Intermezzo - Luxury Scotland



The Intermezzo Experience

Written by: Vivien Devlin

glasgow art gallery
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

An entrepreneur is a rare breed of business executive:  Someone who runs their own business and assumes all the risk and reward of a new commercial venture, an innovator of ideas to benefit corporate service and social change. 

Clare McLeod is one such remarkable entrepreneur, whose arts and tourism company Intermezzo won the Most Enterprising Business award 2007. 

Having had a successful career with accountancy firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Clare decided to follow her life-long interest in the arts and studied for an Open University degree in History and Art History. 

The next stage in Clare’s entrepreneurial journey was to gain first hand experience.  So she joined The Burrell Collection which was the perfect opportunity to learn all about overall management, sponsorship, sales and marketing in major Scottish galleries and museums. 

Linking Arts and Business

Guided Tour

With her background in business consultancy, meetings and conferences, Clare quickly saw there was a serious gap in the market - connecting Scottish public arts and heritage venues with the global business world. And so Intermezzo Promotions was founded in 2007 as an inspirational venture organising exclusive corporate leisure events, private gallery tours and deluxe leisure travel experiences. 

Pollock House

Clare McLeod has insider knowledge of all the Glasgow galleries, museums and National Trust properties where she arranges bespoke private visits.  Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one Scotland’s best known art collection and includes Old Masters, French Impressionists, Scottish Colourists, and the iconic “Christ of St. John of  the Cross” by Salvador Dali. Kelvingrove also has a superb natural history department.

Glasgow also boasts the Museum of Modern Art with its regular changing  contemporary art and sculpture exhibitions, and the world famous Burrell Collection featuring medieval art, tapestries, stained glass, English furniture, European paintings by Degas and Cézanne, Islamic art and modern sculpture by Epstein and Rodin;  


Pollock House has a wonderful collection of silver, furniture and paintings by Goya, Murillo and El Greco; Holmwood House, an exquisite 19th century mansion designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson is regarded as an architectural masterpiece featuring a magnificent cupola, mahogany, carved banisters and spectacular, curved glass windows, while the Trades Hall is a classic Robert Adam building in the heart of the attractive Merchant City.

Night at the Museum

Kelvingrove Interior

You may recall the recent comedy film, “Night at the Museum” with its fantasy plot inside a museum when the doors have closed. “ Night at the Museum” is one of Intermezzo’s exclusive guided tours when you may visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum after hours when the regular crowds of visitors have left for the day.

A typical private tour will start at around 4.30pm, so that you enter Kelvingrove as the day time visitors are still there. In a private room you will be greeted by the guide for an introduction and at 5pm you will return to the now peaceful empty Grand Hall, where champagne is served. 

As you proceed on the tour, Intermezzo guests will appreciate the silence, space and privacy to enjoy the gallery’s fabulous treasures.

Intermezzo has a handpicked team of smart uniformed volunteer guides who work for Glasgow museums and galleries and have exceptional knowledge of art, artefacts, architecture and cultural history.

Private tours can be arranged in the evening with a champagne reception for starters or during the day when you will enjoy a fast track route to avoid any queues and the special opportunity to have a table reserved for lunch (not possible for regular gallery visitors) in the Kelvingrove restaurant.

Developing the Intermezzo brand

Starting in Glasgow working with the arts and heritage venues she knows well, Clare is now broadening her field to Edinburgh and across Scotland, to encompass the National Galleries of Scotland, National Museum of Scotland, World Heritage Georgian townhouses, Bute House, Duddingston House, the National Trust, private and public galleries, as well as opera houses and theatres. An exciting range of exclusive visits and corporate hospitality could take place in many historic establishments.


A dream of Clare’s in the future would be to offer private visits to Abbotsford the former home of Sir Walter Scott, a stunning 19th century mansion on the River Tweed surrounded by landscaped formal gardens. The house has been preserved exactly as it was when he lived there, with his furniture, antiques and exquisite library. 

As an arts and business consultant, Clare offers personal advice to the marketing departments of museums, galleries and historic houses, to inspire, encourage and entice venues to open their doors for private tours and incentive travel events.

Who are Intermezzo guests?   

SECC, Glasgow

Scotland is a leading destination for the international conference market year round. The SECC in Glasgow has been voted the best Convention Centre in the UK for the second year running, while Edinburgh’s International Conference has collected 49 awards since its opening in 1995.

Clare works closely with conference organisers in order to arrange their tailor-made social and cultural itinerary for delegates and groups of visitors. Private museum tours are complemented by coach travel and a drinks and canapé reception.

The luxury leisure travel market is equally part of her arts and tourism programme. Working with Virtuoso, and other elite luxury travel agents, Clare organises private chauffeur drives as well as cultural tours for groups of around four to eight couples. 

Whether visiting Scotland for work, pleasure or leisure, many travellers these days prefer to fly business class and book first class seats on the train for the privilege of extra space, privacy, service and comfort.  In the same way, an Intermezzo guided tour or corporate reception is a privileged, first class experience.  Clare McLeod is passionate about the arts and keen to introduce the best of Scottish culture and heritage to a broad spectrum of leisure and business visitors to Scotland.

Clare McLeod

“The aim of Intermezzo is to provide a different and one-of-a-kind experience for visitors to Scotland.  All our tours offer unique access to heritage venues around the country and are tailored to each client’s wishes. 

Whether our clients wish to visit Kelvingrove at night, unlock the history of a period Georgian home or hear the background to Glasgow’s Spanish art collection, this VIP service truly distinguishes the company from its competitors.  With awards for Excellence in Customer Care and Most Enterprising Business, Intermezzo offers a professional service to both venues and visitors alike and is now rapidly expanding across Scotland.”  

Clare McLeod, October 2009.

Luxury Scotland
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