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The Bon Vivant (Thistle Street) has been honoured at the Tales of the Cocktail 2014 Spirited Awards. The first ever Scottish winner at the hotly-contested international awards ceremony, the Edinburgh bar restaurant competed against Delicatessen (Moscow), Spitalfields Bar at Hawksmoor and Blind Pig at Social Eating House (both London).

Bar man: The Bon Vivant's Stuart McCluskey receives his Spirited Award in New Orleans.

Founder and Director of The Bon Vivant, Stuart McCluskey picked up the Best International Restaurant Bar award at the glittering Spirited Awards ceremony on Saturday July 19th in New Orleans.

Tales of the Cocktail is the world’s premier drinks industry event, taking place annually with up to 20,000 attendees. It brings together the international spirits community to celebrate what’s new and next in bartending. The Spirited Awards are the climax of the five-day Tales of the Cocktail event and recognise the world’s best bars and bar talent.

The Bon Vivant is renowned for its winning formula of providing an informal ‘European’ style of dining, whereby high quality food is savoured and complemented by excellent libations in a stylish, relaxed setting.  It is the first Scottish establishment to receive a Spirited Award.

Stuart McCluskey, Founder and Director of The Bon Vivant said:

Winning the Spirited Award at Tales of the Cocktail is a stunning result for The Bon Vivant. To even feature in the final four for the Best International Restaurant Bar 2014 category was incredible, but to win against such reputable establishments makes me very proud of what The Bon Vivant team has achieved since we opened on Thistle Street in Edinburgh in 2008."

“The Spirited Awards are the drinks industry Oscars and I was honoured just to be in the same room as so many peers whom I admire and respect. This win puts The Bon Vivant and Scotland on the global drinks map and gives us so much to build on for the future. We are delighted.”



Our client Reform Scotland has issued new research on the level of salaries at Scotland's quangos. The research, which revealed that 43 quango officials in Scotland are paid more than the First Minister's salary of £141,000, and that almost 700 are paid more than an MSP's salary of £58,000, can be seen here.

Message Matters worked with Reform Scotland to design the briefing and produce a media proposal to offer the story to the Sunday Herald newspaper, which had shown significant interest in it in the past. It was followed up in almost all national and regional newspapers on Monday, as well as on the main broadcasters' websites.



Message Matters' client Lettingweb, the largest marketplace for property lettings in Scotland, has announced that Nicholas Leeming has joined its board as a non-executive director. Mr Leeming is widely regarded as the founder of online property portals in the UK and is a former senior executive at Zoopla.

Mr Leeming has over 30 years’ experience in the property industry, and was the founder of - regarded widely as the birthplace of the UK online property. He was Business Development Director at Zoopla until 2012.

Nick Leeming

Commenting, Lettingweb Chief Executive Alex Watts said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Nick to the team at Lettingweb, his arrival is a key part of our strategy to build an industry leading hub for letting services in Scotland. We’ll benefit greatly from his unparalleled online property experience.

“Our move towards owner-membership is as important an innovation for the letting agent industry as the formation of Lettingweb in 2000. Agents need to take control of our industry, to protect it from the threats it faces and to help our members grow their businesses.”


Nicholas Leeming added:

“I’m joining at an exciting time for Lettingweb - this is a time of transition in the online property market, when innovation is key and a shared ownership model for Scotland is going to revolutionise services for our letting agents.”




Georgie Williams from the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments with her fellow baton bearers during Monday's North Lanarkshire Queen's Baton Relay event. © Wishaw PressGeorgie Williams from Perth was a proud baton bearer on Monday 23rd June, as she took part in the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay.

The 18 year old was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 15 months. At 18 months Georgie started attending The Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments (SCCMI) at the Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld. She attended the nursery there, and when she reached the age of 6 years old went to mainstream school at the Community School of Auchterarder in Perthshire. Supported by her time at the Centre, Georgie continued in to secondary mainstream school.

Message Matters' client The Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments is one of Scotland’s Grant Aided Special Schools, receiving funds directly from the Scottish Government. The Centre provides educational and therapy services for children, young people and their families affected by cerebral palsy and related conditions. 

Taking part in such a prestigious sporting moment is reflective of Georgie’s pioneering spirit and sporting success. Georgie plays as part of the Scottish Boccia (target ball) squad, and travelled to London to support her friends in the GB Boccia team as they competed at the Paralympics in London 2012.

Here's Georgie's message to the Centre's CEO, Patrick Salter, ahead of Monday's Baton Relay:

Relay excited: Georgie has limited verbal communication so communicates through a DynaVox Maestro device.Professor Patrick Salter, Chief Executive of the SCCMI, said: “The staff, pupils and parents at the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments are so proud of Georgie’s participation in the Queen’s Baton Relay for 2014. Georgie has been with us since she was a baby and we are delighted that, as she turns 18 and prepares to leave the Centre, her sporting passions and independent ability are being recognised with this honour."



Message Matters' client Reform Scotland, the independent, non-party think tank, has released a major report which analyses the constitutional proposals of all five of Scotland's represented political parties.

The report - Scotland's Future: The Constitutional Report Card - examines the taxation, expenditure and local government proposals of the SNP, Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens to determine how far they go towards the aspiration of levels of government being responsible for raising what they spend. The proposals are benchmarked against Reform Scotland's Devo Plus proposal.

The full report can be accessed by clicking here. The think tank called on the pro-UK parties to "pick the best bits of their proposals and put them together". You can see the potential result below: