Chef Ian puts fundraising on his menu

Ian Scott is raising funds for restoration work at next door's St Conan's Kirk.

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Chef Ian Scott has all the ingredients he needs to raise funds for St Conan’s Kirk.

The former Duart Castle chef who has served VIPs at St James’ Palace in London and fed a Spanish ambassador at a banquet spread fit for royalty is now running the Kirk Tearoom in the gatehouse to the historic church on the shores of Lochawe.

With help from family and friends Ian, who put retirement on a side plate to take on the tearoom as a project, has raised hundreds of pounds so far to help preservation work on the kirk next door.

His ‘penny-pushes’ where he tempts tearoom customers to try out his bite-size morsels of tasty treats in return for a loose-change donation has been piling up the funds to support conservation and improvement schemes at the kirk voted one of Scotland’s top ten attractions.

Mr Scott, has transformed the tardis-style tearoom, into a showcase of crafts for sale, supporting artists and makers and  has plans to write a book all about the history of the gatehouse building in the New Year.

‘I’d been fascinated by the building for a longtime so when I got the opportunity to run it as a tearoom, I couldn’t resist. Retirement couldn’t keep me away. I love it,’ said Ian.

Thousands of visitors call at the kirk every year and the 2019 Christmas Tree festival was another big success, boosting foot-fall even more. The Visitors’ Favourite Trees  were Lochnell Primary’s Reduce, Reuse, Treecycle entry, with Taynuilt medical practice’s A Fatal Case of Tinselitis coming in second place and ballet West Outreach’s Handprint Tutu Tree in third place.

Looking forardto the New Year, the Kirk recently celebrated news that the Susan H Guy Charitable Trust had awarded it  significant funds to run a program of storytelling events in 2020.

‘Adding storytelling events for children and adult audiences is an important area we have been working to develop and this very generous award will allow us to create some amazing storytelling events. We are still developing final details of the program but will include events that bring to life the history of the kirk and the local area,’ said a Kirk spokesman.