“Some hae meat and canna eat, -- And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.”

So said one of Scotland’s most famous sons - Robert Burns - who is likely to have more than one or two toasts raised in his name across Essex over the coming days and even weeks.


Traditional events to honour Burns, also known as ‘the Bard of Ayrshire’ and the ‘Ploughman Poet’ almost always include the piping in of the haggis and the reciting of Burns’s poetry – and of course, plenty of whisky drinking.

One of the biggest celebrations is held each year at the Wivenhoe House Hotel, in Colchester, however, such is the popularity of Burns Night suppers, the event has sold out. But don’t despair because plenty more parties will be held and whisky’s downed in honour of Scotland’s national poet over the coming 10 days.

Here’s a round up..

  •  The Five Bells in Colne Engaine, Colchester is hosting a Burns Night on Sunday January 28 at 7pm. The menu will include traditional haggis, neeps & tatties, sticky toffee pudding and a wee dram of Malt. Tickets cost £15.50per person. Call 01787 224166 to book.
  •  The Waterfront in Harwich is hosting a Burns Night Supper on Sunday January 28, at 8pm. It will include a traditional Burns Night two course meal as well as Rod Stewart tribute act and DJ. Tickets are £25 per person. www.waterfrontharwich.co.uk
  • Arrive to the skirl of bagpipes at the Lawn in Rochford when it hosts its Burns Night this Saturday (January 20). A classic menu as well as recitation of Burns poetry and champagne or Malt whisky reception drinks will keep revellers entertained. Tickets are £61 per person. Call 01702 203669 for details and to book.
  • The Pipe of Port in the heart of Southend will be hosting a Burns Night supper with Steve Jones over two nights- January 23 and 24. The 24th has sold out but there are some tickets left for the 23rd  - though snap them up quickly. Even will include lots of Scottish revelry, poems, stories and songs as well as a Piper providing the soundtrack. Tickets are £37. 01702 614606
  • The Crooked Billet in Leigh is going all out for Burns Night with celebrations already started! The Nicholson’s pub  will be hosting its second annual National Whisky Showcase (www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/whisky) as well as celebrating Scotland with their special Burns Night menu. Highlights from this year’s Showcase include Bruichladdich’s Classic Laddie, Hibiki Harmony and Penderyn Madeira. A special Burns Night menu will also be available from January 22-28.  
  • The White Hart in Margaretting Tye, Ingatestone is also going full throttle for Burns Night, with a four course dinner on Fridat January 26. Tickets are £29.95 and include a full traditional Burns Night menu, with specialtiies such as Whisky Mac cocktail and Cullen Skink.Call  01277 840 478.

Try this Burns Night dish



This scottish dessert is perfect for rounding off  Burns Night. Why not try whisking it up and home? Cranachan is traditionally made with a local soft cheese, crowdie, and cream. The pudding can be assembled just before serving, which keeps the oats crisp, or a few hours in advance, for a softer version.

4oz/110g rolled oats or pinhead oatmeal 
10floz/280ml double cream 
11oz/300g crowdie or Quark 
6 tbsp heather honey 
5 tbsp whisky 
1 bag frozen raspberries, defrosted 

Put the oats in a large frying pan and cook over a medium high heat, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes until they turn brown and smell toasty. 
Tip on to a plate to cool. 
Lightly whip the double cream and mix with the cheese, which will make the cream stiffen up more.  Roughly stir in 4 tbsp honey and all the whisky. 
Layer the cream, oats and raspberries in six glasses, finishing with a dribble of honey and a few raspberries.  Eat immediately or keep in the fridge. 

From haggis to Clootie Pudding, how burns suppers have grown

A Burns supper, also known as Burns Night, is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns
Burns is regarded as a cultural icon and a pioneer of the Romantic movement. After his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland
He was plagued by ill health for most of his life and died when he was only 37.
The first supper in his memory was held at Burns Cottage by Burns’s friends, on July 21, 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death.
It has been a regular occurrence ever since.  
The first still extant Burns Club was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants who were born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. 
Burns suppers may be formal or informal. Both typically include haggis, a Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns’s poetry. 
The haggis is normally carried in on a silver salver at the start of the proceedings while Burns’s poem - ‘Address to a Haggis’  is recited.
As it is brought to the table a piper plays a suitable, rousing accompaniment. 
As well as the essential haggis, the menu usually includes a host of Scottish dishes such as Cock-a-leekie soup, smoked salmon, neeps and tatties, followed by cranachan for dessert.
Clootie Pudding is also a firm favourite on the menu and consists of a rich fruit pudding served with clotted cream and a dram of whisky. 
Where as once it was a single event, the popularity of Burns Supper evenings across the globe mean that the “Burns Circuit”, as it is now known can stretch from early January until late February.