Burns Night London 2019 | Burns, Baby, Burns
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Just when you thought holidays couldn’t get any better than St. George’s Day (right??), in strolls Burns Night and informs you that it basically requires you to drink whisky and dance.
For those unfamiliar, it’s an annual celebration of the life of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. You probably belted out a verse of his most famous poem, Auld Lang Syne, a few weeks ago at New Year’s Eve. The man certainly enjoyed a good party, and traditionally a good Burns Night shindig involves whisky, haggis (which has a poem read to it), more whisky, bagpipes, kilts, sometimes a little dancing, and always a lot of merriment.
Here are the best places in London to celebrate the Ploughman Poet, from rip-roaring ceilidh dancing, to stirring bagpipe renditions, vast banquets, open whiskey bars, rooftop parties, and more…
The Ceilidh Club
For the Ceilidh Club, Burns Night is all about ceilidh. Crazy, huh? And given that they generally try to pull out all the stops anyway, to make this most sacred evening all the better they’re basically flinging the stops across the room. There’ll be a live band, a caller, an addressing of the haggis, and – surprise – some haggis (plus neeps & tatties).
Details: 19th, 25th & 26th Jan and the 1st and 2nd Feb | Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, W6 9JU | £25-37.50
Fiddle Paradiddle – also known as ‘London’s wildest ceilidh band’ – will be talking you through the moves at this ceilidh in an atmospheric Balham church, as well as providing some ‘nu-folk’ to dance to as the night wears on. Not before, of course, you’ve had a Burns night feast with haggis, neeps, tatties, and some sort of whisky based pud… They’re not animals.
Details: 26th January & 1st February | St. Thomas’ Church Balham, Telford Avenue, SW2 4XW | £25
Burns on the Barge | NUDGE PERK AVAILABLE
Barge East is a beautiful, 114 year old Dutch cargo vessel now moored in East London. And this Burns night, it’ll be shipping haggis, drams of whisky, and a three course Scottish feast directly to your mouth. You can expect live music, toasts to the haggis, and plenty of boat-rocking fun.
Details: 24th January | Sweetwater Mooring, River Lee, White Post Lane, E9 5EN | £35
B&H Burns Night Party
There’s nothing quite as quintessentially English as celebrating another culture’s national day slightly more fervently than your own. You know, just so they don’t feel bad and such. Which explains why the fine chaps at Bourne & Hollingsworth are putting on a traditional Burns Night in London, complete with a whisky cocktails; a dram-paired, five-course banquet; the addressing of the haggis; and live ceilidh dancing.
Details: 25th January | Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, 42 Northampton Road, EC1R 0HU | £80
You’ll want to watch out for Neil Rankin’s temper on Burns Night.
Because it’s at his City branch that he’ll be serving up a five-dish feast of haggis tacos and beef shin stovies, each paired with a dram of whisky, all alongside the prerequisite entertainments until 2am.
Details: 25th January | temper City, 2 Angel Court, 30 Throgmorton Street, EC2R 7HJ | From £95
Rhythm & Booze
Rhythm & Booze pretty much already sums up your typical Burns Night. But just to make their first one extra-special, the duo will be pairing their live music with an open whisky bar. Oh, and veggie haggis canapés.
Details: 25th January | Crol & Co, 77 Dunton Road, SE1 5TW | £50
Craft London | NUDGE PERK AVAILABLE
Craft London‘s description of their Burns Night Supper is extremely to-the-point: 4 courses, 5 whiskys. The whiskys come courtesy of Compass Box, and the courses come from head chef Thomas Greig. Expect great things.
Details: 25th January | Craft London, Peninsula Square, SE10 0SQ | £48
The Holborn Dining Room
Set within the Rosewood Hotel is the Holborn Dining Room. And set within that is the Glenlivet Glade, a star-lit cosily atmospheric cabin filled with fur throws and tartan. On Burn Night, they’ll be serving a four-course, whisky-paired dinner with dishes like venison & haggis wellington, and stewed pear with whisky custard.
Details: 25th January | The Holborn Dining Room, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN | £145
Skylight’s Closing Party | NUDGE PERK AVAILABLE
Skylight are closing out their winter period with a cray good value Burns Night party: for three pounds you’ll get a free whisky cocktail on arrival, some live bagpipers to welcome you, a special Highland dance performance, access to a whisky tasting, the traditional piping of the haggis, and a DJ all night. Not too shabby for the Rabbie.
Details: 25th January | Skylight, Penning Street Car Park, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | £3
Burns night at Galvin HOP – NUDGE PERK AVAILABLE
The Galvin Brothers may be French, but if anything that just means they have a special affinity for the Scottish and the two nations mutual love of England. So they’re wholeheartedly celebrating Burns night with a four-course feast at Galvin HOP, along with a piper and a poem reader…
Details: 25th January | 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY | £38
Burns Night at Cutty Sark
Little known fact: The 150 year old Cutty Sark is named after a Rabbie Burns poem (Tam o’Shanter), which makes it an extremely appropriate place to celebrate Burns Night. Slightly better known fact: you can head down to the gabled ship on Burns Night and get haggis, whisky, pipers, a performance of Tam o’Shanter itself, and a nice ceilidh dance underneath the huge copper-bottomed hull.
Details: 25th January | Cutty Sark, King William Walk, SE10 9HT | £35
The Lady Ottoline
Putting the ‘aye’ back in Ottoline, this Burns Night will see live bagpipes all evening, special Burns Night cocktails, an addressing of the haggis, and all the traditional food plus a little whisky ice cream thrown in there for good measure.
Details: 25th January | The Lady Ottoline, 11a Northington Street, WC1N 2JF | £30
Mac & Wild
Mac & Wild are one of the few actual, real-life, proudly Scottish restaurants in London. So as you might expect, they’re taking things up a notch, and putting on a silent disco ceilidh dance. Your tickets nets you not only the dance, but also whisky, haggis, neets, and tatties.
Details: 25th January | Mac & Wild Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YN | £25
The Sun Tavern
Scotland might not see a huge amount of the sun, but The Sun is seeing a fair bit of Scotland in the form of special Burns Night cocktail (the Tam o’ Shanter, just £6 all night), plus free haggis scotch eggs, poetry renditions from Tastes Of Ink, and a Scottish DJ to see the night out.
Details: 25th January | 441 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN
Like Scottish food? If not, don’t be so judgmental, it’s delicious. Here’s a restaurant that proves it.