Holyrood Palace is stunning at the best of times. Originally built in 1128 as a monastery, it is The Queen’s official residence in Scotland and hosts many state ceremonies and official visitors to Scotland’s capital, including the historic visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during his official visit to the UK in September 2010. However from the 4th-6th September 2015 Holyrood Palace looks more prestigious than usual as the Dunstane Does…Concours of Elegance!
What Is The Concours of Elegance?
You might think this a strange analogy, but the Concours is an art exhibition. 60 of the worlds rarest cars are brought together in the historic setting of Holyrood Palace and the backdrop of Arthurs Seat. Concours d’Elégance originated in 17th Century Paris, when the aristocracy showed off highly ornate horse-drawn carriages. Over time this gathering expanded and changed with the times, going from horse and carriage to motorcars and it became a competition. The difference with this competition however, is there is no panel of judges, no Craig Revel Horwood with harsh critiques darling, or Len Goodman with cockney catchphrases, the cars are judge by the other owners. Each participant votes for the car they consider to be the most elegant. Each car that is exhibited at this event is a lasting testament to pioneering engineers, innovative designers and skilled coachbuilders from all over the world, so it’s a tough decision!
Dunstane Day Out at the Concours of Elegance…
You might not know this, but the Dunstane is the best hotel in Edinburgh for car lovers! Owners Derek and Shirely Mowat are keen vintage car enthusiasts and Derek frequently has Classic cars parked up at the hotel, a nice treat for guests when they open the curtains in the morning! He owns and runs Derek C Mowat, a specialist independent used car business, with over 35 years experience sourcing the very best, hand picked Classic and Prestige cars. So you can imagine his excitement as he headed off to Hoylrood last weekend, with Dunstane guests from P&A Wood. Kid in a sweet shop doesn’t really cover it, but you can understand when you find out that some of the 60 rare cars parked up on the Royal lawns, have never been seen before in the UK – ever! The cars themselves range in ages from a 1902 Arrol-Johnston Dogcart to a 2015 Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso and from many famous brands including Lagonda, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini. This years Concours of Elegance winner was a 1903 Mercedes Simplex 60HP, which Concours Patron and keen car enthusiast HRH Prince Michael of Kent took a ride in and the smile on his face said it all I think.
The Concours is not just for the big kids however, it’s for the little ones too. Spotted around the grounds were the Fisken twins, who’s Dad is Gregor Fisken, a successful British racing driver, and one of only a handful of racing drivers to have driven in all four classes at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours motor race! He is also the owner of Fiskens Fine Historic Automobiles. Many participants at the Concours are understandably very protective of their priceless cars, however there are a few owners who are happy for inquisitive little hands to explore the cars and take a seat at the wheel. Francis Fisken was even lucky enough to meet the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart whilst he was trying a car out for size!
Lucky for Derek and the P&A Wood team, Chef Paul was on hand with dinner in Skerries restaurant when they returned from a brilliant day out. There’s always something different going on in Edinburgh, whether you’re after a great boutique hotel or one of the best
restaurants in Edinburgh, The Dunstane Hotel are always here with great offers for you.