Tag Archives: Scotland

Meet Steve Grozier: Americana Artist From Glasgow

Steve Grozier is a singer-songwriter and musician from Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish though he may be, his sound is at home in America, with acoustic, alt-country instrumentals to back his warm, buttery voice. His songs settle over you like the southern heat of a Tennessee summer night.

Steve, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, is his band’s frontman. He wrote all of the music and lyrics of their debut EP, “Take My Leave.” Roscoe Wilson sings backing vocals and plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and the lap steel guitar, while John Dunlop plays the bass. Dillon Haldane played drums and percussion the EP, but left the band shortly after, and Pete Colquhoun is now the bands drummer.

Steve and his band recorded their country-tinged debut EP “Take My Leave” in September 2016, and are currently busy recording the follow up EP “A Place We Called Home.”

In one of the tracks from their debut EP, “Drink Before Dawn,” Steve describes stopping for a cup of diner coffee to stay awake while he’s on the road. Listening to the country ballad, you can picture the open highway stretching before your headlights. Although this experience is not unique to American drivers, it is a theme that crops up time and again in Americana.

“Ringing of the Bells” is another track from the debut EP that really invokes a Southern feeling. What with the singer’s slight twang, and his use of small-town imagery, you might have just happened upon Steve in a Nashville bar.

We wanted to learn more about the man behind the music! In our interview with Steve, below, we learned just what it was that drew him to Americana, and inspired his country sound and imagery.


First, could you tell us a bit about where you’re from and how you started getting into music?

I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was only there for a few years before my family moved to Bishopbriggs, a small suburb with a population of around 20,000, just north of Glasgow, Scotland. I lived there until I was 18 and old enough to move to the city for University.

The house I grew up in was filled with music. My dad had a vinyl and cassette deck that was always on. And, when we’d take rides in the car on weekends or school holidays there was always music playing. I remember thinking even then that music was this magical thing.

Then when I was around 15 or 16 I found my dad’s semi-acoustic guitar. A cheap Encore. It was horrible to play. The action was so high and it sounded dreadful. But, it was the first guitar I’d ever held and that was it. I knew I had to learn to play.

What about your band, how did you get together? Are you all Scots?

Yes, we’re all Scots. We’re all from the country’s central belt. I actually met both Roscoe and Pete via the internet. And I met John via Roscoe. I’ve known Roscoe for over ten years. When I was starting to play open mic nights and gigs in bars I placed an advert on Myspace or Gumtree, I can’t recall which, looking for a pedal steel player. Now, the chances of finding someone who can play that instrument well in Scotland are pretty rare, especially back then. Roscoe could and we’ve been friends ever since.  

When 2016 rolled around and I was looking to put a new band together Roscoe was first on my list to call. He was playing with a band and John was the bass player. I put a post-up on Facebook looking for a drummer and Pete got in touch. The rest as they say is history.   

Because we’re an organization that serves as a bridge between Scotland and the US, the fact that you’re a Scottish Americana artist is something we really love! What does Americana mean to you?

I think the term Americana is a relatively new one. When I first started writing and playing it didn’t exist, or it wasn’t widely used. They’d call the style of music folk, country or alternative country. The AMA defines Americana as contemporary music that incorporates elements of American roots music styles. For me, it isn’t a conscious decision to write in a particular style and I’m not that interested in what label is used. I think where the term Americana is useful is in fostering a sense of community and helping bringing attention or exposure to independent artists.     

American music obviously inspires your work! Who are some artists that inspire you? Any Scottish artists?

Unsurprisingly, I listen to a lot of American music. Growing up my dad had records by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Creedence, and a lot of acoustic blues. So, I was immersed in American music and culture from a young age. When I got around to buying and exploring records for myself I gravitated towards artists and bands that sounded like those I’d heard at home.  

I mean, I listen to music from across the spectrum. The colour of the music isn’t as important as how it speaks to me or makes me feel. The music from Scotland that interests me the most are bands like Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mogwai, and The Vaselines.   

A lot of Americana music has themes of travel and wayfaring- would you say that plays a part in your music?

Absolutely, I lived and travelled around Canada and the US for two years. One year on the east coast and one on the west. During that period I wrote a lot. Books full of prose, poetry and songs. Most of which will never be published or recorded. I was always interested in the writings of Jack Kerouac and the peripatetic lifestyle that he describes.  When you’re travelling it’s a different way to be in the world. I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to Americana music is because the songs are often narrative driven. They’re stories that take you on a journey to a different place or time.  

