Night of Charitable Revelry in Tbilisi to Honor Scotland’s Most Famous Poet

Always a unique and cherished occasion on Tbilisi’s social calendar every year, the 9th Tbilisi Gala Benefit Burns Supper and Ball is to be held at the Funicular Ballroom on February 3.

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 benefit from a fun and culture-packed event which last year raised over 70,000 GEL.

Burns Suppers are staged all across the world on or around January 25, the birthday of Robert Burns, a revered Scottish poet of the 18th century. The Tbilisi edition started up in 2010, and was arranged devotedly by the bonnie Fiona Coxshall for eight years.

When Fiona departed from Georgia last year, she left colossal footsteps in which to follow. Indeed, the organizational duties have been spread among an international committee of three comprising Maite Iniesta Ortiz of Spain, Sara Anna Modzmanashvili-Kemecsei of Hungary, and Alastair Watt of Burns’s native Scotland.

A night of sumptuous food, drink, and dizzy dancing will be relished by over 200 guests to celebrate the life and works of Burns whose poems and songs have entertained and inspired for centuries.

Dotted throughout the evening are a handful of traditional toasts, among them the Address to a Haggis, a poem Burns wrote about his affection for the Scottish delicacy of spiced sheep innards, to be delivered by Jeffrey Kent.

The Immortal Memory, a highlight of any Burns Night, will be delivered this year by the brave Gvantsa Shengelia whose knowledge of Scottish TV crimes series “Taggart” and comedy “Rab C. Nesbitt” has already impressed the organizers.

There will also be some humorous exchanges between the genders as the Address to the Lassies (women/girls) is swiftly replied to in the Address to the Laddies (men/boys). The protagonists this year are Tyler Green and Mila Lahue.

Keeping everyone in check throughout will be the master of ceremonies Francesca Huemer Kelly, who, suitably, is of Scottish descent.

This will be the fourth year in a row that the Tbilisi’s Burns Supper, of which the main sponsor is KPMG, is being held at the Funicular Ballroom, where head chef Jorge de Silva has again prepared a mouth-watering menu to be washed down with Georgian wine and Scottish single malt whisky.

Once a delicious four-course meal including the aforementioned haggis has been consumed, guests are summoned to the dance floor by Nicol McLaren and the Glencraig Band for some Scottish country dancing.

Breaking from the Gay Gordons and Strip the Willow (these are names of dances), an auction and grand prize raffle are held with numerous exciting items and prizes to be bought and/or won, while the revellers then return to the dance floor to get down to some more modern musical hits.

As promised on the ticket, the event usually runs into “the wee hours” of the morning.

The main sponsor of the 9th Annual Tbilisi Gala and Benefit Burns Supper and Ball is KPMG. Also contributing kindly to the event are the following: Marriott Hotels; Funicular Restaurant; Sheraton Metechi Palace; American Medical Center; NineOaks Estate; PMCG.


Charlie Reid

28 January 2018 20:35