Explaining The Awards
EatScotland.com promotes two key food and drink quality assurance schemes: EatScotland and Scotland's Best Bars. To find out more about these great schemes, take a look at the following information.
EatScotland is a quality assurance 'where to eat' scheme from VisitScotland and a website promoting all positive aspects of food and drink in Scotland.
EatScotland has two main objectives. Firstly it helps the residents and visitors to Scotland find great places to eat, not just the well-established places but also the many unsung and sometimes relatively undiscovered places within Scotland that are providing good food, but who may not have managed to get into the glossy printed guides.
The second aim is to raise the profile of Scottish food as an important part of tourism, giving credit to those who are achieving high standards and encouraging others to aspire to that standard. Good examples in the industry, no matter what type of business, will be acknowledged for their achievements.
For acceptance as an EatScotland participant, applicants must achieve a level of quality set against a national benchmark in their respective food style. They are rigorously assessed for the inherent quality of their ingredients, presentation, culinary skills, and service. An establishment that achieves the required standard represents an above average level of quality in the geographical area, and in its style of cuisine.
A Silver Award is given to those EatScotland participants who consistently exceed the EatScotland entry standard in a high proportion of the areas assessed. Establishments holding a Silver award represent some of the best eating places across Scotland, and are well worth a detour to experience
To be considered for a Gold Award, participants must already have achieved a minimum of Silver levels in all areas. In addition they must demonstrate outstanding levels of quality in key areas of food and service, which puts them in the very small and select band of operators that can stand world-wide comparison. They are inevitably few in number, and are by definition worth making a special destination by all lovers of excellent food.
Scotland's Best Bars is a new quality assurance scheme from VisitScotland which aims to ensure that visitors can enjoy true Scottish hospitality in pubs, bars and inns across the country.
Like the EatScotland scheme, Scotland's Best Bars has two main objectives. Firstly, the scheme helps visitors and Scottish residents discover the country's remarkable diversity of fantastic pubs, bars and inns - from renowned establishments to hidden gems and from rustic local pubs steeped in history to elegant style bars.
Visitors will know from the scheme logo outside the establishment that they can find first rate and speciality beverages, friendly, efficient service, a warm and welcoming ambience and the highest standards.
The second objective is to reward excellence and encourage all establishments to aspire to these high standards. By promoting and rewarding quality, the scheme aims to raise the profile of food and drink as a vital part of Scottish tourism.
Scotland's Best Bars Participation
For acceptance as a Scotland's Best Bars participant, applicants must achieve a level of quality set against a national benchmark. They are rigorously assessed in a number of key areas such as ambience, sociability, friendly and efficient service, a good range of products including speciality beverages, and where appropriate, first class opportunities to enjoy dining, live music or sports coverage.
Best Bars Categories
Traditional Bar - a traditionally styled town bar or pub, or perhaps a country inn. These may well specialise in draught beers from Scottish breweries, or offer a wide range of malt whiskies.
Contemporary Bar - a more modern style of bar or pub, more likely to be located in a town or city, and offering a range of draught and bottled beers, wines and spirits. Some may also provide regular entertainment for example live music.
Style Bar - likely to be a sophisticated fashion bar, more often in a town or city location; there may well be a focus on wines and cocktails, in addition to beers and spirits.
For more detailed criteria and for information on 'how to join' EatScotland and Scotland's Best Bars, please visit our About EatScotland page.