This year Robert Burns’ birthday (January 25, aka Burns Night) is on a Sunday, meaning you’ve got the whole day to sup whisky, play the bagpipes, eat haggis and revel in all those other wonderfully Scottish activities. It tends to be celebrated with traditional food, songs and drink. Here’s our guide to what London has to offer.
Burns, Baby, Burns!
The ultimate Burns Night party (and the winner of best Burns night name)– spread across Friday, Saturday and Sunday – is produced by London folk club The Nest Collective and immersive events crew Adamotions, and is set in the beautiful St John-at-Hackney Church. Expect all types of traditional Burns Night festivities including recitals of Robbie Burns’s poetry, live pipers piping, plenty of drams of whisky (come on, dry January is never gonna last), and a delicious three-course Burns supper. Smokin’.
The Wild Game Co
Alright haggis fans, prepare yourselves for one hell of a feast. The Wild Game Co will be serving up a different variety of haggis every day in the week leading up to Burns Night. Then on Jan 24 there will be a mighty meaty supper of aforementioned haggis (which is sourced from the Highlands), venison and wild boar. Expect a piper and poetry as well as a sing-a-long at the end of the night.
Hungry for a feast but repulsed by the idea of munching on offal? Bonnie Gull has a lovely a la carte menu of fishy dishes, all of which can change dependant on the catch of the day. There will be dishes like Whole Looe Lemon sole à la Meunière, Bonnie Gull cullen skink, and Meantime beer battered fish and chips if you want to stick to the basics. If you’re stuck with a haggis lover, let them know there are also a few special Burns Night inspired items too.
Whisky lovers, this one’s for you. Vinopolis is pulling out all the stoppers for Burns Night 2015. A £60 ticket for the Burns Night supper entitles you to drink your way through a whisky cocktail reception and a full whisky tasting, as well as a traditional three-course Burns Night supper. A £35 ticket to the Burns ceilidh and wine tasting package includes wine, spirits and champagne as well as plenty of dancing and entertainment.
Ceilidh Club Burns Night
For a whopping three hours of energetic ceilidh dancing and buffet of traditional food (yes, that means haggis, neeps and tatties) head over to Ceilidh Club Burns Night, London’s biggest Burns Night event.
Japanese Burns Night
We’re not sure the Scottish would be too chuffed about a Japanese single malt whisky winning the title of Best Whisky in the World, but to celebrate Burns Night with a truly great tipple, check out this cross-cultural celebration. For a Scottanese evening of delicious food, 2011 Master Chef champion Tim Anderson has created a five-course menu including haggis gyoza and a tempura Mars bar. The menu will be matched with Japanese whiskies, Scottish beers and a few creations from distiller Max Chater.
If you love Irn Bru
Old Tom & English
The Soho cocktail bar has only gone and created an Irn Bru cocktail with homemade Irn Bru syrup, lime juice and El Jiamador Blanco. Och aye indeed.
For one night only KERB’s clubhouse is being transformed into a bonnie clubhoos. For £35 you’ll get a dram o’ scotch, a variety of haggis-based eats, a dessert (not haggis-based, we hope), a ceillidh band and an array of Highland games. Get practising your haggis catching!
Happy to empty your sporran for a lavish meal? Green’s is a great place to flash the cash this Burns Night. The Burns Night menu is an impressive four courses plus canapés, and costs £75 per head. Chuck in an extra £5 and you’ll also get a selection of cheeses to round things off. Dishes include chargrilled Scottish venison with dauphinoise potatoes, halibut with squash gnocchi and traditional cullen skink (chowder).