In honour of Robbie Burns, the famous Scottish poet – who penned Auld Lang Syne, no less – restaurants and bars around London will be offering festivities full of bagpipes, haggis and, of course, whisky. The Resident has put together some of the best places to celebrate Burns Night on 25 January 2019
Lead image: Burns Night Ceilidh at Cutty Sark Theatre
1 Burns Night Ceilidh at Cutty Sark, Greenwich
This Burns Night, the Cutty Sark Theatre is hosting a special ceilidh to celebrate the work and life of Robert Burns. It’s the perfect place to celebrate Scotland’s national poet as the historic tea clipper was itself named for Robert Burns’ beloved poem Tam o’ Shanter. You can dance the night away in the Sammy Ofer Gallery from 7pm on 25 January with plenty of food, drink and a chance to see a very special performance from a Highland piper.
King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT; rmg.co.uk
2 Ceilidh Club, Hammersmith Town Hall
The Ceilidh Club’s Burns Night celebrations are so popular that this year’s event on Saturday 25 January has sold out. But don’t despair! There are additional events taking place on 26 January, and 1 & 2 February. As well as three hours of dancing to a wonderful band and caller, who will let you know the steps, the haggis will be piped in at half time, as Burns’ poem – the Address to the Haggis – is recited. Haggis, neeps and tatties will then be served buffet style (vegetarian options available). There is no dress code but tartan is always appreciated. 8pm-11pm. Tickets are £25-£37.50.
Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street W6 9JU; ceilidhclub.com
3 Mac & Wild, Fitzrovia & the City
Scottish champions Mac & Wild will mark the annual tradition of Burns Night with a whole week of Burns-inspired menus and events, including London’s first Silent Ceilidh on Mac & Wild’s Terrace at Devonshire Square, where you can also tuck into traditional Haggis Neeps & Tatties and enjoy Glenfiddich high balls throughout the night (25 January, tickets £25). There will also be dedicated Burns night suppers at both Mac & Wild restaurants (£49-£75), serving up special tasting menus filled with Scottish fayre such as Wee Mac & Wild Scotch Eggs, traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Bone Marrow Gravy and more. On the menu all week at both restaurants (21-27 January) will be a selection of Burns specials including the new Haig Club x Mac & Wild Haggis, Neeps & Tatties Burger (a haggis and venison burger with a turnip relish and tattie scone on a toasted muffin, topped with Haig Club whisky gravy), as well as Deep-Fried Mars Bars.
65 Great Titchfield Street W1W 7PS & 9A Devonshire Square EC2M 4YN; macandwild.com
4 Roast, Borough Market
Head for Roast in Borough Market for an exclusive whisky pairing dinner, complete with bag piper and poetry, on Friday 25 January. After being welcomed with a Bobby Burns Chivas Regal 12 cocktail on arrival, you’ll be seated for a five-course menu, starting with a selection of canapés. You’ll dine on grilled Orkney scallop, roasted loin of Highland venison with haggis bon bons, a selection of Scottish cheeses and pickles, and finally, a classic clootie dumpling and custard. A variety of whisky pairings will highlight the smooth malty, chocolate flavour of Glenmorangie’s Signet in comparison to the fruity, citrus notes evident in the Dalmore paired with dessert. Tickets are £145 per person. Those dining on the standard three-course menu (£60) can also opt for a whisky pairing (£41), or can tuck into Executive Chef Paul Shearing Herdwick haggis doughnuts, served with The Balvenie & orange marmalade and malted ice cream.
The Floral Hall, Stoney Street SE1 1TL; roast-restaurant.com
5 Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly
Fortnum & Mason will celebrate Burns Night with a special evening of feasting, music and poetry, hosted in The Gallery restaurant in the Piccadilly flagship on 25 January. Following the ceremonial Selkirk Grace, a four-course feast will be served, showcasing the finest Scottish dishes paired with superb wines and fabulous whiskies. Expect the likes of Scottish smoked salmon with soda bread, haggis, neeps and Arran Victory tatties with whisky sauce and traditional ‘Atholl Brose’ cranachan (a dessert of oats, cream, whisky and raspberries). 7pm-10pm, priced £75.
