To make the longest month of the year go in a little quicker it's good to have something to look forward to. The light on the horizon at Morton Fraser is the eagerly anticipated annual Burns Supper celebrating the life and works of the renowned bard. Tradition has it that the task of organising the evening is left in the hands of the first year trainees, meaning I'm perfectly placed to offer a behind the scenes scoop on the Morton Fraser Burns Supper 2015 … arguably more exclusive than behind the scenes at the Oscars!
Planning, planning and more planning
Unfortunately the night doesn't organise itself and with the excitement of Christmas and New Year we may have been guilty of leaving it to the beginning of January to get into full organisational swing. However, as a team of seven we started ticking things off our to do list: hire tablecloths, crockery and glassware; arrange catering and drinks; invite speakers; hire a piper; create a quiz for after dinner entertainment; design tickets; order flowers; and make a suitably Scottish-themed playlist for background music, all whilst making sure we kept within budget.
I was assigned the coveted role of table decorations and favours, which justified many an hour spent on Pinterest looking at an array of tartan themed tables. Despite having limited crafting skills I managed to fashion some tartan table runners, create some Scottish themed floral table decorations and make some tablet for favours.
We all got on with our assigned tasks and had regular update meetings and a ridiculous amount of emails bouncing back and forth ensuring that all was on track. Thankfully all the planning paid off, everything arrived on time and setting up for the evening went smoothly.
The Celebration of Burns
The night itself was a roaring success, if we do say so ourselves. Following a welcome address and The Selkirk Grace the haggis was ceremoniously piped in before the Address to the Haggis was recited by John Lunn.
Dessert followed and after the last remnants of cranachan were scooped from everyone's bowls, The Immortal Memory was delivered by Austin Flynn and a toast to the memory of Robert Burns was accompanied by the traditional dram of whisky (with soft drinks available for those participating in 'Dry-anuary'). Adrian Bell delivered a comical Toast to the Lassies with a hilarious and witty reply coming from Lindsey Cartwright.
We then formed into teams to tackle the quiz. With a bottle of wine up for grabs and general knowledge, picture, music and spice rounds, everyone had their thinking caps on. The 'Ooooh, Burns!' team were victorious on the night and took the prize.
I think it's safe to say that a good night was had by all in attendance. Organising it may be time consuming, I may have seen enough tartan to last me well into 2016, cut enough ribbon and fabric to rival Kirstie Alsopp in her Homemade Home and made so much tablet (300 pieces!) that I feel justified listing it as a skill on my C.V. Despite all of the work, the Burns Supper is definitely one of the more enjoyable trainee tasks.
That said, I'm looking forward to being a guest next year knowing that the new first year trainees are the ones stressing about whether there are enough whisky glasses...