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Last week we welcomed a full house for our Burns Night Supper with whisky tasting.  The night is always a favourite for Scottish Executive Chef Alan Murchison and it was a huge success enjoyed by all!

We kicked off the celebrations with an afternoon of Tutored Whisky Tasting hosted by Stephen Nisbet. Stephen introduced guests to six whiskies during the afternoon accompanied by perfectly matched canapés.

Whisky Tasting Burns Night L'ortolan

Our afternoon guests enjoyed a few drams of whisky

The evening saw a selection of whisky transformed into cocktails and four course dinner with whisky paired to each course. Alan Murchison and his team served traditional favourites like the sirloin of beef, watercress, tortellini of haggis and oxtail and foie gras.  You can follow more of Alan’s tweets from the kitchen @AlanMurchison

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It’s officially the 1st of December – the first doors on advent calendars are being opened, which means we’re finally okay to talk about Christmas.

Our Festive Lunch is proving so popular that L’ortolan is now open Monday – Saturday until 24th December, and to make the run up to Christmas even more exciting, we are offering our guests the chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Pommery Wintertime

During your time at l’ortolan why not treat yourself to a special glass of Champagne.  Pommery Wintertime is a vintaged blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier with a palate of warm aromas if ripe fruit infused with the flavours of quince and red fruits.  This Champagne, designed specifically to enjoy during the cooler months is a fantastic addition to any meal.  Each person who buys a glass of Pommery Wintertime will be entered into a prize draw to win a fantastic collection of prizes including a Bronze Chef’s Experience, a Magnum of Pommery Champagne and place in our Demonstration Studio.

Festive Feeling

We’re getting into the festive swing at L’Ortolan, and we want to know what makes you feel festive.  Simply become a fan of L’Ortolan on Facebook, complete the sentence “I get the Festive Feeling when…” and post it on our wall for a chance to win a share of £150 to spend in our restaurant.

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Claire Dunford in our marketing department has a few thoughts on how pronunciation affects restaurant marketing.

BBC Breakfast noted this morning just how passionate people are about the “correct” way of speaking.

The British Library are conducting an investigation into how pronunciation is changing by asking volunteers to record a chapter from a Mr Man book.

Whilst my husband could only mutter something about a slow news day, that news item got me thinking: although some people may roll their eyes at suggestions of “proper English,” pronunciation can have a very dramatic impact on how a company, brand and industry is received.

Do you say “rest-ront,” “rest-er-ront,” or perhaps with a bit of a French twist “rest-au-ron”?  Technically all are acceptable.

From a marketing point of view we’ve previously come up against an inversion of this problem – after running a radio advertising campaign we realised that listeners unfamiliar with our restaurant may not know how to spell L’Ortolan. Subsequently there were a flurry of Google searches for Lor-toe-lan, lortlan, ortslan.

Clearly pronunciation can have a dramatic impact on a dining experience – not only can it affect your preconceptions of an establishment, but also it can affect how easy it is for you to get your feet through the door.  I’m not saying that everyone should use BBC English/Received Pronunciation (RP) – far from it (variety is the spice of life after all) – but particularly when constructing marketing campaigns, its important to get it right.

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