Popular Fife Whisky Festival to Return Next Year

Fife Whisky Festival is set to become an annual fixture following the success of the inaugural event.

Organisers Justine Hazlehurst and Karen Somerville announced the move after the festival – opened by Scottish cycling legend Mark Beaumont – was praised for boosting the local economy. More than 500 whisky-lovers from across Scotland, and as far afield as Argentina and Germany, attended tasting sessions held at the Corn Exchange in Cupar at the weekend. They enjoyed drams from a wide range of distilleries and independent bottlers, music from Fife-based duo The Coaltown Daisies and the chance to chat with guest of honour Mr Beaumont.

Mrs Somerville said: “It was a brilliant day and given all the positive feedback we received we’ve decided to make it an annual event.

“We had visitors from Argentina, France and Germany who were in Scotland on holiday and made the trip to Fife specially to visit the Festival.

“And it was great to have Mark there – he really enjoyed the festival and ended up meeting some of his old school friends.

“We’re delighted with how the day went and looking forward to doing it all again next year.”

Cupar councillor Karen Marjoram praised the event for boosting the local economy.

She said: “I very much enjoyed the day – it was such a friendly event with people who’d never met before chatting away to each other and it certainly put Cupar on the map.

“It was a real boost to the economy and wonderful to see the town so busy with the shops and restaurants full of people who stayed to see more of Cupar after their whisky session.

“I met people who had travelled a long way to come to Cupar and bringing the tourist pound to Fife in this way was a great bonus.

“With all the new distilleries in Fife, having the festival helps put the region on the whisky map so I’m pleased it’s to become an annual event.”

Endurance cyclist Mr Beaumont also welcomed the news.

He said: “This is a fantastic event for Fife and having partly grown up in the Kingdom I am proud of all it has to offer.

“This festival and events like it are so important in putting Fife firms on the map for travel and business.”

The inaugural festival was launched by businesswomen Justine Hazlehurst, founder of Kask Whisky, and Karen Somerville, managing director of Angels’ Share Glass.They joined forces to organise the festival in a bid to bring whisky back to the Kingdom of Fife.

Justine said: “After years of attending whisky festivals around the world, we wanted the chance to bring an exciting new event to Scotland and are over the moon with how it went.

“People loved it and were coming up to ask when the next one will be held so we are pleased to announce it will be an annual event.”

The Festival, sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, showcased the renaissance of whisky-making in Fife with exhibitors including the Kingdom’s well-known Kingsbarns Distillery, Creative Whisky Company, Glen Moray and Isle of Arran Distillers. Nearly 300 whisky-lovers attended the first session with 250 at the second taster while drinks specialists Luvians, who have bottleshops in Cupar and St Andrews, were on hand as on-site retailer.

Graeme Dempster, from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, said: “We were delighted to support the inaugural Fife Whisky Festival and having our Corporate Ambassador Mark Beaumont there to open the event was particularly special.

“As well as great entertainment, it was a chance for us to meet with our existing Distillery clients and talk to owners of private whisky collections who were there to support this exciting new event.”

 

Plans for the second Fife Whisky Festival will get underway later this month with dates for the next event announced soon.

For more details about the Festival visit www.fifewhiskyfestival.com

Smash Success for A Taste of Borders Tourism

A Tourism and Hospitality event, A Taste of Borders Tourism, organised by Local MSP Rachael Hamilton, Borders College, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Borders and Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) went down a treat with local students.

The event that welcomed 152 pupils from secondary schools across the Borders to Kelso Racecourse educated the invitees to learn more about the vast array of opportunities in the Tourism and Hospitality sector and encourage them to consider it as a rewarding career.

The event highlighted what skills are needed to succeed in the sector and also what skills the sector is short of.

The Scottish Borders is currently experiencing a skills gap in the Tourism & Hospitality sector despite being a key contributor to the local economy and one of the strongest in Scotland. It is estimated that tourism contributes around £20 million to the Borders economy.

The event was kindly sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, Rabbie’s Tours Scotland, Kelso Racecourse and DYW Borders.

Organisations taking part in the event were:

  • Born in the Borders.
  • Firebrick Brasserie.
  • Visit Scotland.
  • Barony Castle.
  • Buccleuch Arms.
  • Carfraemill.
  • Borders College.
  • MBTAG.
  • Provender Melrose.

 

Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:

‘Firstly, many thanks to all who sponsored and helped make this event happen. The Scottish Borders is proud to have one of the strongest Tourism & Hospitality sectors in Scotland and it is right that we celebrate it and work to make it stronger.

‘The sector is facing a skills shortage challenge. However, we have incredibly talented young persons who can fill these shortages and actually help improve and grow the sector.