What do you think about what music means for American-Scottish relations- or just in terms of connecting people in general?

For me, my closest friendships have been formed through music. Be that playing in a band, going to shows, listening and discussing records. I think a shared passion for music can really enrich a relationship. There’s this great Hold Steady song called Stay Positive and it’s about music’s power to bring people together. The make the analogy of music being like religion when they sing “And the sing along songs will be our scriptures.”

Then there’s this great lineage of Scots and Irish who settled in the Canadian North East, the Appalachians and even North Carolina and Alabama in the 18th century. The Celtic folk songs from Scotland and Ireland would form the basis of what we now call bluegrass, country and Americana music. An interesting thing is now happening in the UK where we’re seeing British artists finding inspiration in American country music.

Do you hope to bring your music to the states?

I would love to. I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future, but it’s definitely a longer term ambition.    

Celebrate Tartan Day with Walkers Shortbread

Friends and members of The American-Scottish Foundation®, join us in celebrating Tartan Day 2017 with “The World’s Finest Shortbread” – Walkers Shortbread!

Image via express.co.uk

Image via express.co.uk

Tartan Day is on April 6th – just days away! So why not celebrate with a biscuit or two?

Over a hundred years ago, the Walker family started baking shortbread at their bakery in the Speyside village of Aberlour, surrounded by the beautiful Scottish highlands. Today, Walkers products are now sold all over the world, using the same wonderfully simple recipe to produce that iconic Walkers taste!

To celebrate Tartan Day, Walkers Shortbread has a delicious deal for you!

IMG_1138 (5)  Arlene Brice BEEWith their exclusive Tartan Day code, you can receive free shipping, and four free twin packs of delicious shortbread Scottie Dogs, with orders of $25 or more!

Use the code TARTAN to receive your special Tartan Day treats!

This special offer expires on April 2nd, 2017, so place your orders now on the Walkers website, here.

To learn more about Tartan Day, and all the exciting events in store during NYC Tartan Week, visit The American-Scottish Foundation website!

Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner In Scotland

pilgrimsAre you in Scotland and wondering where you can enjoy a great Thanksgiving – with Turkey, pecan or pumpkin pie?  Do not despair – you can still enjoy Thanksgiving food!

This time of year, many Scottish restaurants have festive menus that feature full turkey dinners. If it’s not turkey you’re after, but just a bit of classic American grub (hot dogs anyone?), there are plenty of American-style eateries in Scotland’s cities as well.

But with Scotland’s own unique cuisine and so many phenomenal restaurants to choose from, maybe Haggis could become your new Thanksgiving tradition!

For those of you still craving a classic American feast, we have provided a list of Thanksgiving Dinner options from two of Scotland’s big cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. So tuck in, enjoy, and be thankful!

Where to go in Edinburgh on Thanksgiving …

 Twenty Princes Street, Edinburgh

21-prince-street-png-masterTwenty Princes Street is an award-winning contemporary Scottish restaurant,  with a Modern Scottish menu, set in a Victorian building with skyline views.

With a festive menu on offer from November 22nd, you can start your Thanksgiving meal with one of the restaurant’s unique appetizers, such as Parsnip soup or Mulled Wine Pear & Lemon Ricotta Tart. Then move on to the main course, Ballotine of Turkey with apricot, cranberry, and sage stuffing, chipolatas in bacon, roast potatoes, glazed potatoes, and port jus.

If you are having Thanksgiving in Scotland it needs to be different .. and this modern twist on a classic holiday meal will surely leave you in the holiday spirit.

See the full menu, here.

The Three Sisters, 139 Cowgate, Edinburgh

The Three Sisters is a cozy pub with a casual atmosphere, and usually a lively crowd that spills out into the outdoor courtyard.

With sports games playing throughout the day, and drinks specials to draw in a crowd in the evening, you can celebrate Thanksgiving all day and night!

For Thanksgiving 2016, The Three Sisters is hosting a special event in which they’re serving up a roast turkey dinner, complete with mashed and roast potatoes, peas, and corn on the cob. Rather than pumpkin pie, they’ll be slicing up blueberry cheesecake.

With turkey to eat, beer to drink, and American football on the screen, you might just forget that you’re not in the States!

Find out more, here.

