The best Burns Night events in London

Tomé Morrissy-Swan
Where to celebrate Burns Night in London - VisitBritain RM

Burns Night, the annual celebration of the life of Robert Burns, Scotland's greatest poet, is held each year on his birthday, January 25. It sees revellers celebrate with a long night of food, whisky, poetry and dancing - and the inevitable bagpipes. 

The first recorded Burns Night was held in 1801, when a group of the poet's friends came together to celebrate the Bard of Ayrshire's life and poetry. 

My first exposure to the raucous festivities came when working as a bartender at a golf club in London. Once a year, the members would descend on the clubhouse to drink copious amounts of whisky, dance, and sing Auld Lang Syne. Particularly memorable was the Cuban chef who would don tartan to bring out the feted haggis. 

A typical Burns Night sees guest greeted by a pipe player. The dinner usually begins with the Selkirk Grace, includes speeches and a reading of Burns' Address to a Haggis. Dinner traditionally consists of Scotland's finest fare: perhaps a Scotch broth or cock-a-leekie soup; always haggis - which gets a grandiose, bagpipe-aided entrance - with neeps and tatties; and a cranachan (whipped cream with whisky, honey, raspberries and oatmeal) for dessert. 

Selkirk Grace

While festivities are widespread across Scotland, those south of the border are never far from a Burns Night celebration, and this year there are numerous events across London.

So, whether you're a homesick Scot or keen for an evening of whisky, haggis, poetry and bagpipes, here's our pick of the best Burns Night events across the capital. 

London's best Burns Night events

Burns Night Supper Club 

Where: The Pear Tree Cafe

When: 25th January, 7pm

Price: £39pp

The Pear Tree Cafe in Battersea Park hosts a traditional Burns Night supper. Guests arriving in the park will be met with the sounds of bagpipes and presented with a whisky-filled hip flask to ensure they stay warm.  

After a lantern-led bagpipe procession, a five-course Scottish feast will be served at the restaurant. The menu celebrates Scotland's finest produce: smoked salmon, Hebridean scallop with Stornoway black pudding, and of course haggis.

There will be the all the traditional poems and addresses, a rendition of Auld Lang Syne and a delectable cranachan for dessert. 

To book call 0207 978 1655 or email: hello@peartreecafe.co.uk

Profile | Robert Burns

108 Brasserie Burns Night menu

Where: 108 Brasserie

When: 25th January, from 5pm

Price: £45pp, £65 with whisky pairing

Ideal for whisky lovers, this three-course feast from Russell Ford's excellent 108 Brasserie features a whisky pairing with each dish. 

A starter of Cullen skink - a smoked haddock and potato soup - is followed by haggis, neeps & tatties. For dessert, the infamous deep-fried Mars bar, accompanied by Laphraoig 10-year old whisky. 

To book visit: www.108brasserie.com/events

Burns Night supper at Devonshire Club

Where: Devonshire Club

When: 25th January, from 6pm

Price: £35pp for three courses

Get all the Burns Night classics in the heart of the city at the Devonshire Club, a hotel and private members' club. 

Alongside the traditional cock-a-leekie soup, haggis and cranachan (as well as deep-fried Mars bars), diners will experience a performance from Matthew Supranowicz, winner of the 2015 world championship with his pipe band Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band. 

To book email: brasserie@devonshire.club

Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly plays host to Burns Night

Where: Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly 

When: 25th January

Price: £75pp

A super-traditional Burns Night from Fortnum & Mason. Starting with smoked salmon and soda bread, diners will be treated to the finest Scottish classics, with some top wine and whisky pairings to boot. 

If you're feeling the Caledonian spirit on the 24th, Fortnum & Mason will be hosting two whisky masterclasses hosted by Scotch experts. Expect to sample whiskies from Macallan, Highland Park, Laphroaig and other famed distilleries. Masterclasses cost £35 per guest. 

Click here to book dinner, or here for the whisky masterclass

A week of Burns celebrations at Mac & Wild

Where: Mac & Wild

When: 22-28 January

Price:£25-50pp

Mac & Wild specialise in bringing the finest Scottish fare to the public - think carefully sourced wild venison, smoked salmon and artisan haggis. 

So it's no surprise they're taking Burns Night celebrations to the next level with a week of Scottish fun. 

Mac & Wild's Irn Bru daiquiri 

There's a whisky and beer pairing on Monday; a haggis-making masterclass on Tuesday; whisky tasting on Wednesday; and of course Burns Night on Thursday - with an Irn Bru reception. 

