Friday, 21 January 2011

Burns Night - What's it all about?

As the 25th January draws ever closer, London is bracing itself for the annual pipe brandishing, haggis wielding and whisky fuelled festivities that Burns night has become famous for. So what's all the fuss about, and why should we at The Great Date Guide be interested?

Well, poetry and romance of course go hand in hand, and as it turns out, Rabbie Burns was a bit of a romantic. On second thoughts, romantic may be a little generous, but he was certainly very interested in women! He was of course also a fabulous poet, and it is this (rather than the philandering) which we celebrate each Burns Night. Why we're really interested of course, is that it makes yet another great excuse to get yourself out on a celebratory date, particularly if you can claim some Scottish roots... 

An alternative is to go DIY and create your very own Burns Night Celebration. Here's what you'll need:

- One set of bagpipes + piper (ear plugs optional)
- One large haggis (notoriously hard to catch but very good to eat)
- One large ceremonial knife
- Neeps (swede / turnips) & tatties (potatoes). Scottish-English dictionary also useful
- One Scot (for poetry reading)
- One generous helping of whiskey…


Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace 
As lang's my arm. 

NB - if you prefer to leave it to the professionals, some of our favourite restaurants are putting on Burns Night specials… Try The Boisdale (Belgravia / Bishopsgate) for a set menu, pipes and poetry, Sam's Brasserie in Chiswick for an usual twist on Burns night fare (plus piper), and The Swan at The Globe, who are offering a brilliantly varied Burns themed menu.

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