Brand Great Perthshire | A Brand New Identity?

This is a guest post by Ruth from 23rd Sept 2022 as originally published on BlueNoun.

What a fantastic meet-up with the Great Perthshire network, where we toured the Summer Harvest farm & production units (read about the tour here).

It was a unique opportunity to learn about the Summer Harvest business and join representatives of local industries to brainstorm ideas for the future of Perthshire tourism and the Great Perthshire brand identity.

Mark Bush leads the tour towards the farmhouse

Great Perthshire – Great Holidays

Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a passionate advocate for Perthshire tourism.

Blue Noun Language Hub is based in Crieff in Perthshire – for some very good reasons.

For a start, we adore showing off Perthshire’s unique combination of gorgeous, easily accessible landscape (walks, castles, mountain biking & canoeing), experience-based tourism (ghost tours, distillery tours) and artisanal food and drink producers.

All of which create a rich tableau to offer our international English learning guests.

View across Perthshire landscape (Muthill)

Great Perthshire – Superb Makers

Particularly relevant to Blue Noun Language Hub is throughout the Perthshire region there is a plethora of small, creative businesses. Artists, designers, craftspeople and makers of all ilks have studios, workshops and production units hidden away around Perthshire.

We take our English learners on ‘Meet the Makers’ tours.

We take you ‘behind the scenes.’

(We show you the ‘real’ Scotland).

Quarto Press, Coupar Angus, Perthshire

There is lots to Talk About

Due to being geographically fragmented, this rural economy remains invisible on many levels (unfortunately too often to policymakers). There’s also a prevailing misconception that cottage industries & rural industries are amateur or unimportant to the economy (so not worth looking at or listening to).

In fact, collectively, they make up a huge percentage of our rural economy – often in places where no other industry/jobs are available.

The innovation they demonstrate is extraordinary – and in our opinion – well worth showcasing as tourism assets.

In the same period [2019] there were 354,125 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs.

SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses, 55.4% of private sector employment, and 41.5% of private sector turnover.

How Best to Help Build Great Perthshire Brand Identity

Rural businesses are quite different to each other – but in many ways, united by the same problems.

As a network of primary producers, retailers, wholesalers, chefs and restauranteurs, Great Perthshire aims to earn market share and create tourism opportunities.

For example, one potential USP is that Perthshire is often referred to as ‘Scotland’s Larder‘.

What can be done to develop this reputation? How to make it profitable for all? What standards need to be upheld? (and how to/who should manage this)?

The premise of Great Perthshire brand is to unite under one marketing banner to build up a brand identity for Perthshire tourism and Perthshire makers. In addition, such a network will share knowledge and resources to collectively solve both collective and individual problems.

Jonathan Wilson from Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery explained that many people think that our local distilleries are just in competition with each other. In fact, they often collaborate.

They realise that if you have a good distillery visit, you are likely to return to the area and likely visit a different distillery/ try a different whisky from the region. Individual success benefits everyone in the long term.

Perthshire makers are highly expert – making and selling to both local and international markets.  They each have skills and experience to share with each other (and with our language learners).

Conversations and collaborations are going to be key to the region’s success.

Jonathan Wilson from Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery

Exploring Perthshire | For Artists, Makers and Culture Lovers

One thing that is particularly interesting for our international language learners (and perhaps unnoticed by the majority of locals) is the unique ways Perthshire makers are in touch with their landscape and heritage.

Perthshire producers represent a fascinating mix of traditional craft and techniques and modern tools. There’s plenty of innovation in the vernacular architecture of repurposing farm & domestic buildings into production units and otherwise adapting to rural life, supplies and seasonal cycles.

What is normal for us is really quite extraordinary.

Straw barn and trailer at Ferneyfold Farm

Alternative Scottish Tourism

We love tourism that gives an informed experience of a place. Tourism that doesn’t tell you what to think, but which presents information and experiences – answers questions and shares a passion for the place.

For our English learners (creatives, academics, thinkers), that’s much more interesting than the usual touristic Scotland cliches that tell just one story of a place.

Of course, there are plenty of folks who are into this.

We’re here for the English learners who are not.


