Dig out your kilts and sporrans and start practicing your ode to a haggis. 25 January marks the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns, and with it that annual excuse for a party we know as Burns Night. Whether you’re wanting a whisky or feeling poetic, we’ve gathered together a wealth of celebratory options. We’ll be keeping it updated with any more that we come across, so let us know in the comments if we’ve missed something good.
The Anglesea Arms, Ravenscourt Park
Australia’s national day falls the day after Burns Night and so The Anglesea Arms has decided to merge Scottish and antipodean flavours on a special menu for the weekend. Dishes will include raw Scottish salmon with horseradish, dill crème fraîche, passion fruit, cucumber and cress alongside a main of haggis washed down with a list of Australian wines and Scottish whiskies.
The Anglesea Arms, 35 Wingate Road, W6 0UR
Boisdale, Canary Wharf
Scottish restaurant Boisdale is holding a Burns Night hootananny on Saturday 24 January. There’ll be pipers to welcome guests, poetry and an ode to a haggis, as well as a three-course Scottish feast and live music all evening. Dishes include oak smoked salmon, venison scotch egg and cranachan — plus the all-important haggis. Tickets start at £52.
Boisdale, Cabot Place, E14 4QT
Bonnie Gull Seafood Café, Clerkenwell
This breezy Exmouth Market spot channels the feeling of being beside the seaside and its Burns Night menu doesn’t have a haggis in sight. Instead it will be offering a £30 menu of Scottish seafood, including cock-a-leekie with Champagne sabayon, langoustine and scallop cullen skink plus a (fish free) deep-fried Mars bar. Read our review of Bonnie Gull.
Bonnie Gull Seafood Café, 55-57 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QL
Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair
22 January-8 February
Brown’s sister hotel The Balmoral in Edinburgh has a dedicated whisky bar called SCOTCH. To mark Burns Night it will be popping up in London for two weeks, from 22 January to 8 February. The bar will serve 40 different types of whisky, including the exclusive Glenmorangie Pride 1978 at £400 a dram.
Brown’s Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
Burns Baby Burns!, Hackney
Billed as London’s liveliest Burns Night, this three night fest held at St John’s church in Hackney Central is once again running across the Burns weekend. It features a traditional three-course dinner including haggis, a whisky bar, a corner dedicated to Rabbie Burns’s poetry, a troop of pipers and — slightly dangerous-sounding — fire dancing. Tickets start at £45 including three courses and a dram of whisky; tickets for the event only (without food) cost £20.
St John At Hackney, Lower Clapton Road, E5 0PD
The Burns Club Of London Wreath laying and lunch, Embankment
What better organisation to mark the bard’s birthday on 25 January than the Burns Club of London? The group will be gathering at his statue in Victoria Embankment Gardens close to midday where a wreath will be laid, pipe music played and poetry read. The celebrations will then move to nearby pub The Sherlock Holmes for a Haggis supper and drinks. Non-members are welcome, but booking is essential.
Ceilidh Club Burns Night, Hammersmith
Unsurprisingly, Burns Night is a pretty big deal for London’s Ceilidh Club. It always puts on one of the capital’s biggest nights and this year is set to be no different. The event starts at 7pm in Hammersmith Town Hall and includes more than three hours of dancing interrupted only by a buffet bulging with haggis (including a vegetarian option), neeps and tatties. Tickets cost £29.50 and must be booked in advance.
The Cutty Sark, Greenwich
A three-course Scottish feast — including celeriac soup with black pudding; haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky gravy; and a shortbread whisky trifle — will be served on Friday 23 January. It's priced at £40 with complementary background piping.
The Cutty Sark, 4-6 Ballast Quay, SE10 9PD
The Duke’s Head, Putney
This pretty riverside pub is celebrating Burns Night with a Saturday night dinner and whisky tasting. The three-course menu (£32) features Arbroath smokie pâté followed by haggis with neeps and tatties and a pud of deep-fried Mars bar with Chivas whisky. There’s the option of taking part in a tasting of Glenfiddich whiskies after dinner for an extra tenner.
The Duke’s Head, 8 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JN
Mr Fogg’s, Mayfair
Head down to this eccentrically decorated cocktail lair on the Saturday before Burns Night and you’ll be treated to a bagpiper and — to make up for it perhaps — a snifter of Glenmorangie 10 year old whisky. There’ll also be haggis canapés, and men are being encouraged to wear kilts.
Mr Fogg’s, 15 Bruton Lane, W1J 6JD
A bar party (with free entry) will mark the Scottish poet’s birthday at the original Hawksmoor restaurant — expect Scottish music, cocktails and canapés. At the heart of its offerings are lamb nuggets with haggis, black pudding, swede purée and a gooey cheese centre, served with a whisky-inspired peated kimchi dip. They will be available from 25-31 January, along with cocktails made with Chivas Regal whisky.
Hawksmoor Spitalfields, 157a Commercial Street, E1 6BJ
A Scottish-themed night of revelry at fun-time Brixton bar Hootananny is being headlined by Scottish ‘medieval rock band’ Saor Patrol who come complete with pipes, drums and kilts. Entry is free before 10pm, and £4 after.
Hootananny, 95 Effra Road, SW2 1DF
Karamel, Wood Green
This early Burns party is being billed Not Quite Burns Night, which we’re not sure is due to the alternative line-up or the date. Laid on by Francis Boutle Publishers, expect an evening of poems, songs and odd stories — including some in the Tarbolton dialect of Robert Burns himself — from 6pm. The bar at vegan restaurant Karamel will feature several Scottish whiskies, while food available includes vegan haggis.
