With Twelfth night past it’s time to dig out your tartan, invest in some good whisky and sweat out the festive excess with a bout of ceilidh dancing. Here’s a selection of Burns Night events around London, in date order.
The Burns Club of London must surely run the best Burns Night in town, with 140 of them under its belt. This year’s formal dinner on Saturday 22nd January at The Caledonian Club, Halkin Street SW1 features eminent speakers for the traditional toasts and poems, songs, Scottish dancing and recitations plus 2 hours of lively ceilidh dancing for everyone. Open to members and guests, tickets are £75 and you should fill in the booking form sharpish.
‘Lairds and Lassies’ are invited to don black tie with a twist of tartan for a night reeling at the Royal Commonwealth Society, Trafalgar Square on Saturday 22nd January. This fundraiser in memory of LAFF campaigner, Hannah Barrett, offers tickets at £30, to include live ceilidh band and caller, an Elderbubble cocktail on arrival plus canapes, 6.30-11pm.
Hackney Cyclists invite you to their 15th annual fundraising Burns Night Supper at Sir Thomas Abney School, Stoke Newington N16 on Saturday 22nd January. Dinner, party pieces and recitations proceed ceilidh dancing to local band The Muckers. You are invited to “let off a bit of steam in the dark days of winter”. Dinner and dance ticket £20. From 7pm till midnight.
Brixton Hootananny lays on the Burns Night Superhoot headlined by Scottish band Schiehallion with pipes bodran, drums, accordian fiery and vocal Scots. The Effras also play, ensuring the Londonist interests of trains, lost rivers and living in SE19 are also catered for with a dash of burlesque and rock n roll too. Saturday 22 January from 9pm-3am, free.
The London Hibs Supporters take over the huge Penderel’s Oak pub at Holborn on Saturday 22nd January with “top notch neeps and tatties” plus a coachload of ex-players and staff from the club. You must book in advance and it’s probably best if your’e a genuine Hibs supporter. Check the forum out for ticket details.
Aside from their festival dinner, the Burns Club of London lay a wreath annually at the statue of Robert Burns in Victoria Embankment Gardens on 25th January at 12.30pm.
Greens Restaurant and Oyster Bar on Cornhill, EC3V 3ND punts a fine Burns Night Supper menu for Tuesday 25th January. Book now: 2 courses are £32.50 but don’t forget you’ll need to fork out for your whisky too.
If laughing is more your thing than prancing, you need the Burns Night Comedy Gala at Leicester Square Theatre on Tuesday 25th January. The Scottish connection is via the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival of which this is a meaty and mighty showcase. Acts confirmed include Robin Ince, Josie Long, Arthur Smith and more. Tickets £13.50, show starts 8pm.
Gorgeous Middle Temple host a Highland dress or black tie Burns Night Ball on Saturday 29th January from 7pm. You could do the whole shebang, drink Champers and dine in style (£95) or be a ‘non-diner’ (£45) and join the party at 9.30pm for music and dancing till 1am. If you’re truly afeard of the ceilidh steps, “Master Sharp has kindly agreed to host his dancing lessons again on Monday 24 January in Hall at 6pm. Tickets cost £10 each and include a one course supper and glass of wine.” A chance to get a real flavour of what it’s like inside the Temple? Download the quaint Word doc application form and try your luck.
Catering for the crowds that throng to their club nights, The Ceilidh Club run a string of Burns Night shindigs at Hammersmith Town Hall, W6. These always sell out so look sharp: Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd, Friday 28th, Saturday 29th January and Saturday 5th February. Doors at 7pm, dancing at 8pm – get there early so you don’t get caught queueing for the door or the cloakroom. Haggis, neeps and tatties for all on paper plates. Tickets £25 (£13 concessions).
Big Scottish restaurant The Albannach at Trafalgar Square is still finalising its Burns Supper menu – details follow this week so check the website.
What have we missed? Let us know about Burns Night events happening in your locale in the comments.