rails restaurant burns night

Burns Night 2024: Where to supper in London in honour of the Scottish poet

15 Jan 2024 | Updated on: 12 Feb 2024 |By Luxury London

From traditional Burns suppers to luxe whisky cocktails, here’s how and where to raise a dram to Rabbie Burns in the capital this year

If you’ve ever attended a full-blown Burns Night supper, you’ll know it’s an occasion you’re not likely to forget in a hurry. While traditionally comprised of a three-course menu of cock-a-leekie soup followed by haggis, neeps and tatties (chopped swede and mashed potato) and cranachan, there’s much more to this celebration of Robert Burns than just food.

Done properly, you’ll be greeted by bagpipes before the host recites the Selkirk Grace and the haggis is piped into the room. Only after the Immortal Memory and a rousing rendition of Tae A Haggis – which should always end with said meal being energetically stabbed with a ceremonial dagger – will food finally be served and after-dinner speeches, including a teasing toast to the ladies and a response to the men, given.

It is, needless to say, a memorable and utterly unique experience. The best part? Whether you’re a card-carrying, kilt-wearing Scot or a born-and-bred Londoner, everyone’s invited – and there are plenty of events in the capital this year that will give you a taste of the celebrations taking place north of the border. Whether it’s a small nod to the bard with a single malt or a feet-first dive into the wonderful world of ceilidhs and, admittedly, challenging cuisine, these are the best Burns Night suppers taking place in London this year.

Sam’s Riverside, Hammersmith

sam's riverside

Nestled along the Thames in leafy Hammersmith, Sam’s Riverside will channel the Scottish spirit on 25 January as the brasserie celebrates the life of Robert Burns and the food of the Highlands. For one night only, traditional bagpiper Robin Hay will provide the perfect backdrop to the quintessential Burns Night experience, as he performs a number of Highland tunes and the Ode to the Haggis while diners tuck into their three-course meal. Choose from smoked haddock cullen skink with brioche toast and black pudding scotch egg before enjoying larger plates of Scottish trout fillet with caviar beurre blanc, Rabbie Burns’ haggis supper with neeps and tatties or homemade vegan haggis and cabbage roll. Finally finish off your meal with a traditional raspberry cranachan trifle and clootie dumpling, or a lighter whisky and honeycomb parfait and selection of Scottish cheeses. 

From £65 per person, visit samsriverside.co.uk

108 Brasserie, Marylebone

Lads and lassies are invited to Marylebone’s 108 Brasserie and Bar for a Burns Night celebration, spanning 19-25 January, which will see the team dish up a menu as Scottish as a thistle. A culinary ode to the bard, the menu will transport you straight to the bonnie hills of Scotland with a hearty bowl of cullen skink (a traditional smoked haddock and potato soup) followed by slow-braised Scottish venison haunch and haggis, coupled with an Isle of Mull cheddar croquette, neeps and tatties, and ending with raspberry cranachan trifle, layered with dark chocolate and salted oatmeal shortbread. 

The 108 Brasserie Bar beckons with a trio of Scottish-inspired cocktails to wash down your meal. Savour the Whisky Highball – a mix of The Dalmore 12-year-old with a choice of soda or ginger ale – and The Bobby Burns featuring The Woodsman Blended Scotch Whisky with sweet vermouth and benedictine to create a concoction as smooth as Burns’ verses. 

Visit 108brasserie.com

Acme Fire Cult, Dalston

On 25 January, Acme Fire Cult will be celebrating Burns Night with a ticketed dinner in collaboration with Ardbeg whisky, the peatiest malt whisky in Islay. Starting at 7pm, the Dalston live-fire restaurant will mark the Scottish tradition by hosting a three-course supper curated by chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins accompanied by Ardbeg cocktails and an Ardbeg x 40FT Brewery boilermaker. The menu will begin with oak-smoked salmon with a whisky-heather honey glaze and cured venison with pickled quince and bitter leaves, warm crumpets and cultured butter. Then stand for Robert Burns’ famed poem, Tae A Haggis, before a traditional serving of smoked haggis, neeps and tatties, all drizzled in Ardbeg whisky mushroom sauce with Caledonian cream. There will also be Burns poetry readings throughout the evening, as well as a soundtrack from DJ Pam Hogg. 

From £80 per person, visit resy.com

The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green

the sun tavern
Image: Steven Joyce

Bethnal Green’s Sun Tavern has joined forces with Aberfeldy Whisky and Scottish street food favourite Deeney’s to create the perfect introduction to Burns Night. Fans of The Sun Tavern know it's an East London hotspot offering classic cocktails, London’s largest selection of Irish whiskey and one of the world’s largest collections of Poitín. For Burns Night only, the tavern has curated a limited-edition menu showcasing the finest Aberfeldy cocktails, such as the Cranachan – a cocktail iteration of the traditional Scottish dessert, mixing Aberfeldy 12-year-old whisky, sauternes, strawberry and shortbread – and the Bobby Burns comprising Aberfeldy 12-year-old whisky, sweet vermouth and benedictine. The night will kick off with the Address to the Haggis, accompanied by complimentary Deeney's haggis bites before Scottish fashion designer and musician, Pam Hogg, hits the decks until 2am.

Visit thesuntavern.co.uk

Ham Yard Hotel, Soho

Over at Kit Kemp’s illustrious Soho outpost, Ham Yard Hotel has partnered with Islay-based whisky distillery Bruichladdich to give guests and locals an authentic taste of the Scottish Highlands on 25 January. The evening will begin with a canapé and cocktail reception, before guests will be treated to a lesson on Scottish whisky and discover the nuances between five different bottles. The following five-course Scottish feast, courtesy of executive chef Jamie Atkinson, features Loch Fyne smoked salmon and haggis, neeps and tatties, before tucking into the main event of venison Wellington. For dessert, enjoy a burnt orange brûlée before a cheese course paired with a peaty whisky. Chin chin! 

