My first Burns night supper

For your information before I start – cause I did not know when Ryan (my flatmate) asked me to go out for Burns night supper: A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), the author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, occasionally known as Robert Burns Day (or Rabbie Burns Day) but more commonly known as Burns Night (Scots: Burns Nicht). However, in principle, celebrations may be held at any other time of the year (wikipedia).

So last Friday evening we went to the Raeburn in Stockbridge, a very nice pub with delicious food in general, if you ever fancy going. Ryan got us tickets for only 20pounds which included a 3 course Burns night supper, whiskey tasting by Highland Park whisky and “Address to a Haggis” (The haggis is a traditional Scots dish memorialised as the national dish of Scotland by Robert Burns’ poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ in 1787).

We had our own little booth and the decorations already made my heart jump of excitement. I honestly have a severe obsession with all things Scotland 😀 :D. We were greeted by the Raeburn staff and a representative of Highland Park whiskey, including a whiskey cocktail which was not too bad considering I normally don’t drink whisky. (Highland Park distillery is the northernmost single malt Scotch whisky distillery in the world, located on the Orkney Islands off the far north coast of Scotland, where the Atlantic Ocean turns into the North Sea)

The meal started with smoked salmon, some kind of coleslaw and bread chips. Every course had it’s own whiskey to taste with it. I think we started with a 12 year old one.

Then a young girl was presenting “Address to the Haggis” by showing around a freshly made haggis and doing the poem, of which I did not understand one word…

See first verse:

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.

We were then served a course with haggis, a haggis bonbon and an absolute amazing piece of venison on creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and I think a piece of parsnip and some kale as decoration.

Again we got a new glass of whisky – it was an older one I think and I could not drink it. It was burning to much…

Dessert was chocolate mousse and 2 strawberry filled pralines. And again another whiskey to taste.

Then the girl presented another poem by Robert Burns and it almost made me cry because it literally spoke from my heart and the way she presented it was very touching, too:

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains, high-cover’d with snow,
Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

It was one of the best nights I had in a while and absolutely enjoyed every second of it!

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