He is celebrated all over the world on January 25 but where could be better to acknowledge the birth of Rabbie Burns with food, drink and song than in the region of his birthplace?

SCOTLAND’S National Bard was born in Alloway in Ayrshire on January 25, 1759, in a house now known as Burns Cottage, part of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

However it was not until 25 years after his premature death at the age of 37 that the first Burns Supper was held, taking place at his birthplace in 1801. 

Organised by the Reverend Hamilton Paul for a gathering of nine “honest men of Ayr”, it featured all the essential ingredients of the Burns Suppers held ever since – good food, whisky, a recital of some of his works and a toast in memory of the poet.

Today these Burns Suppers are held all over the world in places as far apart as Russia and the Ivory Coast and, of course, Burns’ native Ayrshire.

Some of note which took place this month included the first Mossgiel Burns Night at Gilmartin's Bakery in Stewarton. Mossgiel Farm has a special connection to Burns as he and his brother Gilbert rented the land outside Mauchline after the death of their father, William. It was here that Burns prepared his first book of poems for publishing and wrote “To a Mouse”, one of his most famous poems. 

The Mossgiel Burns Night was hosted by Burns enthusiasts and members of Kilwinning Burns Club.

The Herald: Mossgiel Farm owner Bryce Cunninghame is holding a Burns Night at Gilmartin’s Bakery which will be hosted by Burns enthusiasts and members of Kilwinning Burns 


The entire menu was Scottish with only Scottish ingredients, with some even coming straight from the lands Burns tended with his own hands. 

The event included whisky from nearby Lochlea Farm, where he lived before Mossgiel.  It is made from barley grown in the soil Burns ploughed, before being distilled and stored on site. 

This was washed down steak pie made with organic pastured beef from Mossgiel, where the animals graze only grass and herbs grown in pastures once grazed by Burns’ cows. To follow was be Cranachan made with Mossgiel Organic Cream and oats from the east coast of Scotland.

Another Burns Supper of note will be the inaugural Dumfries House Burns Supper on February 3. Designed and built by the architects John and Robert Adam, the house was actually completed in the year of Burns’ birth.

Around two miles west of Cumnock in Ayrshire, it is one of the few mansions of its type still to contain its original 18th century furniture, including specially commissioned pieces by Thomas Chippendale.

It was built for William Dalrymple, the 5th Earl of Dumfries, but inherited by the Marquess of Bute in 1814, remaining in the hands of his descendants until it was put on the market in 2007.

Due to the significance of the building and its furniture, a consortium headed by King Charles, then Prince of Wales, was put together to buy it, in order to preserve and renovate the estate with the aim of regenerating the local economy. Its first Burns Supper will include speakers and a four-course meal.

The Herald:

Lamlash House near Newmilns has also been recently lovingly renovated and restored and hosted A Taste of Burns on January 25. As well as a celebration of the National Bard, the event acknowledged the Robert Burns themed, stained-glass window 130 years after it was installed at the house.

The scenic Crawfurdland Estate near Kilmarnock boasts the award-winning Lairds Table Restaurant hosted Burns, a Dram and a Bang on January 26. This consisted of a four-course meal, the Laird’s favourite dram and entertainment, including Burns recitals, bagpipes, and fireworks.

Struthers Farmhouse near Dunlop has built up a good reputation for local produce and again hosted its Burns Supper Dine-In Special on January 24.  

On the menu was traditional or vegetarian haggis with a whisky cream sauce, braised venison haunch or baked salmon with vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options, finishing with a choice of Cranachan, Clootie Dumpling or a Scottish cheeseboard with vegan and gluten free options on request.