It might sound simple – just a meal of tatties (potatoes), ‘neeps (mashed swede) and Haggis. Not much to do there you might think. But Burns’ Night – the January day given over to commemorating Scotland’s most celebrated poet – is steeped in etiquette and tradition.
Typically held on January 25th, the night is a celebration of Scottish culture. Go traditional if you want to do things properly. The menu could be cock a leekie soup (made with leeks, chicken and barley), haggis (oats and spiced sheep’s offal wrapped in a stomach lining), all served with a whisky sauce. If this doesn’t sound appealing there are vegetarian options available. Finish with the traditional Scottish pudding, cranachan, made with layers of cream, raspberries and oats with whisky and a cheeseboard followed by coffee.
As well as whisky to serve to your guests you will need to keep the beer and wine flowing for lots of toasting during the evening.
Set the mood by playing some traditional Scottish music. If you haven't got that - something by Rod Stewart might do!
Start by welcoming your guests and reciting the Selkirk Grace:
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
When you bring in the haggis it’s time to pipe it in while a guest recites the address to the haggis – a rendition of Burns’ poem To a Haggis.
Finish with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.