Now if you're anything like me, the celebration of a Scottish Birthday and a chance to eat haggis is actually no real celebration at all. However, add in a three course dinner, some entertainment, a whole bunch of great people and the chance to put on the swankiest clothes (or themed costumes) you can find, and well, that sounds like a night to remember.
Tuesday night saw around fifty of us gathering together under the excuse of Robert Burn's Birthday. A famous Scottish poet, who led an interesting life of womanising and freemasonry is probably not something we would often get together to talk about. However, for the sake of some entertainment, and an excuse to get together, we were rather of the opinion, why not.
James Druce concocted a wonderful menu, and the student team set to work setting things up. The room was set up with six tables, each decorated with ivy and candles. Fairy lights were hung from the pillars of the Shaw Suite, and tartan posters added the Scottish feel. As people arrived they were greeted by drinks and canapés, before settling down to a rather long but hopefully delicious dinner.
We were treated to some piano playing, as parsnip soup started the evening off. Won't lie, pouring 50 soups and carrying those was no easy task, although squirting cream across them was pretty fun.
Following soup we embarked upon the very famous tradition (well tradition at least) known as 'piping in the haggis'. For those who didn't witness such a wonderful event, you definitely missed out. Three people marched around the room; one reading a poem, one carrying the haggis on a silver platter and the other a rather sharp and decorative knife. Fortunately for us, we did not take this too seriously...needless to say the people in the parade dissolved into giggles, Becky Welford, I'm talking about you. AND the rest of the room found it mighty funny too.
Still, hopefully you all feel a little more cultured now you've experienced such an iconic event. Haggis was given to each table, but for some strange reason wasn't all eaten up...
One course down, and the main gets started as the conversation flows and the evening gets a little weirder. Roast pork, topped with a garnish of parsnip crisps was served, along with very big plates of potatoes, bowls of carrots and broccoli and a dish of braised red cabbage with orange and sultanas. Apple sauce and gravy dishes on the side and the feast begun. The clanging of cutlery and chatter filled the room and the waiters and waitresses left people to it while we also ate some grub.
People ate their fill, although left a remarkable amount of veg. Did no one ever tell you that it's good to eat your greens? Or in the case, greens, oranges and purples...!
With a small break pudding followed. Cranachan; oatmeal, cream, strawberries, honey and whisky all served in wine glasses with shortbread on the side. A delicious end...well almost. As people began to explode with the amount of food, tea, coffee and mints were served, followed by whisky for those who wanted as we followed in more traditions with a 'toast to the lasses' and then a 'toast to the lads'.
By this point, people had moved from tables, the serving team had become a little distracted in talking to people and hats were being swapped. It was a rather civilised evening, full of good food and good people. And so, for the second year, Citygate Students and Twenties celebrated Burns Night.
But, we don't just limit events to the Scots. Coming up we've got the second part of Why Citygate, so do head along to that on Sunday Night! Next Saturday (5th Feb) we've got our Open Mic Night - Cafe 29. I look forward to hearing, seeing and chatting to all of you talented people. It's purely social so if you're looking to meet some new people, or if you want to bring your friends along, this is definitely the night to do it!
On Sunday we'll be heading to a pub for lunch so make sure you stay around after church and hang out with us. I know that I haven't seen people properly for ages, so I'd love a little chat with as many people as I can manage in the space of an afternoon!
BUT BEFORE THAT...
For all of you geeks out there we have, thanks to the organisation of David Ashley...Hibernationfest. An all day event which involved watching all THREE Lord of the Rings films and eating a roast. The plan is for everyone to have a lazy day. Duvets, sleeping bags, slippers and pillows are almost mandatory. I know some people are bringing work to do, some people are bringing knitting. I know that I am most certainly looking forward to watching some Hobbits and some Elves and seeing all of your lovely faces on Saturday from 11am!
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I would love to hear from you!
So, with a busy few weeks ahead, make sure you are out and about. Things with us are never dull, and the best place for you to be, to grow, and to make friends is at as many events as possible.
Lots of love, and look out for snowwwww!