Thursday, 20 September 2012

According to The Scotsman on Thursday 20 September 2012 The Scottish Open will return to Castle Stuart next year before moving to a new venue – Royal Aberdeen Golf Club – in 2014.

Making the announcement last night, the European Tour also confirmed a 20 per cent increase in prize money for 2013 and 2014 for the Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event. The fund will rise from £2.5million to £3m with the champion receiving £500,000.

Castle Stuart, near Inverness, will stage the event from 11-14 July next year and, in 2014, Royal Aberdeen will host the first-ever European Tour event over the Balgownie links from 10-13 July.

Founded in 1780, Royal Aberdeen is the world’s sixth oldest golf club and the course was originally designed by Carnoustie’s Simpson brothers, Archie and Robert. It was re-bunkered and lengthened by James Braid and Hawtree and Company have now been engaged as course architects to ensure it keeps pace with the modern game. Royal Aberdeen will be the eighth venue to host the Scottish Open since 1972, having previously staged the 2005 Senior Open, which was won by Tom Watson, and the 2011 Walker Cup, won by Great Britain and Ireland.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said: “We are delighted to announce details of the outstanding venues for the next two editions of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and to confirm a 20 per cent rise in the prize fund to £3m for 2013 and 2014.

“Castle Stuart has been popular with the players and public alike and we are pleased to return there in July before moving to Royal Aberdeen. I had the privilege of watching the 2005 Senior Open and the Walker Cup in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen, a classic and challenging links course, which will continue in the tradition of great Scottish Open venues.”

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “We were immensely impressed with how Castle 
Stuart staged the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and we are delighted to 
be returning there in 2013 to enjoy a similarly successful tournament.

“I am also sure that Royal Aberdeen Golf Club will provide a challenging and picturesque setting in 2014 as it displays the best of links golf and is a fitting host for this great tournament.”

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Loch Lomond Short Break Offer

We've been sent a great offer from The Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha on Loch Lomondside this week and as Christmas is already in the online air it's maybe also an opportunity to start your Christmas shopping as the package makes an ideal gift.

The deal is for
  • 2 nights B&B from £69.00 per room (based on 2 people sharing a standard room)
  • 20% off all food purchased in bar or restaurant during stay (not applicable to takeaway menu)
  • 50% off room upgrades (excluding family rooms) - £15.00 for superior room, £25.00 for deluxe room
  • Family rooms available at a supplement of £15.00 each child ages 3-12 years (includes a main course each night from childrens' menu) - please phone to book a family room
  • Available 19th September 2012 - 27th March 2013 (excluding 22nd December - 3rd January and 12th - 16th February)
Anyone who has stayed at the Oak Tree Inn will know that the standard of accommodation and food quality is excellent and you will not be disappointed! They have added some new rooms this year in the cottages which gives even more choice.

You can Book the Offer Direct on the Oak Tree's Own booking's page saving you money and use oak1213 if asked as your Promo Code

Offer subject to availability and is not applicable for bookings already made

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Nairn Arts Festival

We are going to have to try and identify bloggers across Scotland to pick up on all of these things! Local information is best provided by local people after all!

Anyway, it's apparently the mid point of the Nairn Arts Festival but tehre's still plenty to take advantage of this week if you're at a lose end with events all the way through to the 9th of September.

Straight from the official website:

"There are exciting developments in our music programme.  We have several traditional events; a concert from the Rua Mc Millan Trio in the Community and Arts Centre and a grande finale from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers in the Newton Hotel.  In between, Friday night is jazz night with the legendary Temperance Seven at the Community and Arts Centre.  On Saturday, comedy stand-up Dr Phil Hammond, arrives to amuse and provoke.

Our range of poetry, fiction, history, gardening, cookery and the unclassifiable is wider than ever this year.  Iain Banks is back in Nairn.  Professor Susan Black forensic anthropologist is here. Trevor Royle is here. From Norway, comes Thomas Enger, a crime novelist.  And on our closing afternoon, we have writer and cook, Lady Claire Macdonald, known to all who live in the Highlands and beyond.

There is now a Nairn Fringe, growing year by year: Nairn Drama Club, The Pen and I, Nairn Ceilidh Group, Cinema Nairn, local writers and historians and a local poet and stand up. This year we have several free events; at the library and the Little Theatre. The community is more involved than ever.

Throughout the festival, there will be a wonderful contemporary art exhibition with works in different media at the Court House. Art workshops will complement the exhibition by offering specialist tuition in various techniques, from oil paint to digital media.

Accommodation in Nairn.

If you're looknig for accommodation in the town you could do worse than heading for either The Clubhouse or the delightful Inveran Guest House

You can always check availabilty and BOOK DIRECT with the checker above right.

Islay Jazz Festival September 2012

Was driving home listening to the Jazz programme on Radio Scotland last night (before my daughter took control of the dial to search for another Katy Perry track!) and heard a great interview about the forthcoming Islay Jazz Festival taking place on that wonderful island between the 15th and 17th of September.

It just sounded such a great event and even the quirkiness of the descriptions made it all the more potent; the car ferries are full already but you can still take the passenger ferry over and hire a car; there is now a campsite available and someone has posted some availability in an old eighties style caravan!

Having spent the afternoon in the Su Casa music tent at Troon Live last weekend I am so in the mood to enjoy more and more small live music events and maybe there's a book in there somewhere for 2013! Events such as these provide a reason for visiting a destination and savouring all else that it has to offer.

A visit to the Jazz Festival on Islay is going to expose you to whiskies you've never dreamt of or possibly even a round of golf on one of Scotland's most impressive hidden courses. You're going to witness the stunning scenery of a drive up Loch Lomond or Loch Fyne or down the west caost and the Argyll hills and mountains.

The same weekend there's also the Best of the West Fest at Inverary - how good a weekend would that be if you could do abit of both!

Anyway more information on both music based events on the links above. Go immerse yourself.

Great Wee Music Events...That's Why Scotland's For Me!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Winton House Christmas Party in East Lothian

Looking for Christmas party ideas? Well here's a nice wee exclusive one

Why not host your Christmas Party this year with Winton House and get the magical keys to your very own Winton Wonderland. Enjoy exclusive use of this enchanting private home & stately Christmas Castle.

As the email goes on:

"Whether your group fancy a traditional sumptuous three course banquet, or prefer to kick up your heels husky dog racing around the lawn before warming up with a wee hot chocolate in front of one of our log fires, we have packages to suit all pockets and purses.

Rest assured the house will be looking spectacular in all its festive finery. After all, we've had over five hundred years to perfect the Christmas decorations for our seven public rooms, from our atmospheric medieval cellar with private dining, to our grand and luxurious 16th century drawing room, perfect for pre dinner drinks. See more...

Accommodating numbers from ten to two hundred, with prices starting from £25 per head, feel free to contact them in order to arrange your own bespoke package. Please email Winton House directly or call 01875 340 222 for further information.