This year’s Burns Night celebrations on Thursday 25 January, mark the 259th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. The occasion is the perfect time to celebrate Burns’ life and works with an evening of traditional Scottish food, drinks, poetry and music. If you’re in the capital this Burns Night, here are the best places to get into the Scottish spirit…
Burns Night in London 2018
Boisdale of Mayfair
Traditionalists should book into one of Boisdale’s four London restaurants (Canary Wharf, Bishopsgate, Belgravia and Mayfair), all of which will be serving a classic Burns Supper. Dubbed the ‘unofficial Scottish Embassy of London’, it’s the perfect place to enjoy four courses of prime Caledonian food including Orkney salmon, Scottish red deer and Aberdeenshire dry-aged beef fillet – as well as, of course, the Roast Macsween Haggis which receives its own traditional address. With live swing music, the sound of Bagpipes and plenty of Scotch whisky, think flushed cheeks, full bellies and tonnes of merriment – just as it should be. Burns Night Menu from £35 per person, more information here.
Craft London & Stevie Parle
Craft London and Stevie Parle are teaming up with Scotch whiskey maker Compass Box for the second year running to celebrate Burns Night, complete with haggis, neeps and tatties. The bespoke four-course menu includes five carefully-chosen whiskeys to complement every dish – and Stevie and the Compass Box brand ambassador will be there on the night to explain and introduce each element. The haggis has been made especially by the Craft London team, and will of course receive the traditional address, while poetry readings add some extra Scottish authenticity. From 7.30pm on 25 January, book online to reserve tickets here. More information here
Pollen Street Social
Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred restaurant is holding not one, but two Burns Night suppers this week in their private dining room. Atherton has designed a special nine-course tasting menu to showcase Scotland’s best produce, featuring the classics as well as more creative dishes such as Isle of Mull langoustine with braised oxtail and Isle of Mull cheddar (yum!). Each dish will be paired with drams of some of Bruichladdich distillery’s finest Scotch, explained by an expert. £135 per person including drinks pairing, from 7pm on 25 & 26 Jan. Book by calling 020 7290 7600, find out more here.
Corrigan’s restaurant team is made up of numerous Scots, and so a Burns Night celebration at the Mayfair spot was always going to be executed properly. At £110 for the full menu (including Whisky or wine flight), it’s not the cheapest option, but with dishes such as Speyside Whisky-cured Scallops and Haggis-stuffed Aberdeen Angus Wellington, it’ll be well worth it. Richard Corrigan’s trusty doorman Paddy will be on hand to play the bagpipes to get you in the mood, while Scottish sommelier Natalie will offer a ‘Toast to the Ladies’. From £75, more information here.
Whiskey 101 at The Gallery
Cut to the chase and go straight for the whiskeys. The Gallery in West Hampstead has created a special drinks menu for Burns Night to celebrate their favourite whiskies and Scottish beers, drawing on their collection of over 100 whiskies behind the bar including many relatively-unknown and rare bottles. More information here.
Pear Tree Cafe
This Burns Night event will feature a romantic procession through Battersea Park, helped by hip flasks full of warming whiskey, before reaching Pear Tree Cafe for a candlelit Burns supper. The space will be fully decked out in Scottish best, with tartan and thistles decorating the venue. The five-course feast will be followed by a traditional singalong of Auld Lang Syne ‘to end the highland harrar’. £39 per person, meet at 7pm in the Battersea Park car park. Find out more here
The staff at Mr Fogg’s will all be wearing their best kilts and sporrans, and guests are encouraged to do the same to fully embrace the spirit. The Mayfair residence has paired up with Glenfiddich to create Burns-worthy cocktails using their finest aged Scotch whiskey, while Mac & Wild will be providing edible treats. The traditional Scottish soiree will also feature bagpipers and poetry recitals showcasing Burns’ best works. Find out more here.
Rotunda Bar & Restaurant
Any restaurant that serves a deep-fried Mars bar is top of our list. Guests at Rotunda will be introduced to the traditions and history of the Scottish festival, and will be guided through a tasting of Scotch whiskey by the Glenlivet brand ambassador, while enjoying a selection of small plates featuring the classics (and the Mars bar for dessert). A more purse-friendly option, too. £29.50 per person, from 6.30pm on 25th January. To book and for more information, click here.
Neil Rankin and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli have collaborated to celebrate Burns Night at temper City with a quiz on all things Scottish and an exciting menu of Scottish favourites. Irn Bru Spritz, anyone? The four-course menu will, of course, be paired with the finest whiskeys, and guests are encouraged to don their finest tartan, be it full kilt or troos. £80 per person, 25 Jan from 7.30 pm. Find out more here
The Curtain Shoreditch
The ever-trendy Curtain hotel in Shoreditch offers an ‘alternative’ Burns Night evening – by serving special Haggis tacos and Scottish Pina Colada slushies made with Dewar’s Scotch Whiskey at Tienda Roosteria. True Highlanders would be horrified! But at least vegans will be pleased, with the Vegan Haggis and Neeps taco providing a nod to the festivities. Find out more here.
The Curtain’s private member’s club will be opening its doors to non-members for a special three-course Burns banquet for those seeking something more traditional. This will be followed by live music from a ceilidh band to continue the festivities. £45 per person, find out more here.
Mac & Wild
Mac & Wild love Scotland so much that they’re running a full week’s worth of Burns Night celebrations! As well as Burns specials on the menu, there will be haggis-making masterclasses, beer and Talisker whisky pairing evenings, live music and plenty of specially-created cocktails. On the night itself, the Devonshire Square location will turn into a Highland Hideaway complete with pipers, drummers and the famous Haggis Pops. Haggis making masterclass, £30; Whisky tour tasting experience, £25; Whisky and chocolate pairing masterclass; Burns Night Supper is £50 per person. Find out more here.
Fortnum & Mason
The special evening will begin with the traditional Selkirk Grace – the procession of the centrepiece haggis, and its surrender. Following the ceremony, a four-course menu will be paired with superb wines and whiskies. Throughout the evening, traditional entertainment including a classic piper will add to the Scottish ambience, while you can get into the spirit the night before at one of the whiskey masterclasses. Burns Night Supper, 25 Jan from 7pm; £75 per person. Masterclasses, 24 Jan from 6.30pm; £25 per person. Find out more here.