The race to be first
When Gleneagles was built in 1924, its genesis ensured that grouse shot by its guests were routinely among the first – if not actually the first – to reach London’s restaurants.
Built by the Caledonian Railway Company to help drum up custom thanks to its golf courses (Turnberry had been built by SouthEastern Railways in 1906 and enjoyed great success), Gleneagles even had its own dedicated branch line.
The Grouse Race was already an established culinary tradition by the time Gleneagles was built, but with its own dedicated station just a short carriage ride from the hotel, it was well placed for its grouse to be whisked southwards, arriving there around the same time as the grouse shot on the Lammermuir moors almost 100 miles to the south.
Later, the rise of air travel gave Gleneagles an advantage given that Edinburgh airport is only 50 minutes away.
The last time Gleneagles took part in the Great Grouse Race was thirty years ago – but now they’re back...
Top: Grouse being delivered by Caledonian Airways in the 1960s. Left: Shooting chefs in the ‘70s. Above: This sign is actually wrong: the helicopter took off at 1pm, the first grouse was eaten at 7.30pm.