More than 2,000 at Floors Castle Massed Pipe Band Day

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More than 2,000 visitors enjoyed a feast for the ears as well as the taste buds at Sunday’s annual Massed Pipe Band Day at Floors Castle.

The region’s top pipe bands and performers played alongside the best of the Borders’ culinary scene at an event growing in popularity.

Now a well-established tradition hosted by the Duke of Roxburghe and Floors Castle, the event welcomed over 100 pipes and drums from across the Borders and Lothians, introduced a new food court featuring over 20 Scottish and local food producers showcasing the Borders’ impressive larder and celebrating Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

The Duke of Roxburghe said: “It was wonderful to bring a new dimension to this long-established event and to see an increase in visitor numbers not only to Floors, but to the local Scottish Borders as all events such as this play an important part of the visitor economy.

“The introduction of the food court at this year’s event was a huge success and helped showcase the best of Borders’ natural larder.”

The day started with the sounds and sights of the Erskine Regiment’s re-enactment including a drill and parade performance and firing of their muskets.

Smells and tastes of a cookery demonstration by Chez Roux Chefs followed. Culinary duo Mike Mathieson and head chef at Kelso’s Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course, Lee Pattie prepared local cured fish with artichoke and wasabi followed by roasted greengages and vanilla waffles.

Chef Albert Roux, founder of Chez Roux said: “It was a great chance for our chefs and local talent to show what the Borders can offer, excellent food and fantastic entertainment – a great pairing.”

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “The culinary food court was a truly delicious addition to this year’s Massed Pipe Band Day and was an excellent example of how funding from themed years, such as Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, helps support tourism in rural areas such as the Scottish Borders.”

The event which was created by the present Duke of Roxburghe’s father to offer a spectacular setting for the traditional event which sees bands from all over the Borders playing music passed down through the centuries – including tunes which have given courage and inspiration to Scots on battlefields throughout the world.

Visitors were also entertained by Highland dance performances, birds of prey and dog agility exhibitions as well as taking part in family friendly activities such as face painting, bouncy castles and garden tours.