Robert Burns (1759-1796), is Scotland’s National Bard. He was a poet and lyricist who wrote in both Scottish and English, and remains to this day a Scottish cultural icon and a bedrock of Scotland’s national identity. Among his many compositions are Auld Lange Syne, A Red, Red Rose, Tam O’ Shanter and, of course, Address to a Haggis.
Five years after his death, a group of his devoted friends gathered together to celebrate his life and work. The tradition caught on and came to be celebrated on or around his birthday of January 25. That date, often referred to as Robert Burns Day, has become Scotland’s unofficial National Day. In fact, it’s more widely celebrated in Scotland than the official national observance of St Andrew’s Day.
At the heart of the celebration is the Burn’s Supper or Burns Night—a traditional Scottish dinner typically accompanied by numerous drams of Scotland’s whisky.
The traditional Burns Supper begins with a soup course. This is usually a classic Scottish soup like Scotch broth, potato soup, Cullen skink (a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions) or cock-a-leekie (a soup dish consisting of leeks and peppered chicken stock).
Burns Night is upon us and you know what that means – it’s almost time to have some haggis, a wee dram, an’ ah few lovely tatties. Burns Night is the celebration of Robert Burns’ life and poetry, and it takes place every year on 25 January. The tradition started shortly after Burns’ death, when his friends made a pact to celebrate his life every year on 21 July – the date of his death – but over the years it became tradition to celebrate Burns Night on what would have been his birthday. If you want to get in on the festivities when we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Rabbie Burns and some classic quotes of his.
Rabbie Burns quotes and poem extracts Burns Night celebrations will usually kick-off with the host saying a few words, and sometimes reciting Burns’ Selkirk Grace. The Selkirk Grace, which is written in the Scottish dialect, as many of Burns’ poems were, goes like this:
‘Some hae meat an canna eat And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit.’
A Hebridean island with a population of just 170 people has been named one of the best islands in the world to visit in 2020 – alongside hotspots in the Caribbean, Brazil, Japan and Australia.
Raasay, an island off the east coast of Skye which is just 14 miles long and five miles wide, was singled out in the wake of the opening of its first ever legal distillery, which offers visitors overnight stays.
The island, arguably best known as the birthplace of Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean Angus Mackay, Queen Victoria’s first piper, has just one hotel, three bed and breakfasts, two shops and a primary school, but boasts an iconic flat-topped peak offering views of the Outer Hebrides, steep cliffs, forest trails and secluded beaches.
But now a leading travel bible has rated it alongside Hong Kong, Kyushu in Japan, the Anavilhanas Archipelago, in Brazil, Prince Edward Island, in Canada, St Barts and Domenica, in the Caribbean in its 13-strong guide “to be two steps ahead of the pack.” [ . . . ]
A Glasgow bar that has found fame worldwide for its extensive whisky collection and knowledgeable staff has been crowned Scotland’s Pub of the Year.
The Pot Still Bar received the prestigious prize at the AA Hospitality Awards in a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London.To mark the twenty-first anniversary of the awards, this year’s event was presented by Claudia Winkleman, with the best establishments in the UK being honoured across twenty-three categories, including Chefs’ Chef, Lifetime Achievement Award and Housekeeper of the Year.
The AA Pub of the Year accolade is awarded to those pubs that successfully combine the “provision of enjoyable food, a great pub atmosphere and a warm welcome with a high standard of management”.
Previous Scottish winners have included The Bow Bar in Edinburgh and The Ship Inn in Elie, Fife.The Pot Still, which is located on Glasgow’s Hope Street, was chosen due to its extensive whisky range, highly knowledgeable staff and ‘traditional pies.’
Two leading whisky experts have teamed up to launch #OurWhisky – a new movement designed to challenge perceptions of the stereotypical whisky drinker.
Becky Paskin, editor of Scotchwhisky.com and Georgie Bell, global whisky specialist, say this will be the world’s first campaign to unite the global whisky industry and whisky lovers in a combined bid to “dispel common myths of who modern whisky drinkers are”.
Whisky is a drink that can be enjoyed by everyone, and we feel it’s important to demonstrate that by celebrating the gender and cultural diversity of the modern day whisky drinker.”
The pair want #OurWhisky to reaffirm the consensus from within the industry that whisky is a drink with widespread appeal, and challenge the established perception among many consumers that whisky is still a “man’s drink” – an opinion they say has been perpetuated by decades of male-oriented advertising [ . . . ]