Frontier  8 Gillespie Pl, Edinburgh

Although a full turkey dinner is not on the menu, “Native New Yorker” hot dogs, “Frontier Classic Nachos”, and “The Great American Mac & Cheese” are. They also serve American beers like Sam Adams, so you can wet your whistle American-style.

So enjoy a taste of the USA this Thanksgiving, even while you are so far from home! And if you try out the “Great American Pie of the Day”, it might just feel like a traditional Thanksgiving after all!

Read the menu, here.

Where to go in Glasgow on Thanksgiving … 

Ad Lib, 33 Ingram Street, Glasgow

Ad Lib is a cozy and casual US-style diner with two locations in the city, one in the City Centre, and one at Merchant City. The restaurant has an “American Classics” menu that includes dishes like burgers and fried chicken.

If you’re looking to skip Thanksgiving dinner and delve right into dessert, this menu also features two Thanksgiving staples: apple pie, and pecan pie.

However, their seasonal Christmas Menu does include a turkey dinner, so you can enjoy a full Thanksgiving feast. The dish is a turkey breast glazed with maple and chilli, and served with thyme gravy and all the trimmings. So if you want a casual Thanksgiving complete with turkey, pie, and a classic diner vibe, Ad Lib is the perfect destination. 

Have a look at the menus, here.

The Bothy Restaurant. 11 Ruthven Ln, Glasgow

The Bothy is a warm, welcoming restaurant in the West End of Glasgow that cooks up traditional Scottish dishes served by friendly, kilted staff. Although the restaurant serves Scottish cuisine, their festive menu features a unique – great – turkey dinner – with a Scottish twist!

The turkey is served with date and apple stuffing, pork chipolatas, and cranberry jus. Finish off your meal with a traditional Christmas pudding, or a decadent chocolate truffle cake. With an extensive wine and drinks menu, pick your poison and propose a toast to celebrating the USA in Scotland.

Read the menu, here.

TriBeCa, Glasgow – four locations to choose from ..

TriBeCa is a casual NYC inspired restaurant and bar that is decorated with hanging lights and posters of New York. The restaurant is instantly recognizable by the NYPD Cruiser and NYC Cab parked outside.

Rated highly for its brunch, TriBeCa is a great stop if you’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with a big, New York style breakfast. The brunch menu features American-style pancakes and bacon, french toast, breakfast burritos, and more. Order a side home fries or pulled pork, and drink plenty of their bottomless coffee to wash it all down. At this rate, you’ll probably be stuffed until Christmas.

If Thanksgiving brunch wont cut it for you, TriBeCa will also be serving up a set menu on Thanksgiving, so you can spend your evening digging into a real turkey feast.

Have a look at the menus, here.
AND to one and all we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Celebrate Seafood Week With a NYC Fish Fry!

It’s Seafood Week in Scotland, and here at The American-Scottish Foundation we are celebrating by tucking into some delicious fish!

Image via chefsteps.com

Image via chefsteps.com

Seafood Week is an annual celebration of all things Scottish seafood taking place October 7-14. The week-long campaign celebrates the high quality and diversity of Scottish fish and shellfish. And what better way to celebrate than with a classic serving of golden-fried fish and chips?

Although the ASF is located in New York City, we still want to have our fish and chips (and eat them too)! Luckily, New York has plenty of restaurants that serve up an authentic fish fry. One bite of perfectly crispy cod, and you will think you are back in Scotland!

For all of you New Yorkers, or those of you currently visiting the Big Apple, this is the perfect week to give these four NYC Chip Shops a try.

unnamedOur first two picks for NYC Fish and Chips are Jones Wood Foundry and The Shakespeare, two restaurants where American-Scottish Foundation Members can enjoy benefits. Just show your ASF Membership Card and you can enjoy a free glass of wine or beer with your entree.

Not a member yet? Sign up to become a member of the ASF and enjoy exclusive offers and benefits, here.

1. Jones Wood Foundry

Image via sideways.nyc

Image via sideways.nyc

For those of us who are Anglophiles living in NYC, Jones Wood Foundry, a restaurant in the Upper East Side, tastes of home. Walk into to the dark, yet warm gastropub, order up one of their authentic British dishes, and you might believe you have been transported to a cozy UK pub! They serve their fish and chips the traditional way: beer battered cod paired with triple cooked chips, tartar sauce, and lemon. After you give their exceptional fish fry a try, you’ll have to go back for more. In keeping with the Scottish Seafood Week theme, your next order could be their organic Scottish salmon, or their wild Scottish sea trout! Don’t forget to bring your ASF Membership Card!

