Burns Night in London: The best dinners, whisky tastings and events to celebrate Rabbie Burns

Bagpipes at the ready: Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings is set for a lively night  (Handout)
Bagpipes at the ready: Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings is set for a lively night (Handout)

Drams at the ready: Burns Night is just around the corner.

If you’re a Scot living in London who won’t be heading back north of the border on January 25 — or if you’re just in desperate need of a celebration to see out the last few days of the month — then the capital has plenty to offer.

From whisky tastings and ceilidh dancing to poetry recitals and opulent dinners, here’s where to raise a glass to Rabbie Burns.

Black Rock Tavern


There are few better places in the city to drink a dram or three than Shoreditch basement bar Black Rock, with an extensive menu that caters to thirsty beginners and seasoned veterans alike. For Burns Night, its upstairs hangout the Black Rock Tavern will be doing things a little differently, serving a limited-edition whisky sour barrel aged beer. Bit of a mouthful but it’s available for one night only, and a charity initiative launched in partnership with Hebridean distillery Bruichladdich, helping to fund clean water schemes around the world.

Jan 25, 9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS, blackrock.bar


It’s less Burns Night and more Burns Week at Boisdale — although you’d expect nothing less from the place that refers to itself as “Scotland’s unofficial embassy in London”, and is owned by Ranald MacDonald, the son of the present Clac MacDonald chief. Spreading its celebrations out from Monday to Saturday, across its locations in Canary Wharf, Belgravia and Bishopsgate, the festivities range from jazz nights to ABBA tributes, with a four-course dinner and whisky served throughout.

Various prices, Jan 24-29, various locations, boisdaletickets.co.uk

The Farrier

 (The Farrier)
(The Farrier)

The founders of north London boozer The Farrier — which has the claim to fame of being Camden Market’s first ever pub — are jumping in the kitchen for this “home-style” Burns Night supper. The three-course, sit-down affair starts with smoked salmon on tattie scones or leekie soup, followed by traditional haggis, neeps and tatties, and finishes with a “cranacotta” (a mash-up of panna cotta and the traditional Scottish dessert, cranachan). A range of Scotch-based cocktails will wash it down.

£22pp, Jan 27, Camden Stables Market, NW1 8AH, dice.fm


Carousel’s ever-rotating cast of guest chefs will take a turn for the Scottish on Burns Night, inviting four of the nation’s top chefs to take residence in the kitchen. Edinburgh restaurant Heron, Ullapool’s The Dipping Lugger and Glasgow’s Epicures will all be represented, with a modern menu that ranges from Orkney scallops with peated whisky, toasted barley ponzu, and preserved turnips to roe deer, haggis, neeps and tatties. Cocktails come courtesy of The Botanist gin and Bruichladdich whisky.

£75pp, Jan 25, 19-23 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RL, carousel-london.com



Canalside restaurant and bar Rotunda will focus on the whisky for its Burns Night shindig, taking guests through a night of single malt tastings led by an expert from Whyte & Mackay. They’ll be paired with Scottish small plates, from the classic haggis, neeps and tatties to heather roast salmon and ginger sponge with whisky cream.

£35pp, Jan 25, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk

Galvin Bar & Grill

The newest restaurant from Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin, Galvin Bar and Grill, will host a six-course dinner for Burns Night. Cured salmon, glazed Highland beef rib and Scottish fudge are all among the menu, with a selection of premium whiskies also on offer.

£45pp, Jan 25, 1-8 Russell Square, WC1B 5BE, galvinrestaurants.com

Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings


Pipers, poetry readings and ceilidh dancing — it’s all happening at this Clerkenwell celebration. A whisky cocktail reception will be followed by a traditional five-course supper, with cocktail and whisky pairings available for each dish. The Selkirk Grace will be recited and Auld Lang Syne sung before guests take to the dance floor. For those who don’t want to go all night, there’s also an hour-long whisky tasting taking place.

From £30pp, Jan 25, 42 Northampton Road, EC1R 0HU, bandhbuildings.com

FIELD by Fortnum’s

Hosted at the in-house restaurant at department store Fortnum and Mason’s, this four-course meal will begin with a haggis procession — the only acceptable way to bring it from kitchen to table, we say — and each dish will be imbued with Scottish flavours, from cullen skink (Abroath smokie haddock, leek and potato broth) to Dunsyre Blue cheese, made in Lanarkshire.

£90pp, Jan 25, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER, eventbrite.co.uk

Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill


Seafood institution Bentley’s might be famously run by Irishman Richard Corrigan, but the beautiful spot is laying on a four-course feast for Burns Night, kicking off in typical fashion: with a plate of Orkney scallops, black pudding and celeriac. It’ll be followed by a roast loin of venison, clapshot, haggis and spring greens, with whisky flummery and Scottish cheese. Be sure to dip into the restaurant’s excellent whisky collection for a dram, too.

£105pp, Jan 25, 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG, bentleys.org