People: NSPCC | Innis & Gunn | Clive Phillips

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IT’S a tough job, but the thought of helping children in need meant no fewer than 17 Edinburgh businesses pitched in to take part in the NSPCC’s fine wine challenge in Edinburgh.

Now in its fifth year, the gruelling contest saw the teams sample an excellent array of fine and rare wines from around the world, generously supplied by sponsor Cockburns of Leith.

Guests battled it out throughout the evening, which also included a quiz. In the end though, it was Edinburgh-based bankers from Adam & Company who saw off the competition to lift the coveted trophy, beating competition from the likes of Accenture, Martin Currie, Prudential and Standard Life.

Any liver damage incurred was well worth it though, as the evening raised more than £54,000 to help the charity’s work with children.

Lots of lager, but no louts

The offer of a free beer or two proved a big draw on Wednesday night as Edinburgh-based brewer Innis & Gunn launched its latest tipple.

Pint after pint of the firm’s new lager were downed in the splendid surroundings of the city’s historic Guildford Arms pub. The nibbles were plentiful, while a live band provided the ideal accompaniment.

Innis & Gunn’s founder Dougal Sharp was on good form, garnering feedback from as many punters as possible.

Clearly, the beer hit the mark – as a couple of members of the business desk will testify. The revelation that ten kegs were tucked away on the night – some 1,000 pints – suggests that few of the 300 or so souls on the guest list were absent.

Office food fight looms

A fierce doughnut war seems to have broken out in Scotland, with the business desk as unwitting beneficiary.

First it was Krispy Kreme sending trays of its finest when the firm opened an outlet in Edinburgh earlier this year. Word obviously reached Sir Richard Branson that they went down well, as he sent a chunky selection of doughy treats to The Scotsman while he was in town to launch the Anglo-Scottish routes of airline Virgin Atlantic Little Red.

Not to be outdone, Greggs apparently decided to show off its own firepower as a couple of dozen doughnuts mysteriously arrived in the office on Thursday. We await the next move in this tense stand-off with relish (and tighter belts).

Hot new Icelandic role

Brodies partner Clive Phillips hopes to return the hospitality he experienced in his youth after becoming the new honorary consul for Iceland in Aberdeen.

As well as a lawyer, Phillips is a working farmer and is involved in breeding and promoting Icelandic horses. His long-standing connection with the Nordic island nation started when he worked there as a student.

He says: “When I was in Iceland I was privileged to be made to feel very welcome by the families with whom I lived. As honorary consul, I look forward to returning that hospitality.”

He was unveiled as honorary consul at a reception hosted by Brodies in Aberdeen last week, attended by representatives of 18 Icelandic companies taking part in an oil industry fact-finding mission to Scotland.