Browse their menu, here.

2. The Shakespeare

Image via honestcooking.com

Image via honestcooking.com

Located in Murray Hill, The Shakespeare is about as British as you would expect! Serving up beautiful British beers, classic UK bar bites like Scotch eggs, and weekly Sunday Roasts just like your mother used to make’’, you just know this place wont disappoint when it comes to its fish and chips. Beer battered and served with three-fried chips and tangy tartar sauce, the Shakespeare’s fish fry is among the best in NYC. Bring your ASF Membership Card to enjoy a complimentary beer with you chippy! The restaurant even hosts productions of Shakespeare plays, so you can enjoy your fish fry with a side of Hamlet or Macbeth!

Look at the menu, here.

3. A Salt & Battery

Image via newyork.seriouseats.com

Image via newyork.seriouseats.com

For a taste of the UK in the heart of Greenwich Village, head to A Salt & Battery. The small spot is authentic down to the decor, with Union Jacks on the walls, a long, busy counter, and comfy, metal stools to balance on as you enjoy your chippy. They serve up a variety of fried fish served with thick-cut chips. With bottles of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar on every table, A Salt & Battery feels like a real UK chip shop. They even serve Scottish treats like deep-fried mars bars and Irn Bru!

Have a look at their menu, here.

4. The Atlantic Chip Shop

Image via louisecazley.blogspot.com

Image via louisecazley.blogspot.com

Hoping to get a taste of the UK outside of Manhattan? The Atlantic Chip Shop is a great little spot in Brooklyn Heights, with classic British pub decor and plenty of screens to catch rugby, football and cricket games. The golden-fried fish melts in your mouth, and is served with thick chips, mushy peas, and plenty of salt and vinegar. Top it off with a British pint, as their is an extensive lists of English and Scottish beers to choose from, and even a fried mars-bar if you’re feeling cheeky!

Read the menu, here.

Image via www.newyork.com

Image via newyork.com

So there you have it: The American-Scottish Foundation’s pick of the top four fish and chips in New York City.

Celebrate Seafood Week by tucking into a chippy now, and let us know your favorite spots for Scottish eats in NYC!

Calling All Golfers .. Win a Weeklong Golfing Trip for Two to Scotland departing May 28th…

A Week in Scotland playing some of the outstanding golf courses of Scotland.

This great trip could be yours if you enter today.  The competition is only open to US Residents – and it ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on 5/15/16 – Don’t delay – enter NOW!

May 28th – Winner and Guest Fly round trip to Glasgow arriving May 29th.

Stay at Gailes Hotel​, Ayrshire

Gailles Hotel, Ayr

Gailes Hotel, Ayr

The winner and guest will receive a full bag of TaylorMade Golf​ equipment and Adidas Golf​ clothing and footwear so they look the part striding along the fairways of the world’s most historic golf courses.

May 29th you could be arriving in Glasgow –
Stay at Gailes Hotel, Ayrshire

Monday May 30
18 holes Western gailes golf club

Western Gailes Golf Club

Western Gailes Golf Club

Tuesday May 31
18 holes Royal Troon Golf Club – (inc. 9 holes with Darren Clarke)
(Royal Troon is where later this year the 145th Open Championships will take place)

Royal Troon Golf Club

Royal Troon Golf Club

Wednesday June 1
18 holes Prestwick Golf Club
Whisky Tasting at The Jar, Troon

Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club

Thursday June 2
18 holes Dundonald Links, Ayrshire, Scotland

Dundonald Links

Dundonald Link

Friday June 3
Fly home

To enter to WIN follow this link http://madeforscotland.taylormadegolf.com/

Trip arranged by VisitScotlandTaylorMade Golf, and GolfWRX.com

Outlander Fans Love The New York Tartan Day Parade

65ffe6f6-8529-40cf-984d-98ef3c49dda0At the American-Scottish Foundation, we take great pride in being a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Committee, together with the St Andrews Society of the State of New York, the New York Caledonian Club, and more recent member Clan Campbell.

We work together to coordinate joint and separate events and festivities during the annual New York City Tartan Week, including the annual Tartan Day Parade, which is now the biggest event of its kind in the United States.

