It's Burns Night this week, which is London's cue to start eating haggis, ceilidh-dancing, knocking back whisky and generally trying to celebrate as hard as Scotland does. So grab your favourite lads and lassies and raise a dram: it’s time to toast Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns at one of these five foot-stomping parties around London, whatever you're looking for.
The best Burns Night party for... Dancing
If you’re looking to shake your stuff Scottish-style, head to a Ceilidh Club Burns Night party where three hours of live music and dancing with a band and caller will be popping off. Expect the ‘Address to a Haggis’ at half time and a buffet to keep you fuelled until 11pm when ‘Auld Lang Syne’ will ring out to end the night. Hammersmith Town Hall. January 27-28 (also at Cecil Sharp House Friday January 27).
The best Burns Night party for... Feasting
Street foodies Kerb are putting on a Burns Hootenanny with all the essentials for a kilted knees-up: haggis, Highland-themed games, a whisky den, ceilidh and a poetry-slam corner. The Wild Game Co will have haggis-heavy mac ’n’ cheese and scotch eggs, while Ghetto Grillz will be serving chicken schnitzel filled with the stuff. Monkey Shoulder will have Scottish-themed cocktails on lockdown and the Monster Ceilidh Band will be bringing the beats. The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey. January 27-28.
The best Burns Night party for... Mending a broken heart
Forget romance, this ceilidh doubles up as a celebration of the organiser’s recent divorce. After having a ceilidh at her wedding, Jane Welsh felt it apt to mark its end with one too, so she’s throwing a massive party. All experience levels are welcome and kilts are encouraged but not compulsory. Money raised will go to charity and the evening will also celebrate the launch of the D-Word site, designed to support those going through divorce or separation.
Battersea Arts Centre. Friday January 27.
The best Burns Night party for... Drinking
Raise a glass to Rabbie at The Sun Tavern, where the bartenders have been busy concocting a selection of tasty whisky-based cocktails as a tribute to the great Scottish poet. Choose from an 1887, For Rhyme Nor Raisin or Deer Stalker tipple and accompany it with a haggis scotch egg from Pig & Hay. The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green. Wednesday January 25.
The beautiful St John-at-Hackney church provides a backdrop for this three-day extravaganza that’s had every ounce of Scottish fun you could possibly imagine squeezed into it. Expect heaps of neeps (and tatties), recitals of Robbie Burns’s poetry, live pipers, a giant haggis, fire-flinging and a huge, delightfully rowdy ceilidh.
St John-at-Hackney Church. January 26-28.
Still yearning for more Burns? Here's our round-up of the best Burns Night celebrations in London.
And for the full experience, get stuck in to one of the best Burns Night suppers in London.