181 Piccadilly W1A 1ER; fortnumandmason.com
6 The Glenlivet Glade at Rosewood London, Holborn
Rosewood is celebrating Burns Night in partnership with The Glenlivet – the first legally licensed distillery in Scotland and one of the biggest selling single malts in the world. Hosting the event within The Glenlivet Glade, Rosewood London’s magical winter woodland glade on the terrace. You’ll dine on a traditional Scottish four-course menu, including dishes such as Cullen Skink with oatmeal bread, Highland venison with haggis wellington and neeps and tatties, and The Glenlivet custard tart. Each course will be expertly paired with various whiskies from The Glenlivet, alongside a curated selection of wines. Priced at £145 per person.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
7 Craft London with Compass Box, North Greenwich
Following the success of last year’s festivities, Craft London and Stevie Parle are again teaming up with the award-winning boutique Scotch whisky maker Compass Box to celebrate the Scottish bard on 25 January. For £48, you can enjoy a bespoke four-course menu with five carefully chosen Compass Box serves, paired to every dish. The menu starts with a Squid Ink Rice Cracker, followed by Whisky Salmon and then – the pièce de résistance – Haggis Sausage with Lamb Saddle, Smoked Mash and Turnip & Whisky Sauce. For dessert, it’s Whisky Ice Cream with Aerated Custard and Oat Biscuit. Expect poetry readings, a traditional addressing of the haggis and much merriment. From 7pm.
Peninsula Square, Greenwich SE10 0SQ; craft-london.co.uk
8 Frank & Dean’s Hootenanny, Boisdale Canary Wharf
Boisdale – Scotland’s unofficial embassy in London – is one of London’s top spots for a Scottish celebration. You can toast Rabbie Burns at any of Boisdale’s four London restaurants (located in Belgravia, Bishopsgate, Mayfair and Canary Wharf) this month, but the hootenanny is reserved for Canary Wharf. Enjoy a three-course menu and live music courtesy of Frank and Dean (Iain Mackenzie and Steve Pert with the Pete Long Orchestra) and their unbeatable blend of swing classics, floor-filling classic pop and a few Scottish surprises along the way. Your haggis will be piped to the table in the traditional manner before the piper recites the Ode to a Haggis by Rabbie Burns. 24-26 January. Tickets from £59.50.
9 The Milestone Hotel and Residences, Kensington
To celebrate the very long tradition of Burns Night, the Stables Bar team at The Milestone Hotel and Residences is offering up a selection of whisky flights from 21-25 January. Choose from the the likes of the Peated Malts of Distinction Flight (Bowmore 12 Year Old, Highland Park 12 Year Old and Laphroaig 10 Year Old, £25), Macallan Trilogy Flight (Fine Oak 12 Year Old, Sherry Cask 12 Year Old and Double Cask 12 Year Old, £30) and Japanese Suntory Selection Flight (Yamazaki 12 Year Old, Hakushu 12 Year Old and Hibiki Harmony, £35). To accompany your flight of choice, opt for a selection of Scottish-themed canapes, including haggis croquettes and neeps and tatties cake, for an additional £12 per person.
1 Kensington Court, Kensington W8 5DL; milestonehotel.com
10 The Montague on the Gardens, Bloomsbury
Celebrate the birthday of the Scottish bard, Robert Burns, at The Blue Door Bistro at The Montague on the Gardens. On 25 January, The Blue Door Bistro will feature a traditional menu, including Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, with dishes from £16. You can also start the night with a wee dram of complimentary whisky when dining. Also, in The Leopard Bar, you can enjoy a whisky tasting from £25 per person. Often referred to as liquid gold, the not-so-humble whisky has been a cornerstone of pubs and bars across the world for centuries, but do you know your Scotch from your Irish, or your bourbon from your single malt?