We love hearing from fans of the Tartan Week festivities, so it was great to see the enthusiastic response of Outlander fans at the 18th annual New York Tartan Day parade.

20160409_131528-e1460679834985

Image via threeifbyspace.net

Outlander is a time-travel television series based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse in 1945 who is mysteriously transported back to Scotland in 1743, where she meets the handsome Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan. Heughan was the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.

With Sam Heughan leading this year’s Tartan Day Parade, Outlander fans flocked to New York this year in even greater numbers than were with us last year when Graham McTavish, another great actor from the series, was Grand Marshal. It was no surprise that many Outlander fans came and participated in the parade from all over the Unites States Britain and Europe.

cfe5cb3e-9882-479b-b247-6a0136c8fdc1Over 450 members of the fan group Outlander United marched in the parade, while thousands lined the streets just hoping to catch a glimpse of Heughan. Scotland Now calls the Outlander effect in New York the nearest thing to “Beatle-Mania.” All the American-Scottish Foundation can say is that it was wonderfuto see so many enjoying the Parade.

 

Image via tomandlorenzo.com

Image via tomandlorenzo.com

To hear first hand-accounts of the Tartan Day Parade from members of the Outlander United group, read this fantastic article by TiBS blogger and Outlander United member, Erin Conrad. It includes a slideshow of more fabulous photos from the parade.

We hope to see the members of Outlander United at next year’s parade. Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 8th, 2017!

To learn more about the annual New York City Tartan Day Parade, visit the website, here.

 

Eight Must-See Movies Filmed in Scotland

Outlander, the hit time-travel television series, has been a huge success in both the States and the UK. Part of this success is due to the beautiful Scottish scenery that features in the show. Besides Outlander, Scotland has played host for many other television productions, and even more films.

Scotland has produced some of the top Hollywood stars, but the beautiful country itself is has been the star of many films. Scotland’s phenomenal scenery serves as a wonderful backdrop for movies. The country’s sprawling and mysterious landscape is other-worldly, so it is no wonder that filmmakers often flock to Scotland to create movie magic.

The American-Scottish Foundation has compiled a list of eight must-see movies filmed in Scotland. How many have you seen?

1. Braveheart

Image via moviefone.com

Image via moviefone.com

No list of films shot in Scotland would be complete without Braveheart, the iconic historical epic. The 1995 film directed was directed by Mel Gibson, who also stars as William Wallace, the13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

The film crew spent six weeks shooting on location throughout Scotland, in areas such as Glen Coe, Aonach Eagach, Glen Nevis, and Loch Leven. Although the majority of the film was shot in Scotland, some of the battle scenes were shot in Ireland as well.

Braveheart was a huge success. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five. If you haven’t seen the iconic movie yet, it is well worth the watch!

2. Trainspotting

Image via smh.com.au

Image via smh.com.au

Trainspotting is a 1996 British black comedy directed by Danny Boyle. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald.

The movie follows a group of heroin addicts living in 1980s Edinburgh and their struggles with poverty, crime and addiction. Although the film is set in Edinburgh, the majority of the scenes were shot in Glasgow.

Trainspotting has become a classic in its own right. The film is ranked 10th by the British Film Institute in its list of Top 100 British films. It was also voted the best Scottish film of all time in a general public poll in 2004. Although the movie deals with dark themes, it is a cinematic masterpiece and is not to be missed.

3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Image via aperturecinema.ticketmob.com

Image via aperturecinema.ticketmob.com

In 1975, the British comedy troupe “Monty Python” released the feature film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Starring the Monty Python comedians Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, the film is wildly funny.

The film is an outrageous parody of the legend of King Arthur and his quest to find the Holy Grail.  Most of the film was shot in Scotland, particularly in the areas of Doune Castle, Glen Coe, and the Castle Stalker.

Now a hilarious cult-classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail grossed the most out of any British film released in the U.S. If you are in the mood for something witty, ridiculous, and positively bursting with fun, give Holy Grail a watch.

4. Skyfall

Image via lebleudumiroir.fr

Image via lebleudumiroir.fr

Skyfall, which was released in 2012, is the twenty-third “James Bond” film produced by Eon Productions. The story follows Bond, played by Daniel Craig, who is investigating an attack on MI6; the attack is part of a plot by former MI6 agent Raoul Silva to humiliate and kill M, the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service, played by Dame Judi Dench.

