Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"More haggis?" - Burns Supper at All Hallows

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut ye up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

At the end of January we attended a wonderful evening organised by the church we've been attending, All Hallows by the Tower - their annual Burns Supper. This is of course an evening honouring Scottish poet Robert Burns, in which tartan is worn, toasts are made to the lads and lassies, and the occasional wee dram is enjoyed.

We bundled up to go down to the church. There is an adjoining restaurant to the building which has a partnership with the church, and is named "The Kitchen @Tower." I really recommend it as a quirky, tasty, welcoming spot for breakfast, lunch, or tea nearby the Tower of London. It suffers a bit from being not obvious to see from the street - so if you find yourself in London, go search them out!

We enjoyed a bowl of hot Scotch broth (delicious) and a glass of wine as the guests arrived - I lamented my lack of tartan, in that I apparently do not own one thing that is plaid. Maybe back in Toronto. At any rate, Bertrand eventually stood up to begin the formal evening, and read us a witty life history of Burns. Then the anticipated moment arrived - the haggis was piped in.
Piping in the haggis.
The Kitchen's chef mugs for the camera while processing his 20-person haggis.

Burns' "Address to Haggis" was read and the haggis was cut, and distributed. This was David's and my first time having haggis. It was delicious! It tastes like the filling of a tourtière. It was accompanied by the requisite "neeps and tatties" - turnip and potato.

"Yum, another bit of haggis, please."
This lady did a wonderful job "addressing" the haggis - and shared a dram of  whisky with the table.

The vicar Bertrand, who is French by birth, was looking smashing in his highland attire:

We had a great time and rolled home to digest. People were asking us, "how much longer do we have you for?" Not long now! People, especially the Taizé crowd who we know from Wednesday nights, have told us it feels like they have known us longer than only a year. How kind! I'm not ready to think about saying goodbye to All Hallows - I've come to love it very much.

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