Before you ask, Burns Night isn’t a celebration of that creepy old villain from The Simpsons. This long-held tradition pays homage to Scotland’s national poet and all-round wordsmith, Robert Burns, born on 25 January 1759. It wouldn’t be a Scottish celebration without good food and quality Scotch, so don your kilt and get oot and aboot at a London restaurant paying tribute next Thursday.
Where to eat haggis
108 Brasserie, Marylebone
What: Haggis, neeps and tatties with a whisky cream sauce has pride of place on 108 Brasserie’s Burns Night menu, with Cullen skink to start, and a deep-friend Mars bar with honeycomb ice cream to finish. Each course can be paired with matching whiskies from Auchentoshan, Highland Park and Laphraoig.
When: 25 January
Where: 108 Marylebone Lane, W1G 8DN
How much: Three-course dinner £45; £65 with matching whisky
Blue Door Bistro, Bloomsbury
What: Blue Door Bistro is offering a traditional Scottish menu for Burns Night, including haggis, neeps and tatties, and a welcoming dram of whisky. For more whisky, head to the neighbouring Leopard Bar, where a whisky flight paired with chocolate and cheese (£30) is on offer throughout January.
When: 5.30-10pm, 25 January
Where: The Montague on the Gardens, 15 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ
How much: £29
Boisdale, branches at Belgravia, Bishopsgate, Canary Wharf and Mayfair
What: London’s most famous quartet of Scottish restaurants will be celebrating one of the most famous dates in the Caledonian calendar in typically Tartan-tastic style. The four-course dinner includes Orkney salmon and Hebridean crab, Scottish red deer and Aberdeenshire dry-aged beef fillet, and roast haggis, served with a full address from Boisdale’s pipers.
When: 25 January
Where: 15 Eccleston Street, SW1W 9LX; Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4NR; Cabot Place West, E14 4Q12; North Row, W1K 7DF
How much: Burns Night menu from £35 (prices vary according to branch)
Butlers Wharf Chophouse, Shad Thames
What: The view of the Thames and Tower Bridge couldn’t be more English but for Burns Night, Butlers Wharf Chophouse is putting on a five-course dinner based on the best Scottish ingredients. Dishes include salt-baked langoustines, whisky-smoked salmon, haunch of venison with haggis croquettes, cranachan and a Scottish cheeseboard, with a Balvenie cocktail on arrival and an accompaniment of live bagpipe music.
When: From 6pm, 25 January
Where: 36e Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
How much: Five-course dinner, £60
What: Richard Corrigan is emphasising the Celtic connection between Scotland and Ireland by turning over his restaurant for a Burns Night celebration. Haggis comes in the form of haggis-stuffed Aberdeen Angus Wellington, while other treats from the Corrigan kitchen include whisky-cured scallops, and clootie dumpling with custard. The ‘Ode to Haggis’, wine suggestions from the Scottish sommelier, and bagpiping from multi-talented doorman Paddy all add to the fun.
When: 25 January
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH
How much: Five courses £75; whisky or wine flight, £35
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, Marylebone
What: With Bistrot de Luxe set to close for good on 10 February, Burns Night could be your last chance to eat in the Galvin brothers’ original restaurant. A six-course Burns supper will be matched to wines and Glenmorangie whisky: think haggis, neeps and tatties paired with Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and a Château la Bastide Corbières.
Where: 66 Baker Street, W1U 7DJ
When: 25 January
How much: Six-course menu, £49; whisky pairing, £45; wine pairing, £35
Jones Family Project, Shoreditch
What: If you can’t make a Burns Supper on Thursday 25 January, rest assured that this multi-tasking Shoreditch bar and restaurant is also offering the full works on the Friday. The three-course dinner includes mini haggis Scotch eggs followed by venison Wellington, with cranachan or Isle of Mull Cheddar to finish.
When: 25 and 26 January
Where: 78 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JL
How much: Three courses, £35, or £50 including welcome cocktail and two whiskies
Mac & Wild, City and Fitzrovia
What: Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild is throwing four days of celebrations to mark the birth of Scotland’s most famous poet. Events include haggis-making masterclasses, beer and whisky pairings, live music and Burns-themed cocktails, while new dishes include a haggis, neeps and tatties burger. For something more traditional, there’ll be a supper on Burns Night itself including haggis, venison and trifle, Irn Bru cocktails, poetry readings and the addressing of the haggis.
Where: 9a Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YN and 65 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PS
When: 22-25 January
How much: Burns Night supper from £40
The Narrow, Limehouse
What: Guests arriving at Gordon Ramsay’s riverside gastropub will be ushered inside to the strains of a bagpiper ahead of black pudding Scotch eggs, Cullen skink, haggis with roasted partridge, neeps and tatties, and Cranachan, all washed down with a matched whisky pairing, should you wish. There are also Burns Night celebrations at other Gordon Ramsay restaurants Bread Street Kitchen, London House and York & Albany.