Many of the most important scenes of Skyfall take place at Bond’s family home in Scotland, “Skyfall Lodge.” These scenes were shot in the dramatic landscape of Glen Coe.

The film’s 2012 release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, and won several awards, including two Academy Awards and two Grammys. This thrilling film should be on your must-see list, even if just for the gorgeous Glen Coe scenes.

5. Dear Frankie

Image via channelawesome.com

Image via channelawesome.com

Dear Frankie is a 2004 British drama directed by Shona Auerbach. The film stars Emily Mortimer, Gerard Butler, and Jack McElhone. The film focuses on a young single mother and her relationship with her young, deaf son.

Dear Frankie is a heartwarming film that explores the lengths at which a mother will go for her child. The film is set in the small Scottish village of Greenock. Filming took place in Greenock and throughout Glasgow.

This movie was first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival for independent films in 2004. It was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received a fifteen-minute standing ovation. Movingly acted and beautifully filmed, Dear Frankie is a must see.

6. Restless Natives

Image via zcint.co.uk

Image via zcint.co.uk

Restless Natives is a 1985 comedy directed by Michael Hoffman and starring Vincent Friell, Joe Mullaney, and Ned Beatty. The film is about two modern-day “Robin Hoods” from Edinburgh who wear masks and rob passengers on tourist coaches to the Highlands.

The whimsical comedy follows the two young robbers as they become local folk heroes. The film is shot in locations throughout Scotland such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glen Coe, and Glen Nevis.

Restless Natives is distinctly Scottish in its folk-story charm, its gorgeous backdrops and its soundtrack, which is composed and performed by Scottish rock band Big Country. A gentle 80s comedy, Restless Natives is an underrated treasure of a film.

7.  Cloud Atlas

Image via impulsegamer.com

Image via impulsegamer.com

Cloud Atlas, a 2012 independent German-American science fiction film, features a star-studded cast of actors such as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent. The film is based on the 2004 novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

The film follows several plots set across six different eras, exploring the “ripple-effect” of time. Much of Cloud Atlas was filmed in Scotland, in locations such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk, and Dumbarton.

Cloud Atlas premiered in 2012 at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Although the film has received mixed reviews, it was up for multiple awards including a Golden Globe for best original score. The movie is worth the watch for the beautiful cinematography and Scottish sites alone.

8. Macbeth (2015)

Image via homemcr.org

Image via homemcr.org

The most recent film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth was the brain-child of director Justin Kurzel. The famous story of the murderous Scottish king has inspired many past film productions. However, the 2015 adaptation is especially notable for the way it utilizes the Scottish landscape.

Starring Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, the dark film follows the couple’s descent into madness. Filmed throughout England and Scotland, Macbeth shows off the spooky side of Scotland in locations throughout the Isle of Skye.

Although this film is dark and violent, it is well worth the watch. Ancient Scottish customs, songs, and accents give the rugged film an air of authenticity. In the 2015 Macbeth, the classic tale of murder and madness is given new life.

The Highland Games: Scottish Culture At Home

Experience the sports, music, pageantry, and tradition of Scotland at your local Highland Games, linking the past to our future.

Photo via travel.nationalgeographic.com

Photo via travel.nationalgeographic.com

Through-out North America Highland Games are held, bringing our love of Scotland past and future together. The Highland Games transport you to Scotland from wherever you are and are a true way to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture.

Centuries ago, when the Highland games began in Scotland, the events focused on athletic and sports competitions, from dance to tugs of war. The same is true today.

caber shoot

Photo via twitter.com/camillaghellman

This past weekend Fergus, Canada challenged the Guiness Book of Records for Cabers turned, a famous element of Highland Games. To the roar of the crowds, Fergus took the record from Inverness. Now, for Scotland, the challenge is on. Besides the Caber Toss, other unique Highland Games sports include the Stone Put and the Scottish Hammer Throw.

At a Highland Games today you will find a great array of Scotish and Celtic merchandise, gifts and food together with Ancestry and Clan tents. This is a great time to discover your roots or to plan a trip back to Scotland. Visit Scotland is present at several of the Highland Games.

red hot chilli pipers

Photo via thecourier.co.uk

The pipes are an essential piece of the Games. Groups of pipers perform throughout the events, while they compete for different titles. Great contemporary bands like The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Albannach and MacTalla Mor bring modern sounds into the mix.

