Burns Night Party Inspiration | Burns Night Decorations, Scottish Fancy Dress & Food

Burns Night Party Inspiration | Burns Night Decorations, Scottish Fancy Dress & Food

Traditionally just celebrated in Scotland, but now popular all around the world, Burns Night is a tribute to the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. Originally started after his death by a group of his friends to honour his memory, the suppers are now celebrated annually on his birthday 25th January. If you’re attending a traditional Burns Night party, expect poetry readings, dancing and even the odd toot of piped music, but central to the revelry is a hearty supper.

Burns Night Food

16 The menu is open to interpretation and was historically less of a fine dining affair and more of a celebration of the hearty, wholesome food Burns himself would have enjoyed, a Burns Supper traditionally starts with maybe cock-a-leekie soup followed by a haggis with neeps and tatties (turnip and potatoes), then a classic Scottish dessert like cranachan. Love it or loathe it, Scotland's national dish, haggis is the symbolic heart of Burns Night. If you’re not lucky enough to live near a traditional Scottish butcher, you can lay your hands on traditional haggis online. It can be baked or boiled, and there are hundreds of versions, from vegetarian to venison. The traditional version isn’t for the faint hearted and contains sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal's stomach!! For those who cant quite face the idea of a traditional Haggis, why not try one of these alternatives or follow the BBC Good food Guide to buying and cooking a traditional haggis. The tradition on the night is that the haggis is brought to the table to bagpipe music and there's endless toasts – from the traditional toast to the haggis to a humorous address “to the lassies”. Burns' life and work is remembered, there is usually poetry and the evening ends with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne (rounded off, if you're lucky, by a whisky-sodden guest falling over).

Burns Night Drink

Burns Night Party Whiskey Whisky is the usual choice at Burns' Suppers, either malts or blends. Contrary to popular belief, adding a little water to your malt should improve rather than dilute the flavour, although some whisky drinkers may not take kindly to watering down their drams! It is traditional to pour a dram over the haggis but some may prefer not to as it drowns out the taste of the meat and makes it soggy and cold! It's perhaps best to enjoy each independently of the other. If you don't like whisky, then robust red wines make a good accompaniment. White wines don't complement the dish quite so well, but it's whatever takes your fancy. Ales, lager, punch, Scottish fruit wines or soft drinks (perhaps Irn Bru, being Scotland's 'other national drink') are all alternatives.

Burns Night Tableware

We've got some great Scottish and Robert Burns themed tableware including a range of special Robert Burns napkins. Our Robert Burns Portrait Serviettes featuring Robert Burns' poems and portrait make a perfect addition for any Scottish themed evening or our Scottish Verses Serviettes each with 4 different famous Scottish Verses on each quarter of the serviette. All our serviettes are printed in clear vibrant colours on good quality paper with an embossed patterned border. These elegant napkins make a perfect addition for any Scottish themed evening. The size of each serviette when fully opened is just under 13 inches by 13 inches. [gallery columns="2" link="none" size="full" ids="2748,2747"] To make the Burns Night table look extra special, why not put the napkins in one of our exclusive  Tartan Paper Napkin Rings - An A3 sheet of 16 disposable paper napkin rings - simply cut out and seal with included stickers. Double sided so you can choose which colour tartan you have on show. You could even write the guests names on the napkin rings instead of using place holders. For larger Burns Night parties and to save on washing up, serve drinks in Scottish Flag Paper Cups. Robert Burns Napkins Rings Other Burns Night table ideas include our Tartan Paper Table Runner - run along the length of the dining table or even use to hang on the walls. Our Scottish themed flags are an inexpensive way to decorate the table, mantelpieces or window sills. Choose a combination of our St Andrew's Table Flags and Tartan Double Sided Red and Blue Table Flag -  A simple and traditional style, with a red and green design on one side of the flag and a blue and green design on the other side. All individual flags are 152 x 108mm (6" x 4") mounted on 240mm (9") pole. Three flags can be fitted in our flag holder sold separately. [gallery columns="2" size="full" link="none" ids="2751,2750"]

Burns Night Decorations

These pretty Burns Night Paper Chains are a really inexpensive and effective way to decorate a large area. Each A3 Card sheet will make an 85cm length of chain and you can get the kids to make them all for you whilst you sample the whiskey! Burns Night Tartan Paper Chains Combine with this Tartan Blue Small Flag Interior Bunting for a full on Scottish tartan effect. We've also got a huge range of other Scottish and tartan decorations, bunting and flags for your Burns Night Party. Burn Night Blue & Green Tartan Bunting These special Burns Night balloons will look great outside the house, around doorways or to mark the way to the venue. A pack of 10 latex balloons featuring an original Burns Night design. These are ten inch balloons and come in an assortment of red and yellow. Burns Night Balloons Or why not go for one of our great value Burns Night decoration packs? We've got packs from £30 to save you both time and money!

Burns Night Fancy Dress

We've got a great range of Scottish Burns Night costumes, from the naughty to the traditional there's something for everyone. Our great value Scottish tartan Tam-O-Shanter Hat is only £2.94 and includes attached ginger hair and a pom pom on top.
If you are hosting a Burns Night Party, this traditional Scotsmans Kilt & Sash Costume  is absolutely perfect and wont break the bank.  It includes a red tartan kilt cut just above the knee and a matching tartan sash. The costume also includes a black and tartan Tam O'Shanter hat. Or go all out with a William Wallace Braveheart costume which includes a 2-tone brown top with a blue tartan sash, a blue tartan kilt to match and blue tartan leg ties as well. Accessories are essential so why not add one of our men's wigs and a sword? For the face paint we have blue and white matt face paint and a range of accessories for application. [gallery size="full" columns="2" link="none" ids="2767,2766"]   But for the very brave (heart;-) and if you're looking to have a cheeky laugh for this year's Burn's Night, our Well Hung Highlander outfit is the perfect costume for you! For adults only, the costume includes a red tartan sash and kilt and a a tartan tam o shanter hat with attached ginger hair and beard. Also included is a white t-shirt, Sporran, white Socks with a red pom pom and fake (ahem) endowment!! Not for the faint hearted and sure to cause a stir at any Scottish themed party or St Andrews Day event!
Tips for throwing your own Burns Supper
  • Don't leave it to the last minute to organise your haggis. Supermarkets often sell Macsween’s haggises, which are decent, but can be in short supply and often come only in one size (generally small). Many butchers sell excellent haggises, but it's best to check with them first.
  • Arrange a haggis alternative if needed: even fussy eaters don't deserve to go hungry.
  • Think carefully about what whiskies to provide: a variety of styles is good. You could perhaps ask guests to bring a bottle of their choice instead of wine. Plan alternative drinks for those who don’t like it, or perhaps some whisky cocktails – these are a good introduction to the spirit for the unsure.
  • Plan what addresses, toasts and readings you’d like to include, and when. The website Visit Scotland has a helpful guide to the traditional order of events.
  • Don't forget music. You probably won’t be hiring bagpipes, but think about having a suitable soundtrack prepared, including some pipe music for when you bring in the haggis.
  • You can never have too much tartan, so cover every available surface!
For more Burns night ideas, check out our Burns Night Party range and for more inspiration look at our Pinterest board

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