From £100 per person, visit sevenrooms.com

Rails Restaurant, Kings Cross

rails restaurant burns night

Banish  January blues and don your tartan for a Highland menu like no other at Rails Restaurant, found at the heart of the luxury boutique Great Northern Hotel, on 25 January. Kick off with cullen skink soup before a traditional haggis with neeps and tatties served with whisky sauce. If you have room, sample the iconic Scottish cranachan dessert loaded with homemade cream and raspberries before rolling upstairs to one of the five-star hotel’s chic bedrooms, making it a Burns Night to remember. 

From £30 per person, visit railslondon.com

The Cadogan Arms and The George, Chelsea

In preparation for the annual celebration of Burns Night, two of the cosiest pubs in Chelsea, The Cadogan Arms and The George, have curated a three-course traditional Scottish menu in partnership with Aberfeldy Whisky. Embracing the spirit of the occasion, both pubs will celebrate the occasion with a live bagpiper and a traditional recitation of Burns’ famous poem Tae a Haggis. Designed by executive chef Alex Harper, the set menu includes a starter of whisky-cured smoked Scottish salmon served with beremeal bannock (a traditional flatbread from Orkney), followed by venison and haggis Wellington plated with cranberry, chocolate, and spicy red cabbage sauce. The dinner will finish with Scottish raspberry and whisky cranachan: the traditional blend of cream and fresh seasonal raspberries strengthened by Scottish oats and whisky. Wash it all down with Aberfeldy limited-edition cocktails, including The Highland Gimlet, crafted with Aberfeldy 12-year-old whisky and juniper and pine cordial. 

From £75 per person, visit sevenrooms.com

Dram, Soho

dram soho

Soho’s newest cocktail bar Dram will host its first Burns Night celebration in partnership with three renowned Scottish whisky brands from 25-27 January. Kicking off on 25 January, single malt whisky Benromach will offer guests an exclusive cocktail menu and tasting of its core and rare range. On 26 January, single malt scotch distiller Talisker will host a unique whisky tasting in Dram’s private room including samples of the Talisker Canned Highball, 25-year-old, 30-year-old, 1978 41-year-old from the Bodega Series and the 45-year-old Glacial Edge. Finally, on 27 January, Speyside scotch whisky maker Craigellachie will host an evening tasting starting at 6.30pm. Craigellachie will also be available to enjoy on tap and in a canned cocktail, while whisky connoisseurs will have the opportunity to sample its newly released 25-year-old scotch by the dram at a discounted price. 

From £40 per person, visit drambar.co.uk

Carousel, Fitzrovia

To celebrate the work of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, creative culinary hub Carousel is inviting back veteran chef Tomás Gormley for his second iteration of Burns Night festivities. Last year, Gormley was one of four Scottish chefs cooking an eight-hands dinner of modern Scottish dishes, and this year he is returning solo to take the helm of the kitchen. Since his last Carousel appearance, Gormley and co-founder Sam Yorke were awarded a Michelin star for their restaurant Heron, and Gormley has now opened a sister venture, Skua. 

Limited tickets are available for this one-off affair, fuelled by partnering drinks brand Aberfeldy Highland single malt scotch whisky. Expect lobster and squid ink crumpets, venison with quince, endive and bread sauce, and other seasonal plates showcasing the very best local Scottish produce. 

From £75 per person, visit sevenrooms.com

The Duke of Cambridge, Islington

Duke of Cambridge, situated in the heart of Islington, is celebrating Burns Night with a one-off regenerative menu featuring an array of Scottish-inspired dishes made with sustainable ingredients from independent suppliers. The three-course menu will feature the very best British produce, such as Rhug Estate's ethically farmed meat and Hodmedod’s sustainable pulses and grains. Tuck into plates of cullen skink, haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky gravy and clootie dumplings: delicate steamed Scottish dumplings packed full of dried fruits and spices and served with spiced caramel. During dinner, enjoy a live bagpipe performance from a Scotsman donned in full Highland attire who will, of course, pipe the haggis in.

From £45 per person, visit sevenrooms.co.uk

The Ivy West Street, Covent Garden

ivy west street

Fans of The Glenlivet, the original Speyside single malt, won’t want to miss its 200th anniversary at The Ivy West Street on 26 January, as the brand marks the occasion with a spectacular Burns Night celebration. This special evening will also unveil the new Glenlivet Anniversary bottle, and feature a number of delectable dishes and show-stopping whisky cocktails. Each Scottish-inspired dish on the menu – think oat-rolled haggis bon bons, oak-smoked salmon and roasted venison loin – will be paired with a Glenlivet whisky so guests can enjoy Burns Night Rabbie would approve of. 

From £99 per person, visit theivycollectionevents.co.uk

The Wolseley, The City and Piccadilly 

the wolseley burns night

Both of The Wolseley outposts will be paying homage to the Scottish wordsmith with a menu of traditional dishes designed by executive chef, David Stevens, and served for one night only on 25 January. Featuring classic cullen skink, named for its origins in Cullen in Moray, haggis, neeps and tatties and cranachan – known as the ‘King of Scottish desserts’ – diners can also pick from two themed cocktails featuring Macallan whisky. We love the Alloway Sour featuring Macallan double cask 12-year-old, Lapsang Souchong tea cordial, ginger liqueur and lemon juice. 

Visit thewolseley.com

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