Our first social function here in Bangkok was the attendance of the St. Andrews ball in the Amari Watergate Hotel on Saturday 22th November. Wherever we live in Asia, we join the Scottish St. Andrews and the Irish St. Patrick’s Society. The Bangkok St. Andrews Society was established in 1890 by a small group of expatriate Scots to celebrate among others Scottish culture.
A special reunion awaited us in Bangkok, a reunion we were ardently looking forward to. Our good old friend Rab Thomas whom we met many years ago in Jakarta has settled down in Thailand. It was a tremendous pleasure to meet him again. The ball was the right occasion for this reunion.
Rab Thomas and his partner Basha
One of the Pipe bands
It was a lovely evening. About 280 people sat around large tables with delicious food. Entertained by pipe bands, dance performances and so on, we made new friends. At our table there were quite a few Thailand veterans. To listen to their stories was very informative and entertaining, especially for newcomers to Bangkok like us.
A traditional Haggis dish entree
The main course
Also Scotsmen have a sweet tooth
The surprise of the evening: Scottish cheeses
Have you ever heard about Scottish cheeses? Do the names ‘Loch Arthur’, ‘Howgate’, ‘Dunlope’ or ‘Strathkinnes’ ring a bell? Well, then you should rush to get to know them; there is not only whisky in Scotland (by the way “Famous Grouse” was served in lavish quantities). Scottish cheeses are the world’s best kept secret, I would say. Each of them was wonderful and deserved a special mention.
On www.taste-of-scotland.com the above cheeses are describes as follows:
Loch Arthur: traditional farmhouse organic cheddar from Loch Arthur near Dumfries.
Howgate: Established artisan farmhouse cheesemaker, originally from Howgate near Edinburgh, now in Dundee, pioneered the making in Scotland of continental cheeses including Howgate Brie, Camembert and Pentland. Other cheeses include St Andrews, Bishop Kennedy, Strathkinness and Howgate Highland Cream Cheese.
Dunlop: resembles Scottish cheddar with soft texture. Mostly creamery-made in blocks on Arran and Islay but also traditionally in Ayrshire (Burns), near Dumfries and at Perth (Gowrie).
Strathkinness: award winning Scottish version of Gruyere, nearly 50 gallons of milk goes into a cheese! Matured 6-12 months. Limited availability.
These four cheeses are only a select few; there are many more to explore. Please visit the above webpage for more information including sources where you can oder them.
PS 1: Needless to say that the evening ended in wonderful harmony. We went home utterly satisfied. We will definetely come back next year.
PS 2: Wines were also served of course but it was a mass produced wine not worth mentioning.