Burns Night part 1: how to throw a sparkling supper

In the first of our two special Burns Night blogs for January, we’re here to give you the inside tips and tricks on how to make yours an entertaining, fun-filled evening packed with little treats that will wow your guests. If you’re attending an event or supper - rather than hosting - then we’ve got the low-down on what to wear and inspirational gift ideas for your host to make you stand out from the crowd.

Burns Night. The annual gastro-literary tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert – “Rabbie” – Burns. Held each year on or around the time of his birthday (25th January), it’s the moment to wave goodbye to the January Blues (which officially end on the 1st February!) and come together with those near and dear to us to celebrate the most landmark traditional Scottish festival in the calendar.

Whilst most Burns suppers tend to stick to a fairly structured format in terms of order of the evening and food and drink, it’s always good to add your own twist on things and create your own sense of Scottish style.

Firstly though, before planning the evening for your guests, think about yourself and what to wear. This is an occasion to be a little extravagant (after all, you are the host – or hostess – with the most-ess!) so, for the men, don some striking tartan trews teamed with a crisp white shirt and smart bow tie, finished off with either a flattering Argyle Jacket or sleek Prince Charlie Jacket and waistcoat. Dapper and sophisticated enough for a party, but less formal and more practical than a kilt and sporran if you’re the host whizzing around chatting to guests all evening.

And for the ladies, why not treat yourself to a sophisticated, made-to-measure hostess kilt with matching sash and rosette? Floor-length, elegant and practical; when teamed with a blouse or cashmere sweater, will create a flattering look that is easy to move and mingle in, but essentially Scottish and traditional.

So, now the host is sorted, let’s turn to the decorations. A beautifully set table with charming cutlery, crystal clear glasses and themed napkins can’t ever be beaten. But go that extra mile to really give the ‘wow’ factor. Pop some classic lavender and purple thistles into pewter tankards and scatter around the room and table to give a warm, welcoming feel; tie a tartan ribbon neatly around each guest’s napkin to give that sense of occasion; and when the time comes to toast throughout the evening, give each guest a decorative quaich - Scotland’s traditional cup of love and friendship. So now you have some tips on what to wear and how to decorate the room for your supper, make sure you catch our next blog later this month to see how to make your Burns evening really go off with a bang.