Burns Night In London: What You Need To Know

January 16, 2020 9:00 am

The Ploughman Poet. The Bard of Ayrshire. Or maybe know him as ol’ Rabbie Burns. Scotland’s most famous poet, and one of the trailblazers of the Romantic era, Robert Burns spent much of the 18th Century tearing up the literary world. He was even voted the greatest Scot to ever live in a 2009 TV poll. So it’s no wonder that people all around the world celebrate his life and works. Hence, Burns Night, a day – and evening – dedicated to the man himself. There’s no better time to enjoy some traditional Scottish food and drink, and recite a poem or two. And if you’re in London for Burns Night, there’s plenty to do. Here’s everything you need to know about Burns Night in London.

Featuring:

  • When is Burns Night?
  • Burns Night Bash at Skylight
  • A special Burns Night dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen
  • And plenty more.

When is Burns Night?

Burns Night lands on 25th January. This year, that’s on a Saturday. Fortunate for those of you hoping to imbibe a splash of Scottish whiskey. You’ll have all of Sunday to think about your choices. And Burns’ poetry! 

Now you know the ‘when’, you’ll want to know the ‘what’. So, without further ado, here are the best Burns Night events in London.

Skylight’s Burns Night Bash

Saturday 25th January, doors 12 pm – 11 pm

How does a free cocktail to kick off your Burns Night sound? Pretty good, we reckon. Partnering up with party specialists Monkey Shoulder, East London’s rooftop paradise Skylight brings an alternative twist to the Scottish celebration. Alongside your complimentary tipple, you’ll also be able to sign up to whiskey tasting sessions. On top of that, the ice rink will be open, and a DJ will be playing some bangers through the night. No doubt Burns would be a big fan of carving some ice to house music. They do also promise a twist on Burns’ traditional poetry, whatever that may be. You’ll simply have to go and find out for yourself!

Tickets from £8

 

Burns Night Hootenanny at Boisdale of Canary Wharf

23rd, 24th & 25th January

This one’s for the traditionalists. Boisdale, the self-proclaimed Scottish Embassy in London, is doing Burns Night like only the Scots could. On top of Caledonian treats like Orkney salmon, Scottish pheasant and dry-aged beef fillet from Aberdeenshire, of course, there’s the main event: the Dumfriesshire Blackface haggis. Top that off with lashings of the finest Scot whiskey, courtesy of Annandale Distillery, and you’ve got yourselves a Burns Night. Alongside the fine dining and whisky-ing, there’s music from The Rat Pack. Think swing classics, pop tunes through the ages, and some Scottish songs to boot. What more could you possibly want? 

Tickets from £69.50, dinner included

Folk Of The Wood’s Burns Night Ceilidh at The Portico Gallery

17th January from 7 pm

You’ll need your dancing shoes for this one. Yes, if you want to move your hips to celebrate Burns’ hits, head South to West Norwood’s Portico Gallery for a Burns Night Ceilidh, courtesy of Folk Of The Wood. For those not in the know, a ceilidh is a social event with Scottish – or Irish – folk music, singing, dancing, and storytelling. So if all or any of those tick your boxes, you’d be remiss to miss this one. Along with all the singing and dancing, you can expect authentic bagpipe music, haggis all over the shop, and enough whiskey to wash it all down. Finally, after all the fun, take a pew and hear Scots recite some of Burns’ famous poetry. An authentic end to an authentic night. Splendid.

Tickets from £12

burns night london

Spirited Sessions at Bourne & Hollingsworth

Tuesday 21st Jan from 6.30 pm

Clerkenwell’s Bourne & Hollingsworth present a Burns Night event with a little added spirit. The night is hosted by The Reverend, a man who knows his spirits. Join him on his boozy journey, courtesy of Ardbeg whiskey. His flock will also be on hand to craft beautiful whiskey cocktails through the night, and you’ll even get the chance to make your own at the pop-up bar. So if you fancy a Burns Night which leans on the liquid, you have to check this one out. 

Tickets from £15

Bread Street Kitchen’s Burns Night Dinner

Saturday 25th January

And finally, we end on a festive feast courtesy of Scotland’s most famous chef, the…lively…Gordon Ramsay. His prestigious Bread Street Kitchen in St Paul’s is hosting a Burns Night Dinner you won’t forget. Featuring a four-course meal of Scottish delights, and a different whiskey to go with each one, you’ll wine and dine like never before. But the piece de resistance has to be Highland Venison & Haggis Wellington. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. And yes, you need to try it for yourself. Burns would be so proud, he may have even written a separate Ode just for this. 

Tickets from £65, dinner included

And that’s everything you need to know about Burns Night in London. Have some whiskey and a bit of haggis for us. And if you’re looking for more traditional fun to round out the weekend, why not go see some of the technological marvels Scots are responsible for at the Science Museum? Alternatively, if you’re looking for some sober fun to see out your heavy weekend, check out our guide to the best sober fun in London

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