Author Archives: Theresa Schilling

Celebrate Seafood Week With a NYC Fish Fry!

It’s Seafood Week in Scotland, and here at The American-Scottish Foundation we are celebrating by tucking into some delicious fish!

Image via chefsteps.com

Image via chefsteps.com

Seafood Week is an annual celebration of all things Scottish seafood taking place October 7-14. The week-long campaign celebrates the high quality and diversity of Scottish fish and shellfish. And what better way to celebrate than with a classic serving of golden-fried fish and chips?

Although the ASF is located in New York City, we still want to have our fish and chips (and eat them too)! Luckily, New York has plenty of restaurants that serve up an authentic fish fry. One bite of perfectly crispy cod, and you will think you are back in Scotland!

For all of you New Yorkers, or those of you currently visiting the Big Apple, this is the perfect week to give these four NYC Chip Shops a try.

unnamedOur first two picks for NYC Fish and Chips are Jones Wood Foundry and The Shakespeare, two restaurants where American-Scottish Foundation Members can enjoy benefits. Just show your ASF Membership Card and you can enjoy a free glass of wine or beer with your entree.

Not a member yet? Sign up to become a member of the ASF and enjoy exclusive offers and benefits, here.

1. Jones Wood Foundry

Image via sideways.nyc

Image via sideways.nyc

For those of us who are Anglophiles living in NYC, Jones Wood Foundry, a restaurant in the Upper East Side, tastes of home. Walk into to the dark, yet warm gastropub, order up one of their authentic British dishes, and you might believe you have been transported to a cozy UK pub! They serve their fish and chips the traditional way: beer battered cod paired with triple cooked chips, tartar sauce, and lemon. After you give their exceptional fish fry a try, you’ll have to go back for more. In keeping with the Scottish Seafood Week theme, your next order could be their organic Scottish salmon, or their wild Scottish sea trout! Don’t forget to bring your ASF Membership Card!

Browse their menu, here.

2. The Shakespeare

Image via honestcooking.com

Image via honestcooking.com

Located in Murray Hill, The Shakespeare is about as British as you would expect! Serving up beautiful British beers, classic UK bar bites like Scotch eggs, and weekly Sunday Roasts just like your mother used to make’’, you just know this place wont disappoint when it comes to its fish and chips. Beer battered and served with three-fried chips and tangy tartar sauce, the Shakespeare’s fish fry is among the best in NYC. Bring your ASF Membership Card to enjoy a complimentary beer with you chippy! The restaurant even hosts productions of Shakespeare plays, so you can enjoy your fish fry with a side of Hamlet or Macbeth!

Look at the menu, here.

3. A Salt & Battery

Image via newyork.seriouseats.com

Image via newyork.seriouseats.com

For a taste of the UK in the heart of Greenwich Village, head to A Salt & Battery. The small spot is authentic down to the decor, with Union Jacks on the walls, a long, busy counter, and comfy, metal stools to balance on as you enjoy your chippy. They serve up a variety of fried fish served with thick-cut chips. With bottles of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar on every table, A Salt & Battery feels like a real UK chip shop. They even serve Scottish treats like deep-fried mars bars and Irn Bru!

Have a look at their menu, here.

4. The Atlantic Chip Shop

Image via louisecazley.blogspot.com

Image via louisecazley.blogspot.com

Hoping to get a taste of the UK outside of Manhattan? The Atlantic Chip Shop is a great little spot in Brooklyn Heights, with classic British pub decor and plenty of screens to catch rugby, football and cricket games. The golden-fried fish melts in your mouth, and is served with thick chips, mushy peas, and plenty of salt and vinegar. Top it off with a British pint, as their is an extensive lists of English and Scottish beers to choose from, and even a fried mars-bar if you’re feeling cheeky!

Read the menu, here.

Image via www.newyork.com

Image via newyork.com

So there you have it: The American-Scottish Foundation’s pick of the top four fish and chips in New York City.

Celebrate Seafood Week by tucking into a chippy now, and let us know your favorite spots for Scottish eats in NYC!

IRN-BRU IN CUPCAKES? YES!

