The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has topped a league table ranking children’s food and drink at the UK’s best visitor attractions. The Soil Association’s ‘Out to Lunch’ campaign named the Botanics as the number one caterer for children, praising its commitment to providing a fresh and healthy range for youngsters.
The Edinburgh attraction includes two cafes and a restaurant operated by catering partner Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, with each serving seasonal and organic produce grown in its own Market Garden. The project began in 2016, when Sodexo provided funding for a full-time gardener to work alongside its kitchen teams to deliver fresh, seasonal produce to visitors all year round.
The ‘Out to Lunch’ campaign sent secret diner parents to the UK’s most popular museums, art galleries, zoos, visitor centres and theme parks. The Botanics impressed with its variety of locally sourced, Scottish ingredients and its commitment to using farm assured meat and MSC certified fish. Parents also gave the attraction the thumbs up for freshly preparing all meals on site.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is the only Scottish visitor attraction to appear in the top five, and placed above London’s Science Museum, Chester Zoo and the Eden Project.
Fraser Sharp, General Manager for Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, said; “We are absolutely thrilled to have been recognised by our customers in this prestigious league table. The team has worked extremely hard over the past few years to deliver the Market Garden and to ensure that we are able to design seasonal recipes that suit the produce year-round.
“Our chefs are constantly striving to create new and exciting menus using the vast array of local vegetables and farm assured meat and fish that we have at our disposal. It is extremely rewarding for everyone in the team to see that their efforts have been acknowledged by so many customers.”
Rob Percival, coordinator of the Out to Lunch campaign at the Soil Association, said: “The attractions at the top of the league table are showing that healthy and high-quality food can be fun and affordable.”