15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 5BJ; montaguehotel.com
11 Roux at Parliament Square, Westminster
Renowned Michelin-starred chef, Michel Roux Jr, will be hosting the ultimate Burns Night dinner at his Westminster restaurant, Roux at Parliament Square. Guests are invited to join Michel for a Scottish-inspired five-course menu, developed by head-chef Steve Groves and paired with Balvenie Scotch whisky. Enjoy a welcome drink and canapés before sitting down to a Smoked Haddock Broth with confit egg yolk & barley, followed by Haggis, Neeps & Tatties complete with bagpipes and the traditional Burns address. Then, it’s Venison Loin with red cabbage and parsnip, before seasonal Scottish desserts of Rhubarb Cranachan and then a Clootie Pudding with clotted cream. Tickets are £130pp (£250 for 2 or £490 for 4). From 6.30pm on 25 January. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org
11 Great George Street, Westminster SW1P 3AD; rouxatparliamentsquare.co.uk
12 Galvin at The Athenaeum, Mayfair
Galvin at The Athenaeum – famous for its prized whisky collection – is honouring the life and work of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns with a five-course pairing menu that celebrates the greatness of Scottish tradition. Executive Chef William Baker will serve a supper to remember with Carpaccio of Orkney scallops, Loch linnhe prawn bisque and of course Haggis, neeps & tatties. Each course is paired with a dram of whisky carefully selected by award winning bartender Gennaro Schiano in collaboration with Elements of Islay, the lab-style Scottish malt whisky brand. The menu is £65 per person and available on Friday 25 January only.
116 Piccadilly, Mayfair W1J 7BJ; athenaeumhotel.com
13 The London EDITION, Fitzrovia
The London EDITION will transform its Lobby Bar into a celebration all things Scottish for Burns Night 2019. Mingle to the sound of London’s top Scottish Ceilidh five piece, Licence to Ceilidh, who put a fresh twist on traditional Scottish tunes and dances, before enjoying a special menu of Chivas Whisky-based cocktails (including Bobby’s Bru, influenced by, you guessed it, Irn Bru), and complimentary bites like haggis balls (veggie options available) and traditional shortbread. Other whisky cocktails include The Bard, made with Chivas 12, rhubarb bitter, cynar amaro and a cherry garnish, and the Sentimental Burns, made with Chivas 12, suze, rin quin quin aperitif and lemon juice (all cocktails are priced at £14). Meanwhile in The London EDITION’s intimate drinking den, Punch Room, you can bend your own whisky with experts from Chivas’ team. 7pm-9pm on 25 January.
10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia W1T 3NP; editionhotels.com
14 Mr Fogg’s Residence, Mayfair
Get kilted up this Burns Night for a traditional Scottish soiree at Mr Fogg’s Residence. You’ll be welcomed by the sounds of bagpipers for an evening of Glenfiddich-based libations, a communal toast to the haggis, the house Ceilidh band performing between 7.01pm and 9.01pm, and poetry recitals showcasing Robert Burns’ best works. In true Scottish spirit, all household staff will be adorning kilts and sporrans – and you’re encouraged to do the same! 7pm till midnight. Check out Fanny McGee’s Burns Night over at Mr Fogg’s Tavern in Covent Garden, too.
15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair W1J 6JD; mr-foggs.com
15 The Pear Tree Cafe, Battersea Park
Battersea Park will be filled with the sound of bagpipes as the Burns Night Whisky Sours & Lantern Procession leads through the towering trees to Pear Tree Cafe. The space will be decked out in tartan with thistles adorning the tables, where a five-course Scottish feast – featuring Scottish smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraiche; Hebridean scallop with Stornoway black pudding; Macsween haggis with bashed neeps and tatties; and cranachan – will be served. Meet at 7pm in the car park. Tickets £47. (Please note this event has sold out but you can email email@example.com to be added to the waiting list.)
Lakeside Cafe, Battersea Park SW11 4NJ; peartreecafe.co.uk