Heritage Portfolio

Catering to impress

With a rapidly growing reputation for professionalism and excellence in the field of specialist events planning, Heritage Portfolio is a business that is quickly growing into exciting new markets

Established by its current Executive Director, Mark Miller during 1993, Heritage Portfolio is a specialist events and catering company based in Edinburgh with services covering the whole of the UK. During the course of almost 25 years in operation, the business has enjoyed significant growth, both structurally and in terms of the portfolio of venues that Heritage Portfolio today represents. “We took the time to create a company context, brand and ethos which is something that all of our 300 plus employees embrace and hold onto with every event that they create, menu that they design and venue that we tender for,” Mark reveals. “We operate within a very niche offering – we work with venues and clients of distinction in historic castles, palaces, stately homes and sites.Heritage 123 b These are located throughout the UK and each incorporates its own unique personality and offer.”

Having previously appeared in FoodChain during May 2016, Heritage Portfolio has continued in its proud tradition of delivering a premier level of service to some of the UK’s most prestigious locations and events, while capitalising on its growing reputation with several new contracts and appreciative clients. “When we last spoke to FoodChain we were delighted to announce that we had won new contracts with the stately Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire and the café and restaurant at the tourist attraction, the British Airways i360 in Brighton. We are happy to report that we have had a great success with both and that the events business at Arley Hall is doing well – which is certainly not a surprise as the venue is just so spectacular,” elaborates Siobhán Leith, Head of Marketing for Heritage Portfolio. “We had also opened a new café – The Gardener’s Kitchen. Here we have recently launched the new breakfast and fish and chip menu, which has been really well received. Head Chef Neil Faux has paid particular attention to the fresh ingredients, presentation and making as much as possible onsite including the hand cut chips and the sauces and dressings that accompany any dish and we are seeing a marked increase in sales for these new initiatives.”

During its previous appearance in FoodChain, Heritage Portfolio had also announced the creation of its North West Hub, which has since become a well-known and respected caterer, events provider and creator. The investment into the north-western region was made in response to an opportunity to bring the company’s renowned hospitality and catering expertise to clients south of the Scottish border. “We currently have three prestigious venues that we partner with across Liverpool and Manchester – St George’s Hall in Liverpool, Manchester Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Across these Heritage venues we are able to create unique events where our North West team works closely with the client to bring their vision to life, all of the menus are heritage 123 ccreated by using locally sourced ingredients and by further putting a modern twist on some traditional favourites. Similar to the offering in Scotland, we have a team dedicated to working with private clients who wish to host an event either at their own home or a chosen venue, which requires a caterer. We provide a complete events creation and catering service to these clients,” Siobhán says. “Our North West culinary team have created a number of menus to suit the venues and the events that we hold. We have a great team in place, lead by Operations Director Samantha Lincoln, which includes General Manager and Head of Special Events – Leanne Miller Bowles, Operations Manager – Rachel Salmon and Event Designer – Patrick Carroll.”

In order to meet the individual needs of its clients, as well as the wider culinary requirements that may exist within the extended regions of the catering and event services market, Heritage Portfolio works to remain aware and inline with the popular trends that exist within the food industry. “There has definitely been a shift away from the standard three course meal when it comes to event catering. While this is appropriate for some dinners it is important that we are able to offer something unique too and we therefore created a ‘foraging’ menu during 2016, which went down really well. Guests literally had to search for their food (forage) in the foliage before them at the table! This played on both the freshness of the food and the fun and guest interaction that can be had at a dinner. It is certainly an ice breaker at a dinner where guests may not know each other yet,” Siobhán details. “We also work a lot on the theatrical element of dining, we don’t simply theme a room or a menu, it is about bringing the catering team and chefs into the food offering too.”

Having firmly established itself within its target niche and expanding beyond its home market within Scotland, Heritage Portfolio has proven to be a leading force within the catering and event services sector. During September 2016, the company was proud to announce that it had been appointed to run the café, restaurant and events for V&A Museum of Design Dundee, the first V&A museum in the world outside of London. This catering operation will be an essential part of the visitor experience which will include a large café in the main hall, a spectacular restaurant with outdoor terrace overlooking the River Tay and a range of unique events and dining spaces available for hire during the day through to the evening. Over the coming years, Heritage Portfolio plans to further capitalise on its current momentum and continue to reach new clients. “Our vision for the future is to grow, this is in terms of the number of venues within our portfolio, our structure which will support them and also our service offering,” Siobhán concludes. “Our North West team will look to add appropriate venues to their collection so that they can offer a range of spectacular venues to our clients. The V&A Museum of Design Dundee opens in the summer of 2018 once the structure is complete so we will continue to work hard with the team there to create and mobilise a world-renowned museum, dining and events experience.”