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Making tasty tracks

Press Release   •   Feb 01, 2017 12:48 GMT

The food and drink on one of Scotland’s most iconic train journeys has received VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best award in recognition of its use of quality Scottish produce.

Caledonian Sleeper, operated by Serco since April 2015, has been awarded the accreditation by the national tourism organisation for the quality and provenance of the on board food and drink experience.

Operating between London and Scotland six nights each week, Caledonian Sleeper was commended for its menu which boasts some of the best produce from across Scotland, including Highland brie, Ayrshire bacon and Caithness shortbread.

Taste Our Best, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government is designed to recognise businesses including hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, visitor attractions and B&Bs that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, giving consumers more choice.

The Taste Our Best scheme provides businesses with an assessment of their food provision and their menu by qualified assessors, with those meeting the necessary criteria gaining the award.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Congratulations to Caledonian Sleeper on receiving its Taste Our Best Award. It is fitting that such an iconic Scottish rail journey should be accompanied by the very best in Scottish food and drink –Caledonian Sleeper certainly offers this.”

“From restaurants to Scotland’s built heritage, chippies to ferries, Taste Our Best is open to any business with a food and drink offering. With research finding that three out of four visitors think eating local cuisine will enhance their visit, Taste Our Best really is a recipe for success.”

As part of their mission to offer passengers the country’s finest fare, Caledonian Sleeper partnered with Dingwall-based producer RSF Scotland, who create a wide range of meals and snacks using ingredients from Scottish sources.

Ryan Flaherty, Guest Experience Director at Caledonian Sleeper said: “We are delighted to receive the ‘Taste Our Best’ Award for the catering service we provide to guests on board the Caledonian Sleeper.

“With the majority of items in our menu already locally-sourced, we are committed to further increasing the number of local suppliers that we work with to continue providing our guests with delicious new dishes to enjoy during their journey.

“As the provenance of our on board menu is something we take great pride in, we are particularly pleased that this award recognises our efforts in supporting the local Scottish economy.”

Research has shown that visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin and businesses that provide local food can typically enjoy higher level sales of up to 20% per year.

It is estimated that tourism’s contribution to Scotland’s food and drink industry is worth £2.5 million per day to country’s economy with sampling traditional dishes and local produce among the top activities undertaken by visitors to Scotland.

To find out more about the Taste Our Best scheme, visit http://www.visitscotland.org/business_support/quality_assurance/restaurants.aspx

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