When: 25 January
Where: 44 Narrow Street, E14 8DP
How much: Three courses £38, or £70 with matching whisky pairings
What: The Borough Market restaurant is offering a four-course menu that goes beyond the usual tartan clichés with some subtle updates to the Burns Night classics. Cock-a-leekie soup comes with partridge and prunes, spiced diver-caught scallops will be served with smoked kipper and brown butter, haggis makes an appearance as a Scotch egg alongside malt-glazed daube of venison. Whisky pairings include single malts from Chivas Regal, Glenmorangie, Balvenie and Auchentoshan.
When: Thursday 25 January
Where: Floral Hall, Stoney Street, SE1 1TL
How much: Four courses including coffee, £50; £75 with suggested whisky pairings
Where to drink whisky
Bird of Smithfield
What: It’s whisky galore at Bird of Smithfield where, for Burns Night only, the bar is offering three Scottish whiskies for the price of two. Punters who are brave enough to recite an entire Burns poem will get two free shots on the house – a challenge probably best not attempted stone cold sober.
When: 25 January, main ground floor bar only
Where: 26 Smithfield Street, London, EC1A 9LB
How much: Whiskies from £8
Craft London, Greenwich
What: Chef Stevie Parle’s café, bar and restaurant has teamed up with Compass Box whisky to offer a paired whisky and food menu, with a side order of panoramic views of the City skyline and the traditional address to the haggis. Matchings include wood-grilled langoustines with sea kale and seaweed paired with Oak Cross, and homemade haggis, neeps and tatties washed down with Spice Tree, while Parle himself will introduce each dish.
Where: Peninsula Square, SE10 0SQ
When: 7pm, 25 January
How much: four-course menu with five whiskies, £48
Smith & Wollensky, Strand
What: Haggis imports may still be banned from the USA but American steakhouse import Smith & Wollensky is flying the flag for all things Scottish around Burns Night with a menu including haggis with neeps and tatties, and Scottish fillet of beef. Meanwhile, head bartender Ernest Reid is on hand with his favourite whisky recommendations from the bar’s 30-plus single malts.
When: 24-26 January
Where: 1-11 John Adam Street, WC2N 6HT
How much: Burns Night menu, £55
Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell
What: The Zetter is offering Burns Night cocktails made with lesser-known whiskies, including a classic Rob Roy, made with Macduff 2004 Connoisseurs Choice, and the Bobby Burns, which mixes Ailsa Bay Single Malt with sweet vermouth and Benedictine. Stomach lining comes courtesy of a supper bowl of haggis, neeps and tatties (£9.50).
When: 25 January
Where: 49-50 St John’s Square, EC1V 4JJ
How much: Burns Night cocktails, £11
And for something completely different…
Café Spice Namaste, City
What: Chef Cyrus Todiwala is putting on a Whisky & Spice Burns Night at his Tower Hill Indian a couple of days before Burns Night itself. Expect the likes of Isle of Mull mussel and brown shrimp toast, tandoori venison haggis kebabs, and black pudding and quail egg risotto matched to whiskies from Glengoyne, Tamdhu and Smokehead. The evening will help raise funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
When: 6.30pm, 23 January
Where: 16 Prescot Street, E1 8AZ
How much: Four courses with whisky, £75
Temper City, Bank
What: Proving that there’s more to Scottish culture than whisky and Robbie Burns, Temper is putting on ‘the ultimate Scottish knees up’, with a four-course menu including an Irn Bru spritz, beef and haggis Scotch egg, Malaysian-spiced Cullen skink, and an ‘Edinburgh chip-shop whole mutton supper’. Entertainment comes courtesy of a bagpiper and a Scottish quiz hosted by Glaswegian comic and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli, while guests are encouraged to wear tartan.
When: 7.30pm-12M, 25 January
Where: 2 Angel Court, 30 Throgmorton Street, EC2R 7HJ
How much: Four-course dinner, £80
Tienda Roosteria, Shoreditch
What: The Curtain hotel’s taqueria will be putting a Mexican spin on Burns Night by serving haggis tacos and Scottish Piña Colada slushies, made with Dewar’s whisky. Don’t fancy a haggis and neeps taco with pico de gall relish and tomatillo salsa? Try the vegan version, with guacamole and pickled radish.
When: From 11am, 25 January
Where: 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 4PJ
How much: Haggis tacos from £4
Hungry for more patriotic tucker? Check out or list of London’s best British restaurants.