Voted as the greatest Scot in history in a national poll, Robert Burns was a poet and song writer who wrote in the Scots dialect. A typical Burns Night has followed the same structure for over 100 years, and is filled with tradition and ritual, including a lot of toasts, which only adds to the fun. If you’re attending a more formal Burns Night, the guests will enter the main room to the sound of a piper, who plays traditional Burns songs. After the guests have mingled (and possibly a dram of whisky), they will sit down to a starter of traditional cock-a-leekie soup (recipe below) and perform the Selkirk Grace, which some say was written by burns himself, though there is evidence of its existence before Burns’ birth.
Now it’s time for the main course, a giant plate of a freshly prepared haggis, served with neeps and tatties (or mashed turnips and potatoes) and whisky sauce. After the food is finished (popular Burns desserts include oaty, creamy cranachan or a tipsy triple), the entertainment can begin. A guest toasts to the memory of Robert Burns with a small speech about an aspect of Burns’ life and his continuing inspiration and legacy across Scotland. An important part of Burns night is the ‘toast to the lassies’, where the host or a male attendee makes a humorous speech about the women attending (who traditionally would have prepared the meal). This is a chance for the women in the audience to speak up with an amusing response to the toast to the lassies.
Burns Night is celebrated across Scotland, from Gretna Green to John o’Groats, with the biggest suppers happening in Edinburgh and Glasgow. This traditional Scottish soup is slow cooked for a warming, filling dish that’s filled with flavour and is cheap to make.
Make your stock by adding the chicken, bay leaves and the green parts of the leeks to a pan of water and bringing to the boil. Remove the chicken and bay leaves from the stock and add the rice, the white parts of the leeks and salt and pepper. For more details of these events contact Ernestine or Linda by phone or by email at this address.
For further information on the activities of the Sheerness Scottish Heather Club click the link below and send an an email to the secretary.


Speeches over, the evening continues, usually with Burns songs, and ends with everyone standing, joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.
Immortal Memory, given by Douglas Gibson (publisher, author, Past President SAS, son of Ayrshire – eminently well qualified to give us an entertaining and insightful address). Burns Night has rolled round again so it’s time to just prepare a pile of haggis and support the brown heap with some neeps and tatties. For those who just have the stuff once a year to honour Robert Burns and for those who have haggis as a staple of their diet, here are some delicious dishes for you to try courtesy of the pioneers of Scotland’s national dish, Macsween of Edinburgh.
Forget everything you know about tarte tatins – they aren’t just for dessert but can work as savoury dishes too.
If potato or mozzarella croquettes aren’t for you, then look no further than these venison haggis and parsnip versions. Every year at the end of January, Scots get together for a night of feasting, drinking, dancing, and poetry reciting in honor of their most celebrated poet and lyricist Robert Burns.
Andrew’s day, its first), Burns Night is a celebration of all things Scottish, all tied together by the works of Scotland’s most famous son: Robert Burns (or Rabbie Burns if you’re a local!). His most famous writings include Auld Lang Syne (traditionally sung at Hogmanay), Scots Wha Hee (an alternative Scottish national anthem), A Red, Red Rose, Tam O’Shanter and Ae fond Kiss. Haggis is a mix of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet and herbs served in a sheep’s stomach lining. This can include poetry readings, performances of Burns’ songs on traditional instruments, or maybe even some classic Scottish dancing! She is a keen travel and culture writer who enjoys reading classic novels and watching black and white movies in her spare time. After being piped in to a reception where society members, Club members and guests mingle, the meal starts with a Burns grace.
Unless you take a look at some of these unusual dishes that will actually give the haggis you’re serving a whole new lease of life. Generous helpings of all the standard nacho ingredients – tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, Jalapeno peppers and fresh chillies – are complemented by the meaty spiciness of added haggis.


Elevate it beyond its humble snack status and add this to your dinner party repertoire as a starter.
This gamey venison haggis version is very moreish when caramelised with figs and onion marmalade. Replace the traditional shredded duck with traditional haggis and start rolling with spring onions and sesame seeds. With only 20 minutes prep and 20 minutes cooking, it’s not as hard as it looks and definitely worth the effort. Once cooked according to the pack instructions, slather it over your toast with a touch of oil and spoonful of chutney. Burns Night, celebrated on Rabbie’s birthday, has its origins in the 18th century, and now every January 25th Scotland comes alive with celebration and tradition in order to celebrate the words and life of the poet, known as ‘The Bard’ in his native country. He lived in various parts of Scotland and had a busy life where he, amongst his many other achievements, fathered 13 children.
It’s not for everyone, but you have to try a proper Scottish haggis before you can pass judgement. His messages of friendship, respect and good humour have made him a beacon and figurehead for Scotland’s unique culture. Season well and wrap around four eggs that have been boiled for 9 minutes making sure the coating completely covers each egg.
Combine your haggis with salad leaves, 1 Granny Smith apple, 1 red onion, 100g radish, 50g Stilton, ? avocado and your favourite salad dressing.
Good for sharing or creating a one man dinner, all you need is one pack of Macsween Highlander meatballs flattened into a patty and fried for 4 minutes on each side until brown. Brush the edges with cold water and fold to create a semi-circle parcel sealing the edges with a fork.



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