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The Fabulous Dun Aluinn And The National Food Tourism Plan

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The Fabulous Dun Aluinn And The National Food Tourism Plan

The Fabulous Dun Aluinn And The National Food Tourism Plan
January 03
09:18 2019

With the growth of food tourism proving a major contributor to Scotland’s burgeoning hospitality sector, demand for holiday rentals is rising. So when Aberfeldy businessman John Burke and his architect wife Susie redesigned and relaunched Dun Aluinn, Aberfeldy’s newest exclusive-use property, they raised the bar for quality and provenance in Perthshire.

Fiona Richmond went along to meet him…

FR: You’ve created a stunning property with an exceptional focus on quality across every aspect of the renovation. What was the inspiration behind this and what do you think the appeal will be for visitors?

JB: When my wife Susie and I started off on the renovation, our aspiration was to make the finished product truly world-class, so that whoever came and stayed at Dun Aluinn would fully appreciate the building, its architectural influences and interior design, and its situation. Susie worked as an architect in San Francisco and New York for many years, and I have renovated many old buildings in the past with my building company, Corryard, so Dun Aluinn is a true expression of  our design aesthetic; pared-back quality with no bling. The Scottish-made 5.5m bronze-and-oak table [pictured below right] will I think hold a certain appeal for our guests, as will the terrace with views over Aberfeldy and along the valley. 

FR: You’ve partnered with local sourcing specialists Ballintaggart farm to provide private catering for your guests. Why is this collaboration is so important to you?

JB: We wanted the food here to match the quality and creativity of the surroundings, and we see sharing food as another opportunity to enhance the guest experience by showcasing Scotland’s outstanding larder. Guests might enjoy homemade sourdough and preserves or locally smoked salmon and free-range eggs for breakfast. Meanwhile, the seasonal dinner menus could include, for example, Grandtully venison, Kinnaird game, South Powrie turkey or Isle of Skye langoustines and shellfish.

John Burke (middle) with Susie and their son

FR: We know that visitors are looking for unique and memorable experiences during their time here. What kind of food and drink odysseys do you plan to offer guests?

JB: As well as breakfast, lunch and dinner by Ballintaggart, visitors might opt for a picnic to take with them, or take a knife skills tutorial or a game masterclass at Ballintaggart’s Cook School.

FR:  Allied to that, what part do you think Dun Aluinn plays in Scotland’s recently launched national food tourism plan?

JB: We are committed to delivering quality and memorable food and drink experiences and are really inspired by the food tourism vision that has been set out.

FR: What are your goals this year and what can the industry to do to support them?

JB: Having been accepted into the White Line Hotels network, a high-end, design-led group of luxury hotels and B&B in Europe, we now want to establish Dun Aluinn as a destination for world-class experiences offering the best accommodation and Scottish produce in order to attract guests from around the world.

Fiona Richmond is Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food and Drink.

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Catering Scotland

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