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Experience Ecosse is 5 years old

Being country bumkins, and pensioners besides, we don't often get out on a Saturday evening. Yesterday was different: we took the train to Edinburgh to celebrate Experience Ecosse, Sandy's gift experience company, which was 5 years old. He threw a wonderful party at the Hawke and Hunter, Picardy Place, where the Prosecco flowed freely and the 60-100 guests included his suppliers, office staff, friends and family. Husband Keir and I went to it, along with long-standing friends Nick and Margaret Walshaw, but sadly minus grand-daughter Amy who was banned by the byzantine licensing laws, thus also preventing her mother Helen from sharing the event. Amy, watching everybody getting ready, was asking why she couldn't come to Uncle Sandy's party too, and we couldn't really explain.

Anyway, if you've ever had to think up a present for somebody who seems to have everything, the answer is easy: give them an experience voucher - from tank driving to cook school, hot air ballooning to wine tasting, speedboat to pampering. Sandy's website shows the locations nearly all over Scotland and tells you more. For the last nine months he's been assisted by the highly personable and capable Claire Maasch, but Claire is returning home to South Africa this week. Still, I doubt if we've heard the last of her!

Here is Sandy cutting the "Experience Ecosse" birthday cake, with Claire in the background. The cake was kindly created by friends Sheila and Celia, who also provided the photograph:



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