This Friday many friends will gather to raise a glass marking the 254th anniversary of Robbie Burns’ birth. Lane’s Privateer Inn will once again take part in the celebrations, and will be celebrating an anniversary of their own: It has been 10 years since the first Burns feast was held at Lane’s.
The annual Robbie Burns celebration back at Lane's Privateer Inn on Jan. 25, with Burns reenactor Al Steele, centre, and piper Ross Myers, right.
The gathering started with George and Nancy Ferrier who held Robbie Burns feasts at their private home until the event got too big. When the couple moved it to other venues they found that none were quite cozy enough until they moved it to Lane’s. Since then the event has grown even after the Ferriers moved.
"It’s kind of taken on a life of its own.” says Susan Lane, manager of Lanes Privateer Inn.
The feast will once again be hosted by Al Steele, who will be playing the part of Robbie Burns. Steele has played Burns for four years now. The event has seen several hosts but none with the devotion of Steele says Lane.
“From investing in his costume to the accents he does, he’s very devoted,” she says.
Everyone who attends is encouraged to wear some tartan. The event is casual and dining is done party style at long tables to encourage meeting new people. Things get underway with some time to have a drink and mingle before a bagpiper pipes you in to the dining room.
The Burns feast will include a four-course meal of traditional foods such as cock-a-leekie soup with walnut oatcakes, haggis, roast beef and rutabaga and Tipsy Laird. Tipsy Laird is a trifle dish made of fruit, cake, liqueur and whipped cream. Each guest will be supplied with a dram of scotch to toast the haggis. Head sommelier Corrine Maund will be going table to table offering wines and scotch to pair with your meal.
The haggis is entirely Nova Scotian, from the sheep to the preparation. When questioned about the haggis and the uneasiness some may have around the traditional dish, Lane says this:
“If you like sausage, you will like haggis.”
Throughout the meal guests are encouraged to write poems, get up and tell a joke or sing a song and to interact with the guests at their table. Steele will provide much of the night’s entertainment, and will lead everyone in the toast to the haggis and through some of the songs.
After the feast guests are welcome to head to the pub for drinks and to listen to fiddler Bruce Smith who will play sea songs and Scottish tunes.
Tickets for the feast are $45 a piece. The supper will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.