It’s a Genuine Cultural Exchange!

Our meet the Maker tours are a two-way conversation. Our language learning guests are professional internationals with their own research and expertise to share – often in design, marketing and entrepreneurship.

We bring people together for superb conversations. Often they start as a makers presentation – and become passionate chats across all kinds of topics.

David Cameron | Ferneyfold Farm’s owner

Each small Perthshire business has a fascinating story to tell about creating, innovating, adapting and selling – and this is the unique experience of ‘Scotland’ that we offer to our English language learners.

Great Perthshire Makers Need Strong Networks

Shop Window Crieff

Although the makers and spaces are often unseen, their products support regional tourism and put Perthshire on the map internationally for arts, crafts & artisan products and top-quality food produce.

There are quite a few great charities and organisations now facilitating and supporting Perthshire rural makers to form strong networks, including our friends at GrowbizPerthshire Artisans and Perthshire Open Studios.

Great Perthshire is an organisation designed to link individual producers together with a brand identity for our region: both as a way of attracting visitors to the region and as a brand identity for selling from the region.

Great Perthshire currently organises a food festival every year in September which has over 50 smaller events taking place under the larger festival banner.

Great Perthshire is growing – and still experimenting with how it can best support its members. If you are a local producer, or Perthshire tourism business owner, now is a good time to become part of this conversation.

At the very least, get your business listed for free on their directory.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch, join the meet-ups and have your say!

Ross from Beyond Adventures – Aberfeldy - Perthshire

Great Perthshire Coordinator | Sarah Russell

Meet Sarah, the Coordinator for the group. Sarah’s background is in wine, hospitality and training.

As well as helping to do the admin, reporting, social media, etc for the Food & Drink group, she works with Giraffe Trading a cafe & catering social enterprise in Perth.

Sarah Russell | Coordinator at Great Perthshire

“Perth and Kinross has a very strong food & drink presence, but in terms of tourism it also offers an exciting range of outdoor and heritage experiences for visitors and locals to explore and enjoy.

The Great Perthshire network is committed to working with local business and partnership organisations to help grow the food tourism in the region. We want to be innovative and foster a culture of enterprise and knowledge exchange.  We also really want to help the sector to inspire and encourage the next generation in their growth and development.

Food & drink is one of the largest industry sectors in Scotland and regional food is so important to Scotland. Great Perthshire is looking to put local food and drink on the map and encourage people to be inspired by the outstanding produce and talent Perthshire has to offer”.

Sarah Russell, 2022

Great Perthshire for Creative Industry English!

In case you haven’t yet guessed, Blue Noun Language Hub in Crieff is not a typical language school! 

We are all about speaking English – only we reach our language targets differently from traditional language schools.

Although we have a small programme of general English classes to help learners in our local community, we’re actually specialists in coaching English to artists & designers, creatives and creative thinkers.

Such professionals travel from around the world to join us at our hub for a week of intensive English practice around cultural themes.

We believe that bringing like-minded people together makes great conversations, friendships and collaborations happen. Language experiences enrich your English – and reset your mindset around English language learning.

The language skills we coach are needed for working in the cultural sector, including presenting artwork/creative practice, pitching design projects, collaborating, applying for international opportunities, making suggestions & recommendations, and expressing opinions.

All of these language skills are practised through our Meet the Makers tours (outside of a classroom and in particularly interesting ways).

‘Behind-the-scenes’ tours are an intimate opportunity to practice professional English language with professional peers, WHILE discovering the landscape and authentic Scottish cultures.

It’s the best of all words – speaking creative industry English language with professional makers, experiencing Scottish culture from within – and of course, tasting and sampling all the unique flavours of Perthshire as you go!

Find out more about Blue Noun holidays here.

Five of the best picnic spots in Perthshire

Some of us love picnics, and some of us find them uncomfortable affairs, featuring limp sandwiches, general stickiness and parts of our anatomy going to sleep.

by The Perthshire Magazine and Media Co

If the latter describes you then we think you’re doing picnics wrong! So here we’re sharing some tips for a great picnic.

