Burn’s Night Gourmet, Stadium of Light

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I’M a regular at the stadium’s gourmet nights, but the Burns night celebration has always been my favourite.

Scottish dancing, the bagpipes, a kilted Scot aggressively ‘addressing’ a haggis – and a fantastic meal.

The nights are held in the Riverview Suite right at the top of the stadium.

Before our meal began, but after we had enjoyed a champagne reception in the James Heriott suite, the haggis was piped in with all due pomp and circumstance.

Our meal started with a lovely chicken broth, which was just what we needed on an icy night.

Served with a miniature stottie the broth was a well-judged blend of vegetables and chicken pieces.

Our next course was haggis, and neeps came as no surprise.

It was delicious and beautifully presented as a tower.

Next came the drama of addressing the haggis. Bagpipes blaring, kilted gents escorted the delicacy to the front of the room where another guy quoted Robbie Burns at the haggis.

A fanfare should also have accompanied the main course.

The medallions of venison in a rich redcurrant sauce fully deserved one.

My favourite course, however, was dessert. On booking my tickets for the meal, I was hoping it may finish with cranachan – and I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s a traditional Scottish treat, comprising layers of whipped cream and raspberries, with a bit of oatmeal, honey and whisky thrown in.

Sometimes called cream cowdie, cranachan is in my top three desserts, and the stadium’s version was historic, served with a bit of shortbread.

But we weren’t finished yet. Before a large platter of Scottish cheese was delivered to our table, we were treated to several Highland tunes on the bagpipes, accompanied by four very energetic Scottish dancers.

The service, as always at the stadium, was exemplary, and you even get a visit to your table by the club’s executive head chef Patrick Lesca who will talk you through how he prepared the food.

At £54.50 a ticket, the meal sounds expensive, but this covers all your drink – and there was plenty of very high-quality of wines to be had.

The next two gourmet evenings will be held at the stadium on May 13 (champagne gourmet) and September 9 (a themed gourmet).

ROB LAWSON