Burns Night: Haggis, Neeps, Tatties and a Cheesy Scottish Film

The meat was incredibly tasty. It was hard to believe that what was being eaten was sheep’s heart, liver and lungs. Yuk, when put like that it doesn’t exactly sound appetising does it? Yet this was haggis, Scotland’s staple dish. We were celebrating Burns Night and my boyfriend Andy had prepared the haggis along with neeps (swede) and tatties (potatoes).

The Haggis is not just sheep’s organs. The meat is minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt. This meal is traditionally devoured on January 25 to honour the life and works of Scotland’s most famous poet Robert Burns. Burns Suppers are organised and his poems are read aloud whilst plenty of Scotch whisky is enjoyed. Many events feature bagpipe music as well.

Tastier than it looks: haggis, neeps and tatties.

Did we attend a Burns Supper? No, we have our own little tradition. We had the meal, but our entertainment was a Scottish-themed film.

This year’s choice was Highlander – a film about a 16th century clan leader in Scotland who is given the power of immortality after being wounded in war. Fast forward to America in the 80s and this guy has swapped his furs and long locks for a short back and sides and a dodgy trench coat.

He roams the streets having sword fights and his Scottish accent is absolutely awful, which is not surprising considering the so called Highlander is actually being played by a French actor.

It was not quite as bad as Colin Farrell’s Irish take on Alexander the Great! Our Burns Night film choices in the past have included Rob Roy (yawn!) and Brave Heart (Freedom!).

We washed down the haggis, neeps and tatties with some Scotch whisky and ginger ale. To be honest, I don’t actually like whisky on its own. It tastes like I imagine nail varnish remover would taste. However, with lots of ginger ale it is really nice. For serious whisky drinkers, adding ginger ale might be considered a sacrilege.

Scotch whiskey: Famous Grouse.

Some of you might be thinking: who is this Robert Burns chap? He was an 18th century poet, regarded as a cultural icon. Burns was also known by other titles, including Rabbie Burns and The Bard.

I have trouble making sense of his poems, if I’m honest. The Scottish dialect used is like reading another language. But it is nice celebrating something that is so iconic in Scotland, as I am half Scottish.

Did you celebrate Burns Night? What did you do?