’s cheese and peppery rocket. I’m happy to report that this galette is just as good as before.

Mr C chooses from the Boeuf (beef) section of the menu a Faux-Filet de Boeuf, which is a sirloin steak from Highland cattle. It’s well-prepared, tender and succulent, and served with peppercorn sauce, a flatcap mushroom, creamed potatoes and grilled tomatoes on the vine.


We’re pretty full after our starters and mains, but there’s always room for pudding, isn’t there? We both love a crème brûlée so we order the Pistachio version as we finish our wine.

While it’s being prepared we have a chat with owner Vinod, who tells us he took over the restaurant in December 2016, having previously worked in hospitality in Edinburgh and St Andrews. When he arrived at Breizh he got straight to work devising a fresh new look and taking on more staff. A firm supporter of local suppliers, Vinod sources from producers such as George Campbell & Sons and tells us that a new menu is on the way in the next 2-3 weeks. The wine list will also be refreshed, with a special and unique range of wines.


Vinod then goes to get our dessert and presents it with a flourish – and we see that the chefs have prepared it on a board with a raspberry coulis and “Happy birthday – all the best” piped in chocolate! It’s a lovely surprise, and a fitting way to end our evening.



Your visit

If you’d like to try some fantastic French hospitality and cuisine, Breizh also serves breakfast, coffees, teas and lunches as well as dinner. They’re open from 9am on Monday to Saturday and 11am on Sunday. Pre-theatre is available from 5pm – 6.30pm. Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with new developments, and follow Perth City Centre on Facebook and Twitter to be first in the know about everything happening in Perth and Perthshire.

The taste of Perthshire this September

The taste of Perthshire this September

Great Perthshire Picnic

Welcome to the Great Perthshire Picnic

The taste of Perthshire this September

Local businesses will be cooking up a storm this September, bringing the tastes and delights of Perthshire and Kinross alive as part of the Great Perthshire Picnic.

The Picnic is a month-long celebration of the best food and drink the region has to offer, with loads of events scheduled throughout September championing the best local produce and home-grown talent.

From street food to bread-making and fish-tasting, the variety of foodie events taking place during the Great Perthshire Picnic is astounding, and growing all the time. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a culinary tour of Perthshire and Kinross.

Giraffe Trading Perth

The event is the brainchild of Perth’s leading social enterprise, Giraffe Trading, who will be getting right into the thick of the Picnic activities by hosting a Scottish Tapas Evening in their South Street, Perth café.

Support is also coming from around the region, with street food being served at an outdoor performance of The Taming of the Shrew by The Handlebarettes in Coupar Angus; Chilli, Garlic & Ginger Tasting at Glendoick Garden Centre, a tour of the Hugh Grierson Organics’s operation at Newmiln Farm, Methven; Excel Wines of Perth are holding a Perthshire Whisky tasting, and the Taymouth Courtyard in Kenmore is holding a pop up market to name but a few!

Gareth Ruddock, Giraffe  Trading CEO, is leading the project and says he’s been overwhelmed by the level of support the idea has received locally, “Perth and Kinross is rightly famed for its food and drink producers. We have award-winning restauranteurs, chocolatiers, distilleries, breweries and produce right on our doorstep, so an event to celebrate this has a huge amount of talent to draw on locally.”

He continues, “I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of businesses to get involved and see the idea develop. We’ve had far more interest than I could ever have hoped for, and September’s looking like it’s going to be a really tasty month.”




Graeme Pallister will be celebrating “Local, Honest & Simple” with a special seasonal menu at his 63 Tay Street restaurant from the 20th to 24th of September.



The “Wee G&T Festival” is being hosted by Provender Brown on the 17th of September to celebrate the Great Perthshire Picnic.




Take a special tour of Newmiln Farm, home of Hugh Grierson Organics, and follow in Michel Roux Jr’s footsteps after his recent visit for his mini TV series “The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner”.



Come and learn about Scotland’s best catch up close with George Campbell & Sons who are holding a special fish tasting tour on the 8th of September.




The organisers of the GPP are Giraffe Trading, who will be hosting a “Scottish Tapas Night” in their South Street cafe on the 9th of September.

Organising food and drink events is not Giraffe Trading’s bread and butter. But, for anyone questioning why a social enterprise would be taking on an event of this size, Gareth is quick to offer an explanation: “As a social enterprise which concentrates on helping people with barriers to the workplace we are always looking for new ways to engage with local employers. The Great Perthshire Picnic has given us a reason to meet with and talk to a much broader range of potential employers than we would in our normal business. It also gives them a chance to find out more about what we do, and the value that one of our job seekers could bring to their workplace.”

“Food and drink was the obvious link for us, because we are already involved in producing fresh food from our Perth sites, giving opportunities for people to gain experience in the catering and retail industries to prepare them to move into employment.”

Community Food Fund

Giraffe Trading is being supported by the Community Food Fund to launch the first year of the event which we hope we can get established and sponsored in future years. In addition, to pull together the Great Perthshire Picnic, some leading names in the local food and drink industry have helped including Sacha Grierson of Hugh Grierson Organics, Stuart Wilson Head Chef and owner of Purvey Ltd, and Rachael Campbell of George Campbell & Sons independent and specialist fishmongers, are both on the advisory group for the Picnic.

As you might expect these businesses also feature on the events programme for September. Giraffe is also working closely with Open Studios to attract even more people into Perthshire to visit art and cooking events.

It is set to be a delicious month! Keep an eye out for our brochure detailing events and packed full of fantastic foodie deals and offers, or simply visit the website Events are booking up quickly, so register as soon as you can for your chosen date.

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