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The best places to celebrate 2024 Burns Night in Essex

A glass of whiskey is a must for Burns Night (c) Getty images
A glass of whiskey is a must for Burns Night (c) Getty images

“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 a few toasts raised in his name across Essex this month.

Burns Night - which falls on Thursday January 25 - is a celebration of the life and works of the poet Robert Burns who is regarded as a cultural icon and a pioneer of the Romantic Movement. Following his death in 1796 at just 37 years old, he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland.

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.

As well as the essential haggis, a Burns Supper menu usually includes a host of Scottish dishes such as Cock-a-Leekie soup, smoked salmon, neeps and tatties, followed by cranachan for dessert.

Here’s a guide of where to feel the Burn this January...

Rettendon Lodge, Burnham Road, Battlesbridge

The family friendly pub, hotel and restaurant will be going all out to lay on a barnstorming Burns Night celebration on Thursday January 25. Guests can tuck into a four-course meal for £34.95 each, while entertainment includes music from a piper. Delights on the menu that will leave you feeling warm inside include Cullen skink soup or chicken with oatmeal stuffing and whisky sauce, haggis, neeps and tatties as well as wild Scottish venison medallions. Finish it all off with a helping of Clootie Dumpling, a traditional rich fruit pudding, which is sure to go down perfectly with a wee dram - or four. rettendonlodgeevents.com

The Pipe of Port, High Street, Southend

Dust off your Sporrans, it's time for Burn's Night once more at the atmospheric town centre wine merchants and restaurant, The Pipe of Port. On January 25, Burns Night itself, the venue will be once again serving up a delectable Scottish feast alongside poems, songs and, of course, a piper. The ‘Celebration of Rabbie Burns’ will feature a menu which includes Scotch Broth, with a vegan alternative available, smoked mackerel pate and beetroot relish, haggis wi' Champit Tatties an' Bashed Neeps as well as Cranachan cheesecake and Drambuie bread and butter pudding for dessert. The dinner costs £40 per person. pipeofport.co.uk

The Two Brewers, Springfield Road, Chelmsford

Did you know there are five types of whisky: single malt, blended malt, blended whisky, barrel proof and single cask? Well, you will know if you book a place on a Burns Night whisky tasting evening at the Two Brewers in Chelmsford. The Essex Local Wine School will be hosting the event at the pub and restaurant on Thursday January 25. A spokesman for the event said: “We have been running our Burns Night Special Whisky Tasting for a number of years and they are always very popular. We will be tasting six whiskies, one from each of the whisky producing regions of Scotland. We will show you how to taste each whisky and we will look at why they taste so different”. Event costs £40 per person. localwineschool.com

The Lawn, Hall Road, Rochford

One reason the Scots celebrate Burns Night is because they don’t like to miss a good party. The Lawn shares this sentiment. The manor house will be hosting a Burns Night feast for £72.50 per head, set to take place on Saturday January 20. As it’s the weekend, you can let loose without worrying about the next day hangover. Guests will arrive to the skirl of bagpipes before enjoying a Champagne or malt whisky in the reception. Dinner will be a traditional Scottish menu, while highlights of the evening will include the ‘Addressing of The Haggis’ accompanied by bagpipes as well as a brief recitation of some of Rabbies best known works. thelawn.co.uk

 



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