Buy your picnic food from a local deli, it will be immeasurable nicer and easier. Also, make sure you choose the right spot. If you usually find sitting on a picnic rug damp and uncomfortable, you’ll be pleased to know that in Perthshire there are many stunning local beauty spots that have picnic benches provided. And if you already love a picnic, you’ll definitely want to try out any of these favourite locations that you haven’t already: 

Kenmore Beach

is a fabulous picnic spot on a sunny day when you also fancy doing some paddling or water sports. There’s amazing views down to Ben Lawers too. Just be aware that it can get very busy on sunny weekends or holidays, so have an alternative location in mind. 

Loch Leven

Loch Leven Heritage Trail starts off with a wide green where several picnic benches are dotted about, and also has a children’s play park and lots of open space. There’s a stretch of sandy shoreline too, and opportunities for bird spotting and visiting historical sites.

Aillean Forest

This car park is located above Queen’s View at Loch Tummel, and as such has fabulous views. Several picnic benches are dotted about and so it makes a great stop off point if you’re taking a scenic drive round the loch, or out to Rannoch. 

Faskally Wood

Faskally Wood benefits from ample parking next to the various picnic benches, and is conveniently located just outside Pitlochry. There’s also the option for a not too strenuous stroll around Loch Dunmore when all the food is gone! 

Birks of Aberfeldy

The car park at the Birks has tucked its picnic benches away into little secluded corners. At this time of year it is full of blossoms and birdsong. It’s also the perfect spot if you fancy combining your picnic with a lovely walk. 

Birks of Aberfeldy

Of course, those are just a few options for picnicking in Perthshire, but there’s plenty more! See what you can find while exploring this summer.

Inspired to get out and picnic in the beautiful surrounds of Perthshire? Here are some great suggestions for food.

Deli Counter Picnic Delight

Pick up a picnic box from our deli counter and choose from the wonderful selection of quiches, salads, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, charcuterie meats and add a little something from our famous in-store bakery and voila you have your own delicious picnic! An ideal treat any time.

Loch Leven’s Larder: Channel Farm near Kinross, Perth & Kinross-shire, KY13 9HD

Wild Picnics at Straloch

An appetite for adventure? Enjoy a fully catered, fabulous picnic at our hidden lunch hut up in the hills. Access to our remote lunch hut is either an hour’s walk or a thirty minute off-road drive in our Land Rover. Whether a romantic treat for two or a holiday highlight for ten, allow us to create a unique gourmet experience that will live long in your memory. Everything on our extensive menu is freshly prepared by Penny, our resident chef.

Available by prior arrangement only. For details on menus, availability and pricing, please contact Penny on 07920 062809 or

Straloch Highland Experience: Straloch, Blairgowrie, PH10 7PH

Thyme Deli at Errichel

Our beautiful Deli in Aberfeldy has become the worst kept secret amongst Perthshire’s foodies! Occupying our oak-beamed farmhouse kitchen, the Deli and Farm Shop offers a fabulous range of homemade, local, and Scottish produce, as well as international favourites. We also stock award-winning Errichel reared and made products.And if all that shopping has tired you out, why not pay a restorative visit to our adjoining Thyme Bistro for coffee, cake, or something more substantial?

Mon – Sun 10am-8pm (Wednesday and Thursday 10am-5pm).

Thyme Deli: Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, PH15 2EL 01887 820850,

Beautiful Ballintaggart Picnics

Our delicious picnic includes: a sourdough sandwich, a sausage roll or slice of quiche, seasonal fruit, Torres crisps, a signature Ballintaggart brownie (g.f), a tin of Perello olives, Repscallion soda. Why not add a chilled half bottle of Thienot Champagne for £25. 

Picnic hampers and blankets are also available for a £10 refundable deposit. Postcard with local suggested walks comes as standard. 

Mon – Sat 10am-5pm. Booking required 24hours in advance. Minimum of 2 people. Collection and pay from the Shop.

Ballintaggart: Unit 1, Aberfeldy Industrial Estate, Dunkeld Road, Aberfeldy PH15 2AQ

Provender Brown

A well-stocked deli counter is a thing of foodie dreams and Provender Brown has built one of the best! Our seriously good cheese selection is legendary – and that’s just for starters. Charcuterie sliced to order includes hams from Puddledub Pork in Fife and so much more. These sit alongside fresh pates from Patchwork Foods and the most amazing scotch eggs from Scotch & Co, gourmet pies and sausage rolls, a fabulous assortment of olives, tomorosso tomatoes and balsamic soaked onions. Food of the Gods indeed! 