IRN-BRU IN CUPCAKES? YES – it can work – but it has taken Baking With Granny a few trys to work out the “secret” to Scotland’s favorite fizzy drink being a successful cupcake…

AND the secret is: Boiling down the Irn-Bru into a SYRUP
… “boiling a 2 litre bottle of Irn Bru, texting Granny saying, “You know when you’re 50% sure you have a good idea & 50% sure you’re completely mad? Thankfully though, it worked!irnbrucupcake-1

• Place your Irn Bru into a pot large enough to hold it & bring it to the boil.
• Boil until the Irn Bru reduces to around a 10th of its original volume. It took around 2.5 hours for 2 litres to reduce down to 200ml but obviously the less Irn Bru you use, the less time it’ll take.
• Once it’s ready it’ll be a thin syrup consistency and a deep orange colour. Remember it will be very hot and as such will be a bit thicker once it cools down.

And there you have it! Your very own Irn Bru syrup, ready to bake into cupcakes. ”

The receipe can be found at Baking with Grannys website … and now all of us can enjoy IRN-BRU Cupcakes http://bakingwithgranny.co.uk/recipe/irn-bru-cupcakes/

Enjoy – from The American-Scottish Foundation® Team.

Meet George, Scotland’s Official ‘Ambassadog’

Adventure-loving George, a one-year-old golden retriever from Glasgow, has been officially crowned ‘Ambassadog’ for Scotland.

George, who resides in the West End of Glasgow, has been named VisitScotland‘s official Ambassadog, after standing out in the pool of over 200 applicants.

George is owned by 22-year-old twin sisters Emma and Victoria Rae, who entered their dog in the competition in March. The sisters knew that George could represent Scotland with his adventurous nature and spirit.

George was among seven other finalists who were judged at an interview event at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh. Now that George has the official title of Ambassadog, he and his owners will promote Scotland through social media, attend high-profile events, and enjoy the status of VID: Very Important Dog.

Image via dogsmonthly.co.uk

Image via dogsmonthly.co.uk

Owner Victoria explains how proud and excited she is for George, “My ambition for him in his new role as ambassadog is that he takes us on a lot more journeys – we plan to go to Harris and Lewis at the end of this month – and we can inspire others to plan their next exploration around the country”.

Later this year, the winning pup and his owners will be rewarded with a dog-friendly holiday in Scotland, courtesy of VisitScotland. To find itineraries for your own pet-friendly vacation in Scotland, visit the VisitScotland website here.

Find out more about the VisitScotland ‘Ambassadog’ competition here.

Siobhan Mackenzie: A Young Scots Entrepreneur

Siobhan Mackenzie is a multi award-winning Scottish Fashion Designer who started her own business right out of university. Through creativity and determination, the young Scot created a global brand that celebrates the heritage and fashion of Scotland.

Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Siobhan Mackenzie Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Siobhan Mackenzie was born in The Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland. By the age of ten she was certain that her future was in the fashion industry, and at thirteen she bought her first sewing machine.

At seventeen Mackenzie moved to Glasgow, where she began her education in fashion. While she was still a student, she had an internship with one of Scotland’s master kilt-makers, Glenisla Kilts, where she learned the art of Scottish kilt-making.

After graduating with a First Class BA Honours degree in Fashion Design & Production from The Manchester Metropolitan University, Mackenzie decided to try her hand at bringing traditional Scottish dress into the 21st century.

Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

She self-funded a fashion brand in which she twisted the traditional rules of kilt-making to create innovative, Avant-garde bespoke and modern kilts.

In 2014, her designs began to take off. Her ‘Clan Mackenzie’ Graduate Collection was inspired by her Highland and roots. Although her designs are for modern-day wear, they are rich with heritage.

She was asked to design the national costume for Miss Scotland in the Miss World Competition in 2014, which gave her brand international exposure.

Miss Scotland 2014 Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Miss Scotland 2014 Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Today Siobhan Mackenzie’s designs are sold globally throughout the US, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. However, her company remains firmly planted in Scotland, using Scottish textiles, Scottish design and Scottish manufacturing so as to create new jobs in Scotland and help boost the Scottish economy.

To find out more about Siobhan Mackenzie, or purchase her designs, visit her website here.

Meet the Canine Competitors for VisitScotland’s Ambassadog

VisitScotland recently launched a search for Scotland’s own ‘Ambassadog,’ an international canine ambassador to promote Scotland as a destination that is as pet-friendly as it is beautiful. The tourist board, which is a partner organization of The American-Scottish Foundation, was looking for a well-behaved dog with an adventurous side and tons of #ScotSpirit.

