Alcohol Licence Approval for Leslie Castle

Aberdeenshire-based Leslie Castle is a traditional baronial castle fully restored from a ruinous state in the 1980s.  It operated as a licenced hotel from 1989 to 1997 and was re-opened as a guesthouse with tourist accommodation in 2018 by John Andrea, Baron of Leslie, and Nicola Teal.

Leslie Castle near Auchleven, provides guests with a uniquely immersive experience hosted by the current Baron of Leslie, including personal guided tours of the historic site and a wealth of information on Scottish culture and history.

We have recently had an application for an alcohol Premises Licence approved and are now able to offer an exciting new addition to the accommodation business. Guests can arrange evening meals in the grand Baronial Hall, perfect for special occasions accompanied by a glass of wine or champagne; enjoy a wee dram by the fireside or perhaps a G&T in the garden on arrival.

John Andrea, Baron of Leslie, Chef, Gardener, and Housekeeper, commented:

“We became owners of Leslie Castle in 2018, with the aim of running a boutique hotel, taking advantage of the castle’s beautiful setting and unique history to offer a unique experience to every guest.  It’s a small castle as castles go, and with just 5 large bedrooms available to book we can offer the personal touch to every guest.  It’s not every day one gets the chance to stay in a Baronial Castle with turrets and history dating back to the very beginning of Clan Leslie in the 12th Century”

Nicola Teal, Host and Director of Leslie Castle, commented:

“We are delighted to introduce a new drinks service for the 2023 season.  Around 75% of our customers have been international travellers staying one or two nights as part of a grand tour of Scotland, many of whom were disappointed not to be able to enjoy a relaxing drink after a long day’s drive or enjoy some wine with their evening meal, without venturing out to purchase a bottle from elsewhere.”

“We first enquired about the possibility of being able to serve alcohol with our popular evening meals to residents back in November 2019, but the pandemic put our plans on hold until February of this year, when we began the application in earnest.  It is a daunting process for a small family run business but after 10 months the paperwork is all in order and we are looking forward to delivering the new service in 2023”

John added:

“In the 1980s the castle was restored back to it’s 1661 footprint, which is when it previously saw major work.  Then it operated as a private hotel throughout most of the 1990’s. By the time we took possession it needed some remedial work and updating, which we have done sympathetically and as finances allow.  The Covid years placed a great strain on our business, but this year we have taken 2 major steps forward, upgrading the thermal insulation to the roof and obtaining an alcohol licence, both of which have been in the pipeline for around 2 years.   The castle is listed, and it therefore took a lot longer to obtain the relevant planning permission, including an appeal to the Scottish Ministers.”

“We are over the moon; it means so much to our business that we no longer have to ask guests to bring their own drinks or explain why we can’t serve a glass of wine with dinner.  We will also be selling Clan Leslie Whisky miniatures.”

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