The Newhailes Estate has been granted a licence to serve drinks, describing itself as a “jewel in East Lothian’s tourism crown”.
The owners of the estate, The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) applied for an alcohol licence to support its recently refurbished Stables café and allow events to be catered on the grounds.
NTS which operates the 18th century estate, said it did not expect it to become a major wedding venue adding it ”does not attract busloads of visitors” but described it as a popular spot for locals.
However representatives for the Trust argued that allowing it to offer guests a drink from its café indoors and outdoors would add to its already licensed lawn, adding “this premise is a jewel in the East Lothian tourism crown, a five star visitor attraction.”
Applying for a licence to serve alcohol seven days a week, the application suggested it could cater for up to 550 people and may host weddings and other private functions.
Newhailes Estate is dominated by its 18th century Palladian mansion, which is not included as part of the licensed premises.
The house was once home to generations of the Dalrymple family and boasts rococo interiors, Italian marble fireplaces, a Chinese sitting room and impressive fine art collection.
Its extensive estate is a popular walking area for locals with woodland walks and hidden grottos and outbuildings and it lies next to the Brunstane Path used by many walkers and cyclists.
The recently refurbished Stables has a two floor café and courtyard dining area alongside an ice-cream shop and children’s playpark.
Applying for a licence the Trust’s representative Niall Hassard said it would allow the café to expand its offerings to evening meals and suppers.
No objections were lodged by Police Scotland or the board’s licensing standards officer and there were no public representations.
The board unanimously granted the licence with conditions to restrict unaccompanied access for children.
by Marie Sharp Local Democracy Reporter
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