Where to celebrate Burns Night in London
Whether looking for a Burns Night blowout or sit-down supper, discover where to celebrate on Thursday 25 January
Arguably the best known Scottish celebration, Burns Night is a crucial moment in the calendar of any self-respecting Scot, as people come together to pay tribute to the wordsmith and National Poet, Robert Burns. Famed for works including Auld Lang Syne – for many a Hogmanay and New Year’s Eve staple – and the ever-romantic My Love is Like a Red Red Rose.
Raised on handed-down tales of family connection to the Bard, his disinterment given a spooky spin to send chills up our young spines, unsurprisingly the Burns Night celebrations – from the dramatic Address to a Haggis, Toast to the Lassies, and ensuing theatrics – hold a personal note; a familiar celebration of storytelling and community.
For those yet to experience the revelry, venues across London will come alive on 25 January (the Baird’s birthday) and, whether looking for a Burns Night blowout or civilised sit-down supper, it’s a chance to discover a taste of quintessential Scottish fare, and raise a dram or two in Rabbie’s honour.
Read on to discover our roundup of places to celebrate this Burns Night:
Renowned for its considered, sustainable and small farm approach, impeccable sourcing and quality meat, it’s perhaps no surprise that Hawksmoor’s approach to celebrating the great poet is set to be a true Scottish tribute.
Partnering with Craigellachie to create a perfectly paired menu, Hawksmoor Wood Wharf will play host to Brand Ambassador, India Blanch, in its private dining suite. Throughout the evening, four courses of fare will each be paired with Craigellachie cocktails and exclusive drams, with dishes including Craigellachie-cured salmon crowdie and tattie scones; and 35-day dry-aged grass-fed sirloin, with bone-marrow skirlie, beef dripping Lorne sausages and whisky peppercorn sauce.
For a traditional experience that will sweep you to Scotland, head to Marylebone’s 108 Brasserie for a three-course feast worthy of Rabbie Burns. From Cullen Skink to Cranachan trifle, expect elevated classics made from carefully-sourced ingredients such as Scottish venison haunch and Isle of Mull cheddar croquettes.
Round off the evening with one of a trio of Scottish-inspired cocktails in the neighbouring 108 Brasserie Bar. For purists, The Whisky Highball combines The Dalmore 12yo with a choice of soda or ginger ale, while The Rusty Nail offers a robust mix of Fettercairn 12yo with the honeyed heather of Drambuie. Alternatively, for something a little different, The Bobby Burns blends The Woodsman Blended Scotch Whisky with sweet vermouth and D.O.M Benedictine.
For an evening of revelry, why not dust of your trews and head to The Libertine? Hidden beneath The Royal Exchange, the City of London venue – itself the site where the first royal alcohol licence in Britain was granted – will play host to a live band, with performances into the wee hours.
Enjoy smooth sipping drams and cocktails from host Johnnie Walker, or sign up for the full Caledonian experience; a three-course menu with Cullen Skink, Scottish Wild Venison, and Cranachan Parfait.
Alternatively, for a night of revelry, why not pay your dues to the poet at The Sun Tavern? Putting spoken word centre-stage in fitting tribute, there will be a traditional ‘Address To The Haggis’ and rendition or two of Burns’ best works, before Scottish fashion icon Pam Hogg takes to the decks with a late night DJ set.
As all that celebrating is thirsty work, libations will be available in the form of cocktails and drams from the evening’s partner Aberfeldy, with haggis canapes from Broadway Market stalwarts, Deeney’s.