Open Mon – Sat 9am-5pm.

Provender Brown: 23 George Street, Perth PH1 5JY, 01738 587300,

Taymouth Courtyard Shop

The Courtyard Shop was opened in July 2005 and has since become a very popular visitor destination open all year round. We make our own Loch Tay Soft Fudge right here on site and visitors come from miles around to taste and buy. Stocking a wide range of gorgeous local produce, gifts and homeware, hampers and delicious Arran Ice Cream, you are sure to find something to suit all tastes. The beautiful Loch Tay and scenic river walks are just on our doorstep. 

Open daily 9am-5pm.

Mains of Taymouth Delicatessan & Gifts: Kenmore, Near Aberfeldy, PH15 2HN 01887 830756,

Scottish Deli

During the day, we are an amazing speciality food larder and gourmet sandwich take-away. We also serve delicious salads, soups, homemade cakes and scones. To drink we serve a variety of soft drinks, teas and fantastic freshly ground Glenlyon coffee. With a full licence, we can also offer a wonderful range of wines, spirits, Scottish Gins and Scottish craft beers. 

Mon – Sat 9.30am-11pm, Sun 10am-11pm.

Scottish Deli: 1 Atholl St, Dunkeld, PH2 0AR 01350 728028

The Crieff Food Co

Our ethos is “let’s go local”, and we now have products from over 100 local suppliers and producers, from essential everyday shopping to one-off treats there is something for all, this is why we were crowned UK Food Hall of the year 2020 at the Farm Shop and Deli Awards.

Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm

The Crieff Food Co: 3 High Street/James Square, Crieff, Perth, PH7 3HX01764 655817 |

Gloagburn Farm Shop

Gloagburn Farm Shop is owned and run by 3rd generation farmers Ian and Alison Niven. Everything is made on the premises, from the pastry to the jam, which ensures the quality, consistency and freshness of our offering. Our farm shop stocks a range that includes our very popular and extensive range of Gloagburn homemade products. Our deli counter showcases delicious Scottish and continental cheeses, our farm reared Gloagburn steak pies and freshly made salads straight from our kitchen.

Mon 8.30am-4pm; Tues – Sun 8.30am-5.30pm

Gloagburn Farm: Tibbermore, Perth01738 840864 |

Subrosa Deli

Independently owned Delicatessen in Pitlochry, Scotland. Selling quality deli items and serving barista made coffee, sweet treats & freshly prepared sandwiches made to order.

Tues – Sat 10am-4pm.

Scottish Deli: 47B Atholl Rd, Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross, PH16 5BX07585 929968 |

Dog Friendly Spots

Here are some of our favourite dog friendly spots across Perthshire.

We all love eating out (it’s why we created the Great Perthshire picnic six years ago) but it doesn’t just have to be enjoyed by the humans in the family!

The Coffee Lab

Your four legged friends are sure to receive a warm welcome at this little cafe on Skinnergate. Serving delicious breakfasts, lunch and home baking.

Open Mon – Sat 8am-4pm | Skinnergate, Perth, PH1 5JH | 01738 248008

The Courtyard Bar & Brasserie

The Courtyard Bar and Restaurant serves food every day in the bar, decking and restaurant. Dogs are more than welcome in the bar and decking areas and we have fresh water, treats and blankets available for your furry friends. 

A lovely place to enjoy with friendly atmosphere and service. Serving breakfast (weekends only), lunch, snacks and dinner daily whether it be inside relaxing on the couches by the cosy fire or outside on the extensive sun deck area.

Kenmore, Near Aberfeldy, PH15 2HN, Open daily 10am-9pm

Brew & Chew

Independent Dog Friendly cafe serving freshly brewed coffee, hot drinks, freshly made soups and a selection of sandwiches, filled baguettes and panini. Cakes and scones always available.

