The London Ceilidh Club is putting on Burns' night ceilidhs on the 17 / 18 Jan and the 1st Feb at Hammersmith Town Hall. 3 hours of dancing (all dances are explained), haggis, neeps and tatties, poetry and song. More info www.ceilidhclub.com
Burns Night in London
Burns without tears: the best venues for Burns Night suppers to celebrate Rabbie in style in 2015
© Ceilidh Club Ltd.
Every year on January 25 (which falls on a Sunday in 2015), Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, is celebrated with traditional food, verse, music – and drink. Even the Sassenach stronghold of London can’t resist the odd dram. Our food and drink editors have rounded up some of the best places to enjoy Burns Night suppers in the capital. It’s advisable to book early for all these events.
Burns Night suppers in the capital
Good for: kilt-wearers
Don your kilt to claim a free dram at this grand City restaurant, housed in an imposing neo-classical former bank built in 1776 – the year that Adam Smith published ‘The Weath of Nations’, and also the peak of the Highland Clearances. You can pay homage to Robert Burns’ life and works with a traditional three-course set menu (£45) accompanied by bagpipes, poetry recitals and whisky galore. Kilted men only, mind – tartan-skirted lassies don’t get the free dram.
- 1 Lombard Street, EC3V 9AA
- Fri Jan 23
Good for: classic dishes, value for money
The traditional menu at the Blueprint Café – a fairly priced £25 for three courses – will be served on Saturday 24 and has three choices at each course including cock-a-leekie soup or cullen skink (smoked haddock chowder), and haggis or seared sea bream. For afters, there’s clootie dumpling (steamed suet pudding) with clotted cream ice-cream. The presence of a piper will add drama to the atmosphere. Gaze out across the Thames and let the sounds of the pipes transport you to Loch Lomond.
- Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
- Sat Jan 24
Good for: the full McDonald with poetry and pipes
The three branches of Boisdale don’t hold back when it comes to Burns Night. From January 21 to 25 at the main branch (near Victoria station) will celebrate, culminating in a four-course supper on Sunday 25 featuring the best Scottish ingredients (£75 per person). Expect the full, unrestrained ceremony with piper and speaker to conduct the address to the haggis. You can also join the festivities at the two other branches, in Canary Wharf and the City, although menus and dates differ. The whisky selection alone, especially in Canary Wharf, makes Boisdale worth considering.
Boisdale Canary Wharf, January 24, £52-72 per person.
- 13-15 Eccleston Street, SW1W 9LX
- Thu Jan 22
Good for: the haggis haters
Perhaps you’re not partial to the traditional Burns Night dish but still want to tuck into a feast in Rabbie’s honour? Bonnie Gull has a £30 set menu starring fishy dishes with a Scottish twist – start with cock-a-leekie and champagne sabayon and move onto langoustine and scallop Cullen skink. Be sure to round things off with deep fried Mars bars – we’re not sure these were around in Mr Burns’ day, mind. The Bonnie Gull Seafood Café is also serving a special set menu.
Bonnie Gull Seafood Café, Jan 25, £30 per person
- 21A Foley Street, W1W 6DS
- Sun Jan 25
Good for: a Burns Night blow-out
Green’s is the place to go when you’re as minted as the Duke of Sutherland. The Burns Night menu is four-course plus canapés, and costs a sporran-stretching £75 per head. And if you’re really looking to push the Skye boat out, an extra £5 will produce a selection of cheeses to round things off. It’s not cheap, but with dishes such as chargrilled Scottish venison with dauphinoise potatoes, or halibut with squash gnocchi, joining the traditional cullen skink (chowder) on the menu, you’ll certainly be celebrating in style.
- 36 Duke Street, SW1Y 6DF
- Sun Jan 25
Good for: prolonged Burns Night partying
J Sheekey Oyster Bar will be extending the Burns Night festivities for a whole month, with a dedicated Scottish menu running until February 28. Find hand-dived scallops from the Isle of Mull on the menu, alongside traditional haggis. On Burns Night itself, the restaurant will have a piper greeting diners and will even be sending guests away with a small bottle of Chivas whiskey for the road.
- 33-34 St Martin's Court, WC2N 4AL
Good for: a wee dram with your dinner
King’s Cross acts as one of London’s most active gateways to bonnie Scotland, so celebrations will be swinging at the Great Northern Hotel nearby. Head to in-house restaurant Plum + Spilt Milk for a four-course menu for £60 a head, which includes whisky pairing with each course. Courses include a loin of venison followed by haggis, neeps and tatties.
- Great Northern Hotel, Pancras Road, N1C 4TB
- Sun Jan 25
Good for: a smokin’ Burns Night feast
Following last year’s success, this grand Victorian pub in Shepherd’s Bush will be hosting a repeat of its ‘Ashes, Smokes and Burns’ supper club on Saturday January 24 – with wood-fired flavours to the fore. The three-course meal is smokier than a reeky lum on Islay. It starts with a oak-smoked trout, followed by Scottish mutton haggis, slow and wood-roasted shoulder of lamb, smouldered garlic, neeps and tatties. Finally, cranachan (oat, raspberry and cream dessert) with applewood-roasted quince and Laphroaig whisky. A wide choice of wines and whiskies is available and the menu costs a moderate £30.
- 217 Uxbridge Road, W12 9DH
- Sat Jan 24
Good for: Burns without frills
The heritage of Dundee-born head chef Jeremy Lee inspires the à la carte menu at this fashionable restaurant and club on Burns Night. Haggis, neeps and tatties are on the standard menu (£17.50 for two courses, £20 for three courses), and to herald the great poet, a piper will walk the restaurant during dinner service on the 24th. A slightly more restrained Burns Night option that’s better suited to Ma Broons than Minnie the Minxes.
- 26-29 Dean Street, W1D 3LL
- Sat Jan 24
Good for: a wild time
This is one for the haggis fans in the house. The Wild Game Co will be serving up a different variety of haggis every day in the week preceding Burns Night, culminating in a meaty supper on Jan 24. Haggis will be sourced from the Highlands, with venison and wild boar further fleshing out the menu. Expect a piper and poetry as well as a sing-a-long at the end of the night.
- 65 Charlotte St, W1T 4PQ
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Hello, We're doing 5 Burns nights in London 2014 - 17/18/24/25 Jan and 1st Feb. All the info is at http://ceilidhclub.com/burns-night/ Cheers, Ed
Haggis dim-sum - good for them, but haggis ravioli - sounds disgusting. Just stick the mcsween's on the barbie, mash the tatties and add greens if turnip is a step too far. Mcsween's do fantastic vego haggis version that is really like the real thing. Give it a go at home and try reading out Burns, yourself, fantastic poet beautiful language, even if you're not sure what it means. If you're from Scotland you'd do Burns from Dec to Jan every year and have Burns competitions etc. Cranachan, hmmm.
The Albion in Goldsmiths Row hosts Burn's night every year with the Procession of the Haggis along with Greg the piper, and a free wee dram, Haggis, neeps and tatties for every one!!!! Not to be missed. The Albion 94 Goldsmiths Row Shoreditch E2 8QY