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All hail the poet… and a haggis

On the 25th January 1759, Robert, was born to a poor tenant farmer in Kincardineshire in north east Scotland. He went on to become the national poet of Scotland best known for songs and poems such as Auld Lang Syne, To a Mouse and A Red, Red Rose, and his birthday 25th January is now celebrated with Burnsʼ Night celebrations.

How it all Started and What’s Involved

Started a few years after Robert’s death by a group of his friends, Burnsʼ Suppers were celebrated to honour his memory. The centrepiece of the supper is the “chieftain o´ the pudding-race”, the haggis. Made of unappetising-sounding ingredients, but in fact tasting incredibly yummy, the haggis is paraded through the room before being addressed, stabbed and devoured (a dangerous time for haggis!).

What to Wear – Tartan Up!

Burnsʼ Night is one of the formal occasions on which it is common for guests to parade their clan heritage with kilts and tartan accessories. The tartan
pattern was historically linked with a Scottish surname but in more recent times organisations have had tartans made for them. Not having a Scottish surname doesn’t prevent you from wearing a tartan, there are no rules about who can and can’t wear them.

Some More About Robert Burns

Despite being born into a family of very limited means, Robert and his siblings were educated at the local school before his father clubbed together with other parents to hire a private tutor. Robert was a prolific reader but during the day he helped farm the land while living on a diet of skimmed milk and oatmeal as the family could not afford meat. This life of poverty and hard work took its toll and at the age of only 37, Burns died from a bout of rheumatic fever, just as his wife gave birth to their ninth son.

In his short life, Rabbie Burns penned a host of songs and poems that have resonance even today. Love, life, death, the human condition and nature filled the pages of his work, as meaningful now as when he wrote them over 200 years ago.

Where to Enjoy Scottish Cuisine

CLC Duchally Country Estate prides itself using the best local produce in its dishes. While there’s no Burnsʼ Supper, they are celebrating Scottish cuisine from the 25th to 28th January with a Scottish themed Table d’hôte menu. As whisky plays such an integral part in Scottish culture, you’ll be at home in Duchally´s Whisky Bar with its selection of over 50 whiskies for a wee dram, before or after your meal.

For reservations call +44 (0)1764 663 071 or book online at

Hosting Your Own Supper

If you’re having your own Burns´ Night celebration, below are the words to the Address tae the Haggis (click on the first line to open the whole poem). It’s good fun being the host master as you get to drink a wee dram as part of the ceremony!