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Meals on wheels but not as you know it!

Press Release   •   Jul 03, 2015 15:03 BST

The Paper Mill Restaurant in Lasswade has become the first restaurant in Scotland to receive a Cyclists Welcome Award from the national tourism organisation.

VisitScotland presented the award after being hugely impressed by the effort the team at Paper Mill made in going that extra mile to cater for people who are cycling to the restaurant.

The Paper Mill Restaurant overlooks the beautiful River Esk in the tranquil conservation village and is an all-day bar and restaurant situated in a historic paper mill.

With a long and rich history of papermaking, the Esk Valley was once home to ten mills, renowned for the production of fine papers made Esparto grass imported from Africa. The era of papermaking ended with the closure of the last mill on the Esk which ceased production in 2004.

Karen Calvert and her team at The Paper Mill Restaurant have worked hard to achieve the award making improvements such as sourcing new, specialised cycle parking from a Midlothian blacksmith, and training their staff to warmly welcome customers on wheels.

Karen Calvert of the Paper Mill Restaurant, said;

“We went for this award because The Paper Mill is a perfect refreshment pit stop for cyclists. It’s within a mile of two long-distance cycle routes, National Cycle Routes 1 and 196, and less than two miles from the Edinburgh-Loanhead-Roslin cycle route.

“I am delighted we are the first restaurant in Edinburgh and the Lothians to achieve VisitScotland’s Cyclists Welcome as this will help encourage even more cyclists to feel comfortable coming here knowing their needs will be met.”

The Paper Mill Restaurant is open seven days a week from 9am for coffees, cakes, breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the summer the large riverside terrace is open for al fresco drinking and dining and in the winter months a cosy open fire is lit in the bar area.

Staff are trained to offer a friendly welcome to all customers, and the restaurant was also recognised recently by Scottish Licensed Trade News as ‘Best Family Outlet in Scotland’ for the warm welcome given to families.

VisitScotland Regional Director, Manuela Calchini, said:

“Catering for all visitors is important and The Cyclists Welcome Award is presented to businesses which go the extra mile in terms of attention to what is particularly required by people travelling on two wheels, whether that be space for their bikes or a place to wash down their cycles. We want to continue to market Edinburgh and the Lothians as a ‘must visit, must return’ destination so I am delighted The Paper Mill Restaurant is the first restaurant in Scotland to achieve such a recognition which helps to increase visitor numbers and provide a great customer experience.”

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are recognized as best practice around the world including Sweden and Namibia and currently boasts over 7,000 participants. Around 94% of participants in the scheme have made an investment in their business in the last few years, totaling around £70 million.

Notes to Editors

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    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
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    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland