Join a whisky-fuelled celebration of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, even if you’re not in his native land for the day.
Robert Burns was the author of many Scottish poems and his life and work is celebrated every year on or near the poet’s birthday, 25th January. The evening, known as Burns Night, is focused around a Burns supper which typically comprises haggis, neeps (swede) and tattiest (mashed potato) – plus plenty of bagpipe music and whisky.
Across the capital, you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving the traditional Burns supper. Boisdale is famed for its British food and live music, and the Canary Wharf and Belgravia restaurants will be going all out for Burns Night. For just £29.50 per person, enjoy haggis, neeps and tatties with Inns and Gunn Original beer – plus whisky too (available 17-31 Jan).
Many menus are available for one night only though, so hurry and book to avoid missing out. Sister pubs The Cadogan Arms in Chelsea and The George in Fitzrovia have teamed up with Aberfeldy Whisky to create a three-course celebratory menu with plenty of whisky to wash it down with. Book a table at either venue at 6pm or 8.30pm on 25 January. Meanwhile, the restaurant at the Ham Yard Hotel near Piccadilly Circus is serving Loch Fyne smoked salmon and venison wellington alongside the more traditional haggis, neeps and tatties. Finish your feast with the burnt orange brulée topped with cranachan crumb.
Cutty Sark © National Maritime Museum, London
London’s Ceilidh Club in Marylebone has been bringing a touch of Scotland to the capital since 1998 and will, of course, be hosting a special Burns Night celebration. A ceilidh (‘kay-lee’) is the Gaelic word for gathering and The Ceilidh Club tries to recreate this, hosting dances, live music and singing sessions, poems and storytelling. For Burns Night, traditional Scottish fare will served at the start of the evening to fuel for all that twirling you’ll be doing later (there’s a caller to help newbies through the steps). The party also includes the traditional Address to the Haggis and a rendition of Auld Lang Syne rounds off the night.
Elsewhere, aboard the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, visitors can explore the ship after hours and settle in for an evening of live folk music. The Salts take over the Lower Hold of the famous tea clipper for their performance. Having developed their unique sound, mixing original compositions alongside traditional tunes we all know and love, their live shows are guaranteed to get you dancing and singing along. A bar will be open in the dry berth pre-show and during the interval (from 7pm, 25 Jan).
Langan’s the iconic Mayfair institution, are serving a special menu that will be accompanied by traditional ‘Odes to the Haggis’ and Bag Pipe melodies. Indulge in the bespoke Burns Night Menu (£95) curated by Head Chef Ben Mellor.
Upon arrival, each guest will be offered a complimentary glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which can be paired with canapés or starters of Scottish whisky cured salmon, cock-a-leekie terrine, or beetroot salad. Follow this with classic Scottish mains such as haggis, neeps and tatties; braised venison haunch or mushroom galette. To conclude an evening of poignant recitals and serenading music, indulge in cranachan, tipsy laird or a cheese board.
For the ultimate end to the feast, there will be a deep-fried Mars bar, playfully paying homage to its Scottish origin. Diners are welcome to venture upstairs to Langan’s exclusive private members club.
Don your best tartan and tuck into a hearty haggis supper this Burns Night for an evening of Scottish revelry at Langan’s!
For those not partaking in Dry January, a whisky tasting experience is one sure-fire way to join the Scottish festivities. Milroy’s of Soho on Greek Street is a whisky lover’s treasure trove, filled to the brim with exciting whiskies available to sip in the bar or to take away. There are several whisky tasting experiences available here and, while the Selection and Vintage Reserve Burns Night special tasting event has sold out, how about the Introduction to Scotch Whisky Tasting instead?
At Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar at The London Marriott Hotel County Hall, the award-winning spirits merchants, Berry Bros. & Rudd will host a whisky tasting event on Burns Night. The renowned spirits experts will present their Classics collection, taking you on a journey of exploration through different key regions and flavour profiles. Each whisky is carefully paired with a canapé created to compliment the flavour profiles of the fine spirits and inspired by the Scottish landscape where they originate.