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How to celebrate Burns Night in Argyll

How to celebrate Burns Night in Argyll
Burns Night is nearly upon us! Celebrated annually on 25th January, Robert Burns’ birthday, Burns Night is a great way to pay tribute to the poet’s life and work. It’s also a good excuse to eat, drink and be merry with lots of haggis eating, whisky toasting and poetry reading. You’ll find plenty of Burns Night events taking place across Argyll this Burns Night. If you’d like to experience the best of Scottish hospitality and tradition, make sure you celebrate Burns Night in Argyll.

Traditionally Burns Night is celebrated with a Burns Supper, where everyone tucks into haggis, neeps and tatties and enjoys Burns’ poems and songs and a dram or two of whisky. Every Burns Supper is individual, but there’s generally a running order and certain traditions that are followed. It’s all great fun. Raise a toast as the haggis is piped in, join hands for a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne and take part in a spot of post-dinner ceilidh dancing.

Burns Night events can range from small informal gatherings to large dining experiences. You can even do it yourself at home. Many of the pubs, hotels and restaurants across Argyll will host a Burns Supper or Burns Night event. And you’ll find that many communities in Argyll host Burns Night events in village halls.

If you like a peaty malt, then head to Islay to celebrate Burns Night with a traditional Burns Supper at Ardbeg Distillery on Saturday 27th January. Located on the rugged southern coast of Islay, Ardbeg Distillery is steeped in tradition – the perfect place to celebrate Burns Night in Argyll. And what better way to toast the haggis than with a dram or two of Ardbeg?

For a foot-stompingly good Burns Night, try the ‘Let us Do or Dee’ (Comar Burns Ceilidh) at Aros Hall in Tobermory on the Hebridean island of Mull. The fun kicks off at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th January. The Dervaig Burns Supper is another fantastic Burns Night event taking place on Mull. Organised by Jeanette at Ballygown Restaurant, all proceeds from the event will go towards the Ulva Buyout this year. Tickets are £15 and include three courses followed by tea, coffee and shortbread. Email to book.

The west coast resort of Oban is a great place to celebrate Burns Night. The majority of hotels in and around Oban offer excellent Burns Suppers. You could also try Burns Night at The Oban Inn. Dinner is followed by The Quiz in the upstairs bar. Or how about Burns Night on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond? Lodge On Loch Lomond is holding the Burns Night by Loch Lomond on Friday 26th January with host Mark Thomson, Scottish Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich. Start the evening with a Glenfiddich cocktail on arrival, then enjoy a Glenfiddich whisky with each course! The special menu is packed with the best local Scottish produce, including Glen Luss Venison Haggis. Tickets are £39pp.

Over in Cowal choose from a selection of events. The Lorne Bar in Dunoon is hosting a Burns Supper on Friday 26th January. This lively bar will be ‘keeping the Burns legend alive’ with some of Dunoon's favourite speakers. For a more traditional affair, try Cowal Golf Club’s Burns Night on Saturday 10th February 2018. If you’re in Dunoon, make sure you pay a visit to the statue of Robert Burns' 'Highland Mary' Campbell. She’s stands on the hill opposite Dunoon Pier gazing wistfully southwards to her lover's Ayrshire home.

On Kintyre, there are a number of organized Burns’ Night events, including Burns Supper in the Argyll Hotel in Campbeltown on Friday 26th January and Stornvaar Bowling Club Burns Night on Saturday 27th January. Or if you just fancy a few drams, make your way to Ardshiel Hotel in Campbeltown, Kintyre. This historic pub was in the Financial Times’ top five Scottish bars for Burns Night. It’s within sipping distance of all three of Campbeltown’s remaining working distilleries — Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia — and its whisky bar has more than 700 malts to choose from.

Of course, you can always host your own Burns Night event using local Argyll produce. Argyll butchers are renowned for their tasty haggis. Oban plays host to ‘HaggisFest’ when Scotland’s top butchers battle it out for the Golden Haggis award. And with 14 world-class distilleries dotting what’s known as the ‘whisky coast’, you’ll never be short of decent dram to accompany your Burns Supper in Argyll. Round off your Burns Supper with some delicious Chrystal’s Shortbread, hand-made near Loch Lomond.

And finally, you still have a few days to practice your Selkirk Grace. ‘Some hae meat and canna eat, / And some wad eat that want it, / But we hae meat and we can eat, / And sae the Lord be thankit.’

Header image: Statue of Highland Mary in Dunoon. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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