Duelling may have fallen from favour but hosting food festivals appears to be the latest way to keep score among Scotland’s land-owning aristocracy.
In the blue corner, the grounds of Inveraray Castle – ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll – will play host to BOWfest, a food and music festival, over the weekend of Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September.
In the other blue corner, Floors Castle – seat of the Duke of Roxburghe – will host The Great British Food Festival on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September.
Who will be crowned the winner as the two events duke it out?
OK, that’s probably enough posho-themed puns.
While broadly similar – both are food and music-based festivals – the two events have significant differences.
BOWfest, short for Best of the West, is taking place in the grounds of Inveraray Castle for the eighth time while this is the first time that The Great British Food Festival has pitched at Floors.
BOWfest is a home-grown affair dedicated to celebrating the ‘very best in Scottish music, food and drink’.
Great British Food Festival: Cake Off
The Great British Food Festival travels around country estates around the UK and promises ‘artisan producers, scrumptious street food and brilliant bars’.
It also offers cookery demos, a Cake Off, kids’ cookery lessons and a scary Men v Food challenge.
The standing champ is one James Shute. In 2016, at Bowood House, he scoffed 74.5 inches of sausage, followed by a pint of cider in 6min 6sec.
No-one managed to beat his record last year. Will anyone be man or woman enough to do it in 2018?
On the live music front, the Music Stage has solo artists, duets and full-on party bands from 10am to 5pm.
BOWfest: live music
BOWFest bills itself as ‘Scotland’s finest boutique festival’ and has a much greater emphasis on live music.
They promise more than a hundred musicians over three days on three stages. The bands include The Donnie Munro Band, Skipinnish, Tide Lines, Seven Nations and Bwani Junction.
Not that the food side of things is lacking. Argyll’s local food and regional specialities will be well represented.
Of course, there will also be food demos from chefs such as Gary Maclean, Masterchef: The Professionals 2016 winner; Andrew Maclugash, Chef Patron of Samphire Inveraray and Sujitra ‘Eddie’ Scott.
The Thai national and former resident of Cairnbaan, mixes the freshest Scottish ingredients with her natural Thai cooking skills.
Festival coaches will run each day from Glasgow, Dumbarton, Tarbet, Arrochar, Oban, Connel, Taynuilt, Loch Awe, Dalmally, Tarbert, Ardrishaig, Lochgilphead, Furnace and Dunoon.