In the larger cities and towns, a variety of British and continental
food is available. A traditional Scottish breakfast is porridge
made from oats and either milk or water. Other local dishes include
haggis (chopped oatmeal cooked in the stomach of a sheep),
cullen skink (fish soup), salmon and smoked haddock,
and partan bree (crab with rice and cream). Baked foods such
as biscuits and cakes are exceedingly popular and some of the more
famous are pancake-type scones, oatcakes and black bun, a fruit
cake on a pastry base.
Scotch whisky is the national
drink, and is world famous. There are also many locally produced
beers as well as lager.
Licensing hours are subject to more variation than in England; some
pubs may be open from 10:30-24:00 hrs, others only 11:30-14:30 hrs
and 18:30-23:00 hrs.
In large cities, such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, there is a lively
nightlife scene with many bars, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas.
These places also offer an array of theatre, opera and music concerts.
Some of the venues for drama performances include the Festival
Theatre, Playhouse, Assembly Rooms, and Queen’s Hall
in Edinburgh, the Citizen’s Theatre and Theatre
Royal in Glasgow, and many picturesque regional theatres. The
SECC building in Glasgow is a popular concert venue for live
bands. Nightlife may be somewhat limited in the smaller villages
The main highlight of the cultural year in Scotland is the Edinburgh
Festival, which takes place during the last two weeks of August
and the first week of September. Almost every room in the city big
enough to hold an audience is in use during this time, and it is
possible to see as many as 10 shows a day; these range from a short
open-air concert to a full-scale production by the RSC or the LSO.
Accommodation in Edinburgh is booked up months in advance during
this time. There are also Highland Games during the summer,
including caber-tossing and hammer-throwing competitions.
The following is a selection of special events occurring in Scotland
||Inverness Music Festival
||STANZA 2004: Scotland’s Poetry
||Glasgow International Comedy Festival
||City of Dundee Flower Show
||Scottish Grand National, Ayr Racecourse
||Double K Country Muckie Festival
||Glasgow International Jazz Festival
||The Highland Festival
||The Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh
||Edinburgh Military Tattoo
|| Edinburgh Fringe Festival
||Edinburgh International Book Festival
||9th Borders Festival of Jazz and Blues
||St Andrew’s Day, countrywide
||Christmas Craft and Produce Fair
Handshaking is a custom when introduced to someone for the first
time. Normal courtesies should be observed when visiting someone’s
home and a small present such as chocolates or flowers is appreciated.
It is not customary to begin eating until everyone is served
Clothing: A tie, trousers(as opposed to jeans and trainers)
are necessary for entry to some nightclubs and restaurants, otherwise
casual wear is acceptable.
Use of public places:
Topless sunbathing is permitted on certain beaches and tolerated
in some parks. Non-smoking areas will usually be clearly marked.
In hotels, a service charge of 10 to 12 per cent is normal, which
may be added to the bill. Ten to 15 per cent is usual for restaurants
and it too is often added to the bill, in which case a further tip
is not required.