Burns Night 2022: Where to supper in London in honour of the Scottish poet

Zoe Gunn

17 January 2022

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

17 January 2022 | Zoe Gunn

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f 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 taking place 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 events taking place in London this year.

No. Fifty Cheyne, Chelsea

Chelsea's favourite fine-dining boozer has teamed up with Aberfeldy Whisky to create a special, one-off menu for Burns Night. Guests will be greeted by a dram of Aberfeldy 12-year-old and Gordon Douglas Raeburn on the bagpipes, before sitting down to a five-course meal devised by executive chef Iain Smith. Highlights include roast Scottish langoustines with truffle puree, loin of venison carpaccio with beetroot, rolled saddle of lamb with spinach and baby vegetables and, of course, the classic haggis, neeps and tatties. Keep things on theme by accompanying your meal with a flight of Aberfeldy 12-, 16- and 21-year-old single malt whiskies.

£125 per person, fiftycheyne.com

The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green

At the other end of town, Bethnal Green’s Sun Tavern has joined forces with Benriach whisky and Scottish street food favourite Deeney’s to create the perfect introduction to Burns Night. The night will kick off with the Address to the Haggis, accompanied by complimentary haggis bites, before continuing with renditions of some of Burns’ most famous poems and Scottish hits from guitarist Kevin Ritchie. There will also be a full menu of whisky cocktails to sample, including the Tam O’Shanter (Benriach The Original 10-year-old, manzanilla sherry, spiced pear, citrus and cider) and Bobby Burns (Benriach The Original 10-year-old, sweet vermouth and bénédictine).

Visit thesuntavern.co.uk

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Mayfair

Bentley’s may be best known for its stellar way with seafood but, with much of Britain’s best aquatic ingredients hailing from north of the border, it knows its way around some classic Scottish dishes, too. This Burns Night, the restaurant has devised a four-course menu that melds seasonal British ingredients with some stars of Scottish cuisine, including Orkney scallops with black pudding, loin of venison with clapshot (mashed swede and potato), haggis and spring greens, whisky flummery (a dessert made from jelly and evaporated milk) and a Criffel cheese board. Prepare for your horizons to be broadened.

£105 per person, bentleys.org

Field by Fortnum’s, Piccadilly

As one might expect from a destination as storied as Fortnum & Mason, its take on the Burns Supper will be a stickler for tradition. Its celebration of Scotland’s most famous son will begin with the procession and address to the haggis followed by a four-course meal featuring all of the greatest hits – Cullen Skink, Herdwick haggis, raspberry trifle and Dunsyre Blue cheese – accompanied by fine wines and Lindores Abbey whiskies. Having only opened in November 2021, Field’s inaugural Burns Supper promises to be one of the best in the capital.

£90 per person, eventbrite.co.uk

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Clerkenwell

If you’re looking to go all out this Burns Night, make Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings your destination of choice. Don your finest tartan and step into the sophisticated bar for a whisky cocktail reception soundtracked by a traditional piper. Take in the Immortal Memory and haggis procession before sitting down to a five-course meal featuring all the classics – plus a deep fried Mars bar. Whisky and cocktail pairings are available (always a good idea when a full night of Scottish dancing is set to follow), while those looking to really get in the spirit can arrive early for an hour-long whisky tasting session.

Whisky tasting, £30 per person; Burns Night banquet, from £60, bandhbuildings.com

La Fromagerie, Marylebone

An artisanal French cheese shop may not sound like the obvious place to pay homage to a Scottish poet but hear us out, because Marylebone’s La Fromagerie is putting on quite the spread this Burns Night. Served family-style in honour of Burns’ famously social side, bagpipes will play throughout the evening while a five-course menu – with dishes including whisky-cured salmon, ballotine of chicken and haggis, and whisky, orange and chocolate iced parfait – will be accompanied by paired whiskies.

£75 per person, lafromagerie.co.uk

Firmdale Hotels, across London

Chic hotel group Firmdale will be celebrating Burns Night across all of its London locations, including the Ham Yard restaurant, Brumus at the Haymarket Hotel, Oscar at the Charlotte Street Hotel, Brasserie Max at Covent Garden Hotel and the Potting Shed at Dorset Square Hotel. Guests dining at any of the group’s locations can expect a gourmet Burns Supper featuring Cullen Skink, haggis, and poached rhubarb cranachan, before taking advantage of each hotel’s unique whisky menu.

£50 per person, firmdalehotels.com

Dramming in the Dark by The Glenlivet, Soho

Robert Burns was well known for his love of a drink or two and, this Burns Night, Scotch whisky distiller The Glenlivet will be taking the wee dram to the next level with a sensorial whisky and cocktail tasting experience. Hosted in Soho’s The Den, each session will see guests sample The Glenlivet’s edible whisky cocktail capsules in an environment which deprives some senses while heightening others, in order to encourage curiosity and change perceptions. A full menu of classic The Glenlivet cocktails will also be available in The Den’s main bar. We think Burns would approve.

From 27 January - 19 February 2021, £15 per person, theglenlivet.com

Park Row, Soho

Park Row, the UK’s first DC Comics-inspired bar and restaurant, will be drawing on Bruce Wayne’s Scottish heritage (yes really) to host the Wayne Family Burns Night Supper this year. It may sound gimmicky but, hosted in a seriously opulent Art Deco-style underground space, this promises to be a rather sophisticated event. There will be Glenfiddich welcome cocktails and canapés of venison tartare and smoked salmon with Scottish caviar followed by Scotch broth, haggis and cranachan (whisky pairings optional) before the pipers give way to a ceilidh band for all-night dancing. Kilts are welcome but leave the Batman capes at home.

From £50 per person, parkrowlondon.co.uk

Read more: London's best Scottish restaurants, sights and culture