VisitScotland received over 200 applications from all over Scotland, and the entries ranged from small city dogs to huge Highland hounds. Working with recruitment agency Denholm Associates, VisitScotland has narrowed the competition down to nine furry finalists. Meet them here:

1. Casper 

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.05.32Casper is a three year-old West Highland Terrier from Edinburgh. His owner, Samantha Grant, says that the Westie has travelled all across Scotland since his puppyhood, visiting destinations like the Isle of Mull, Onich, Portpatrick, and the West Highland Way.

Take a look at Casper’s own blog, ‘Scotland with the Wee White Dug.’

2. Sydney

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.04.53Sydney is a four year-old Pug from Edinburgh who enjoys walking up Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill and the Pentland Hills with her owner, Kristyn Lavery.

Kristyn calls the two of them “Scotland’s adventure couple,” as they love hopping in the car and speeding off to adventure.

3. Cassie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.07.22Cassie, a three and a half year-old dog, is a Patterdale Terrier and Collie mix from East Lothian. Her owners, Andrew and Carol Duff, rescued Cassie from a stray-shelter in Romania.

Cassie loves adventures, and has been on walks everywhere from the Tyningham Beach to the Lammermuir Hills.

4. Manny

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.08.44Manny is a charming 11 month-old Border Collie puppy from Fife. She and her owner, Vicky Gorn, enjoy playing sports and embarking on adventures.

Manny and Vicky even attends occasional agility classes together.

Check out Manny’s outdoor adventures on her Facebook.

5. George

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.11.54George is a one year-old Golden Retriever from Glasgow. HIs owners, Emma and Victoria Rae, love to take him on adventures across Scotland.

One of his favorite travel destinations is Loch Lomond, where he loves to splash around.

George already has 15.2k followers on his Instagram page, @golden_george_.

6. Bertie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.53.48Bertie, a six year-old Fox Terrier, lives in Aberdeen with his owner, Dr. Gail Riekie. Bertie’s official name is Granddach Beinn Allign, after the Torridon Munro.

The fox terrier has travelled all over Scotland, visiting dog-friendly cafes in cities like Aberdeen and exploring the likes of Glen Tanar and Morven on Deeside.

7. Blaze

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.55.56Blaze the four year-old Border Collie is from the Isle of Skye, where he is a local celebrity. His owner, Steve Millar, often takes Blaze up huge hills and Munros.

In 2014, the pair raised over £1,000 for the Glencoe Mountain Rescue through the sales of a calendar featuring the adventurous pup.

Check out Blaze’s adventures on his twitter.

8. Fenton

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.57.10Fenton is a four year-old Shetland Sheepdog who lives in Shetland with owner Kaylee Robertson. This adventurous little dog loves to explore, and is often found splashing through the crashing waves on the island shores, or else running round the rolling hills.

You can see Fenton’s Shetland adventures on Kaylee’s Instagram @Hobbitpaws.

9. Cluanie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.58.50Cluanie the four year-old Jack Russell is a famous little dog from Inverness. Cluanie became famous after travelling up Ben Nevis in a kilt.

Cluanie’s owner, Micky Jones, has taken the tiny dog up 59 Munros in the last two years alone. Follow Cluanie’s adventures on his Facebook page.

VisitScotland and Denholm Associates will now work with TV personality Kaye Adams and the charity Dogs’ Trust to pick the winning finalist. The official Ambassadog will be announced later this month, after interviews with the finalists. Besides fame, the Ambassadog and their owner will win a unique dog-friendly holiday in Scotland.

Learn more about the Ambassadog finalists, and watch their nominee videos here.

Scotland is a wonderful travel destination for humans and animals alike. If you and your pet are interested in visiting Scotland, you will need proper documentation. Find out more about Scotland Pet Passports here.

Visit the VisitScotland website for more information on canine vacation fun. VisitScotland has a variety of pet-friendly holiday itineraries for those travelling to Scotland with a pet.

All images via the VisitScotland Ambassadog videos on Vimeo.com/butterflyfilms.

Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology 2017

VisitScotland, Scotland’s official tourism board and a partner organization of The American-Scottish Foundation, is already looking ahead to 2017. Next year will be the Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology in Scotland.

The year 2017 will showcase the rich history and archaeology of Scotland, celebrating its famous World Heritage Sites, ancient monuments, historic battlefields, castles, houses and more. Scotland’s heritage will be shared through its rich cultural traditions, ancient myths and classic tales.

