We always appreciate the opportunity to sniff out a new venue, so we were delighted to have a seat (next to owner Lord Dalmeny himself, no less) at a glitzy dinner party in May to celebrate the launch of Barnbougle Castle, a luxury exclusive-use venue seven miles from Edinburgh.
The crenellated, waterside property was once the bolthole of 19th-century prime minister, Sir Archibald Primrose, and has lay dormant since his death in 1929. Thankfully, it’s seeing the light of day again under the guardianship of his great-grandchildren.
Boasting private beaches, splendid interiors, a 10,000-strong book collection (spread across six libraries) and all manner of fascinating paintings and objets d’art, the place is a history buff or literature-lover’s dream wedding setting. There’s even bathrooms ‘hidden’ behind moving, faux bookcases and an original marble sea-water bath!
It’s been the most sensitive of restoration projects, as Lord Dalmeny divulges: “We’ve modernised the infrastructure to bring it up to date [including catering kitchen and WiFi], but otherwise changed as little as possible. There is a magical, almost breathtaking feel to the place – it is a wonderfully romantic backdrop where time seems to stand still.”
There are two large event spaces within the castle, accommodating a maximum of 200 (bigger guest lists of up to 450 can set up a marquee in the grounds), the most astonishing of which is the glorious barrel-vaulted Banqueting Hall, where we feasted upon a sensational eight-course tasting menu provided by the castle’s catering partner, Honeycomb & Co, that featured produce from the surrounding Dalmeny Estate (including a small-batch vermouth that is made using locally foraged herbs).
“We look forward to welcoming more visitors and guests,” says Lord Dalmeny. “And, it will be exciting to see the castle reborn as a place where new memories can be made.”
For more information, please visit Barnbougle Castle’s website.