51 High Street, Perth, PH1 5TJ | 07708425402 | Mon- Thur: 9am- 3.30pm, Fri & Sat: 9am-4.30pm, Sun: 10am-3.30pm

Manifesto Coffee & Roastery

Recently opened in the city of Perth – this haven for coffee lovers supplies a wide range of unique and needlessly good coffee that is fairly, transparently sourced. The beans are sustainably roasted and packaged on site and available to buy from the cafe/shop. Delicious vegan cookies freshly baked and dogs welcome – with lots of space to spread out! 

46 Princes Street Perth PH2 8LJ | | Thurs-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm 

The Boat House Kitchen and Bar

Situated beside the marina overlooking the loch, our hearty menu is inspired by the fantastic range of options Scotland has to offer. We have a passion for using seasonal, local produce and are here to ensure our guests have the very best experience from the moment you walk through the door. We love to welcome our four-legged fury friends and even have a special nutritious dog-friendly menu developed by Pets ‘n’ Vets. 

Loch Tay Highland Lodges, Milton Morenish Estate, by Killin, Loch Tay, Perthshire, FK21 8TY | 01567 820 853 | | Thur-Mon: 12pm- Late. Open 6 days a week from 1st July – Oct- 12pm – late Closed on Tuesdays. 

Hettie's Tearoom

Serving up the most delicious lunches and wonderful fabulously indulgent homebaking, Hettie’s is one of Pitlochry and Perthshire’s favourite tearooms! All of our own blends of loose leaf tea – 21 in total! – are served piping hot and are also available to take home. Your doggie friends will be made to feel more than welcome – with water bowls, treats and numerous compliments from a friendly team. 

93-95 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5AB | Mon-Sun 10.30am-5pm 

Cullach brewery

Independent microbrewery and taproom in Perth. Craft beer and artisanal sourdough pizzas (including Vegan and GF offerings)! Dog friendly and cosy and walk-ins welcome. Knowledgable, friendly staff will guide you through the guest beers and premises brewed favourites. If you would like to reserve a table, please email 

50 Princes Street, Perth PH2 8LJ | Wed-Thur: 3pm-11.30pm | Fri-Sat: 3pm-midnight | Sun: 12pm-9pm 

The Atholl Arms

Situated in the Historical Cathedral City of Dunkeld, The Atholl Arms, a three star small hotel built in 1833, is an impressive structure with many original features and a private seated garden on the River Tay. Catering for discerning humans with a restaurant, bistro, and outdoor terrace, we also recognise that even your dogs need a holiday. We offer our doggy menu for an extra special touch inclusive of doggy ice cream for those warmer days. 

Bridgehead, Tay Terrace, Dunkeld PH8 0AQ 07485 109109 | 

For inspiration on more dog friendly pubs, restaurants and cafes (as well as walks and accommodation) - check out:

Dog Friendly Perthshire

Sustainable local shops that make a difference to the environment!

Tay Larder

Opened in May 2021 by husband and wife team, Tyroshan and Ayesha Attidi Panagoda, Tay Larder is Perth’s first dedicated plastic free zero waste refill shop on South Methven Street. 

Don’t be deceived by their small shop front – the choice is fantastic with a variety of baking and cooking ingredients, speciality spices and other household products. They also have a wide range of organic fruits and vegetables, fresh organic milk and gift items. 

9 South Methven Street, Perth | Mon- Sat 10am-4pm

Quince & Cook

Quince & Cook is home to Wash House Store, Perth’s first zero waste refill store dedicated to natural, vegan, plastic free cleaning materials plus body, skin and haircare. There is also a fantastic selection of cookware, gifts and home decor staples. 

Shop small and help us support independent makers and creators across the world. 

64-68 Princes Street, PH2 8LJ Perth | Tues-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm 

Handam Refill Station CIC

Handam was launched in October 2018, by a very enthusiastic Kaja going to local markets. Fast forward to 2022, there are now two well-established Refill stations open 6 days a week offering a wonderful selection of over 300 products available in both shops. 

Handam offers affordable refills of dry foods and household liquids, zero waste and reusable products that can help you save money and reduce waste in your life. As well as two beautiful, well stocked shops, home delivery services are available in Pitlochry and Aberfeldy. Handam also offers Neighbourfood collection. 

