A man of endless intellect and viewed by many as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, Robert Burns is widely considered to be the national poet of Scotland. To celebrate the life and works of this Scottish Icon, every year Burns Night is celebrated on January 25th, all over the world.
But who was Robert Burns?
A farmer’s son, Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25th, 1759. Finding farm work detrimental to his health from an early age, Robert Burns channelled his intellectual energy into songwriting and poetry instead.
The death of Robert’s father in 1784 strengthened his critical approach to Scotland’s religious and political stance in the 18th century. Two years later, Robert published his first major collection of poetry, entitled “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect”, a work praised by critics and appealing to various social classes across Scotland. Recognising his success, he made the decision to remain in Scotland, relocating to Edinburgh to reap the rewards of his work. In the years that followed, Robert would collaborate with music publisher James Johnson to build “The Scots Musical Museum”, a discography of the traditional music of Scotland. The Scots Musical Museum included the piece, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, a song still sang today in New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In 1791, with his wife Jean Amour and his three children, Robert Burns relocated to Dumfries. While working as a tax collector, he wrote “Tam O’Shanter”, a cornerstone of Scottish literature, often considered a masterpiece. In 1793, Robert worked with George Thomson on “A Select Original of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice”, which, along with “The Scots Musical Museum” contain most Robert’s poems and songs, many of which became timeless and endlessly appreciated. Robert died aged 37 on July 21st, 1796 in Dumfries, after suffering from a lifelong heart condition.
In commemoration of Rabbie Burns Day, the iconic Royal Yacht Britannia host an exclusive, ticket only event in the form of a traditional Burns Supper in their stunning State Dining Room.
This annual event takes place on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th January 2017, where, in true Scottish style, guests are welcomed aboard Britannia by the historic ship’s own piper.
Canapes are served and glasses are kept suitably topped up throughout a champagne reception, during which guests are treated to an exclusive private tour of the Royal Yacht giving a unique insight into the history of Britannia and how The Royal Family and 220 crew lived and worked on board.
Once seated, guests are treated to a tantalising four course meal in the sophisticated settings of the Dining Room within the State Apartments, where The Royal Yacht Britannia’s butlers wait on guests hand and foot, ensuring every guest receives a VIP treatment. The meals are prepared using the very finest in authentic Scottish ingredients, meticulously cooked and prepared in the original Royal Galleys by Britannia’s executive chef Mark Alston, one of Scotland’s finest chefs, and his talented team.
While indulging in these time-honoured celebrations, diners are serenaded by the sounds of traditional Scottish music. The highlight of the evening is the ‘Address to the Haggis’, a poem written by Robert Burns to demonstrate his appreciation of haggis. As a result, this is often the first item on the programme of a Burns supper. To begin proceedings, the Haggis is brought to the table on a silver salver. Once the poem has been recited, the Haggis is cut with a ceremonial knife. The dinner is followed by a whisky tasting in the State Drawing Room.
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