TOG’s Guide To Burns Night

Thanks to Robert Burns we all have an excuse to indulge in a whisky-fuelled knees-up during the dreariest month of all. The January blues are officially over!

Robert (or Rabbie) Burns is one of Scotland’s most important national heros and after his death his friends decided they needed to celebrate his career. The celebration on 25th January each year (Robert’s birthday) has now spread across the globe.

Image courtesy of The Independent

Traditionally the occasion is celebrated with a whisky and haggis-fuelled evening of fun. Haggis is usually the star attraction – Scotland’s most famous dish made of oats, spices and sheep offal encased in a stomach lining – served with neeps and tatties.

Starters and desserts are less set in stone but popular choices include cock a leekie soup, made of leeks, chicken and barley; and Scottish Cranachan, made with cream, raspberries, oats and of course whisky!

Once the haggis is on the table the host will address the haggis with Burns’ most famous poem, Address to a Haggis. The evening continues with poetry readings, toasts, songs, music and ends with everyone joining together to sing Auld Lang Syne.

If you’re planning your own Burns Night knees-up check out these recipes from The Indy.

Or heading out to soak up the atmosphere? There’s lots going on all over the country to celebrate dear old Rabbie but we fancy trying the Scottish specials on offer at The Gladwin Brothers trio of restaurants in London (The Shed, Rabbit and The Nutbourne). Think Haggis sliders, whisky ketchup, and Oliver Gladwin’s deep fried, homemade Mars Bar. Yum.