Fine blend of the old and the new at the Royal Highland Show

Crowds at the Royal Highland Show
Crowds at the Royal Highland Show

Best known for the finest animals, great food and the best the countryside can offer, the award-winning Royal Highland Show is turning its sights on developing its bar culture to be as diverse as the show’s visitor base.

Following the success of Scotland’s Larder Live, which transformed the way food was enjoyed at the show, visitors will experience an approach to socialising that combines the traditional with the artisan as well as the “down right classy”.

“We have consulted widely and believe that the new bars will make for a enjoyable experience for everyone. We appreciate that there has been disappointment that the Herdsman is no longer; there will still be a bar on that site, it will just be smaller and not have a live DJ. The show dance will give people a place to dance so we would ask everyone to keep an open mind and give us your feedback following the event.”

Stephen Hutt, RHASS Chief Executive

Replacing the Herdsman will be two new bars - one on the site of the former pub and another located at the southeast corner of the showground.

From a licensed restaurant, a bar serving revelers at the show dance and a relaxed space with live music, show organisers are hoping that, by tapping into the renaissance of good food, craft beer, artisan gin and a good old-fashioned pint, show-goers will enjoy toasting success in the ring, mingling with friends and enjoying the fruits of Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry … in the unique setting of the showground.

Visitors will still be spoiled for choice with old favourites such as the Cheers Bar, the German Bar, the Quaich and the Heather Bar as well as the Stag and the existing three bars in the Members’ Pavilion.

Commenting on the development of the offering, RHASS Chief Executive, Stephen Hutt said: “We have consulted widely and believe that the new bars will make for a enjoyable experience for everyone. We appreciate that there has been disappointment that the Herdsman is no longer; there will still be a bar on that site, it will just be smaller and not have a live DJ. The show dance will give people a place to dance so we would ask everyone to keep an open mind and give us your feedback following the event.”

The move to review licensed premises was sparked by negative feedback on antisocial behaviour at last year’s show. It is now hoped that by providing quality, well-managed and attractive bars and pubs everyone will feel comfortable enjoying their favourite tipple, or discovering some of Scotland’s other drinks.

RHASS Chairman, Willie Gill, said: “The show is without doubt a place where people come from miles around to socialise and catch up with friends and family they might not have seen all year. Friendly banter and humour is great to observe and, by giving people a nice space to relax in, it can only enhance a very important part of the visitor experience.

“We are looking to appoint operators with experience of running the new bars to a high standard. By reducing queuing, for example, will cut down the temptation to buy two or three pints at a time. It’s all creating an environment that encourages drinking less, but creating a better experience.”

Tender documents have been sent to a carefully selected number of operators and once these companies have been appointed, the Show will release its drinking and dining guide.

Showground licensed premises are open Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th June from 12.00 to 22.00 and on Sunday 26th from 12.00 to 17.00.

The show dance will open earlier from 18.00 to 23.00 on Wednesday; 20:00 to 01:00 on Thursday and 20:00 to 02:00 on Friday and Saturday.