With the dark nights of dreary January comes reason to throw a spectacular Scottish shindig; here’s where we’ll be celebrating Burns Night in London
Words Jada De Cinque
As enamoured in Scotland as our very own Shakespeare in England, the birthday of Scottish bard, Robert Burns, is celebrated in raucous fashion each year on the 25th January with Burns Night suppers, an indecent amount of haggis and more than a fair few wee drams of whiskey. A pioneer of the Romantic movement and author of Auld Lang Syne, it seems fitting to don our tartan and toast the poet this Wednesday. Here are the best places in London to do so.
Where to celebrate Burns Night in London
Queen of Hoxton
For an evening of gastronomic delight in the WigWam, Queen of Hoxton’s Burns Night rooftop celebration is one to put on your radar. Prepare for a night of live traditional music, hot boozy drinks and hearty haggis. Guests will be welcomed by a kilted Scotsman performing an authentic and totally ridiculous Adress to the Haggis.
January 25; queenofhoxton.eventcube
Glenfiddich X Skylight Rooftop
Skylight at Tobacco Dock will transform its rooftop destination for one of London’s biggest Burns Night celebrations. They’ve teamed up with award-winning distillery Glenfiddich Whisky for a day of signature whiskey tipples, street food with a Scottish twist, entertainment from traditional Scottish musicians and a rooftop extravaganza of Scottish singing, dancing and storytelling.
January 25; skylight.designmynight.com
Progressive Hebridean Distillers (PHD) at Mr Lyan’s Cub in Hoxton will be showcasing a modern take on Burns Night. Craig Grozier, in-house chef for the PHD distillery and founder of the innovative dining concept Fallachan in Glasgow, will be taking the reins of the Cub kitchen. Native ingredients and Scottish staples will be taken to new dining heights with an inspiring set menu of five dishes (including a vegan option) and five drinks. Treat yourself to the signature cocktail of the evening, the Neo Caledonia. This martini-style drink has been created with both pine Port Charlotte and The Botanist and is topped with a pickled berry bringing foraged flavours of Scotland to life.
January 25; £75; lyancub.com
Home to traditional and creative cocktails and Scottish delicacies, subterranean whisky cocktail bar Iron Stag by Chef Adam Handling will feature a menu of special whisky-based drinks devoted to Rabbie Burns. Delight in signature Haggis Bon Bons and Cheese doughnuts exquisitely paired with whisky cocktail specials. Those taking part in Drink Up’s Scotch Whisky Weekend can enjoy the cocktails for £6.
Burns Night cocktails on offer January 22 – January 26; ironstagbar.com
The Jones Family
Devoted to Scottish shenanigans, The Jones Family has collaborated with the whisky giant Chivas and Compass Box to add a traditional touch to their Burns Night whisky-based menu. Indulge in a three-course feast taken to creative and traditional culinary heights, featuring haggis perfectly paired with whisky staples.
Celebrate Burns Night with an Indian twist! Indian BBQ restaurant and drinking tavern Brigadiers will serve one-off dishes, speciality Scotch whisky flights and a roaming bagpiper. On the night itself, guests will be welcomed with complimentary ‘Talisker Hot Toddys’ on the outdoor heated terrace accompanied by music from Scottish Bagpipers. Those who receive a Hot Toddy with a lucky gold stamp will receive a whisky vending machine card worth £75.
Dean Street Townhouse
This year to celebrate Burns Night, Dean Street Townhouse will tantalise the taste buds with a special three-course menu and whiskey cocktail. Delight in traditional haggis, neeps, tatties and all the trimmings with live bagpipers devoted to Scottish shenanigans.
January 25, £40; deanstreettownhouse.com
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
Celebrate Burns Night this year in the atmospheric ambience of The Savoy Beaufort Bar. ‘Drama’ cocktails take guests late into the evening with an array of Scotch whiskies, divided by the region. Pleasing both malt connoisseurs and curious neophytes alike, head bartender, Elon Soddu will invite guests drinks to sip on in style. Whiskeys will be served with aperitifs, liqueurs and Champagnes of your choice.
January 25; savoy-london/beaufortbar
Alberlour The Gallery
Delight in a whisky and beer pairing evening to celebrate Burns Night at The Gallery in West Hampstead. A dedicated drinks menu will flaunt the Alberlour’s most loved whiskies and Scottish beers, paired to create the ultimate boilermakers. Eccentric haggis tortellini followed by a cranachan mille feuille will fancy the palates of all. Wash this down with the drink of the hour ‘The Antidote’ which blends 10-year-old Aberlour whisky with zingy lemon and ginger syrup.
