How to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day

November 29, 2011

Fun

Photo by Charlotte Ward

is on the 30th of November and celebrates the feast day of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The Union Flag is flown over Edinburgh Castle throughout the day. The day was made a bank holiday in Scotland in 2006 and the University of St. Andrews gives their students a day off. It’s not the most widely celebrated holiday but it’s always fun to have an excuse to celebrate some of Scotland’s traditional, and conventional tastes. What better way to celebrate the feast day than having a feast!

Scotland is known for having some extremely strange food, the national dish is haggis, neeps and tatties. Haggis a mix of onion, oatmeal, suet , spices, salt and… minced heart, liver and lungs and then cooked and served in an animal’s stomach. This dish is usually associated with a Burn’s Night supper so don’t worry about having to experience haggis on St. Andrew’s Day. Scottish food is all about filling a void, it’s hearty, warming and always filling! However Scotland is known for having some of the best selected seafood in Europe and in fact, Scottish food can actually be extremely delicate.

The magic of the Stockbridge Restaurant

Photo by Stockbridge Restaurant

There are a number of culinary creators in Scotland fighting for Michelin stars for their restaurants. These chefs are celebrated for creating delicate gourmet Scottish cuisine. How about trying something like this out for size: seared salmon on a braised fennel bed topped with horseradish crumb and served with white wine and chive sauce. A classic use of traditional and accessible Scottish ingredients. Scottish salmon is considered to be some of the best salmon in the entire world so it’s a perfect way to celebrate Scotland. Scotland is also particularly renown for having some spectacular game, when in season. For your main course celebrate what the Scottish do best and make yourself a scrumptious game pie or rabbit casserole. These two feast ideas means that you will get the most out of the animal, which is precisely why the Scottish eat things such as haggis, waste not want not!

To accompany your feast you are going to need some liquid. Thankfully Scotland is also celebrated for heading up the best beer around the world. When most people think of Scotland’s tipple, they think of Whisky, of course they do. However ale is widely drunk across the nation and is Scottish ale is making a name for itself in the industry. Breweries such as Brewdog, Black Isle Blonde and Tempest are making names for themselves.

A new generation of ale has been born and beer drinkers are slowly catching on. They are creating incredible tasting ale in organic microbreweries across Scotland, created beers such as oatmeal stouts, heather honey ales and hop-heavy brews. There is a taste for everyone as these ales are creeping into mainstream bars and pubs. They’re also a perfect accompaniment to wash down your stew (put a splash in the stew for good luck). Scottish ales are now popular all around the UK, the USA and Europe.

If you’re looking for the real thing, trains to Edinburgh are usually pretty cheap and hotel rooms are plentiful this time of year. Check out restaurants such as The Stockbridge Restaurant, The Kitchin and Stac Polly for some award-winning Scottish cuisine. For beer, most Scottish pubs and beers stock good quality Scottish ale but if you’re looking for a bit of choice visit The Caley Sample Rooms or the Bow Bar. Happy St. Andrew’s Day everyone!

Have you got any Scottish-style plans for St. Andrew’s day? Let us know what you are up to in the comment section below. 

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