‘The young people of the Scottish Borders can and will make a tremendous contribution to our local economy and we should support them to do just that. This event has highlighted the talent we have in our young persons. It is time to cultivate that talent and work together to see not only the Tourism & Hospitality sector grow, but also the Scottish Borders economy grow as a whole.

Alexandra Richards from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers added:

‘Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers are delighted to have supported this inspiring event.  It highlighted that a career in Hospitality & Tourism in the Scottish Borders is not just about working in a hotel or restaurant.  If you are interested in digital marketing, filming, advertising, logistics, management, entrepreneurship and even insurance and risk management – all these roles can and need to be fulfilled in the Hospitality & Tourism Sector in the Scottish Borders with enthusiastic young people who are passionate about where they come from and want to showcase the Scottish Borders to the rest of the world.

‘We are proud to be sponsors of Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland who have provided over 1,200 scholarships and more than 10,000 bursaries to nurture and support the development of local, emerging Scottish talent within the hospitality industry.  Today’s interactive event delivered by Scottish Borders organisations played a really important and vital role in helping young people understand what opportunities are out there for them.’

Young Persons Tourism and Hospitality Event Gearing Up

A Tourism and Hospitality event organised by Local MSP Rachael Hamilton, Borders College, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Borders and Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) is set to go for 26th February.

The event, A Taste of Borders Tourism, is in response to a future skills gap concern from local Hospitality and Tourism employers in the Borders.

The event will welcome 187 pupils from secondary schools across the Borders to Kelso Racecourse to learn more about the vast array of opportunities in the Tourism and Hospitality sector and inspire them to consider this as a rewarding career. It will also help explain what skills are needed not only to succeed in the sector, but also to explain what skills it is short of.

The event is being kindly sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, Rabbie’s Tours Scotland, Kelso Racecourse and DYW Borders.

Organisations taking part in the event are:

  • Born in the Borders
  • Firebrick Brasserie
  • Visit Scotland
  • Barony Castle
  • Buccleuch Arms
  • Carfraemill
  • Borders College
  • MBTAG
  • Provender Melrose

Tourism contribmtes around £20 million to the Borders economy. Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:

‘I am really excited and pleased this event is going ahead on 26th February. It’s really important that young people in the Borders are aware that they live in the Tourism and Hospitality Scottish capital.

‘It’s also really important that young people know what skills they need to get ahead in the sector, what careers the Tourism and Hospitality offers and what skills it needs.

‘There is currently a skills shortage in the sector and that is felt in the Scottish Borders. My hope is that this event will inspire young people to get involved in the sector here in the Borders and help it grow.

Shani Barclay at Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers added:

‘As patrons of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland, we are delighted to be supporting this event. With a local presence in the Scottish Borders, we feel it is important to educate the next generation on the skills needed and highlight the career opportunities here within the hospitality and tourism sector.’

Andrea Hall – DYW Borders Programme Manager said:

‘A Taste of Borders Tourism is all about bringing together pupils who are taking a tourism or hospitality related subject in their senior phase and industry specialists. We are delighted with the level of interest and commitment from local tourism industries to showcase the exciting opportunities available here in the Borders.’

Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers’ Corporate Ambassador, Mark Beaumont to open Inaugural Fife Whisky Festival

Scottish cycling legend Mark Beaumont is gearing up for his latest challenge – as guest of honour at the first Fife Whisky Festival.

The endurance cyclist will open the showcase event on Saturday March 10 at the Corn Exchange in Cupar.

Mark, who holds the record for cycling around the world, is delighted to have the chance to sample a dram or two at the festival.

He said: As an athlete I drink modestly but have always enjoyed a dram on the right occasion ever since I lived around the corner from The Ben Nevis – a famous whisky and folk music bar in Glasgow.”

Mark will open the event – which he describes as an important boost to the local economy – at 1pm before mingling with festival-goers and enjoying the entertainment.

He said: Having partly grown up in Fife, I am proud of all the Kingdom has to offer and look forward to coming back and enjoying the Fife Whisky Festival.

“I’m aware of all the fantastic developments with distilling in the area and, for those who are new to Fife, this festival and events like it are so important in putting Fife firms on the map for travel and business.

Private Whisky InsuranceThe inaugural festival was launched by businesswomen Justine Hazlehurst, founder of Kask Whisky, and Karen Somerville, managing director of Angels’ Share Glass.

They joined forces to organise the festival in a bid to bring whisky back to the Kingdom of Fife.

Karen said: “After years of attending whisky festivals around the world, Justine and I were delighted to have the chance to bring an exciting new event to Scotland. Our plans have proved popular with whisky lovers across the country and further afield who’ve been snapping up tickets. 

