Sunday, 26 January 2014

Burns Night 2014

Last night I hosted a Burns Night supper for our friends, Sue and Gordon and their son. If you've been reading this blog a while, you'll know I did the same last year. It was a real success and, as Sue has mentioned it several times over the last 12 months, I invited them over again.

I did suggest doing 'Burns Night Lite' but no, it had to be exactly the same. Well, exactly the same would be a bit dull so I kept the traditional running order but changed some of the entertainment.

One of my new elements was the decoration. I bought a metre of tartan fabric to make a tablecloth and added the purple and silver accessories which I already owned.

On arrival, the adults were served my version of a Loch Ness Mystery cocktail (whisky, apricot brandy, lemon juice, orange juice and lime juice).

Then onto the main festivities, starting with the Piping in of the Guests to the sound of bagpipes and a marching band.

The Selkirk Grace

Before the arrival of the food, a short prayer was offered, in best Scottish accent.

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.

Piping in of the Haggis

The haggis was brought in to the sound of the national anthem, Scotland the Brave, and paraded around the table.

Address to the Haggis

Sue read the Burns poem, Address to a Haggis, and Gordon plunged in the knife at these immortal words,

Cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright

The meal

As well as the haggis, I served the traditional accompaniment of neeps and tatties: potatoes with honey and pepper roasted white turnip and chantenay carrots. There'll be more information about the potato dish in due course as the recipe was part of my Cookery Book Challenge.

Entertainment and Dessert

Before dessert it was time for some entertainment. Of course there had to be a reading of a poem by Burns (John Anderson, my Jo) and music with a Scottish flavour. 

With a 7 year old present, I was really pleased to find Kilts and Stilts from Veggie Tales. And we all laughed and sang along to Ye Canny Shove Yer Granny Aff a Bus before a rousing rendition of the traditional Skye Boat Song, which I remember learning at school. Finally, by popular demand from last year, we finished with Doon in the wee room.

Dessert was another traditional offering, cranachan.

Auld Lang Syne

Last but not least, with words by Robert Burns we held hands and sang along tunelessly to Auld Lang Syne, backed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and chorus.

And thus concluded our Burns Supper. 

The meal over, we headed out to the garden to wave around a few sparklers, before retreating to the living room for the DVD of Brave.

We had such a good time that Sue is now planning an English evening for St George's Day and I already had in mind something Welsh for an event later in the year. I think this is the start of a trend!

Yesterday I noticed that Shortbread and Ginger is hosting a Big Bloggy Burns Supper so I'm linking up with all those celebrating around the world :)


  1. It certainly looks like you had a great time. The Loch Ness mystery cocktail sounds divine.

  2. Looks and sounds as though you had a great time!! What a lovely way to spend the evening, friends, food and fun!! Hope that you enjoy your St Georges dinner just as much! xx

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing this, I've always been curious about Burns Night - it sounds like a blast! I love cocktails, and I must try the Loch Ness one. You could be on to a winning formula here - take a look at worldwide celebrations, like Fourth of July and other independence days...I'm sure there are plenty of cocktails and songs to accompany each! ;-) Chrissie x

  4. Your burns night sounds fab Julie! I adore haggis, neeps and tatties and cranachan actually. I was a little annoyed to be working this year (don't get home until 9pm - too late to eat haggis!) but we are going to have haggis next weekend instead. I live very near Alloway where Robert Burns was born and burns suppers are a very big thing here....we are all very proud of the Bard! Thank you for sharing your lovely Burns night with us.
    Marianne xx

  5. Sounds like a wonderful evening. I too love Haggis and the works, although sometimes i'd rather not think about what goes into it! I adore cranachan and if i ever see it on a menu I would certainly have some- a Scottish border's ice cream firm make a cranachan ice cream too- my idea of heaven!

  6. Love sound of the cocktail!!!! Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for joining.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger.

  7. That sounds like so much fun! I've never had haggis and we don't celebrate Burns night as we don't really have any Scottish connections. I love cranachan though, and that cocktail sounded divine. x

  8. I'm game for it all, except haggis. I just cannae do that one!

  9. What a fun party! And it looks like you have started something here -- more parties to look forward to:)