Putting the “Brakes” on lockdown woe – it’s time to get Perthshire back on a plate!

Coupar Angus’s last remaining Hotel – the Red House Hotel – has joined forces with some of Scotland’s top food & drink suppliers – including Brakes Scotland – to lead the hospitality industry’s fight back in Perthshire.

“2020 should have been a real stand out year for us, as we were planning to celebrate  forty years of ownership of the Red House Hotel,” said owner Alan Bannerman, who also has Blairgowrie’s Dalmore Inn – also celebrating a ten year ownership anniversary – in his portfolio of hospitality businesses. “We’re proud to be the last hotel still open in Coupar Angus when many others have closed over the last four decades.”

 

“Instead, with the covid19 crisis having hit, we, along with many other Hoteliers, have had an unprecedented time of worry and stress as the Spring season, containing key events such as Mothers Day and Easter, was completely wiped out.”

 

“It’s left us trying to claw back as much turnover as we can in the last six months of this year, but without any weddings or coach party bookings taking place at the hotel,” added Alan, who took the reins at The Red House twenty years ago, investing over £400k to build up the business’ brand and offering to compete effectively in today’s market.

Dating back to Victorian times, when Coupar Angus had a vibrant railway station, the building was originally called The Railway Hotel. When the trains ceased to run, the neighbouring potato store and railway yard was purchased by Alan’s father Norman, and his Uncle Telford, from then owners, Scottish Brewers, in 1979, with the two men calling their business partnership, Nortel Leisure. Redeveloping the building back into a Hotel, which they called The Red House Hotel, the business its doors to guests in 1980.

Whilst Alan’s father Norman is still involved in the business today, his Uncle Telford sadly died shortly after the hotel first opened. Alan, together with his siblings Ian and Susan, formed a partnership with his dad, and mum Moyra, to continue to run the Hotel together.

Having been added to the business portfolio in 2009, The Dalmore Inn was originally a small hotel which had fallen into a state of disrepair. Alan carried out a major £1m refurbishment to create a stylish 120 cover Scottish country restaurant and bar with its own label gin.  He also has Number 31 at Wellmeadow in Blairgowrie, a popular Café/bar serving food and snacks all day.

“It’s clear that in the coming months, our food and drink offering is now going to be more important than ever, so we are keen to collaborate as much as possible with our fantastic bunch of suppliers,” said Alan. This includes Brakes Scotland who have been suppliers to Alan and his team for twenty five years.

Brakes Scotland Area Sales Manager, Clark Devaney said:

“The Red House Hotel is a landmark in Coupar Angus, a family run independent hotel, with real food provenance which does its utmost to promote this beautiful part of Scotland. We’re proud to be long term suppliers and want to take this opportunity to wish them, and the team at the Dalmore Inn, all the very best as the sector recovers from what has been a terribly uncertain time.”

Red House and Dalmore also use two local butchers, T H Stevenson Butchers from Stanley, and David Reid & Son from Burrelton, known for their award winning sausages. Fish is supplied by both Mara Fish in Aberdeen and Spinks of Blairgowrie, with many other day to day items being supplied by Brakes and Braehead Foods. Local Fruit and Veg is brought in from Les Turriff Ltd, another esteemed local supplier to the trade.

“Both my Head Chefs – Nigel Liston at The Red House Hotel, and Iain Naismith at the DaImore Inn, are planning to create some special new dishes to celebrate us coming out of lockdown,” said Alan.

 

“These will showcase Perthshire’s rich larder. So far we’ve been steady with food bookings, which is great, and at The Red House Hotel our Beer Garden will stay in place all summer, as it’s been very well supported too. We really appreciate it.”

Both venues will be getting involved in brewing giant Tennents huge promotional campaign, “Dedicated to You”, which aims to entice people back into Licensed Premises.

“If we all work together at this time, I‘m sure we can overcome hurdles and make the very best of the rest of the year’s opportunities,” said Alan. “We’re not just a landmark in Coupar Angus, we are one of the town’s largest employers, and we want it to stay that way.”