“And today we’re honoured to announce that Mark Beaumont has taken up our invitation to open the first Fife Whisky Festival and enjoy a few drams.”

Justine added: “It’s a real coup to have Scotland’s greatest cyclist coming to join us in sampling some of the best whiskies available in the country and we’re looking forward to a fantastic day.”

The inaugural Fife Whisky Festival, sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, will showcase the renaissance of whisky-making in Fife and bring together whisky lovers and producers from across the region and much further afield.

Graeme Dempster, of Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Fife’s first Whisky Festival. We work with many distilleries across Scotland and it’s great to see them supporting the Festival.  Our specialist team will be on hand to discuss any insurance requirements and to sample a few drams with our Corporate Ambassador, Mark Beaumont!”

More than 25 distilleries and independent bottlers will attend the event ensuring a huge range of whiskies for visitors to try.

Exhibitors include Fife’s well-known Kingsbarns Distillery, Lindores Abbey Distillery, Edenmill together with Glen Moray, Isle of Arran Whisky and Springbank Distillery.

Meanwhile, drinks specialists Luvians, who have bottleshops in Cupar and St Andrews, will be on hand as the on-site retailer and the programme for the day is sponsored by legal firm MacRoberts LLP.

Fife-based musical duo The Coaltown Daisies, famous for producing `The Whisky Song’ which became the theme for last year’s World Whisky Day, are also attending to entertain festival-goers as they enjoy their tasting sessions.

There are two sessions for the Fife Whisky Festival – with the first starting at 1pm on Saturday March 10 and the second beginning at 5pm.

For more details and to buy tickets, go to www.fifewhiskyfestival.com

Fuelling to Pedal the World

Last year Mark Beaumont, Corporate Ambassador for Bruce Stevenson cycled the world in 78 days. Food became fuel with Mark consuming 9000 calories per day..

‘What are you most looking forward to eating?’ was a frequently asked question in the final days before the finish of my 18,000-mile race.

‘I’m looking forward to not eating!’

Since finishing n Paris, setting the World Record at 78 days and 14 hours, I’ve been amazed by peoples fascination with what you eat when cycling 240 miles a day, every day for two and a half months.  The answer inevitably, is a lot, but perhaps not what you would expect.   For a foodie, it’s a shame to see food reduced to simply being fuel, but when cycling around the World it’s worth remembering that’s fundamentally all it is.   Although, to eat 9000kCal a day, you also have to be able to stomach it, and as any athlete will reflect, the right food has the power to motivate and reward.

A decade ago when I cycled around the World the first time, my nutritionist Ruth McKean took me into various restaurants to meet the chefs.  I was to be cycling unsupported and so needed to recognize what I was eating.   This was very enjoyable research and I soon had a basic education of the foods of each country en route including Iran, Pakistan and Thailand.  Ruth then drew up a long spreadsheet of data, so that when I sat down to a local dish, I could work out the calorific value, plus proportions of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.  It worked and apart from turning down spicy hens foot soup and struggling with a stew of offal, I enjoyed eating my way around the World at the pace of 100 miles a day.

240 miles and 16 hours a day is another league, and there aren’t many reference points for this kind of endurance.  However, this time cycling around the World I had the advantage of a full support team, so that a hot chocolate was never more than wish away.  My performance team, led by Laura Penhaul, spent a long time discussing and trialing different fuelling strategies, to make sure that I was riding sustainably.

Every morning started at 3.30am by standing on the scales and taking a saliva swab, which showed, amongst other indicators, my cortisol levels.  If my weight dropped by up to 3% this was acceptable, but any more and the nutritional plan would be increased.  My cortisol levels stayed incredibly high throughout, showing the level of sustained stress.

The focus on the road was 1500kcal of food per 4 hour block, repeated 4 times a day and with the fluids, the target was up to 1000ml of calories per block, including 3g of creatine once a day.  However, the reality was that I found it very hard to eat before 4am, and relied on more liquid meals as the journey went on, as I suffered from reflux.

Fats were the fuel of choice, which as an athlete takes time for your body to adapt to.  Living off sports gels and jelly babies was not an option for such endurance.  Typically I was sitting in zone 1, tapping the bike along at about 15 miles per hour, with a heart rate around 100bpm, power well less than 200 watts.  At this level of output, consistent, high quality and slow release fats were a far better fuel for mental and physical endurance, than simple carbohydrates and sugars.

My biggest mental and therefore physical dip of the day always came mid afternoon, after being on the bike for 10- 12 hours, which is when a well-placed caffeine or sugar boost was helpful.  But we tried to ration this and focus on slower release fuels.

