Style Academy looks to American market

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A SCOTTISH company offering art and craft courses in a manor house on Royal Deeside is seeking to attract American clients with a launch in a New York hotel this week.

Former private chef Andrew Mellon set up The Style Academy last year and is offering a hugely expanded range of courses this year, having reached agreement with a number of country estates.

His main base is the House of Glenmuick at Ballater, where he has run courses on making hand-blocked wallpaper and cookery from Japanese sushi to Argentine asado (barbecue).

He has now signed up 45 artisans and artists, including Highland businesses such as Sheridan’s Butchers of Ballater, who will teach venison butchery. For the New York launch, organised in conjunction with VisitBritain at The London hotel, Highland chocolatier Iain Burnett will demonstrate the skills he will be teaching.

Mellon says the US market is ripe for British tourist venues this year, with publicity generated by the impending royal baby and “the Downton effect” making country houses particularly desirable. Glenmuick is also close to the Balmoral estate.

The Style Academy is also running courses at estates in Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Yorkshire. Mellon, who hires the venues when they are not in use for shooting or by the owners, is now looking for a second venue in Scotland.