The best places to celebrate Burns Night 2017 in London

A much underrated evening in the calendar, Burns Night is a Scottish celebration, which marks the birthday of great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (he’s the guy who wrote Auld Lang Syne!). He died in 1796, and his friends would gather to drink and recite his poetry in his memory every year after that – thus dubbing the evening Burns Night or Burns Supper. Of course, much like all the other fun holidays, it can also be enjoyed as the simple excuse to get a few friendly faces together and have a jolly-good-knees-up. It’s what ‘Rabbie’ would have wanted…

Food (and drink) is at the heart of any Burns Night, and while it’s not too tricky to track down your own haggis, and mash some potatoes and swede, half the joy is in the getting dressed up and watching other people try to learn a joyful jig, so I’ve pulled together a little list of restaurants in London that will be putting on a Scottish-themed evening come 25th January (in price order too!)…

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The Narrowboat, Angel

For a banquet-style approach to toasting the Scottish bard, head to The Narrowboat in Angel. They’ll be singing to the haggis while you drink your dram, and handing out goody bags full of shortbread.

  • 5-course banquet meal and whisky sampling
  • £25/head
  • Book here

Fusilier House, Balham

Singing, dancing, neeps, and tatties are all included in this raucous Burns Night event. It takes place in a pretty cool hall, and the food will be provided by the team behind Julia’s Kitchen in Wimbledon. There’s dessert too…!

  • 2-course meal (vegetarian and gluten-free options available)
  • £30/person
  • Book here

South Place Hotel, nr Shoreditch

If I wasn’t already enamoured by the idea of staring at my dinner plate all night, I’d definitely go to watch Braveheart in the heated Secret Garden at South Place Hotel.

  • Screening of Braveheart
  • Scottish bites created by Michelin-star chef, Gary Foulkes
  • Plus, gourmet popcorn and a whisky cocktail
  • £32/person
  • Book here

The Grove, Balham

The sweet treat selection is a real winner for this one: raspberry cranachan, mini deep-fried Mars bar, Irn Bru sorbet..!!

  • 3-course meal, and a complimentary dram of whisky
  • £35/person
  • Book here

Duke’s Head, Putney

This place has a fab track record for Burns Night celebrations and they excel on normal nights of the year too. The location is lovely – on the river in Putney – and the vibe is inviting and warm. Plus, it’s a really good deal for what you get.

  • A welcome drink, and 3 courses with matched wines
  • £40/person
  • Book here

The Lady Ottoline, Russel Square

This is where I’ll be cheers-ing to the late great Mr Burns! There’ll be a traditional ‘address to the haggis’, loads of food, plenty of drinks, and bagpipes a playing. And the pub is a really nice one. What more could you want?

  • 4-course meal (with options, should something not be to your fancy), and two cocktails
  • £45/person
  • Book here

St Luke’s Kitchen at LIBRARY, Covent Garden

Fancy splashing out this Burns Night in London Town? Interested in a new take on the traditional dishes of Scotland? May I suggest, LIBRARY. The Burns Night offering is really fabulous – think roast partridge, Douglas fir-cured salmon, venison, haggis, sticky toffee pudding, all created by Scottish guest chef, Paul Wedgwood – and it’s the perfect excuse to nose around the usually-private members club.

  • 5-course menu
  • £65/person
  • Book here

Got something to add? How will you be celebrating Burns Night this year?

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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