slow - simple - soulful - sustainable

Burns Night: a mid-Winter celebration

22 Jan 2020

a wood fire burning on burns night - a mid-winter celebration

by FIONA BARROWS

Celebrating the life and work of Scotland’s national bard, Burns Night on January 25 is a welcome festivity in what can otherwise be a bleak and austere month. A chance to gather with friends, warm yourself with whisky and dancing, and recite half-remembered lines of his beautiful poetry.

Born on a farm, Robert Burns worked as a ploughman for most of his life, and turned to poetry as respite from the hard, physical labour. His poems celebrate the natural world, traditional Scottish culture, and the joy of life’s simple pleasures. And as such he is a suitable person for The Slow Living Guide to celebrate!

So if Burns Night has you hankering for more bagpipes, tartan and haggis, then here are a few of our favourite things from our Scotland-based makers to give you a wee taste of the spirit of the Highlands and Lowlands.

Sláinte Mhath!

venison salami

Wild Venison Charcuterie Feast | Great Glen Charcuterie

If haggis, neeps and tatties aren’t to your liking, then Great Glen’s wild venison charcuterie is an excellent, just as Scottish, alternative. Made from wild, sustainably managed and sourced venison, the charcuterie is hand and air dried to preserve the unique and unrivalled taste of the wild meat.

two hands holding a sourdough bread and one bread in the making
Everyday Sourdough Starter Kit | Gartur Stitch Farm

While learning in person with Kat and Kevin on their smallholding might be the ideal, if you can’t make it up to Scotland then this kit will give and teach you everything you need to get started making your own sourdough bread. Baking bread, especially sourdough, can become a slow living ritual, one in which unassuming ingredients are turned into nourishment for you and your family.

a woman's hand holding a rolled picnic blanket

Lambswool Blankets | Tartan Blanket Company

Made from pure lambswool, this gorgeous blanket is a modern take on a traditional tartan. The soft, soothing colours of this particular design make it perfect to curl up under with a mug of tea, a book, and if possible, an open fire.

postcards on a table

Postcard Sets | Snapdragon Life 

Cheer up someone else’s January by sending a handwritten note of appreciation. Drawn by Jane at her home in Loch Lomond National Park, these lovely cards are a beautiful incentive to rediscover the pleasures of snail mail.

handmade lampshade in front of a barn door

Artshade Lampshades | Needlesmiths

Inspired by the landscapes and seascapes of Mid Argyll (not far from the famous Mull of Kintrye), Kate’s beautiful hand painted and stitched lampshades bring a taste of the Scottish wilds into your home.

a flock of sheep

Knitting and Hiking Tour | Shetland Wool Adventures 

And if none of these beautiful things satiate your love for Scotland, then an unforgettable journey to the Shetland Isles might be called for! Tours for 2020 are fully booked, but you can sign up to receive updates for 2021, or enquire about a bespoke tour. Their knitting and hiking trip sounds like a truly unique opportunity to explore the isles in an offbeat and authentic way.

You can find Fiona Barrows at:

Website: www.fionabarrows.com
Instagram: @fbarrows

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About

As a creative business mentor and brand strategist, Fiona helps creative business owners get through the difficult, sticky patches in their creative businesses and lives, find clarity and build momentum. She’s also a writer, the maker of the There Are Other Ways podcast, and an enthusiast of coffee shops, carrot cake and beeswax candles. She’s based in Frome, Somerset, but works with creatives all over the world.