Aberfeldy PH15 2DD | Pitlochry PH16 5BP | Mostly 10-3pm (Check the website as store opening times may differ.) 

Highland Health Store

Family business established in 1986, focusing in Natural Remedies, Skin Care, Body Care & Wholefoods. Highland Health is now adding to its wholefoods and organic selection by offering fresh seasonal vegetables in-store every week. Delicious, local and chemical free! Check out their Facebook page for more info on what to expect in from Taybank Growers Cooperative. 

7 & 16 High Street Perth, PH1 5SP | Mon - Sat 9am-5pm 

Herb Majesty

Natural Food producer. Raising free range livestock using the medicinal properties of wild and cultivated plant species to avoid the use of antibiotics, hormones and chemicals. Available through Auchterarder, Pitlochry and Comrie Neighbourfood Markets, but also from the farm – 

Glen Blackler, Glenalmond, Perth PH1 3SF 

Great Perthshire secures food funding boost

Great Perthshire, the regional food group that aims to grow a thriving food and drink network for Perth & Kinross, has secured funding to champion local produce.

The dedicated food tourism group is receiving the funding from industry leadership body, Scotland Food & Drink. It is part of a national £250k fund, supported by the Scottish Government, to support the ongoing development of Scotland’s regional food groups.

Over the next 12 months, Great Perthshire aims to increase awareness and champion local suppliers and producers through a strategic marketing campaign to encourage businesses to have a louder collective voice and build collaboration in Perth & Kinross.

The group would like to increase membership across the region, offer an accessible training programme, provide networking and promotional opportunities, and run a successful food and drink event in 2021.

The group would like to increase membership across the region, offer an accessible training programme, provide networking and promotional opportunities, and run a successful food and drink event in 2021.

The fund is benefitting 16 groups across the country by resourcing coordinator posts and will include match-funding from partners including local authorities. It aims to create an active network of regional ambassadors who work in conjunction with local authorities to promote regional food and drink and tourism strategies.

Regional food groups, like Great Perthshire, plan and deliver projects such as increasing consumption and supply of local produce; upskilling food and drink businesses; hosting events; improving digital developments and e-commerce with local companies and, crucially, developing food and drink tourism.

Mark Bush, chair, Great Perthshire, said:

“Perthshire is the heart of Scottish food and drink. Our region offers the finest examples of grown, reared, made and brewed produce alongside world-class dining and hospitality providers. It is so important, now more than ever, to support our incredibly diverse and hardworking producers to ensure that our unique local character continues. Buying, consuming and using local produce enables us to feel a part of our community and place, keeps the planet happy and supports economic growth and employment.

“The funding from Scotland Food & Drink will help us drive our food story as part of the wider building demand for sustainable food tourism.”

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said:

“Regional food groups like Great Perthshire have a pivotal role to play in the successful growth and development of our country’s food, drink and food tourism sectors, especially in the recovery from Covid-19.

“With a combination of both long-established groups, those which are more recently formed, and some which are brand new, Scotland’s diverse mix of regional food groups all have energy, ambition and a commitment to championing their areas. With this new funding, our aim is to build a strong network of groups and give them the recognition and backing they deserve.”

Supporting regional food groups is a key pillar in Scotland Food & Drink’s UK Market Development ‘Home Advantage’ Strategy, which aims to achieve £17bn turnover from food and drink sales within the UK by 2030.

The 16 regional food groups being supported by the new funding are:

  • Appetite for Angus
  • Arran’s Food Journey
  • Ayrshire Food Network
  • Bute Kitchen
  • Dumfries & Galloway Food and Drink Forum
  • Discover Inverclyde’s Food and Drink
  • Eat Drink Hebrides
  • East Lothian Food & Drink

  • Food from Argyll
  • Food from Fife
  • Forth Valley Food & Drink Network
  • Great Perthshire
  • North East Scotland Food & Drink Network
  • Orkney Food & Drink
  • Savour the Flavours
  • Shetland Food & Drink

For further information on Great Perthshire, please visit

For further information on Regional food groups and their work, please visit