To book visit: macandwild.com/burns

Burns Night at HIX 

Where: HIX Soho and HIX Oyster and Chop House  

When: 25th January

Price: À la carte

The HIX restaurant group is bringing some of the most enticing Burns Night food to London. At its Soho and Farringdon branches guests will be treated with dishes celebrating Scotland's seasonal produce, including Blackface haggis with bashed neeps and rack of Speyside roe deer with potato stovies and barberries. 

If Burns Night drinks are what you're after, Mark's Bar at HIX Soho and Hixster Bankside is rustling up an appealing cocktail: the Brose is a blend of Monkey Shoulder whisky, Temperley's ice cider, oatmeal brose, cream and heather honey water with cinnamon on top. And if that's not enough to tempt you, you'll be able to order themed bar snacks like haggis and neep croquettes. 

To book visit: hixrestaurants.co.uk

Burns Night celebrations at Craft London

Where: Craft London

When: 25th January, from 7.30pm 

Price: £48pp

Craft London, which received rave reviews in the Telegraph when it opened, is hosting what it promises will be a fun-filled evening of traditional Burns Night food and festivities. 

The restaurant is teaming up with boutique Scotch producers Compass Box, so expect some excellent tipple with your food. Chef Stevie Parle will be on hand to introduce each course, while Compass Box's team will guide you through the whiskies. 

There will also be poetry readings, the addressing of the haggis, and much more. 

Click here to book

Vegan Burns Night

Where: Emi's Good Eating, Hampstead

When: 26th January, 7pm

Price: £37.76

With veganism all the rage this January, it's unsurprising that a vegan Burns Night has popped up. If you're sceptical of missing out on the finest Scottish seafood or an offal-y haggis, fear not, as this night is hosted by the excellent supper club chef Emilia Leese.

Emilia Leese's haggis spice mix

On the menu is a vegan cock-a-leeky soup, haggis (minus the entrails), and a sticky toffee cranachan, proving that vegans can still celebrate Burns Night. 

As an added bonus, proceeds are going to Baraka Community Partnerships, a charity helping to support vulnerable children in Zambia. 

Click here to book

Whisky 101 at The Gallery

Where: The Gallery

When: 25th January

Price: Free

The Gallery is a fashionable West Hampstead bar that has recently become popular for its extensive whisky selection. Stocking over 100 whiskies, including some fine lesser-known Scotch, it's one of London's best whisky bars. 

This Burns Night the team have created a special menu showcasing Scotland's finest - and there's even whisky and beer pairing on offer. A raucous Burns Night is guaranteed. 

Made by the Sea at Aqua Shard

Where: Aqua Shard

When: 25th January

Price: £14

Made by the Sea cocktail

You won't get a better Burns Night view than the one from the 31st floor of The Shard, where contemporary British cuisine specialists Aqua Shard is located. 

 The team is putting together an intriguing cocktail celebrating Scotland's most famous exports, whisky and smoked salmon. 

The Made by the Sea features Talisker 10 whisky from the Isle of Skye, a lapsang tincture, lemon juice and egg white. Its garnish is daring, featuring maple syrup fat washed smoked salmon and dried trout skin and trout roe. 

To book visit: aquashard.co.uk

When Mr Fogg's Met Robbie Burns

Where: Mr Fogg's, Mayfair

When: 25th January, from 5pm

Price: Minimum spend of £25pp for groups of four or more

The eccentric Mayfair boozer is going Burns crazy this year. 

There'll be bagpipes aplenty, poetry recitals, and delicious haggis pops (a deep-fried haggis snack) provided by Mac & Wild. The finest whiskies Glenfiddich have to offer will be available, and all staff will be in full Scottish attire - with guests strongly advised to follow suit. 

To book visit: mr-foggs.com

A bagpiper at Mr Fogg's 

Burns Night Supper & Ceilidh

Where: Hammersmith Town Hall

When: 19, 20, 26, 27 January, 3 February

Price: £36.50

If you want to guarantee some dancing on your Burns Night, head to Hammersmith Town Hall. All the Burns Night traditions will be observed, with food served at the buffet. 

On top of the food, poetry and piping, there's dancing - a full three hours of it. And if you've never been to a ceilidh before, or are a terrible dancer, don't worry as you'll get all the instruction you need. 

To book visit: ceilidhclub.com

Burns Night at Pollen Street Social

Where: Pollen Street Social

When: 25-26 January, from 7pm

Price: £135pp

For the Michelin-starred Burns Night experience, your best bet is this offering from Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social. 

Alongside the traditional Burns Night fare, you'll get Isle of Mull langoustine, braised oxtail and paired cocktails for each course - watch out, there are nine of them. 

To book call 020 7290 7600

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