The land of Single Malts and the Beltane festival

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Any good bar this side of the border will have a wonderful,selection of fine single malts. My mentor / tutor birthday boy John has been assisting me with my continuing malt education. Started off well – a wonderful whiskey diet – lost 12 hours already!

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LUNCH

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Some classic architecture to be seen in the rooflines of this lovely Scottish Border town on the banks of the river Tweed. Peebles dates back to 1367 when it became a Royal Burgh. During the Napoleonic wars it was a place where prisoners were sent and they provided the labour that built the Tontine Hotel where we are staying.

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This magnificent dining room is from our — Tontine Hotel – finished 1808 – they even set the breakfast here.
We have arrived just in time to see the Beltane festival – this seems to involve lots of men dressing up as girls and dancing. Then a street procession with floats and bands with bagpipes etc
Peebles Beltane Festival is a festival of local legend, history and tradition. Beltane is a festival that marks the return of summer with the lighting of fires; where people could burn their winter bedding and floor coverings, ready to be replaced afresh. Referred to as a Gaelic ceremony, this type of festival has been celebrated for thousands of years throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

In Peebles, Beltane was originally held on May 1st. It is recorded that James I witnessed this festival in the 15th century. The continuation of the festival was not kept and eventually faded away.

In the 1870s an attempt was made to revive the Riding of the Marches of the Ancient and Royal Burgh of Peebles, this involved horsemen taking to the saddle and riding round the boundaries to ensure the safety of the Royal and Ancient Burgh. This attempt failed, only again to be attempted in 1897. The 1897 revival was more successful due to this year being the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Victoria. This cermony was carried out by the town treasurer who was to become the first Cornet, he was also accompanied by two mounted supporters. The Cornet, as local legend has it, was supposed to be the most eligible bachelor, this is not strictly true. The Cornet was chosen as a young man most deemed to be a worthy son of Peebles and on occassion act as an ambassador for the royal burgh.

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Bobbie enjoying the festival – she is always ready for a big night and a party and has found the males in our group disappointing in their collective failure to be able to keep up with her.

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Marty refreshed after his day off and ready for the morrow

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dining at a nice little Italian in Peebles – a change from the default english pub grub

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