Eight Burns Night events in London to help you get your Scots on
When it comes to winter holidays, Burns Night might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But the tradition of celebrating Scotland’s most famous poet on 25th January has been a staple of social calendars north of the border for 200 years. For some, the evening presents an opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s rich cultural heritage. For others, it’s a once-in-a-year chance to dive into some haggis. We’ve rounded up some of London’s best Burns Night suppers, for everyone from the most hardcore poetry fanatic to newcomers to this great British tradition.
A hip-hop take from James Cochran at 12:51
Chef James Cochran will be taking guests on a Burns Night tour true to his Scottish heritage and 12:51’s contemporary Islington setting. The menu will include such Scots delights as Cullen Skink, a rich soup of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, and Cranachan, a favourite dessert made of oats, double cream and raspberries. But the music will depart from the traditional Scottish bagpipes and reels; Cochran has prepared a playlist featuring Nas, Jay-Z and Luniz. Cochran said: “Being half Scottish, roots in the Caribbean and my heart firmly in London, I wanted to create a Burns Night that played with all these elements and ultimately, celebrated the love of good food, drink and friends to enjoy it.” Award-winning author Candice Carty-Williams will read the Address to the Haggis, the classic Burns Night poem.
Burns Night Supper at 12:51 will be served from 6-11pm. Tickets are £100, including all food and two complimentary drinks. For further information visit 12:51’s website here.
Classic Burns Night supper at The Clove Club
At Shoreditch’s go-to spot for modern, low-key British cuisine, Scottish chef Isaac Mchale is devising a Burns Night menu inspired by the wild foods of the Highlands and reinterpreting old Scottish recipes. The festive food will include Parton Bree with Spider Crab and Velvet Crab, and a Haggis and Orkney Clapshot – a take on the classic Scottish mash of swedes, potatoes and chives. The stylish dining room will be the setting of this festive occasion. Don’t miss it.
Burns Night supper at the Clove Club will be served on 25th January at £145 a head. For further information and to make a reservation visit the Clove Club’s website here.
A game and inventive take from the Harwood Arms
Photos: Stefan Johnson
At the Harwood Arms in Fulham, Sally Abé will be serving up a three-course Burns Night meal for both lunch and dinner, riffing on the classic dishes for a game-orientated twist. The chef lauded as the “Queen of Game” will centre her Burns Night offering on venison, putting the expected haggis into the first course in the form of “haggis faggots”. The meal will conclude with chocolate malt cake and a whisky ice cream, ensuring that all guests to London’s only Michelin-starred pub will come away feeling contented.
The Harwood Arms’s Burns Night meal will be served at both lunch and dinner on the 25th, and costs £50 a head. For further information or to book a table, email email@example.com or call 020 7386 1847.
A five-course feast from Corrigan’s
In celebration of Burns Night, Richard Corrigan’s eponymous restaurant off Park Lane will be hosting a night to remember with a special 5-course menu and a carefully chosen whisky flight to match – both highlighting the best Scotland has to offer. Sample dishes will include Baked hand dived Orkney scallops with seaweed butter; Aberdeen Angus beef wellington served with haggis, neeps and tatties; and Citrus poached rhubarb with potted cream, clementine and pumpkin crunch. They’ve even got Corrigan’s trusty and multi-talented doorman, Paddy, on the bagpipes and reciting the Address to the Haggis.
Burns Night at Corrigan’s will take place for one night on 25th January. Tickets are £75 plus an additional £35 for the whisky flight. For further information or to book a table visit Corrigan’s website here.
A whisky-tastic Burns Night at Hide
For one night only, Hide Below at Hide in Piccadilly will be holding a whisky tasting in honour of Burns Night. Oskar Kinsberg’s award-winning cocktail bar will have a selection of canapés and bowl food, but the focus will be on the drinks. Colin Dunn, Whisky ambassador for Diageo, will guide guests through five rare whiskies. The drinks on offer will be unlike any whiskies to be found elsewhere: collectively aged over 141 years, three of the five are from distilleries that no longer exist (Dallas Dhu, Carsebridge and Pittyvaich), and other offerings include a Teaninich selection from 1973. The evening will include an address to the haggis. If it’s seasonal drinks you’re after, Hide Below has you covered and then some.
Burns Night whisky tasting at Hide Below will take place on 25th January at 6pm. Tickets cost £195 including a welcome cocktail. For further information or to book, visit here.
Celebrate Burns… on a boat!
In honour of Burns Night, Bateaux London are hosting an elegant Scottish feast on one of their river boats.The three-hour journey will take diners from Embankment Pier along a tour of the city’s riverside attractions, passing the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. Accompanied by a violinist and pianist, guests can dine off ultra-traditional Burns Night fare, centred on the classic baked haggis with neeps and tatties (that’s swedes and potatoes, for the uninitiated). With wine included for a reasonable price, this is set to be an unmissable Burns Night occasion. Unless you get seasick easily…
Bateaux London’s Burns Night dinner will be served on 25th January, starting at Embankment Pier. Tickets start at £79. For more information or to book, visit Bateaux London’s website here.
A fast-food take from Byron
For the first time ever this year, Byron will bring its haggis-inspired seasonal menu down from Edinburgh to London, giving English fans of the burger chain a taste of the Highlands. Their classic menu will feature three new additions: the Auld Smokey, a beef patty with haggis, melted Cheddar cheese, bacon and barbecue sauce; Haggis Loaded Fries with crispy onions, pickled onions, cheese and gravy; and an Irn Bru milkshake (“sounds weird, tastes delicious”). Not the most traditional Burns Night offering, it certainly promises to be interesting.
Byron’s Burns Night menu will be served from 24th-26th January, exclusively at its Covent Garden restaurant, 33-35 Wellington Street. For further information or to book a table visit Byron’s website here.
Burns Night… in the City
For those of you who wish to celebrate but need to stay close to their office jobs, or simply because you enjoy the evening charm of the City, 1 Lombard Street is hosting their annual Burns Night on both Friday 24th January and Saturday 25th January (it’s normally closed on the weekend but a night was added due to demand) Kicking off at 7pm with a bagpipe performance, a three-course dinner will be served (£48pp excluding drinks) with choices including Cock-a-leekie Soup or Smoked Salmon Scotch Egg; Haggis, Neeps and Tatties or Macdrunken Prawns with Lentils and Wild Mushrooms; and Cranachan or Rhubarb and Oatmeal Crumble. At 8.30pm guests will enjoy a performance of the traditional Address to the Haggis, followed by a toast to the Haggis.
Burns Night at 1 Lombard Street will be served from 7. Menus start at £48 excluding drinks. For further information visit 1 Lombard Street website here, call 020 7929 6611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonus: Burns Night at Adam Handling Chelsea
Photos: Tim Green
Adam Handling, one of London’s most successful young restaurateurs, is a Scotsman, and his restaurant Adam Handling Chelsea will be serving Haggis Wellington with Crispy Neeps & Tatties and Craigellachie Whisky Sauce on the à la carte menu throughout the evening of the 25th.
The building itself is steeped in British history, having been the London pied-à-terre of Oscar Wilde and the home of bohemian socialite and actress Lillie Langtry – the restaurant is set in what was once Lillie’s dining room. At the adjoining bar, guests can enjoy a dram or two from the large range of whiskies available or an exclusive Burns Night whisky cocktail.
Burns Night à la carte meal will be served at Adam Handling Chelsea on 25th January. To book a table, visit Adam Handling Chelsea’s website here. For specific enquiries or large groups, call 020 8089 7070 or email email@example.com.
The editorial unit