The year of History, Heritage & Archaeology in Scotland will shine new light on the nation’s icons and hidden gems alike. Scotland’s gorgeous landscape, incredible architecture, and deep heritage make it a perfect holiday destination for the adventurous traveller.

VisitScotland has created inspiring itineraries to help visitors make the most of their trips to Scotland in 2017.

Click these links to view the following themed itineraries from VisitScotland:

To find out more about VisitScotland, visit the website here.

World Heritage Day in Scotland

April 18th marks annual World Heritage Day across the globe. This special day serves to raise public awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage around the world, and the efforts that go into preserving this heritage.

Each year has a different theme, and the theme of World Heritage Day 2016 is “The Heritage of Sport,” to signify the upcoming Olympics in Brazil. You can find out more about World Heritage Day on the International Council of Monuments and Sites website.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation‘ recognizes World Heritage Sites as international locations of significant cultural or natural heritage which should be celebrated and preserved for generations to come. Scotland currently has six World Heritage Sites on the World Heritage List. Although World Heritage Day exists to celebrate all cultural sites and monuments, World Heritage Sites are especially honored.

Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites are as follows:

Image via westburnside.com

Image via westburnside.com

1. Forth Bridge 

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge that runs over the Firth of Forth. An iconic symbol of Scotland, the bridge was designed by English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. The bridge was opened on March 4th, 1890 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.

Image via cyark.org

Image via cyark.org

2. Heart of Neolithic Orkney

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a group of surviving Neolithic monuments in Orkney, Scotland. The domestic and ritual monuments are not only amazing pieces of Neolithic design, but they also give us insights into the society and spiritual beliefs of the people who once inhabited Scotland.

Image via newlanarkhotel.co.uk

Image via newlanarkhotel.co.uk

3. New Lanark 

New Lanark is a restored 18th century cotton mill village found in the narrow gorge of the River Clyde. The village became famous for its success under the leadership of Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, who turned New Lanark into a thriving business village run through utopian socialism.

 

Image via theguardian.com

Image via theguardian.com

4. The Antonine Wall 

The Antonine Wall once marked the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire. Running across central Scotland, it was built by Roman soldiers under the direction of Emperor Antoninus Pius around AD 142. The builders commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs along the site. Twenty of these slabs still survive.

Image via tripadvisor.co.uk

Image via tripadvisor.co.uk

5. The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh 

Together, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh form what is arguably the one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The medieval structure of the Old Town gives Edinburgh its fairytale essence, the 18th century New Town is a beautifully preserved example of Georgian town planning and architecture.

Image via kildacruises.co.uk

Image via kildacruises.co.uk

6. St Kilda 

St Kilda is an is an isolated archipelago about 100 miles off of the west coast of Scotland. The group of remote islands is famous for hosting the largest colony of seabirds in all of Europe, as well as unique populations of sheep, field-mice and wrens. The human heritage of the islands includes various unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, as well as written records dating back to the Middle Ages.

Scotland’s six treasured historic sites were celebrated today with a day of free, fun activities at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The day brought the six World Heritage Sites to life with fun activities and informational presentations for the whole family.

Each of the six Scottish World Heritage Sites had its own stall to teach visitors more about the unique sites. Visitors were able to handle replica Neolithic and Roman artefacts, dress up as 19th century mill workers from New Lanark, and build their own Roman swords and St. Kilda Mailboats.

Find out more about celebrating World Heritage Day in Scotland here.

Outlander Fans Love The New York Tartan Day Parade

65ffe6f6-8529-40cf-984d-98ef3c49dda0At the American-Scottish Foundation, we take great pride in being a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Committee, together with the St Andrews Society of the State of New York, the New York Caledonian Club, and more recent member Clan Campbell.

We work together to coordinate joint and separate events and festivities during the annual New York City Tartan Week, including the annual Tartan Day Parade, which is now the biggest event of its kind in the United States.

We love hearing from fans of the Tartan Week festivities, so it was great to see the enthusiastic response of Outlander fans at the 18th annual New York Tartan Day parade.

20160409_131528-e1460679834985

Image via threeifbyspace.net

Outlander is a time-travel television series based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse in 1945 who is mysteriously transported back to Scotland in 1743, where she meets the handsome Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan. Heughan was the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.

