World news story

Quintessential Scotland celebrated at Burns Night reception in Greece

Scotland’s food and drink at the centre of a traditional celebration.


The celebration of poet Robert Burns (25 January) is marked around the world and is a focal point for the celebration of Scottish culture, literature, traditions and history, as well as an excellent opportunity to showcase fine Scottish food and drink. Following the success of last year’s event, the Burns Night reception organised by the British Embassy and the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Athens on Thursday 26 January 2017 was a networking event that incorporated aspects of the traditional Burns Supper but also presented the vibrant and extrovert face of contemporary Scotland.

Its aim was to:

  • promote Scottish businesses already present in Greece, particularly in the food and drink sector
  • raise Scotland’s profile in Greece by showcasing Scottish culture to Greek audience and promote culture, tourism and education
  • demonstrate that the Embassy and DIT Greece are actively seeking to promote and serve the diplomatic and commercial interests of all parts of the UK.

Welcoming guests to the British Residence, HMA Kate Smith noted:

The British Embassy in Athens represents the interests of the whole of the UK in Greece and promotes the important role Scotland plays in that relationship - from trade and investment, to education and culture.

As well as being a great producer and exporter, Scotland is also a great place to invest, and expand your business.

  • The latest Ernst & Young Scotland Attractiveness Survey confirms that Scotland attracts more foreign direct investment than any other UK region outside London.
  • A talented workforce: skilled and highly educated employees.
  • Established centre of excellence for financial services & oil and gas expertise.
  • Recognised for innovation and excellence in growing sectors like technology and engineering, life sciences, global business services and renewable energy.
  • Brilliantly connected for business both in the UK and outside.

Major Scottish exports and opportunities in Greece

Whisky is one of Scotland’s top exports to Greece. According to the Scotch Whisky Association the value of whisky exports to Greece in 2015 was £38 million and the volume was 11 million bottles. Greece was the 24th biggest export market for Scotch whisky by value. Scotland is now one of the largest seafood producers in Europe, and the third largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world, exporting to over 60 countries worldwide, including Greece.

Greece remains a strong market for quality spirits and high-end food and drink products in general. The event’s sponsors highlighted the excellent existing partnerships between UK producers and their Greek partners and distributors, bringing top British products to the local market and helping raise the profile of the UK’s vibrant food & drink sector.

UK products showcased on the night included:

  • INNIS & GUNN ales (Original, Rum Finish & IPA).
  • Smoked salmon and other seafood all imported from the UK
  • Bulldog London dry Gin, the premium Gin, with… a Scottish twist. Inspired by Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, guests enjoyed a perfect G&T with Bulldog Gin garnished with… a “red red rose”.

The Spencerfield Spirits Company whisky tasting

During the reception guests also had the opportunity to participate in a tasting of The Spencerfield blended malt whisky range represented in Greece by LKC.

Spencerfield Spirits use the finest malts for their blended malt whiskies, Sheep Dip, Sheep Dip Islay and The Feathery, created by Scotland’s only third generation Master Blender, Richard Paterson.

DIT Greece

The DIT Greece team can offer help and assistance If you are a UK exporter looking to enter or expand into the Greek market or if you are a Greek company interested in investing in the UK. Email:

Published 31 January 2017