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Highland Coo Van celebrates excellence in Perthshire

A country house in the heart of Highland Perthshire received a special visit from a VisitScotland Coo Van as it became Perthshire’s first Five Star Restaurant with Rooms.


The Old Manse of Blair, just outside the village of Blair Atholl, received five stars from the national tourism organisation’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its exceptional standards.The QA Scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.


To celebrate the accolade, Heather, one of VisitScotland’s herd of Coo Vans, stopped off at the house on her way to the House of Bruar to award the business with its Five Star plaque. This is the first time a Coo Van has presented a business with a QA award.


Owned by Anne MacDonald, The Old Manse of Blair is home to the Orangery Restaurant, which is under the leadership of Executive Head Chef, Jonathan Greer, formerly of The Gleneagles Hotel and Ballathie House. As the restaurant serves locally sourced, quality food and drink, it has received VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best accreditation.


Heather’s visit to the House of Bruar is part of the national tourism organisation’s outreach activity which involves a fleet of three ‘coos’ and their 'Coo-visors' driving across the country engaging with locals, visitors and industry. Later this week Heather will be visiting Scone Palace, the Secret Bunker and the Museum of Flight.


As well as providing information and inspiration, the Coo Vans allow VisitScotland to promote and the rich content available to visitors before, during and after their stay. In 2018 the Coo Vans were out on the road for over 314 days, attending 72 events, and visited 218 venues and tourism hotspots.

Located within the Cairngorms National Park, The Old Manse of Blair is the perfect Highland getaway for a special vacation, wedding, family gathering or dining experience.


Anne MacDonald, Owner of The Old Manse of Blair, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have achieved such a high rating and a food award from VisitScotland in such a short space of time. We have a fantastic team here at The Old Manse and this is a wonderful reward for all their hard work, care and attention to detail.”

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “Well done to Anne and the whole team at The Old Manse of Blair. To achieve a Five Star grading is very impressive and I’m pleased to see the Orangery Restaurant is committed to serving a high standard of locally sourced food and drink.

“Our Quality Assurance Scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating – it is about the entire visitor experience and investing in the business to make it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be.”

For more information about The Old Manse of Blair, go to


For more information about VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme, Taste Our Best Scheme and visitor information provision, go to

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Highland Coo Van celebrates excellence in Perthshire

Specially delivered tourism award for accommodation business

Asset type post
ID 111191
Word count 535 words


Licence Editorial A Licence to use assets for editorial purposes, which is, to illustrate an event or story in an article but not commercially such as marketing a product or print ad. An Editorial asset may show a brand, a trademarked logo or product, a public personality, or recognisable people, without a signed release or with limited releases. When you use VisitScotland Editorial content you do so to illustrate Scottish tourism in a positive way.
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Usage Editorial content can be published in a variety of formats ranging from print or digital to online. In print content can be featured in *newspapers *magazines *brochures. Online content can be published in a *blog *website *article or *social media. Regardless of the format this content should always promote Scotland’s tourism in a positive way.