Friday was the day that fans of Robbie Burns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Burns
celebrated his birthday.
For several years now we have been invited to join our friends in Grove, Oxfordshire who get together to have a Burns Supper.
As we travelled up on Friday evening our Burns night was held on Saturday.
On arrival at our friend’s house we were treated to a glass of this wonderful beer.
It was a champagne beer and it was stunning.
Initially, the beer is brewed as any other beer would be brewed. After the yeast is pitched, the beer is treated as Champagne is treated. The result is an effervescent, highly carbonated, luxurious brew unlike anything brewed by traditional methods.
Later in the evening we were treated to what has been described as one of the best beers in the world ‘Westvleteren 12’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westvleteren_Brewery
You cannot buy this beer in the shops as you have to collect it from the Belgian brewery and you have to return the bottles!
Saturday morning we had a lie in – it was a bit of a treat to have a day off and not have to be ready to serve customers at 9am.
After brunch (we were too late for breakfast) we had a run out to Hungerford which seemed to be a place with one antique shop after another.
I found some signs more interesting than the antiques though.
This one was outside a pub.
And this one was on the door of a house next to the canal tow path.
Do you think the culprits got the message?
As I went past the Post Office (in Martins the newsagent) I did spy that they charge £1.35 a week for the advertising in the window.
We only charge 50p a week!
It was then back to Wantage to stop for refreshments.
There were quite a few beers on the menu to try.
I didn’t have the top one or the bottom one on the list!
It was then time for the Burns supper.
The table was laid, the napkins were put out and the Malt Whisky put within arm’s reach.
The napkins had the Selkirk Grace printed on one side and the Address to the Haggis http://www.robertburns.org.uk/Assets/Poems_Songs/toahaggis.htm on the other side.
The pipes and drums struck up (on the CD player) and in came the haggis, including a veggie one, along the neeps and tatties.
We loaded our glasses with a dram or three and got stuck in.
A very pleasant evening was had by all.
We had another lie in on Sunday so we were really spoilt this weekend.
We finished our trip with Sunday Lunch at the Five Bells at Wickham http://www.fivebellswickham.co.uk/ which was handy for the M4 and our journey home.
The lunch was wonderful and the home made pie beat me as I couldn’t finish it due to the size of it.
I had to resist the 9 real ales and 30 Belgian beers as I couldn’t persuade my other half to drive me home.