The AVA’s 2018 Burns Night Celebrations

The Automatic Vending Association’s annual Burns Night took place last Friday, the 23rd of March. As a Celtic fusion (St Patrick’s Day took place the following day), the evening was always going to be a big celebration.

Nestled in the stunning Scottish countryside, the Dalmahoy Hotel in Edinburgh was the perfect backdrop to our celebrations. Set in 1000 acres of parkland, with views of Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Bridges, it was wonderful to return to such a suitably Scottish location. A big thank you as well to the hotel staff who were fantastic on the night, delivering impeccable service.

Although the celebrating had already begun slightly earlier in the day, the evening officially kicked off with a drinks reception, held in the Dalmahoy’s cocktail bar.

As we sipped bubbly and welcomed our guests, we were then piped into the Dalmahoy Suite by Jonny the piper. There was then a whisky toast to the haggis with Robbie Burn’s classic poem being delivered in suitably dramatic fashion.

Guests then sampled the best of Scottish cuisine, with a three-course dinner consisting of Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, a Pan Fried Breast of Chicken and a Raspberry Cranachan.

The evening then proceeded with fantastic entertainment provided by the Scraggly Cats. There was some very ambitious dancing from our guests, in some cases with enthusiasm perhaps trumping skill…

We are thrilled to have raised £700 for Les Hoey DreamMaker, a wonderful Scottish charity which makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.  The money raised will go towards make a real difference to the lives of struggling children.  A huge thank you to all the raffle prize donors: A. G. Barr, EVOCA, JDE Professional, PepsiCo UK, Mars Chocolate, Seaga, Siemens, and Barry Callebaut. An equally large thank you goes to all the generous donations made by all attendees.

Although the now infamous Beast From The East forced rescheduling, attendance was excellent from those who were able to make the new date. This time the snow couldn’t stop the celebrations! Robbie Burns would have been proud.