January 24 – January 27; ilovethegallery.com
Devonshire Club is hosting a special dinner with exclusively curated cocktails and a bespoke Scottish menu in honour of Robert Burns. World champion piper Matthew Supranowicz, of Shotts and Dykehead, will entertain guests throughout the evening while guests indulge in delicious Scottish smoked salmon, haggis with neeps and tatties, cullen skink fish pie, cranachan and of course, the deep-fried Mars bars to finish.
January 25; devonshireclub.com
Aqua Shard has designed a bespoke cocktail in honour of the traditional Scottish holiday. Scottish Milk Punch will be made using pineapple, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, lemon, Scottish earl grey tea, barley syrup and hot milk, blended together with Johnnie Walker Black. Needless to say, the drink will look just as good as it tastes!
January 25; aquashard.co.uk
J Sheekey Atlantic Bar
Burns Night has turned into Burns week as J Sheekey Atlantic Bar invites guests to toast the famous Scottish poet with two exclusive cocktails. Sip on a traditional Whisky Sour of Bowmore 15-year-old whisky, lemon juice and miraculous foamer, or Rob Roy, a blend of Auchentoshan single malt whisky, sweet vermouth and Benedictine liqueur. Alongside these tipples, a special dish of seared Isle of Mill scallops, spiced heritage carrot and haggis crust will be served.
January 25; j-sheekey.co.uk
The Glenlivet Glade at Rosewood London
Rosewood London has teamed up with Scottish whisky brand The Glenlivet to celebrate the big night. At The Glenlivet Glade, the iconic hotel will offer a traditional Scottish four-course menu – superbly paired with a range of rich, style whiskies from The Glenlivet and an exquisite selection of wines.
January 25, £145 per person; rosewoodhotels.com
Dine in a delightful three-course menu at 34 Mayfair. Guests will be treated to special dishes such as roasted Highland deer with haggis, neeps and tatties with a smoked whisky sauce and rhubarb cranachan with toasted hazelnuts and oats. A highlight of the night will be the 34 Mayfair Whisky Trolley serving guests some of the world’s most loved, unique and luxurious whiskies.
January 25; 34restaurant.co.uk
For one night only, Craft London will host a Burns Night feast paired with Compass Box subtle whiskies. Dishes are perfectly made with a touch of whisky to your liking.
January 25, £48; craft-london.co.uk
Visit Galvin HOP for a tasty four-course menu, complete with piper and poem reading to set the mood for the celebration. The Raspberry Cranachan, toasted oats topped with whiskey ice cream is one not to miss.
January 25; £38; Add a wine pairing for £35 extra or a whisky pairing for £45 extra; galvinrestaurants.com
Wine and dine at Wilton’s for a special Burns Night in London. Wilton’s are offering a tantalising menu and an admirable selection of French wines, along with The Balvenie 14-year-old Caribbean rum cask whisky to top off your traditional Scottish meal.
January 25, £85; wiltons.co.uk
The Jugged Hare
Step into London’s most-loved gastropub, The Jugged Hare for a traditional Burns Night supper. Feast on five scrumptious courses all Scottish inspired, featuring plenty of Haggis and wonderfully paired wines to match by Sommelier Gui Mahaut.
January 25, £75; Call to book: 020 7614 0134; thejuggedhare.com
Get ready for a good ol’ Scottish fling this Burns Night at Young Pubs with a complimentary taste of Laphroaig 10-year whisky. Distilled on the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, and rich with peaty flavours, Laphroaig is a fitting tribute to Scotland’s best-loved bard.
January 24 – January 27; youngs.co.uk
The Colton Arms
The Colton Arms in West Kensington is hosting a special Burns Night supper club. Spoil yourself with a delicious four-course menu paired with a flight of whisky. Dishes include a traditional clapshot and a raspberry and thyme Cranachan with a deep fried mars bar.
January 25, £40; thecoltonarms.co.uk
The Grill Room at Down Hall Hotel & Spa
Head to The Grill Room, an AA Rosette-awarded restaurant at Down Hall Hotel & Spa for a hearty feast like no other. Choose from whisky-cured salmon with dill mayonnaise and turnips or a meaty lamb rump with creamy mash and seasonal vegetables. For those with room for pud, a traditional Scottish cranachan will be served, made with cream, fresh seasonal raspberries and bolstered by Scottish oats and a wee dram of Scottish whisky from Oban distillery.
January 25; downhall.co.uk
Ardbeg Whisky at Swift
Bar Swift will celebrate Burns Night weekend with Ardbeg whisky, Scottish nibbles and live Gaelic music. Swift will be serving exclusive Ardbeg – An Oa, Uigeadail and Corryvreckan as house pours meaning you can have your Manhattan, or any classic, with a Scottish flair. In addition, guests will get the chance to sample the rare Dark Cove committee release 2016 – there are only a few bottles of this expression in the world. Free Scottish nibbles like smoked salmon and haggis will be on offer to keep you steady on your feet.
January 27; barswift.com