Well it’s work really, of course it is. David Doughty one of our Senior Aviation Consultants has a lot of clients in bonny Scotland and he asked me to go along with him to meet some of them. We flew Heathrow to Edinburgh, then on to Perth and surprise surprise, the sun shone. We finished our meetings around 3.30 so headed for the Tourist Info to see what was nearby to visit and as luck would have it the stunning Scone Palace was just 10 minutes drive.
We were greeted by Alexander (Sandy to me) a rather lovely Scot in a Kilt, well I was bound to find one wasn’t I. I do have a penchant for a man in a kilt!
The crowning place of Kings, Scone (pronounced Scoone I am reliably informed by Dorethea our incredibly well informed guide). The whereabouts of the ‘Stone of Scone’ remains one of Scotlands most enduring mysteries (here’s a pic of me on the copy which stands on Moot Hill)
Today Scone is the home of the Earls of Mansfield. Poised above the River Tay, with the Grampian mountains as a backdrop, Scone cast its spell over me. In 1803 there was a grand re-build at the enormous sum of 60,000 pounds the architect was William Atkinson a master of gothic design. The library no longer holds books, but an exceptional collection of family china. The fabulous dining room has some 70 pieces of carved ivory. There is a lovely tale of 2 years planning to receive Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, no expense was spared and the vast dining room table was specially commissioned from oak from the estate. She stayed just the one night, proclaiming the dining room too chilly!
And then there is the long gallery, used for taking exercise when the weather was poor! Now home to a magnificent organ, a gift from the third Earl to his wife. Still regularly played at the weddings that are now held in the Long Gallery.
And then there is the Maze. Designed in the shape of the five pointed star that features in the Murray family crest. The maze has 2,000 beech trees, half green, half copper, planted in such a way as to create a unique tartan effect (now who would’ve thought of that).
It is the work of contemporary maze designer Adrian Fisher. It is 215 feet across and at it’s centre there is a pentagonal fountain with a bronze sculpture, very lovely. Come on David I said, lets go in, but he was busy on the phone booking an aircraft so I went in alone. Bad mistake! Some 20 minutes later when Dave had finished on the phone he had to come and rescue me, hopelessly lost in the maze of Scone. Lucky he was there, I would still be in there now!!
Then we headed to Aberdeen where our meetings were for the next day, and found a great restaurant for dinner. Amicus Apple, a funky bar with ambient lighting and a great range of cocktails. I had the Pink Angel, a combo of Absolut Raspberry Vodka, Raspberry syrup, Cranberry and Pomegranate juice. Cheers!