Traditional Burns Supper Menu

1. Starter

   - Scottish Broth or Cock-a-Leekie Soup: A hearty soup made with lamb or chicken broth, barley, vegetables, and sometimes leeks.

   - Cullen Skink: A creamy soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes, onions, and milk.

2. Main Course: 

   - Haggis: The star of the evening, typically served with neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes).

   - Vegetarian Haggis: A meat-free alternative made with lentils, beans, oats, and spices, suitable for vegetarian guests.

   - Scotch Beef or Lamb: Roast beef or lamb can be served alongside or as an alternative to haggis.

   - Whisky Sauce: A rich sauce made with whisky, cream, and sometimes mustard, served with the main dish.

3. Dessert:

   - Cranachan: A traditional Scottish dessert made with whipped cream, raspberries, toasted oats, and honey or whisky.

   - Tipsy Laird: A Scottish trifle made with layers of sponge cake, fruit, custard, and a dash of whisky.

4. Beverages:

   - Scotch Whisky: Various types of Scotch whisky can be offered for toasting and sipping throughout the evening.

   - Scottish Ales or Beers: Provide a selection of local Scottish ales or beers to complement the meal.

   - Non-Alcoholic Options: Include options such as Scottish mineral water, fruit juices, or soft drinks for non-drinkers or designated drivers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting a Burns Supper:

1. Planning and Preparation:

   - Determine the guest list and send out invitations well in advance, specifying the dress code if desired (often formal attire or traditional Scottish dress).

   - Plan the menu, ensuring you have all the necessary ingredients for the dishes you'll be preparing.

   - Arrange for any decorations, such as tartan tablecloths or Burns Night-themed centerpieces.

   - Purchase or prepare the necessary beverages, including Scotch whisky and other drinks.

2. Setting the Scene;

   - Set the table with Scottish-themed decorations, such as tartan napkins, thistle flowers, or small Scottish flags.

   - Place a copy of Robert Burns' works or a book of Scottish poetry on the table for guests to peruse.

   - Set out the traditional Burns Supper elements: a haggis (if serving), neeps and tatties, whisky for toasting, and appropriate serving dishes and utensils.

3. Welcome and Introduction:

   - Welcome guests as they arrive and offer them a traditional Scottish drink, such as a whisky-based cocktail or a dram of Scotch.

   - Provide a brief introduction to the evening's festivities, explaining the significance of Burns Night and the traditions involved.

4. Piping in the Haggis:

   - Begin the evening by piping in the haggis, accompanied by a bagpiper if possible, while guests participate in a standing slow clap.

   - Recite or play a recording of Robert Burns' "Address to a Haggis" as the haggis is brought to the table.

5. Address to the Haggis:

   - Designate a speaker to recite the "Address to a Haggis" or play a recorded version of the poem for all to hear.

   - During the line "An' cut you up wi' ready slicht," theatrically cut open the haggis with a knife, symbolizing the start of the meal.

6. Dinner and Toasts:

   - Serve the starter course, such as Scottish broth or Cullen Skink, followed by the main course featuring haggis, neeps, and tatties.

   - Encourage guests to raise a toast to the haggis using the traditional toast "The Selkirk Grace" or another appropriate toast.

   - Throughout the meal, offer Scotch whisky for toasting and enjoying alongside the food.

7. Entertainment and Speeches:

   - After dinner, consider having entertainment such as live music with Scottish songs or readings of Burns' poetry.

   - Invite guests to participate in the "Immortal Memory" speech, a tribute to Robert Burns and his contributions to literature and Scottish culture.

   - Optionally, include other traditional elements like the "Toast to the Lassies" and the "Reply from the Lassies," where humorous and lighthearted speeches are made.

8. Dessert and Farewell:

   - Conclude the meal with a delicious Scottish dessert like cranachan or Tipsy Laird, served with coffee or tea.

   - Thank guests for attending and invite them to enjoy post-dinner conversation and more whisky, if desired.

   - Provide guests with small gifts or favors, such as miniature bottles of Scotch or Scottish-themed keepsakes, as a memento of the evening.

By following these steps and incorporating traditional elements, you can host a memorable Burns Supper that celebrates Scottish culture, poetry, and camaraderie.