How To Throw A Scottish Party 

Scottish Party updated by Faustina Bowen on February 25, 2020

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    A Scottish party theme is nice for adult birthdays or for an evening of fun and celebrating. The success of this type of party really depends on the guests. Choose your guest list carefully as their enthusiasm, preparation, and participation are key in how much fun is had.

    Scottish Party Menu

    • Roast Lamb with milk based gravy
    • Turnips and potatoes
    • Vanilla ice-cream
    • Walkers shortbread

    Start the party with dinner. You can make a haggis, buy haggis in a can and serve with crackers, or skip the haggis all together and serve roast lamb. This is a great option if you are short on time. 

    Set the oven to 400°, rub the lamb roast with butter, salt and pepper and other spices. Put the roast in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 300°. Let the roast cook for about two and a half to three hours.

    When done, use drippings to make a gravy. Make a traditional gravy or use coconut flour and salt to make a gluten-free gravy. Use milk instead of water with your gravy because of the gamey flavor of lamb. We made a 7 lb. lamb roast to serve our 18 guests and it served out well.

    Our go-to cookbook is Joy of Cooking.

    If the food is simple, it is easier to focus on the Scottish dinner party games. Two simple side dishes for this party are "neeps" and "taddies". 

    To make the needs, you will need:

    •  Turnips (Swede), peeled and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
    • 12 oz of bacon
    • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
    1. Gently fry the bacon in a large saucepan for two minutes (VERY little oil, if any should be required). 
    2. Set aside. 
    3. Build up alternative layers in the saucepan, starting with bacon with a little onion, followed buy a layer of swede (turnip) slices. 
    4. Repeat process until all ingredients are used up. 
    5. Salt and pepper each layer.
    6. Add a little water (2 tablespoons) simmer gently several hours over a low heat until cooked through. Don't stir but occasionally shake gently to keep from burning.

    For the Potatoes:

    Boil until soft. Add equal parts butter and sour cream. Salt and pepper and mash adding broth if needed to mash to the right consistency. Sprinkle a liberal amount of fried bacon on both dishes. 

    If you want to make a haggis, click here for an Americanized haggis recipe...

    Scottish Party Entertainment

    Having someone play the bagpipes as the meal is presented along with a dram of Scotch definitely adds to the Scottish flair of the party. Reciting the Address to a Haggis at this point is also fun. 

    As dinner is wrapping up, you should encourage your guests to recite poems, sing songs, and even dance. The table can be cleared and you can remain around the table or the party can move to the living room. Keeping the performances and entertainment rolling is the key. 

    Some of our favorite songs are:

    • Scotland the Brave
    • Flower of Scotland
    • Loch Lamond
    • Auld Lang Syne
    • Scots Wha Hae
    • A Mans a Man
    • Flowers of the Forest
    • The Skye Boat Song
    • Will Ya Go Lassie Go?

    The best songs to dance to are:

    • Tell Me, Who is She?
    • Mary's Wedding

    Some Scottish poems:

    • Address to the Haggis
    • Me Hoggie
    • Banks of Ayr
    • A Rosebud by My Early Walk
    • Address to a Mouse

    Wrapping Up The Party

    If you have a good group, there is no reason to interrupt the creative flow of the party. Sometimes our Scottish parties take a serious Irish tilt because we love Irish music. That's okay. All that matters is that everyone is having a good time. Serve vanilla ice-cream and Scottish shortbread sometime during the recitations but keep everything lighthearted and fun. Sometimes when you stop the show and serve dessert it is hard to start up the fun again. 

    This is one of my favorite parties because I love singing and watching others perform. The kids just keep singing and dancing until you tell them its time to call it a night. They like to look up lyrics to their favorite songs on the iPad and surprise us with their next choice.

    Some Things To Make Your Scottish Party Special:

    1. Whiskey Glasses

    Scotland's official Scotch whisky glass was designed after traditional nosing glasses. The special shape holds in the aroma, which is important to the drinking experience.

    2. Burns' Poetry Selection

    I like this book because of the translations in the margin. A word of warning: be careful with Robert Burns not all poems are suitable for Catholic families.

    3. Scottish Folk Songs CD

    This is a great CD. I like the folk music style that these traditional Scottish songs are sang. 

    Some songs include:

    The Skye Boat Song, Ye Jacobites by Name and Wild Mountain Thyme.

    4. Scottish Shortbread

    Walkers Traditional Shortbread Assortment is a great spread for greeting guests during holiday entertaining. Walkers is famous for its rich, Scottish shortbread. 

    You might like these

    • Burns Supper Guide For Families

      Everything you need to know about a Burns Supper, so you know what you're getting yourself into. Learn how to throw your own. It's fun celebrating the works of Robert Burns.

    Kathleen Bowen is a founding member of She is a busy homeschooling mother of ten children with seven currently in school. She loves throwing parties and having fun. She takes great pride in homemaking, gardening, flowers and creating table arrangements.

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