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Satisfying golfing appetites — on and off the course

By SPP Reporter

Magnus Swanson with just a few of the strawberries which his firm will be delivering to Castle Stuart during the Barclays Scottish Open.
Magnus Swanson with just a few of the strawberries which his firm will be delivering to Castle Stuart during the Barclays Scottish Open.

WIMBLEDON may be over but strawberries and cream will still be the order of the day when the Barclays Scottish Open starts at Castle Stuart on Thursday.

Hardly on the same scale as the two-week tennis tournament — where 28,000 kilogrammes of the berries are consumed every year — but suppliers Swansons Fruit Company has ordered in 400 kilogrammes — the equivalent of 15,000 strawberries — for the four-day golf tournament.

Also, 450 litres of whipping cream — to top off the traditional fruity favourite which have been sourced from Nairnshire — will be delivered to the course.

The Inverness-based firm’s order also includes 12,000 washed baby potatoes, 7000 mushrooms in nine different varieties, as well as 2500 bananas and 1500 apples, just for the players at the tees.

Between 15 and 18 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables will be provided to tournament caterers Amadeus by the firm, which receives much of its produce from Glasgow and Aberdeenshire.

"This is the biggest order we have ever had for an event," said Magnus Swanson, managing director of the Henderson Drive company, who has also been involved with music festival RockNess.

Last-minute arrangements are under way for the tournament, which Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, thinks will bring in £6 million to the local economy and between 50,000 and 60,000 visitors.

"It will also be showcased across the world which has an awful lot more potential," he said

Many hotels and bed and breakfasts are fully booked including the 20 beds at Westbourne Guest House in Huntly Street, run by the city’s Bed and Breakfast Association chairman Richard Paxton.

"If it goes well it will sell the Highlands more than VisitScotland could do in 20 years," he said. "It will raise awareness of the area worldwide."

Fraser Peterkin, general manager of the Ramada Jarvis and chairman of the Inverness Hotel Association, said last-minute bookers might be lucky.

"There are not a lot of rooms but there are still a few to be had," he said.

Meanwhile, Inverness Airport has been inundated with private jets as players arrive for the event, including a group of 35 who came straight from the French Open on Sunday.

A whisky shop selling bottles from £30 up to £500 opens today in the departure lounge, just in time for the influx of golfers and golf fans.

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