A total of 13 individuals and businesses, including hotelier Peter Lederer CBE (pictured) and Tom Kitchin's The Kitchin, were named winners at the Scottish Thistle Awards last week.
Lederer, who was instrumental in bringing the Ryder Cup to Gleaneagles won the Silver Thistle Award, given to an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the country's tourism industry.
The former chairman of Gleneagles picked up his award, along with his fellow winners, at an awards ceremony at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow on Thursday 5 March.
Other hospitality and tourism businesses to win an award included:
- Best Holiday Accommodation Award: Eagle Brae (Beauly)
- Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House Award: Graigatin House & Courtyard (Perthshire)
- Most Hospitable Hotel Award: Prestonfield (Edinburgh)
- Friendliest Pub/Bar Award: Cheers (Fraserburgh)
- Best Informal Dining Experience Award: Mimi's Bakehouse (Edinburgh)
- Best Restaurant Experience Award: The Kitchin (Edinburgh)
- Creative Ambition: Auchrannie Resort (Isle of Arran)
- Silver Thistle: Peter Lederer CBE
- Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience Award: Kilda Cruises (Isle of Harris)
- Best Visitor Attraction Award: Laphroaig Distillery (Isle of Islay)
- Our Warmest Welcome Award: Cruise Forth Welcome Volunteers (Edinburgh & Fife)
- Best Event or Festival Award: The Enchanted Forest (Perthshire)
- Discovering Scotland Award: Helen Fraser - Afternoon Tea Tours (Edinburgh)
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: "I am delighted to present Peter Lederer with the Silver Thistle Award which is well deserved. For many years he has worked tirelessly to promote the tourism industry at home and overseas. He was instrumental in the successful Scottish bid for the Ryder Cup and since then has worked on behalf of the tourism industry and of Scotland to ensure that Scotland cemented its reputation as the Home of Golf."
Commenting on his win, chef Tom Kitchin, who has recently refurbished his Edinburgh restaurant said: "To be awarded the Best Restaurant Experience in Scotland by our industry peers is a huge honour. This year we celebrate our 9th birthday and our aim from the very outset was to bring a new concept to Scotland's dining scene. We're as passionate as ever to continue flying the flag for Scotland, promoting its outstanding, seasonal produce and we're incredibly proud of our new restaurant."
Stephen Carter OBE, VisitScotland board member and chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said: "2014 was an exceptional year for Scottish tourism, it was the year we welcomed the world. I'd like to congratulate all our tourism champions for their dedication and commitment to Scotland's tourism industry. Tourism is at the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, and all those nominated, are leading the way when it comes to making our country a fantastic place to visit and do business."