Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Ultimate Burns Supper

Heavy rains and high winds may have cancelled Hogmanay (New Years) celebrations across Scotland, but here is an idea about how to participate in Scotland’s greatest celebration that is guaranteed to happen no matter what the weather or where in the world you are.

Forget virtual travel experiences (they don’t serve whiskey in cyberspace), what you really need if you want to feel as if you have taken a trip to Scotland is a good Burns Night Supper. These suppers have been in existence for over 200 years and Scots and anyone who has a fondness for Scotland, poetry and partying on or about January 25, gather across the globe to celebrate the life, the works and the philosophy of
Robert Burns.

Until now, unless you were a Scot (or a client or close friend of one), the idea of sourcing a haggis and addressing it seemed totally daunting. But that was before Clark McGinn solved the problem for the rest of us with his definitive work,
The Ultimate Burns Supper Book. This wonderful little book tells you everything you need to know to get in on the action whether you are a guest, a host or even just a couple enjoying a Burns Night Supper a deux.

Clark’s advice is so comprehensive, practical and fun, that there is no longer any excuse for missing out on the festivities. No matter where in the world you are, you can be an honorary Scot for the night. Having lived in the US for a period, Clark even knows which American butchers can get you a proper haggis (his favourite comes from Oregon). From invitations to recitation, it’s all in the Ultimate Burns Supper Book. So go ahead, buy the book and give it a go. Why? Because, in the words of Mr. McGinn, “A good Burns Supper creates a community amongst those present, based in equal parts on the conviviality of good company, the joy of fine Scottish food and drink, and the insight into our essential humanity captured by the songs and poems of one of the greatest Bards of any time in any language.”

Photo of Clark McGinn and haggis courtesy of

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