Showcase of Scots culture Slàinte draws global visitors to Playfair Hall

The Slainte nights at Surgeons' Hall
 are proving popular. Picture: Wullie Marr
The Slainte nights at Surgeons' Hall are proving popular. Picture: Wullie Marr
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BOASTING a vaulted ceiling and classical columns, the Playfair Hall is renowned for having one of the city’s finest interiors.

But now the 19th-century gem has another claim to fame after a traditional Scots night attracted interest from all over the world.

Visitors from Venezuela to Japan have flocked to Surgeons’ Hall’s latest venture, Slàinte – a showcase of Scotland’s finest traditional food, drinks, dancing and music.

Since the event was launched last month, the conference venue has seen visitors travel from Quebec, Alabama, Sweden and Spain, with expressions of interest from the United States, Canada, Germany and Taiwan.

Scott Mitchell, commercial director at Surgeons’ Hall, said: “For 40 years visitors have been flocking to Scottish evenings – think how much more amazing that experience will be in the unparalleled setting of the Playfair Hall.

“While targeting visitors to the city on a small group basis is important to the running of such an ambitious entertainments package, getting interest from tour companies can boost numbers to a level that will see Slàinte become one of the city’s most popular nights.

“From the interest we have received across the board from those who have attended the few nights we have run so far, we know we are well placed to make Slàinte more regular and more popular, not only in the coming months but in the long term as well.

“We expect to be able to use this as a base to expand to as many as seven nights a week, which, of course, is fantastic news for everyone involved.”

Changes have also been made to better show off the venue, drawing greater attention to the ornate features and works of art in the building.

The shows, for which tickets cost £65 per person, include a taste of whisky at the Address to a Haggis, with unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks.

John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh has built a world-wide reputation for its globally enticing events and newcomer, Slàinte is a fantastic example of this.

“There’s a huge opportunity to strengthen the city’s cultural offering and increase its international exposure. With Slàinte celebrating its global success within the first few weeks it’s never been more apparent there’s a real appetite for events like this, and the more opportunities we can present to visit Edinburgh the better.”

john.connell@jpress.co.uk