Triumphant Return to Sheraton for 11th Tbilisi Burns Supper & Ball

Long a deeply engraved highlight on the social calendar of Georgia’s capital city, the Tbilisi Gala Benefit Burns Supper and Ball returns to the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace for its 11th edition on February 1.

Three charitable causes: Temi Community (caring for a wide range of vulnerable people), Catharsis (helping the homeless elderly by providing hot meals) and Dog Organization Georgia (providing shelter for stray animals along with sterilization, vaccination and adoption programs), will share the customarily substantial proceeds from an evening of abundant Scottish culture and cuisine.

Worldwide, from Auckland to Auchtermuchty, Burns Suppers take place on or around January 25, the date on which Scotland’s most famous poet Robert Burns was born in 1759. Tbilisi’s chapter of this global tradition was spawned in 2010 by Fiona Coxshall, whose unmatched dedication helped to deliver eight outstanding events. Despite her relocating in 2017, the Burns torch has since remained lit in Tbilisi thanks to a multinational committee including a Spaniard, a Hungarian, a Georgian and a token Scot.

A thoroughly enjoyable and occasionally uproarious night of sublime food and drink, as well as high-octane country dancing will be revelled in by hundreds of guests to celebrate the life and works of Burns whose poems and songs have entertained millions for centuries.

The evening is finely knitted together by a selection of traditional toasts, among them the Address to a Haggis, involving the reading of a poem that Burns wrote in tribute to his beloved Scottish delicacy. Burns’s native Ayrshire may be a few thousand miles from the South Caucasus, but the event always maintains an authentic feel.

This will be the first time since 2014 that the Burns Supper is held at the beautifully-renovated Sheraton where head chef Thijs van Rhoon has concocted a mouth-watering gourmet four-course meal to be washed down with ample measures of Georgian wine and Scottish single malt whisky.

Once fed and watered, guests are beckoned to the dance floor by Nicol McLaren and the Glencraig Band for some Scottish country dancing. Nicol’s band, which also includes Isobelle Hodgson on piano and Maggie Adamson on the fiddle, fly in all the way from Scotland every year especially for the event.

In between the Gay Gordons, the Dashing White Sergeant and other memorably-named Scottish dances, there will be a live auction (including: paintings by Maka Gotsiridze and Levan Mosiashvili, an antique carpet, jewellery, ceramics, etc.) and a grand-prize raffle (including generous prizes donated by: Radisson Hotels, Chuda Cosmetics, American Medical Center, Taste Georgia, Sheraton Metechi Palace, Marriott, Adjara Group, the Turkish Embassy, Paragraph Resort, and Tbilisi Hills).

For those still able to dance, some more modern beats then reverberate into “the wee hours” of the morning.

The main sponsors of the 11th Annual Tbilisi Gala and Benefit Burns Supper and Ball are: ACT, Gepra, Teliani Valley, PMCG, GD Alco, the Turkish Embassy, Deloitte, and BLC Law Office.


By Ricky Ross

23 January 2020 16:11