Sodexo Live seals fresh deal with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Heritage Portfolio is to invest £1 million in the venue’s facilities, and establish a hospitality hub within the RBGE’s John Hope Gateway.

HOSPITALITY at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is to remain in the capable hands of Sodexo Live’s specialist events and catering company, Heritage Portfolio, as their partnership is being extended for a further five years following a competitive tender process.

Heritage Portfolio is said to have been a ‘crucial’ part of the Garden experience since 2007, providing catering, hospitality and events services at the historic site, with a dedication to Scottish ingredients that extends to including 1.2 tonnes of organic certificated produce – equivalent to 23 kilogrammes a week – grown annually in the on-site kitchen garden.

Now, as part of the renewed partnership/contract, Heritage Portfolio is to invest £1 million in the venue’s facilities, and establish a hospitality hub within the RBGE’s John Hope Gateway.

This initiative will include the delivery of educational masterclasses, including field to fork cooking experiences, guest chef events and supper clubs, celebrating seasonal and ethically sourced produce.

It will also include the introduction of a barista coffee truck, key changes to the Gateway Café and in future, a new exclusive events space. The renovation will increase seating capacity, introduce a new style of service in the Cafe and see the creation of a new outdoor dining experience on the deck overlooking the gardens.

Divisional director for Heritage Portfolio in Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland, Sandy Robson, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which signifies our mutual dedication to providing visitors with an unparalleled experience.

“The investment and developments highlight our commitment to not only maintaining, but elevating the standards of hospitality and service at this prestigious venue.

“Alongside our new food proposition, joint sustainability initiatives and community engagement plan, we’re aligned in our ambition to create a new level of experience for Garden visitors,” said Robson.

“This further solidifies our position as the partner of choice in Scotland following the recent contract retentions of V&A Dundee, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Dundas Castle, Musselburgh Racecourse and Mansfield Traquair.”

Director of horticulture & visitor experience at RBGE, Raoul Curtis-Machin, added: “We look forward to working together to realise our shared vision for the guest experience at the Gardens. The transformation of space within the John Hope Gateway provides an excellent base for our work in the community and offers visitors new opportunities to enjoy our seasonal approach to dining, both inside and out.

“As we look to the future, we look forward to further initiatives and developments that will continue to enhance the experience for our visitors from across Edinburgh and the world.”