The first Highland Games in the USA took place in 1836. Since then the Games have only grown; today there are over 200 annual Highland Games and gatherings across just the US, Canada and the UK. In the coming weeks many of the largest Highland Games will take place in North America.

children at highland games

Photo via gmhg.org

Look for the American-Scottish Foundation at the Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games on Saturday, August 22nd.

The Games always ensure a great day out. Scottish culture and family fun combine at the Highland Games; a great way to introduce the next generation to their scottish roots and support the local community. Head to your nearest Highland Games and experience Scotland in the USA this summer!

Watch this video from the recent Fergus Scottish Festival in Canada for a taste of what the games have in store…

Look for the American-Scottish Foundation at the Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games on Saturday, August 22nd.

For a list of upcoming Games visit

 

tartan_thin

The ASF Guide to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

For sixty-eight years, the city of Edinburgh has played host to a festival celebrating the arts.  When it began in 1947 who could have envisioned how large it would grow…

Today the festival, known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is the biggest arts festival in the world.

Edinburgh Festival 1

Photo via flickr.com

Edinburgh Festival 2

Photo via now-here-this.timeout.com

Visitors from all over the world flock to Edinburgh every August to view dramatic performances, listen to music, attend exhibits, and wander the lively, crowded streets.

This year’s three-week festival will see around 4,000 different performances.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a great time to plan your trip to Scotland.

The Fringe has just begun, and continues through to August 31st. For any travelers deciding on a last minute excursion to The Fringe, the ASF has provided a guide below, helping you find the best restaurants, pubs, and hotels the city has to offer.

 


Your Guide to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has countless plays, acts, performances, and exhibits to see. Order your tickets now so you don’t miss out. Visit the Edinburgh Festival Fringe box office page here

Tickets ordered? Now that your schedule is full of festival fun, we can help with the rest!

First thing’s first: you need a place to stay!

Edinburgh is known for its huge variety of hotels. There are luxurious boutique hotels, sophisticated, posh hotels, and comfortable bed and breakfasts galore. There are so many different places to stay- even during Festival time!

E from Carlton Hill (1)

Photo via thefielder.net

Airbnb is a great last minute accommodation option that connects people with space to spare to those who are looking for a place to stay. Airbnb is a wonderful resource for any world-traveler.

This year, Airbnb is the official accommodation partner of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which means there are a lot of online booking options, from entire houses with castle-views to comfortable rooms in student flats. 

Book with Airbnb here.

the witchery

Photo via theguardian.com

The Witchery by the Castle is a decadent and bewitching boutique hotel. If you’re looking to splurge on a hotel, The Witchery is a fantastic place to do so. The setting is absolutely idyllic, right on the Royal Mile with the Castle in full view.

The Witchery is lavish, with dark gothic decor and has a number of suites, each decorated in the same lush gothic style – huge four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs, chandeliers glistening on the ceiling and oil paintings adorning the walls you will truly feel as if you have been transported to another, magical, world. 

Book with The Witchery here.

balmoral hotel

Photo via northernstarmusic.com

The Balmoral is one of Edinburgh landmarks sitting in the heart of the City on Prince Street.  Offering five-star, luxury, the Balmoral offers timeless elegance with comfortable suites ranging in price and size, all with marble bathrooms and lush decor.

The hotels brasserie and bar are always busy and a popular business meeting place.

There is also a luxurious spa with a pool, a gym, and a sauna, as well as steam rooms and beauty treatment rooms.  

Book with The Balmoral here.

In between shows? Time to grab a cuppa and a quick bite!

Edinburgh has countless coffee shops and tea rooms, so you wont need to wander far to get your caffeine fix. 

elephant house

Photo via itinerandi.net

The Elephant House is a gourmet tea and coffee shop located in the heart of Edinburgh. It is one of the very best tea and coffee shops in Edinburgh.

The cafe is famous for its literary connections; JK Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter series, began penning her famous children’s novels there. Besides its wizardly links, The Elephant House is notable for its beautiful castle view and wide array of delicious coffees and nibbles. It makes a perfect spot for a tasty cuppa, or a quick lunch.

Learn more about The Elephant House here

lovecrumbss

Photo via facebook.com/lovecrumbs


Lovecrumbs 
is a quirky café made for your sweet-tooth. Delicious cakes, tarts, brownies and scones are complemented by artisan roast coffees and fine teas.