With Sam Heughan leading this year’s Tartan Day Parade, Outlander fans flocked to New York this year in even greater numbers than were with us last year when Graham McTavish, another great actor from the series, was Grand Marshal. It was no surprise that many Outlander fans came and participated in the parade from all over the Unites States Britain and Europe.

cfe5cb3e-9882-479b-b247-6a0136c8fdc1Over 450 members of the fan group Outlander United marched in the parade, while thousands lined the streets just hoping to catch a glimpse of Heughan. Scotland Now calls the Outlander effect in New York the nearest thing to “Beatle-Mania.” All the American-Scottish Foundation can say is that it was wonderfuto see so many enjoying the Parade.

 

Image via tomandlorenzo.com

Image via tomandlorenzo.com

To hear first hand-accounts of the Tartan Day Parade from members of the Outlander United group, read this fantastic article by TiBS blogger and Outlander United member, Erin Conrad. It includes a slideshow of more fabulous photos from the parade.

We hope to see the members of Outlander United at next year’s parade. Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 8th, 2017!

To learn more about the annual New York City Tartan Day Parade, visit the website, here.

 

All Aboard For Outlander

In 1998, April 6th was declared National Tartan Day.  Since then celebrations of scottish heritage and pride have taken place throughout the United States, and nowhere more than New York who top off a week long celebration of events throughout the City, with the annual New York Tartan Day Parade.

This years celebrations took on an added dimension as the hugely popular series Outlander, premiered their second season on the evening of the Parade – and the chosen Grand Marshal for the Parade was non other than the shows leading actor, Sam Hueghan.  Heughan plays the dashing Highlander, Jamie Fraser in the series.

Outlander fans were planning for months to come together in New York for the Parade and on hearing that Heughan was Grand Marshal the excitment grew.  Many of the fans have visited Scotland or plan to, and so the Scotland’s national tourism agency VisitScotland wrapped a double decker bus for the Parade with the image of the Callanish Stones and messaging, encouraging New Yorkers to book their tickets to the land that inspired Outlander.

Image via wired.com

Image via wired.com

The series is filmed throughout Scotland, and already after the first series, premier locations featured in the series have seen an increase in visitors.

Locations include Doune Castle, Culloden, Falkland and Culross, all of which have enjoyed a dramatic rise in visitor numbers.

 

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland Week is an opportunity for members of the Scottish tourism industry to meet with prospective visitors from the hugely important North American market, with events such as our Diaspora Breakfast always proving popular. Outlander has taken the world by storm and it is important that we capitalise on the continued success of a series in which Scotland really is the star.

“With its stunning imagery of the Callanish Stones, which are just like the ones that play such a pivotal role in the series, our bus is sure to be a big hit during the hugely popular Tartan Day Parade, which regularly attracts thousands of spectators. Hopefully it will encourage event more people to look into booking a trip to Scotland and explore the land that inspired Outlander.”

Outlander fans in New York during Scotland Week also enjoyed a special event taking place at NYC Beer Authority on the evening of April 8th. The Belhaven Brewery-sponsored gathering saw a number of Scottish businesses showcasing their Outlander-inspired wares, including jewellery makers Hamilton & Young, Walkers Shortbread, tour operator Mary’s Meanders and “Outlander Herbalist” Claire MacKay.

Outlander is based on the best selling series of books by Diana Gabaldon.

For more information on Outlander and Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com/outlander

Cabar Crafts: Handmade in Scotland With Love

Image via etsy.com

Image via etsy.com

Scottish sisters Jennifer and Julie-Anne share a real passion for quilting.

In November 2015 they opened their own quilting business, Cabar Crafts.

Prior to opening the business, they would often visit family in the Highlands. There the sisters would spend many hours looking around local woollen mills and admiring the handy work of the weavers in the Outer Hebrides.

Image via facebook.com/Cabar-Crafts

Image via facebook.com/Cabar-Crafts

After falling in love with the warm, durable fabric at the woollen mills, the sisters decided to put their own passion for sewing to use. At first they made quilts for their own young babies using locally sourced materials from Harris.

Image via facebook.com/Cabar-Crafts

Image via facebook.com/Cabar-Crafts

From these luxurious, homemade quilts, a business was born. Cabar Crafts now sells handmade Harris Tweed quilts and blankets on Etsy.

These gorgeous quilts are handmade in Scotland with love- order one of your own here.

To find out more about Cabar Crafts visit their Facebook page.