Traditions

Hogmanay

December 31, 2015
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Happy Hogmanay from Scotland New Years Eve is celebrated around the world but here in Scotland we call it Hogmanay! Edinburgh Castle Fireworks at Hogmanay (Image:Edinburgh.org) There are many theories about the meaning of the word Hogmanay, and many believe we inherited the celebration from the Vikings. Led by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa Vikings a torchlight procession through the centre of Edinburgh kicks of this year’s Hogmanay Celebrations (Image:BBC News) Christmas was not celebrated in Scotland until fairly recently, after the Church Reformation in the 16th Century, the celebration of Christmas was frowned on by the Church of Scotland. Christmas Day was a normal…

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Travel

The Imperial War Museum, London

July 26, 2015
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I love London, it is one of my favourite cities and with so much to see and do I always try to visit somewhere different each time be it an attraction or a museum. On my last visit to London, The Imperial War Museum was closed and undergoing a major refurbishment. It reopened in 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War. I made sure this time it was top of my list of must see places. The Imperial War Museum was created in 1917 to collect and display material relating to World War I. In 1939…

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Travel

Visiting The Glenfiddich Distillery

July 12, 2015
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Just over an hour’s drive from Aberdeen in the heart of Speyside you find Dufftown, the Malt Whisky Capital of Scotland, here in Dufftown you find the world’s best-selling single-malt Glenfiddich. Glenfiddich is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky owned and produced by William Grant & Sons. Glenfiddich means ‘Valley of the Deer’ in Scottish Gaelic, which explains the stag symbol on Glenfiddich bottles. The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant, William set out to fulfil a lifelong ambition of having the ‘best dram in the valley’ and started building his own distillery with the help of his nine children and…

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Recipes

Potatoes Dauphinoise

April 28, 2015
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The name Dauphinoise comes from the Dauphiné region in south-east France, where the Potatoes Dauphinoise recipe is said to originate. The dish is distinguished from gratin savoyard by the use of cream, and from ordinary gratin potatoes by the use of raw and not boiled potatoes. The traditional recipe is only with cream, not cheese but I like to sprinkle a bit of Gruyère cheese on top in the last stages of cooking. There are many variations and recipes for Potatoes Dauphinoise, I find this method the most simple and it always turns out well. Potatoes Dauphinoise 4-5 large potatoes (Use good…

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Travel

An Afternoon in Chablis

April 22, 2015
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An Afternoon in Chablis A last-minute decision to visit Chablis while we were in the Burgundy area turned out to be a very enjoyable and memorable afternoon, following a quick search of tour guides in the Chablis area and we found that Franck the owner of Chablis Vititours was available to take us on a private afternoon tour. Off we set from Dijon train station and an hour and a half later we arrived in Tonnerre to begin our tour around the wonderful countryside of Chablis. Located in northeast France, Chablis is considered the northernmost extension of the Burgundy wine region. It is…

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Travel

Visiting the Gaugry Fromagerie

April 19, 2015
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Visiting the Gaugry Formagerie The Burgundian cheese platter features the famous names of Epoisses, Cîteaux, Abbaye de la Pierre qui Vire, and Bouton de Culotte. With plentiful rich cow and goat’s milk available, the creamy cheeses are an essential feature in the cuisine of the region. The cheeses of the region date back to medieval times, having been made by the monks. Chaource, Epoisses and the Abbaye de la Pierre-qui-Vire are the most famous.  In the village of Brochon we find the Gaugry Fromagerie. The Gaugry family have been in the cheese business since the 1920’s when Raymond Gaugry began working in…

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