The proud nation of Scotland has blessed us with many culinary delights over the years.
Not content with just running around the hills in tartan skirts yelling ‘Freedom!’ at any opportunity, they’ve been kind enough to provide us with Aberdeen Angus beef, smoked salmon, black pudding, Dundee cake, shortbread, macaroni pies, and many other gastronomic gifts (let’s just forget about deep fried Mars bars, shall we?). No Scottish food is as famous as haggis, however, a mélange of offal meats stuffed into a sheep stomach and proudly served at special occasions.
The most special of these occasions is Burns Night, an annual celebration of the life and works of Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns, Scottish poet and author of ‘Tam o’ Shanter’, ‘Ode to a Haggis’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Over the last 200 years Burns Night has become an international celebration for Scotophiles all over the world, who enjoy the opportunity to drink copius amounts of whisky, eat haggis with neeps n’ tatties, and recite poems in a Scottish accent. London has fully embraced this, and this year there are a record number of Burns suppers, caelidhs, and whisky bars all popping up for the weekend. Raise your dram and get involved!
Enjoy a traditional Burns Night Supper
The Truscott Arms
The Truscott Arms in Maida Vale are starting early with a Burns Night Dinner on Thursday 22nd January, hosted by Celebrity Masterchef finalist Hardeep Singh Kohli. Diners will be served a scotch whisky cocktail on arrival, followed by cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties, and a cranachan, before finishing with a tasting of Jura Whiskys. The menu is priced at £55 per person (entertainment from Hardeep Singh Kohli included).
L’Escargot are celebrating Burns Night with warming whisky cocktails and a traditional Scottish supper on Sunday 25th January, with a menu of dishes including homemade haggis served with neeps and tatties, Arbroath fish pie and Cullen Skink soup, followed by Scottish cheeses and whisky chocolates. The menu is priced at £45 per person.L’Escargot, 48 Greek Street, London W1D 4EF
Randall and Aubin
If you want to celebrate but can’t stand the thought of haggis, Randall and Aubin are putting a seafood spin on Burns Night with a special dish of mussels in a whisky, caramelised onion and peppercorn sauce served with fries and a premium beer for January, priced at £9.50.Randall & Aubin, 14- 16 Brewer St, London W1F 0SG
Boisdale of Canary Wharf
The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), has teamed up with King’s Cross restaurant T.E.D (Think.Eat.Drink), to create a Burns Night Supper menu paired with award-winning whiskies from 15th – 25th January. The five-course set menu will offer traditional Scottish food such as Cullen Skink, Mac Sween Haggis and Atholl Brose, while the award-winning whiskies will include Chivas 18, Glenlivet 12 and Islay Single Malt, White Horse and Balvenie Double Wood. The five-course set menu is priced at £38.50 per person, and the whisky pairing at £22.50 per person.
Marlybone’s Reform Social have put together a fitting Robert Burns tribute with a whisky tasting menu paired with Scottish-inspired canapés. The menu is named after Burns’ poem ‘Selkirk Grace’, with each line corresponding to a different whisky cocktail, while the canapés include mini haggis and pear tarts and whisky-soaked Dundee cake. The ‘Selkirk Grace’ tasting menu will be served throughout January, priced at £35 per person.Reform Social & Grill, Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Place, London. W1U 2BE
Hawksmoor Spitalfields is celebrating Burns Night 2015 with a party on 25th January at the Basement Bar, with five new cocktails on offer (created in collaboration with Chivas Regal) and a lamb and haggis nugget served with a peated kimchi dip. Both the cocktails and the nugget will be available from 25th to 31st January from the Basement Bar.Hawksmoor Spitalfields, 157A Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
York & Albany
York & Albany is going all out for Burns Night this year with a four-course Burns Night Dinner on 25th January, along with a Burns Night Cabin available for hire from 23rd – 25th January. The dinner involves a four-course menu from Head Chef Kim Woodward with Scottish inspired dishes, including Aberdeen Angus beef consommé, barley and truffle oil, black pudding Scotch eggs, roasted highland venison haunch, salt-baked beetroot with ‘neeps & tatties’ gratin, and a Tipsy Laird trifle. The Cabin can be hired for up to 12 guests, and a range of Burns-inspired drinks and snacks are available. The dinner is priced at £45 per person, while Cabin prices begin at £30 for two drinks and a selection of snacks.York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, London NW1 7PS
Get stuck into whisky
Victorian explorer Mr Fogg is hosting a Burns Night celebration in association with Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original Whisky on Saturday 24th January, to include whisky cocktails, haggis canapés, a poetry recital and bagpiping performances. Kilts and sporrans are encouraged.Mr Fogg’s, 15 Bruton Lane, London, W1J 6JD
SCOTCH at Browns Hotel
In celebration of Burns Night, SCOTCH bar at The Balmoral in Edinburgh will be popping up at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair for two weeks, from 22nd January until 8th February. The bar will feature an varied collection of 40 whiskies from Scotland’s traditional whisky regions including Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and the Lowlands, along with vintages dating back to 1940.Brown’s Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP
Rev JW Simpson
Reverend JW Simpson will be getting into the spirit of Burns night this year with a Spirited Sermons Scotch whisky cocktail masterclass on Tuesday 27th January 2015, hosted by Chivas brand ambassador Rachel Macdonald. Expect amusing anecdotes, Scottish music, and strong cocktails. Tickets cost £25 and include 2 cocktails and a tasting flight of 3 whiskys.
The Broadgate outpost of Gaucho are hosting an Art of Blending Whisky Masterclass on Friday 23rd January, led by Chivas’ Phil Huckle. You’ll learn how to blend together single malts and lighter grain whiskies from all over Scotland to create your preferred blend, which you can then take home. Tickets cost £25 per person, and include a cocktail and canapés.Gaucho Broadgate, 5 Finsbury Avenue, London EC2M 2PG