A Guide to Burns' Night

Burns night

A Guide to Burns' Night

Burns' Night originally started a few years after the death of Scottish poet Robert Burns, to honour his memory. It is now celebrated annually on his birthday, 25th January. We have collected the perfect blend of ingredients that you'll need to host your very own Burns' Night Supper.

Burns' Night Dress Code

If you want to really look the part then we suggest that you kilt up! However, if you don't own a kilt it's definitely recommended that you wear at least a little bit of tartan, perhaps in the form of some bold trousers, tie, hat, waist coat or scarf!

Burns' Night Music

Set the tone of the evening by listening to bagpipes, Robert Burns' songs and finish with a rousing chorus of 'Auld Lang Syne' at the end of the night. You may also wish to read traditional recitals which include the 'Selkirk Grace' and the 'Address to a Haggis'.

Selkirk Grace

Some have meat and cannot eat,
Some cannot eat that want it;
But we have meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit

Burns' Night Menu

Starter: A home-made Scots broth, cullen skink or cock-a-leekie soup.

Main: The iconic haggis traditionally accompanied by neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes) which are usually served mashed. Don't forget to "pipe in" the main event on a silver platter... If you're short on bagpipes, YouTube holds a wealth of videos.

Pudding: A traditional Clootie Dumpling or a classic cranachan.

Drinks: Compliment the supper with Whiskey, Ales, lager, punch, Scottish fruit wines or soft drinks. It is traditional to pour a dram (glass) of Whiskey over the haggis but some may prefer to just drink it!

Cullen Skink recipe:

To make this tasty and traditional soup from the Moray area of Scotland you will need:


  • I tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 300ml water
  • 250g smoked haddock
  • 250ml milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or chives


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add onion and fry gently until transparent. Cook for about 5 minutes but do not allow to brown.
  2. Add potatoes and water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. In another pan, cover the haddock with the milk and cook gently for about five minutes. Remove from the milk and, when cool enough to touch, flake gently into large pieces, removing bones.
  4. Add milk and flaked fish to saucepan containing potatoes and other ingredients and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

As found, tried and tested on the BBC good food website.

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