The cozy cafe is decorated with vintage furniture and colorful cushions. A great spot for a time-out from all of your city exploring and show-going.

Refuel with a delicately flavored violet and bramble cake, or else an orange fig and hazelnut scone paired with homemade Raspberry Jam. The possibilities are endlessly exciting. 

Learn more about Lovecrumbs here.

After a long, exciting day of performances it’s time to head to a pub for happy hour.

Edinburgh is a drink destination for beer and whiskey lovers. There are countless fun cocktail and wine bars as well. So just pick your poison!

jolly botanist

Photo via southbanklondon.com

The Jolly Botanist Gin Bar and Dining Room is a new addition to the West End that opened this past February.

The restaurant itself has a rustic vibe, with thatched walls, deliberately peeling paint, and crystal chandeliers.

There is a large bar with lots of beers, ciders, and drinks to choose from. Their gin menu is especially extensive, and they work closely with Edinburgh gins. They boast 70 different gins to choose from, but their house gin is Tanqueray. Each gin in served with a different, unusual garnish, such as grapefruit or orange and cinnamon.

Learn more about The Jolly Botanist here.

bennets bar

Photo via wow247.co.uk

Bennets Bar is a must if you are looking for that quintessential Edinburgh whiskey-tasting experience. The Victorian building has hosted whiskey-tastings since 1839.

The pub is beautiful, yet cozy, with glossy wood paneling and fire-side seating.There are over 150 malt whiskies and a variety of blends and international whiskies to choose from. There is also a menu of delicious Scottish pub fare.

This historic pub is well worth the visit, even just to peek at the beautiful architecture and overwhelmingly large drink menu.

Learn more about Bennets Bar here.

Exploring Edinburgh really works up your appetite. Ready for dinner?

Edinburgh is a foodie-haven, boasting some of the very best restaurants in the UK. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet five-course meal or some tasty pub grub, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

21212 compress

Photo via 21212restaurant.co.uk

21212, Paul Kitching’s well-loved restaurant, opened in 2009 and received a Michelin star less than 8 months later. The restaurant has a quirky, fun feel and the food is exciting and innovative.

Chef Kitching has a contemporary French cooking style which he approaches with an innovative twist. The menu never has more than three choices for any of its five courses, but it changes weekly.  There is a beautiful wine list and a professional sommelier available to help you select the perfect wine for your meal.  

Learn more about 21212 here.

v deep

Photo via foodanddrink.scotsman.com

V Deep
is a new and promising addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene. It is Scotland’s first communal craft beer and curry bar.

The head-chef and co-owner, Hardeep Singh Kohli, was a finalist on the television show “Celebrity Masterchef.” He has created an extensive Indian curry menu of 21 unique dishes.

The menu takes a fresh, Scottish-inspired twist on traditional Indian meals. It includes dishes such as haggis and apple pakora, punjabi BBQ wings, and pork cheek vindaloo. The extensive bar offers a variety of bottled and draught beers, which are constantly rotating. Uniqueness, fun, and flavor abound.

Learn more about V Deep here.

Now it’s time to head back to your hotel and rest up for your next day of festival fun in the beautiful city of Edinburgh!


 

Visit the Fringe homepage to learn more.

tartan_thin

The Kelpies


Published on Apr 10, 2014

The Helix is extremely proud to present ‘The Kelpies’, a video by award winning filmmaker Walid Salhab.

Using a unique hyperlapse technique, this video features footage captured within a live construction site. Filming under these conditions is rarely possible; filming under these conditions using the hyperlapse technique is close to impossible.

Find out more about The Kelpies Film and capturing techniques here: http://www.thehelix.co.uk/thekelpiesfilm

Created from over 60 days of stop-motion filming across 7 months, and tracking construction through to completion, this film uses over 12,000 individual photos, none of which have been edited or manipulated beyond settings inside the camera. Walid captured 120,000 individual images to create this seven minute masterpiece.

Find out more about The Kelpies here: http://www.thehelix.co.uk/thekelpies

And about the ASF’s involvement in bringing maquettes of the Kelpies, for display in New York’s Bryant Park, here:
http://americanscottishfoundation.com/Initiatives/kelpies.html

Music: ‘The Kelpies’ by Iglomat, composed for the first part of the film & ‘Tempting Secrets’ by Kevin Macleod