AN HISTORIC estate has been granted a licence to serve alcoholic drinks after describing itself as a jewel in East Lothian’s tourism crown.

Newhailes House in Musselburgh applied for an alcohol licence to support its recently refurbished Stables cafe and allow events to be catered on the grounds.

The National Trust for Scotland, which operates the 18th-century estate, said that it did not expect it to become a major wedding venue, adding it "does not attract busloads of visitors” but described it as a popular spot for locals.

However, it argued that allowing Newhailes to offer guests a drink from its cafe indoors and outdoors would add to its already licensed lawn, adding: “This premise is a jewel in the East Lothian tourism crown, a five-star visitor attraction.”

Applying for a licence to serve alcohol seven days a week, the application suggested it could cater for up to 550 people and might host weddings and other private functions.

Newhailes Estate is dominated by its 18th-century Palladian mansion, which is not included as part of the licensed premises.

The house was once home to generations of the Dalrymple family and boasts rococo interiors, Italian marble fireplaces, a Chinese sitting room and impressive fine art collection.

Its extensive estate is a popular walking area for locals, with woodland walks and hidden grottos and outbuildings.

The recently refurbished Stables has a two-floor cafe and courtyard dining area, alongside an ice-cream shop and children’s playpark.

Applying for a licence, the trust’s representative Niall Hassard said it would allow the cafe to expand its offerings to evening meals and suppers.

No objections were lodged by Police Scotland or the board’s licensing standards officer and there were no public representations.

The board unanimously granted the licence with conditions to restrict unaccompanied access for children.