Since the finish in Paris, I have enjoyed a few glasses of wine, stopped insisting on acupuncture during mealtimes and reduced my obsession with feeding on fats.  And to my horror (!), I have found out that you only have one slice of cake, rather than the entire cake, when in polite company.  But apart from that I have normalized completely and my body seems to have adjusted well from its incredible 18,000-mile feast.

 

Is Restoration cover built into your Insurance policy?

Alexandra Richards, Private Clients Development Executive at Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers looks at why it is so important to ensure that your collection, whether private or corporate, has restoration cover built into the insurance policy.

Every insurance claim is different and each one has its own story to tell and can often be emotional.  Like other possessions, be it musical instruments, paintings or books, they usually have a sentimental value in addition to their market value.

Under a specialist collections insurance policy, the amount settled for an item that is partially damaged (be it through fire, water damage or simply by an accident) is not only the cost of restoring the item, but any subsequent drop in value.  However, the total amount to be settled must not exceed the value of the item, or else it is considered by underwriters as a ‘total loss’ whereupon they settle the full value of the loss.

The purpose of insurance is to put you back in the same position as you were immediately prior to the loss.

Restoration Cover Insurance Policy Bruce Stevenson

Recently we dealt with a case where a piece of art was badly damaged due to a fire.

A fire occurred in the ground floor reception room of a private home and although it was apparent that the drawing room door was closed, it was clear that a large volume of dense smoke permeated throughout most of the property.

Forensic testing confirmed that the cause of the fire was as a result of an exposed bulb of a halogen uplighter placed in close proximity to a combustible curtain fabric. The pattern of burning clearly showed that the seat of the fire was at the front of the drawing room.

There was fire and smoke damage to a number of ‘collection’ items including a watercolour that suffered extensive heat and smoke damage but was protected by glass.  Restoration work commenced to clean the surface and varnish to remove smoke deposits. Not only was the work physically damaged, but a smoke odour lingered. The reverse of the canvas was also cleaned, combined with Ozone treatment, good air circulation and filtration which resolved the problem of the smell.

In accordance with terms of the policy, costs were met for restoration plus any subsequent loss in value.  As evidence of the treated areas were visible under ultra –violet light, the insurer sought the opinion from two independent galleries who had dealings with the Artist and works of this nature, together with an auction house to ascertain the diminution of value, in percentage terms.

The watercolour was insured on an agreed value basis and it was confirmed that the value had depreciated by 55%. The claim was therefore settled for restoration and depreciation costs with the insured retaining the work. The insured was satisfied that the work was salvageable and not a total loss. The policy schedule was then amended to reflect the revised agreed value.

Accidental damage is the most frequent cause of collection claims so it pays to be prepared and work with the principle that prevention is better than cure.

For any further information please contact [email protected] or call 0131 553 2293

Traffic Disruptions from Monday 8th January – Edinburgh Office

Edinburgh Council will be undertaking Carriageway renewal works, which will be situated in close proximity to our Edinburgh Office. The works are to resurface the carriageway on Great Junction Street and are scheduled to commence on Monday 8th January 2018 and expected to last 4 weeks depending on weather conditions. Operating times will be from 08.00 -17.00 Monday to Saturday and 10.00 – 16.30 on Sundays.

Road use during the works:

To allow for the safe execution of works there will be temporary road closures and parking restrictions.Traffic on Great Junction Street will be restricted to North bound traffic only and the following closures will be put into practice:

  • Great Junction Street from Bonnington Road Junction to North Junction Street / Ferry Road Junction to all vehicles travelling south to the Foot of the Walk. North bound traffic towards North Junction Street will be unaffected.
  • Cables Wynd from Yardheads to Great Junction Street will also be closed for the duration of the construction works.
  • The diversion route for south bound traffic that would normally travel along Great Junction Street is via Coburg Street, Sandport Place and Henderson Street, to arrive back at Great Junction Street. Traffic will be managed in and out of Mill Lane, Taylor Gardens and Ballantyne Road by the contractor.  There will be a left turn only policy for traffic exiting Bonnington Road, Bangor Road and Ballantyne Road for the duration of the works.  There will be a right turn only policy for traffic exiting Taylor Gardens and Mill lane, again for the duration.

Parking

Parking suspensions will be in place to suspend waiting and unloading on both sides or Great Junction Street from Bonnington Road Junction to North Junction Street, Cables Wynd from Yardheads to Great Junction Street, King Street I and Coburg Street in its entirety. However please note if you are visiting our Edinburgh Office during opening hours, you are welcome to park in our office car park located off street.