We were in good company for Burns Night

We had such good company this Burns Night - and we're not (just) talking about the whisky. Friends of Blue Noun English Language School joined up with our current group of students for a non-traditional Burns Supper. Here's our photos!

In case you don't know, this night is an annual celebration of the life and works of Scottish poet Robert (Robbie) Burns.

We were keen to add contemporary touches and international flavours to our party - whilst sincerely honouring and respecting the spirit of Burns Night.

We asked all our invited guests each to read something from Scottish literature. The wonderful local artist June McEwan read Burns poems. Here's a taster.

Fabulous comedian and story teller Lolie Ware told a story about a time that the lyrics of a Del Amitri song chimed not only with her life, but with Edwin Morgan's poem, 'One Cigarette'. Here's just the intro...

Artist (Edinburgh) Imogen Waibel had written a poem for the occasion in the style of Burns, about a wee skelf (a splinter).

Guests were greeted with tartan garlands, as arrivals to Hawaii are greeted with flower leis, and from the moment they arrived, the whisky was flowing.

The menu took traditional Burns Night fare (haggis, neeps and tatties), but embraced international influences. Plates included seafood kedgeree, vegan kedgeree, haggis pakora, turnip dim sum, patatas bravas with tomato and paprika sauce, vegetable sushi, colcannon, and plantain pancakes. We chose a Spanish red wine for the table. For pudding we had a quite boozy cranachan; and Charmaine made a extremely boozy vegan version. Lynn's trifle stole the show!

In the spirit of a true Burns Supper we also had a selection of whisky to discover. These Glenturrets were savoured at the end of the meal.

The Glenturret Distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland, and based just outside Crieff, making beautiful whiskies from water from the River Turret. Friends as well as neighbours, at Blue Noun English Language School we often take our language learners on their excellent distillery tour. In addition, we also offer whisky tastings to all our students - but it undoubtably helps the whisky taste even better to tour the distillery and gain a sense of the time and the craft of whisky-making.

For our non-drinkers, we had Whissin, a Spanish no-alcohol whisky substitute. Delicious.

It's wonderful sharing food with people - and learning about other cultures. Burns Night is about our own Scottish culture, but our night was intended as a celebration of all the international influences and roots our nation has.

Kenny was in charge of playing some of our favourite Scottish musicians. Tradition dictates a piper should lead in the hot, steaming haggis at a Burns Supper, but we chose Martyn Bennett's fabulous track Chanter: a haunting tribute to the timeless quality of Scottish pipes, and as a tune, quite simply one of the best reasons to be alive that I know.

Here's what we played. Enjoy the artwork, it's spectacular.

Martyn Bennett- Grit

Malcolm Middleton - Waxing Gibbous & Bananas

Pictish trail - Future Echos

The Phantom Band - Strange Friend

James Yorkston - the Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society & The Route to the Harmonium

King Creosote - From Scotland with Love and Astronaut Meets Appleman ,

The Beta Band - The 3 Eps

Steve Mason - Meet the Humans

Callum Easter - Here or Nowhere

Edwyn Collins - Gorgeous George

Primal Scream - Give Out But Don’t Give Up

Live language learning!

Lastly, big warm thank you to Lolie - you made our party happen. Thank you!!!

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