Thursday, January 10, 2019

Burns Night in Loch Lomond, Sctoland

I'm taking you back. Way back. The year is now 2016. It's taken that long to get round to posting this!

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Did I want to cater for a Burns weekend in Scotland? Try stopping me! We spent summer holidays from when I was aged 10 - 18 in different parts of the west coast & islands of Scotland. It was so good to be back!
We had catered for this group before in the Cotswolds - 3 families, one Irish, one Scottish, one Welsh. Last time they had met in the Cotswolds, but this time it was Scotland, and we must have done a good job, because they wanted us back for their next event, celebrating, among other things, Robbie Burns.
Stuckgowan House sits above Loch Lomond, looking over Ben Lomond. WHAT A DREAM HOUSE! The pic below really doesn't do the house justice - it's huge!


The view over Loch Lomond. As walks to work go - this sure has it! 
Having worked in 4 and 5 star hotels for 10 years, it comes as a surprise when a hotel says 'no'. Can I plug my refrigerated van in, while we're staying with you? No.
OK, well that was fine. After driving 9 hours up to Loch Lomond, I plugged the refrigerated van into the house we were working at, then hiked the 4 miles back to the hotel in the dark along the main road, and back again in the morning, this time finding the coastal route - bliss!
The old road right on the water's edge has been turned into a footpath, replaced by the road I had followed in the dark the night before.

Ben Lomond
So much of the time, you walk around and everyone's either talking into their phones or they have earphones in with the music they're listening too drowning out the real world. Take the earphones out, and you catch the sound of a waterfall, the lapping of the waters of Loch Lomond on the shore, the sound of the firs high above shimmering in the slight breeze. That's the sound of nature. Magic moments. Why do we make everything so complicated?
 Soon enough, of course, it was time to get into the kitchen....,.,.,
Love the lighting behind the Everhot range - there's a remote to change the colour. We didn't test it of course..... much.
A kitchen with a view!

We started with Saturday brunch. Most of the rest of the pics are quite bad quality as they were taken by the guests with flash. Oh well, maybe next time......
Homemade Bagels with Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon
Poached Eggs Florentine

There was also American pancakes with maple syrup and a platter of bacon, potato rosti and grilled tomatoes.

Later that night it was on to the main event.......

 Catered 5 Course Burns Night Supper
 One of the main reasons for celebrating, as well as being Burn's Night was the hostess of the event had been given a diagnosis of the remission of cancer - always a good reason to celebrate! They did so in style with a bottle of Cristal champagne.
... which went nicely with some Burn's Night and Scottish/ Irish inspired canapes 
Potato Wafers with Scottish Smoked Salmon, Watercress and Horseradish
Spoon of Slow Roast Duck with Apple Sauce and Crisp Walnut Crumble
Figs with Honey and Lanarkshire Blue Cheese

Spiced Roast Pheasant with Redcurrant Compote on Homemade Mini Aberdeen Butteries

Aberdeen Butteries are really something you need in your life!

 Cullen Skink with Toast Spoons
They had liked it so much the last time we served it, they wanted it for this event too.

Grilled King Scallops with Goats Cheese and Hazelnut Crust

As tradition goes, before the main course goes in, the haggis was paraded around the room behind the piper.

Chicken Balmoral with Neeps 'n Tatties & Drambuie Cream

Aka Free range corn-fed chicken filled with haggis, wrapped in pancetta with creamed potato, swede fondant and sauteed kale.

They had also like the Hendrick's gin & tonic sorbet so much last time, we served it this time as well (I took the sorbet machine up there). This time I added raspberry coulis to the mix.  Laying it out flat on a tray in the freezer it was just frozen in the nick of time - love living on the edge!

Dessert as a trio of desserts:
Steamed Clootie Dumpling with Clotted Cream
Apple Tart with Whisky Caramel Pecan, Walnut, Pine Nut and Hazelnut Topping
Plum Tarte Tatin with Dundee Orange Marmalade Ice Cream



Sunday Lunch
After a continental breakfast/ hangover cure, later in the afternoon there was just time for a restorative late Sunday Lunch. 
 Butternut Squash Soup served in a Homemade Bread Roll Bowl

Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding - how English!

Followed by Apple pie. 

And that was that. A good night's sleep on Sunday night, and then the drive back to the Cotswolds on Monday, then Tuesday it was on to shopping for the ingredients for Friday and Saturday nights parties. And then 350 people the week after. Go, go, go!

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