First pub in Scotland achieves healthyliving award

21 November 2014

Wintersgills has shown itself to be a leader in its field by becoming the first pub in Scotland to achieve the healthyliving award, shrugging off the stereotypical view that ‘typical pub grub’ means unhealthy.

Wintersgills is a friendly and welcoming pub, located on Great Western Road, a well-established area of Glasgow’s West End. It has a history extending over 70 years, opening its doors as a bar back in 1936.

Since achieving the healthyliving award, the staff at Wintersgills are fully committed to continually providing traditional pub food, but in ways that make it healthier, by reducing the salt, sugar and fat content during the food preparation process. Given that ‘pub grub’ is often perceived as unhealthy, this is certainly an achievement to be proud of.

By holding the award, the food served at Wintersgills needs to meet the healthyliving award criteria, with at least half of the food on offer being prepared using both healthier ingredients and cooking methods, as well as offering healthy food on the children’s menus.

Iris Patterson, the Catering Manager at Wintersgills said “I previously worked at an eating establishment which held the Scotland’s Health at Work (SHAW) award and was well versed on how to make traditional pub food healthier by reducing the salt, sugar and fat”.

Delighted with achieving the award, Iris continued “the positive feedback received from customers on the healthier options has really surprised me, given we are a traditional pub. Our customers seem to be really pleased that there are healthier options available as they’re trying to cut back. Since I adjusted the salt, sugar and fat levels in the food served, no one has noticed a difference; customers actually seem to be coming back because we have the award!”

Customers at Wintersgills can now choose a healthier option when eating at the pub as there is a wide and varied selection on their menu, ranging from a piping hot bowl of home-made soup served with wholemeal bread with the option of a low fat spread, to something more substantial like braised steak with a root vegetable mash, and all at very competitive prices.

Anne Lee, Project Manager of the healthyliving award in NHS Health Scotland, said:
“Becoming the first pub in Scotland to hold the award  is definitely something to be proud of and the healthyliving award team are delighted at how Wintersgills has incorporated the healthyliving award criteria into what’s seen as ‘traditional pub grub’.

We would hope that other similar high street caterers and restaurateurs recognise from this, that accomplishing the healthyliving award is possible and embrace the changes the Scottish public crave, when eating out-with their home”.

The healthyliving award managed and delivered by NHS HealthScotland is the national award giving recognition to caterers and the food service sector, who take a range of steps to provide healthier options to the public. The award identifies where consumers can go to buy healthier food when eating out-with the home. To attain the award, a business must meet the healthyliving criteria, including reducing the levels of fat, salt and sugar, and making fruit and vegetables more readily available, alongside promoting and marketing the award, which in turn, encourages healthier eating.