Take a cup o’ kindness this Burns Night. Actually, it’s a birthday party, so take several of them!
January 25th is Burns Night, the day we don our worst Scottish accents to celebrate the birthday of the poet Robert Burns. Here he is, looking fly.
Hoping to honour the Bard of Ayrshire this Thursday? We’ve found some tartantastic Burns Night events that will let you do just that.
1. Enjoy a Highland feast
Whilst Burns Night is so often about the haggis, that “great chieftain o’ the pudding race”, there are other saucy Scottish dishes on offer. At the Devonshire Club, you’ll find the usual haggis, neeps & tatties, but dessert is a real treat: whisky-laced coffee, served with a deep-fried Mars Bar. Add in entertainment from a world champion bagpiper, and it’s a steal at £28 for two courses or £35 for three.
Meanwhile, Craft London have partnered with Compass Box whisky to lay on a feast. Head chef Stevie Parle, a rising star in the London food scene, has created a five-course menu, and each dish is paired with a glass of Compass Box’s craft whiskies. Not to be outshone, Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen have put together a six-course meal with the help of the Balvenie distillery. Six malt whiskies and Ramsay-approved food will set you back £95, but remember the words of Burns himself: “With ale, we fear no evil; with whisky, We’ll face the Devil!”
2. Get your mop chopped
Any Sassenachs fretting about their distinct lack of kilt should head to Blade Hairclub instead. Owner Stroo is a noted whisky fiend, so a Burns Night gathering with haircuts and whisky cocktails is right up his alley. Those with a taste for Scotland’s finest can pair it with a haircut that will have you looking spiffy in no time. Throw in free Netflix and a huge collection of vinyl records, and you’ve got a pretty unique Burns Night experience.
3. Put your dancing shoes on
For the biggest Burns Night celebration in town, you’d best throw on your gladrags and head to Ceilidh Club. You’ll work off the buffet of haggies, neeps, and tatties by dancing the night away. Novices will be guided through the steps, so you’ll be weaving, twirling, and hopping like a pro in no time. Tickets are still available for their events on January 26th & 27th, and February 3rd. The evening ends with a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne, so you can stumble happily off into 2019. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…
4. Try Scottish tacos
It’s the mashup that no-one saw coming, and most likely, no-one asked for. However, it’s here now, so let’s talk about it. Tienda Roosteria, based at The Curtain in Shoreditch, is putting on a spread of haggis tacos. They’ll be topped with pico de gallo relish and tomatillo salsa, and, this being Shoreditch, there’s also a vegan version. Equally intriguing are the Scottish Piña Colada slushies, created in partnership with Dewar’s whisky. Food heaven or food hell? It’s up to you to decide…
5. Drink ALL the whisky
Anyone doing Dry January should probably look away now. On January 24th, Fortnum & Mason are hosting whisky tastings in their atmospheric Crypt, allowing you to sample spirits from distillers such as Highland Park, Laphraoig, and Auchentoshan. Out in Bethnal Green, The Sun Tavern are hosting a ‘Non-Specific Burns Night’. Expect a specially created cocktail, free haggis Scotch eggs, and a DJ set from a member of Dundee’s most famous band, The View.
Meanwhile, The Bloomsbury Club Bar are offering small plates, including Haggis & Truffle Sausage Rolls, and an intriguing Irn-Bru Sorbet. Live music and a Talisker whisky inspired cocktail menu will help you celebrate in style. Raise a dram to Rabbie Burns, and let the evening commence!
Featured image: @thebloomsburyclub