Being Scottish myself, Burns Night is an occasion I have been used to celebrating. As a Scottish person, its another good reason (or excuse) to get inordinately drunk and have pride in the fact your national animal is a unicorn. Naturally, this year would be no different.
The supper this year was hosted in support of Meningitis Research Foundation, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Founded in 2018 by a small committee, the event has a pride of place amongst the students in the know about it. Combatted slightly by the pressure of the big C, there was a slight fear it would go wrong this year, but after an initial rescheduling (the event took place two weeks later than the actual Burns Night) it was confirmed to go ahead.
As we reached Hotel Du Vin to celebrate one of the only famous people Scotland has ever produced, we were greeted by bagpipes and the two glamorous hosts, Molly Warner and Maddy McCourt. Both great friends of mine, I can safely say that this hasn’t influenced by verdict on whether the evening was a success or not; even a stranger could tell you it was brilliant.
There was a real sense of excitement from all those in attendance, the peak of which was during The Address to the Haggis, performed with authenticity by Mark Connolly. It gave the evening a flair and set the bar for the later entertainment we would receive. The food, too, was good. A three course meal starting with the traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, then a Steak Pie, finished off with a tasty, rich Cranachan and all washed down with a half-bottle of wine set me up well for a long night of celebration.
Of course, it wouldn’t really be a Burns Night without the Toasts to the Lads and Lassies. Suffice to say that both performers did these excellently. They were funny, didn’t cross the line too much, and were recited with great skill and wit.
This is a review about the Burns Night, so whilst the one downside to an otherwise amazing evening was the extortionate price of the bar, that wasn’t really in the committee’s control, so, actually, there are no negatives I can mention. I asked Maddy what she thought made Burns Night so popular and special. She said it was one of the only events in St Andrews properly dedicated to making the evening a personal experience for all guests. She wasn’t wrong.