So Robbie Burns Night was a lot of fun. Good food, good company, good whiskey, way too much dancing.

So this was the night’s schedule:

evening's festivities

Hosted by this guy: Stefan Schuster

Yes, that’s a man in tartan vest and proper socks and… shorts. He’s also the head dude of An Quaich.

Oh, and this guy hosted, too. He’s supposed to be Robbie Burns – get it?

Robbie Burns' ghost

And here are our hosts together, doing a bit of their charming, sexist banter… wasn’t that a treat!

Stefan and Robbie

And clearly my photographic abilities last night were so good because of this:

table of glasses

That’s three shots of scotch and a glass of a rather unusual but tasty zinfandel (that had a certain “dirtiness” that went well with whiskey…)

And while the scotch was the pivotal element of the evening, supposedly, we can see here in his surly countenance and death grip just where Andrew’s loyalties lay:

Andrew with wine glass

How he was supposed to properly smell the scotch with those tiny nostrils, I have no idea. It was entertaining enough watching him try to stick his nose in the glass. (Fortunately, the wine glasses were about the size of his head, which made appreciation of the bouquet pretty easy.)

The piper was an intense dude. Fortunately they occasionally gave him a break by letting the dancers dance to… Great Big Sea?


There was a lot of dancing. Starting with this:

Hoochie dancers

Yeah, I don’t get it, either. Especially when they started rolling on the floor. But that was just for starters…

Swiss Chalet waitress dancer

Your guess on the Swiss Chalet waitress dancer is as good as mine… We had a bit of drag king action, though, too….

Sailors dancing the hornpipe

Eventually things got more traditional… For a very long time…

sword dancers

Eventually we ate. Quite tasty, guinea hen and haggis. Don’t like haggis. Too “organ-y”:

dinner - hen and haggis

And to cap it all off, an artsy shot: single malt by candlelight…

single malt by candlelight

The evening began amusingly – the piper was practising downstairs and blocked me from getting into the ladies room. So I went into the men’s, much to the amusement of the kitchen staff. The actual Scots in the room were pretty testy about how the host was pronouncing Scottish words. For the record, it’s “Dum-FREES”, “bard”, and “Rab”. Heh. Mr. Burns had nay accent ta speak of, but he was a good sport. I TOTALLY want to stab a haggis now. The whiskeys we sampled were pretty clearly chosen to appeal to the curious drinker, rather than the seasoned scotch afficionado. The first and third had no peat to speak of, and the middle one was not so infused that I couldn’t drink it. No Islays. We met an older couple when we were leaving, and I believe he was the former Convenor of An Quaich, and he said he’s got a collection of 86 bottles of single malt – none of which are available in Canada. Good on ya. I wouldn’t want any of them. 🙂 The evening closed with an impromptu singing of Auld Lang Syne.

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