Winerist has fallen hard for Scotland this year and until we can find our way back north of the border, we’ll be taking advantage of a beacon of light in dreary January - finding an excuse to celebrate the life of Robert Burns this weekend.
While it may not be ready to rival St Patrick’s Day just yet, we’re spoilt for choice as the range of Burns Night events in London gets broader every year.
For example, if it's raucous ceilidh dancing and a haggis buffet you’re after you could try one of the many London Ceilidh Club events taking place across the city this weekend (see here for listings).
However, for Alex Mennie, Burns Night is a culturally imperative defence to any mutterings about the purgatory of dry January. So, if like him you’re more interested in the bounty that the Scottish larder (and drinks cabinet) has to offer, here’s his pick of the best events on offer this Friday and all weekend.
Friday 25 January
Burns Night at The London EDITION
Lobby Bar, The London Edition, 10 Berners St, Fitzrovia
Featuring live music from Licence to Ceilidh and a special menu of Chivas whisky-based cocktails, the luxurious surroundings of The Lobby Bar at The London Edition are the perfect choice for a lively but informal Burns celebration. There’ll be complimentary Scottish snacks and a range of Burns-inspired cocktails including Bobby’s Bru, featuring Chivas 12-year-old and coconut Irn Bru!
Live music 7-9pm, no reservations required.
CUB x PHD: Burns Night Feast
Cub, 153 Hoxton Street
A distinctly Lyan-infused ‘modern Burns Supper’ courtesy of chef Craig Grozier (Fallachan Dining). Tickets include all food (veggie and vegan options available) and drinks via Port Charlotte whisky and The Botanist Gin.
One night only, £75, book here.
Talisker at Brunswick House
Brunswick House, 30 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall
Join Talisker brand ambassador and award-winning bartender, Jason Clark, in the salubrious surroundings of Brunswick House’s 18th-century saloon for a three-course feast cooked by Jackson Boxer (St Leonards) and a guided whisky tasting.
Tickets, £55, available here.
The Glenlivet Glade
The Rosewood, 252 High Holborn
If you haven’t already been down to see the winter makeover of the Holborn Terrace, this is the ideal opportunity. For one night only, executive chef Calum Franklin will be serving a traditional menu featuring Highland venison and haggis Wellington (yum!) with each course paired with a Glenlivet single malt whisky (double yum!).
More information available here.
Glenfiddich at Skylight Rooftop
Tobacco Dock, Pennington St, Wapping
Aiming to host London’s biggest Burns Night celebration, Glenfiddich have teamed up with the Skylight Rooftop to bring signature Glenfiddich whisky cocktails, rooftop ice rink, traditional Scottish music and a rooftop ceilidh – don't be dashing too close to the edge there, sergeant!
Tickets are available here.
Burns Supper with Compass Box
Craft London, Peninsula Square, Greenwich
Four modern Scottish courses (think salmon, haggis and whisky ice cream) paired with two Compass Box whisky cocktails and two drams of their inimitable blended whiskies.
One night only from 7 PM, £48 per person, book here.
Tartan Party at Temper
Temper City, 2 Angel Court, 30 Throgmorton St
Photo credit: designmynight.com
Edinburgh-born chef Neil Rankin is offering a five-dish Scottish feast featuring haggis tacos, beef shin stovies, deep fried pizza with chippy sauce and a sprinkling of tablet to finish. Each course is paired with a whisky from the peated Port Charlotte of Islay to Speyside seductive and spicy Cragganmore 12-year-old.
Tickets £50-£95, available here.
Busy Friday? Fear not, these events run over the weekend as well...
Burns Night Cocktails at Iron Stag (22–26 January)
Iron Stag, 45-47 Hoxton Square
Self-declared ‘punk whisky’ bar Iron Stag has created an ode to the great ode-writer himself. The Mr Burns features Wolfburn Aurora whisky, rhubarb vermouth and orange sugar and will be available all week. Soak it up with their suitably Scottish snacks from chef Adam Handling, including the classic haggis bon bon and the best battered Mars bar you’ll find this side of the River Tweed.
Aberlour at The Gallery (24-27 January)
The Gallery, 190 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead
With a handpicked collection of 101 whiskies, The Gallery has a great selection for a neighbourhood bar and for Burns Night this year they’re adding a special boilermaker menu pairing some of the team’s favourites with craft beer. If that wasn’t enough, the Burns Supper menu features the delicious sounding haggis tortellini and cranachan millefeuille, all washed down with a range of Aberlour cocktails including ‘The Antidote’ with 10-year-old single malt, lemon and ginger syrup.
More information and bookings here.
Burns Week at Mac and Wild
Mac and Wild, 9a Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street & 65 Great Titchfield Street, Oxford Circus
London’s favourite Scottish restaurant chain, Mac and Wild is spending all week celebrating Robert Burns across both their sites with haggis making classes and haggis, neeps and tatties burger (available 21 Jan – 3 Feb). The main event, however, has to be the (traditionalists look away now...) ‘silent ceilidh’ at Devonshire Square on Friday 25 Jan.
All details here.
Has this article inspired you to visit the birthplace of the Bard of Ayrshire for his birthday? Then make sure to check this article on the best bars in Edinburgh before heading there, it will be highly useful once there! But if you plan a weekend getaway to Scotland, then it's a must for you to visit these distilleries near Edinburgh. Winerist can help you plan the perfect travel experience, so hurry to find your new adventure!