St James Quarter: Bonnie & Wild brings Highland dancing to Edinburgh as ‘White Heather Club’ ceilidh nights launch

Polish up your brogues, dust off the sporran and gie yon bonnie dress a press because Scottish Highland dancing is coming to Edinburgh’s Bonnie & Wild.

By Gary Flockhart
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 12:14 pm
Bonnie & Wild brings Highland dancing to Edinburgh as ‘White Heather Club’ ceilidh nights launch.
Bonnie & Wild brings Highland dancing to Edinburgh as ‘White Heather Club’ ceilidh nights launch.

Kicking off amid the excitement of the Edinburgh Festival, hugely-popular food and drink venue Bonnie & Wild is hosting a series of ceilidh nights that’ll have dancers whirling and twirling in popular dances such as the Dashing White Sergeant, Gay Gordons, and the much-loved Strip the Willow.

Inspired by the White Heather Club, the iconic BBC TV show of the 1960s, the Scottish country dances will take place on the last Thursday of every month at Bonnie & Wild, on Level 4 of the St James Quarter, Edinburgh.

The renowned musician Charlie Kirkpatrick and his band will perform at the launch night on Thursday, August 25, with Charlie taking dancers through the moves of traditional dances, from the Highland Schottische to the Military Two-Step and other ceilidh favourites.

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Charlie, a regular presence on the BBC show Tak the Floor, said: “We’re all excited and looking forward to bringing a bit of Scottish country dancing and ceilidh culture to Bonnie & Wild.

“These dances are for anyone and everyone. Even if you don’t know the dances we’ll call the steps and make sure everyone enjoys themselves and has a good night!”

Charlie added: “Although critics mocked its kitsch tartanry, the White Heather Club was an iconic BBC show of the 1960s that broadcast ceilidh music and dancing into people’s living rooms and made household names of the likes of Jimmy Shand and Andy Stewart.

“Our own ambitions aren’t quite so lofty. We just want to see folk coming to Bonnie & Wild and having a great time.”

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Kate Russell, General Manager, said: “I can’t wait for our White Heather Club ceilidh nights to kick off with Charlie Kirkpatrick and his band.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming locals keen for a hoolie as well as overseas visitors to Edinburgh wanting to experience the unique atmosphere only a traditional Scottish ceilidh can bring!”

Ms Russell added: “Like the best ceilidhs I’ve ever been to, entry to Bonnie & Wild’s White Heather Club is free, although dancers are of course welcome to use the Scottish Marketplace for a bite to eat from one or more of our fabulous concessions, or a drink from one of our three bars.”

Ms Russell said: “Bonnie & Wild has one of the best food and drink offers in Scotland, but we’re much more than a food court. We’ve amazing collaborations going on, corporate events, private parties, book launches, bagpiping workshops, food tastings, plus regular live music every Friday with local musicians, DJs, and singer-songwriters, and now these White Heather Club dances every month.”

Ms Russell added: “We’ve all had a few hard years, and although things are far from easy for people, now that Bonnie & Wild has truly established itself with a stronger line-up than ever before we feel it’s time to celebrate, kick off our shoes and throw a party. What better way to do that than with some ceilidh dancing with family and friends.”