Karamel, 4 Coburg Road, N22 6UJ
Kerb streetfood, Hackney
The Kerb Clubhouse in Hackney Wick will be donning its tartan on Saturday 24 January for a night of Scottish food, dancing, drams and alternative Highland Games. The £35 ticket (or £40 on the door) includes five courses of Scottish street food — including haggis, neeps and tatties from Cast Iron Kitchen; venison, steak and clapshot from Wild Game Co; a haggis burger from Bleecker St; and battered smoked haggis with jalapeno cheese and ‘baconised kale’ from BBQ Lab — plus a whisky cocktail. There’ll also be a bar for buying more drinks, a ceilidh band and welly wanging. It runs from 6-11pm, tickets here.
The Clubhouse, 105 Monier Road, E3 2PS
M Grill, City
City steak joint M Grill will be embracing the best of Scotland on Saturday 24 January with a special dish of Aberdeen Angus short rib marinated in Glenmorangie served with a whisky cocktail for a total of £30.
M Grill, 2-3 Threadneedle Walk, EC2R 8HP
Recently launched Chelsea restaurant Rabbit will be putting on a special Scottish menu on the Saturday night before Burns Night. Dishes will include a homemade haggis from the three Gladwin brothers who run the restaurant: farmer Gregory, chef Oliver and front-of-house Richard.
Rabbit, 172 King’s Road, SW3 4UP
Randall & Aubin, Soho
Somewhat unconventionally, Burns Night is running all month at Randall & Aubin. The restaurant will have a monthly-changing seasonal dish on the menu throughout the year, and in January it’s Scottish-themed. Pop in for mussels in a whisky, caramelised onion and peppercorn sauce, served with fries and a beer for a resoundingly reasonable £9.50.
Randall & Aubin, 14-16 Brewer Street, W1F 0SG
The Spread Eagle, Camden
Visit this Camden gastropub on Burns Night for a well-priced three-course meal of Scottish classics along with a whisky blending masterclass. £35 includes cullen skink, either an Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak or haggis, and cheddar, oatcakes and chutneys to finish. You’ll then be able to create your own take on a Chivas whisky to round the night off along with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
The Spread Eagle, 141 Albert Street, NW1 7NB
Streetwise ceilidh, Camden
Streetwise Opera is celebrating Burns Night with a traditional ceilidh, raising funds for its work with homeless people in the process. The event is held from 7pm on Thursday 22 January, and is open to dancers of all abilities. Drinks and traditional Scottish food will be available to buy on the night. Tickets cost £17 in advance, or £20 on the door.
Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 7AY
T.E.D., King’s Cross
Ethically-minded T.E.D. restaurant has teamed up with the International Wine and Spirit Competition to create a five course Scottish menu paired with award-winning whiskies. Dishes will include cullen skink, haggis and atholl brose, while the whiskies will feature Chivas 18 year old, Glenlivet 12 year old, and Balvenie Double Wood. The pairing menu costs £59 for food and whiskies.
T.E.D., 47-51 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, N1 9BU
The Truscott Arms, Maida Vale
Burns Night is coming early at this gastropub near the canal, with dinner, drinks and laughs on the menu. The evening will be hosted by comedian, MasterChef finalist and Scot Hardeep Singh Kohli, who will preside over a three-course meal of cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties, and cranachan. Included in the £55 booking price, you’ll also get a whisky cocktail on arrival, and a tasting of several different ages of Jura whisky to finish. Read our review of The Truscott Arms.
The Truscott Arms, 55 Shirland Road, W9 2JD
Vinopolis, Borough Market
23 -24 January
Indulge in a tasting of four Scotch whiskies followed by a slap-up Burns Night supper at Vinopolis on Friday 23 January. The evening costs £60 and starts at 6.30pm with a whisky cocktail reception complete with piper, followed by the tasting and a three-course dinner with haggis as its centrepiece. Then on 24 January, you can take advantage of a deal that combines a wine tasting — sorry, no Scottish wine — with an on-site Burns Night ceilidh, all for £35 including drinks tokens.
Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, SE1 9BU
The White Horse, Parson’s Green
Renowned beer pub The White Horse is joining forces with Scottish brewery BrewDog to celebrate Burns Night on the Friday before the big day. It will lay on a four-course meal of cullen skink; haggis, neeps and tatties; cranachan; and cheese, along with a specially-matched glass of BrewDog beer with each course. The meal kicks off at 7.30 and costs £40; a glass of Dead Pony Club pale ale on arrival and live entertainment all evening is included.
The White Horse, 1-3 Parson's Green, SW6 4UL
The Wild Game Co, Fitzrovia
Indulge in all things north of the border at Scottish game dealer The Wild Game Co’s pop-up in Fitzrovia. It will be even more Scotch than normal on Saturday 24, when the evening will feature the piping in of a haggis followed by poetry readings and an Auld Lang Syne sing-a-long. A set £30 menu will include Highland venison alongside haggis.
The Wild Game Co, 65 Charlotte Street, W1 4PQ
The Wilmington, Clerkenwell
Newly refurbished pub The Wilmington is hosting an early night of whisky, poetry and haggis to mark the bard’s birthday. The Thursday evening event costs £45 and includes four courses, a whisky cocktail to start and a dram of Dalwhinnie to finish. Poetry readings and an ode to the haggis will also feature.
The Wilmington, 69 Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4RL
For less organised — but suitably Scottish — fun, try seeking out one of these excellent whisky bars.