Browsing Tag

where to spend Burns night

Escape to Cortina d’Ampezzo

By March 15, 2019 INSPIRATION, Travel
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Where in the world is Cortina?!

Cortina d’Ampezzo, or more simply Cortina, is a small town in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Situated in the centre of the Dolomites (part of the Italian Alps), this village has been named “The Queen of the Dolomites” for its natural beauty and wide range of mountain activities. Cortina is also easy to reach from other countries, located only 2 hours north of Venice.

We recently spent 4 days in this lovely town which was the perfect amount of time to visit this ski destination. Aside from skiing, Cortina has an interesting military history, having fought against the Austrians during the First World War, and this is evident in the large collection of bunkers, trenches and tunnels available to explore. The Great War Open Air museum is also definitely worth a visit.

However, the true draw to the town is Cortina’s ski scene which is not to be missed! While you can visit this cute town all year around, the best time to visit is in the winter. In fact, being part of the Dolomiti Super ski terrain makes Cortina part of the world’s largest skiing area. Opting for a single skipass will give you the opportunity to access more than 450 lifts and 1.220km of ski pistes, as Cortina is surrounded by mountains on almost all sides: Tofane to its West (part of the Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti), Cristallo and Faloria to the northeast and Cinque Torri (Five Towers) to the south. On our trip we had the chance to visit every ski station mentioned above!

On our first day we chose to take it easy and spend some time walking around the city centre, renting the ski equipment and having a delicious hot chocolate! The following day we decided to drive to Cinque Torri, as the weather was particularly nice and the landscape just breathtaking on a sunny day! It also deserves to be mentioned that the food we had was exquisite and really cheap! Here are some of the typical dishes you can find: 

  • Knodel
  • Casunziei
  • Barley Soup
  • Patate Ampezzane
  • Puccia
  • Spatzle
  • Strudel
  • Kaiserschmarrn (The Emperor’s Omelette)

The next days, we opted for Tofana, including Ra Valles (2.475m height) and Faloria for exhilarating slopes in crisp, beautiful weather. On the other hand, if the idea of launching yourself down a mountain does not appeal, you can still take the cable car and stop to eat with a breathtaking view or walk one of the Tofana’s snowshoe trails. At a height of  approximately 2.600m, the trails are perfect for beginners and will take around 1 hour to complete. And if you really want to make the most of the mountain experience, you could choose to sleep in one of the many chalets situated on the trail.

Cortina is an ideal place for families, groups of friends or couples to have their first ski trip in rich Italian style! Don’t forget to bundle up though, it’s pretty cold up there!

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Robert Burns Night

By January 24, 2019 EVENTS, INSPIRATION
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From haggis to kilts, we’re celebrating all things Scottish this week. Roberts Burns night is an annual festivity celebrated on the 25th January, to commemorate the life and literary works of Burns in a night of eating, drinking and merrymaking. Over the years, it has also become a landmark of Scottish pride, and an opportunity for restaurants and bars around the UK to offer everyone a chance to soak up some Scottish culture.

Born in 1759, Robert Burns was a world-renowned poet and lyricist who shaped the Romantics literary movement. Inspired by the works of Alexander Pope, he shaped 18th and 19th century poetry in the UK. Burns’ most famous works include, “Auld Lang Syne” (1788) which is sung all over the world at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s.

But what’s the best way to celebrate this night?

A home-cooked haggis dinner with friends or a more formal supper is among the options. Traditionally, guests are meant to read out loud the famous “Address to Haggis” poem before they can start eating their meal. A traditional menu (usually haggis) is then served alongside whisky, wine or ale and entertainment for the night includes bagpipe playing, renditions of Burns songs and Scottish dancing. It’s definitely a night which celebrates cultural heritage and traditional experiences.

To get your haggis fix this Burns night, here is a list of traditional dishes (other variations may exist) and the best Scottish restaurants to have them in:

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  • Mac & Wild – Fitzrovia

Fancy a burger with a Scottish twist? Mac & Wild bring us the best of the best of Scottish sourced produce. Specialising in classic wild venison, beef, steak and seafood and of course, whisky, they mix tradition with contemporary food as they serve Haggis pops and Tattie tots for starters. Mac & Wild are offering special Burns special nights ranging from a Burns Silent Disco, a Burns special set menu on the 25th of January and Haggis making classes.

(65 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7PS)

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  • Deeney’s – Leyton

Deeney’s café only opened in October 2018 and already has a cult following. Their haggis toasties called the ‘MacBeth’ have been going down a storm with customers. For a veggie option there’s the ‘Lady MacBeth’. They are also hosting a special Burns night which is available to book now.

(360 High Rd Leyton, Leyton, London E10 6QE)

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  • Boisdale – Belgravia

Enjoy your haggis, neeps and tatties alongside the finest live jazz music in the heart of London. Boisdale serves the finest Scottish cuisine, book now for 4 course meals in celebration of Burns night.

(15 Eccleston St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9LX)

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  • Ghillie Dhu – Edinburgh

Lots of fun and amazing food, Ghillie Dhu is the perfect choice if you are looking for an authentic Scottish night, accompanied by ceilidh dancing every Friday night. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes abundant portions of black pudding and brie parcels; haggis, neeps and tatties; poached Scottish salmon with lemon and dill cream, and much more.

(2 Rutland place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD)

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  • Ubiquitous Chip – Glasgow

Open since the 1970s, this Scottish legend is well-known among the locals as “The Chip”.  Located in the picturesque Ashton Lane, this bistro-pub offers a modern spin of Scottish classics and food locally sourced.

(12 Ashton Ln, Glasgow G12 8SJ)

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