January is a month where socialisation and gastronomic excess tend to sit a little further down the agenda. After all, most of us are all partied out (and a little skint) after the festive period; the idea of putting together yet another huge party might not appeal.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Burns night, that celebration of Scotland’s most famous son, is one such. There’s nothing quite like it for all the rest of the year, and so, even if you aren’t Scottish, there’s reason to invite around a few likeminded friends around and mark the occasion in the traditional style. Or, if you’re looking to go a little bit further, you could hire out a venue and throw the invitation open to the entire local community.
Your Burns’ Night will require a few elements to work as it should. Here, we’ll run through a last-minute checklist of essential ingredients. Be sure that you don’t forget any of them!
There’s no escaping the fact that Haggis is a Burns’ Night staple. But if you’re not a fan of eating sheep heart, liver and lungs that have been cooked in the animal’s own stomach (and you doubt that your guests will be keen), then you can always throw together something a little less adventurous. You’ll find a few excellent suggestions over at the BBC Good Food website. Of course, if you don’t include the great chieftain o’ the pudding race, then you’ll miss out on…
An essential part of the Burns night celebrations are, naturally, the poetry of Robert Burns. Specifically, you’ll need someone there to recite Address to a Haggis in the traditionally flamboyant style – ideally someone Scottish. Other readings should be sprinkled liberally throughout the evening.
Whisky is a Burns’ Night Staple, but it’s another element that not everyone’s developed a taste for. You might think of Scotch whisky as something that’s best enjoyed alone over ice, but it’s actually a great accompaniment for certain dishes. Talisker’s 10 yo Is a pretty safe match. (Note that in Scotland, whisky is spelled without an ‘e’; while in Ireland and large parts of America, it’s spelled with one.)
Burns’ Night is a very singular celebration. It’s distinctive thanks to its combination of traditions, which have been around ever since Burns was alive, and long, long before that, too. But there’s nothing to say that adding a bit of technology to your celebrations won’t enhance the occasion. If you’re in the Buckinghamshire area and you’d like to book a photobooth for Burns’ Night (or indeed, any other special occasion), then be sure to get in touch!