It had been over fifteen years since I'd been to a 'Burns Night' - a Scottish tradition for many years and as I love any excuse to don some tartan whilst munching haggis, I was *really* looking forward to this after my cousin had suggested this as a venue for his wife's birthday.
I looked up the menu online a week before the event and it looked delicious and very reasonably priced; 19.95 for four courses and, all traditional fayre. I was sold.
On arriving, the place was clearly booked solid, lots of tables set with tartan napkins etc so, again, promising. I started the night with a pint of 'Robbie Burns Brown Ale' - splendidly kept, it was absolutely delicious - an afternoon to spent on that in the future methinks.
Our table was booked for 7:30 and we were sat for around then - but it was some time before our order was taken - a good forty minutes however, none of us cared (ten sat at the table) as it had been a while since we'd all seen each other and it gave the chance for a good catch up.
Then, cue the pipers! Ah yes, this was the stuff - a quintet of traditional Scottish music playing throughout the restaurant so that everyone could get a glance and an earful.
Brilliant. This got the night off to a great start - despite the wait to order.
Alas - the 'Burns' theme ended there.
Alright, the pipers came back for another fifteen to twenty minute slot but - that was that. Now, maybe I'm being pedantic, but I'm used to a slice of theatre with such a night; and Burns night allows for that. I longed for the vital 'Ode to Haggis' complete with dagger and wee dram to be bellowed by a highland raconteur.
The food, whilst tasty, did take a while between courses; several of our party mentioned that their main course was "just warm", not hot, indeed, "as if it's been standing waiting for the other food to catch up".
A feasible assumption since it wasn't only the Burns' menu that was on offer that night - as one would expect, the regular menu was also available and you could order anything from any menu.
Mixing and matching on menus like that all night - I imagine the kitchen was intense to say the least.
I will re-iterate however, the food was delicious. I ate everything.
Another disappointing part of the evening was, alas, that the bar closed at the regular 11pm slot - having eaten as much as we did, we were all ready to spend, spend, spend on traditional whisky - but there was no time for that, especially as the bar person informed me that "I like to get to bed at a decent hour".
In summary, the food was great, the staff were (mostly) polite and courteous and with a little more attention to detail this night could have been unforgettable.
A finish of 1am, readings from Burns' poetry, bring the pipers and their music back at the end of the night allowing for a jig or two, and I'll absolutely be back.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Expedia, Ebookers, Booking.com, Hotels.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Ravensworth Arms reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ravensworth Arms Gateshead
- Ravensworth Arms Hotel Gateshead