You had to feel for them. One hundred and ninety French guests got off our three vintage red Routemasters outside gorgeous Gosford House and before they could say nous sommes arrives (wish this blog allowed an e acute) they were charged by a band of burly, yelling, sword-wielding, Jacobites. And the visitors had only been in Scotland an hour.
That’s the kind of surprise our corporate clients tend to arrange for their guests. There have been mystery tours, treasure hunts and mobile quizzes. At other times we’ve had pipers appearing on the entrance platform in full kit with a dram served to everyone; food stops on the Royal Mile with delicacies from cheese maker Mellis or Italian gourmands Valvona & Crolla; or our conductor coming round with our very own Red Bus craft brew.
While we’re on the subject of colour… Routemasters have been painted in all sorts of hues, including an odd blue and yellow scheme when a small fleet briefly worked in public service in Glasgow in the early 1990s. I remember silver for a handful in London in 1977 for the Jubilee. But here at The Red Bus we are convinced only one colour truly works, and against the dark stone of Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town it looks even better.