The Scottish National Gallery’s Festival Fun Ceilidh Dinner lives up to its claim of being a ‘truly Scottish experience’. Opposite Princes Street Gardens, the Gallery’s restaurant is beautifully laid out with tables big enough to cater for large groups, whilst others are seated together so that people can get to know one other before the Ceilidh. The three-course dinner covers the Scottish essentials, with the delicious haggis, neeps and tatties main course removing any apprehensions that first timers may have about the dish.
While it is not compulsory, everyone is encouraged to join in with the dancing. With a live band led by Sandy Brechin, each dance is well-explained for those new to the experience, although it definitely does help if you or some of your group have been to a Ceilidh before. The music was excellent and everyone kept up the dancing until the end of the night.
The nicest part of the evening, as with any Ceilidh, is getting to know the other people. Well-organised so that every table was suitably filled, it seemed like everyone was really enjoying themselves. For an experience of Scotland’s traditional evening entertainment, the Festival Fun Ceilidh Dinner is a great way to try out the dance moves. However, for those who sat out the dancing (being more reserved or too full from their three courses) watching the other guests’ attempts was probably entertainment enough.