Scotland may be over 400 miles away, but that shouldn’t stop you getting into the spirit of one of the country’s most cherished traditions. Burns Night on 25 January is a night to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns, most famously the writer of Auld Lang Syne. Traditionally it involves coming together to eat a haggis dinner, drink whisky, dance to ceilidhs (pronounced kayleigh) and wear plenty of tartan, of course. If you’re a fan of Scottish culture or you’re Scottish and feel a long way from home, we’ve collated some of the best Burns Nights events in London to have you jigging and singing Gaelic songs with a glass of whisky in hand throughout the night.
Whisky is a crucial part of Burns Night, and London’s oldest whisky shop is certainly stepping up for the occasion. They’ll be hosting a lively Burns Night at their bar in Soho with whisky-infused cocktails. Alongside an extensive selection of different whiskies (some of which will be free on the night) there will be a special cocktail created for the evening using R&B While We Wait whisky and haggis inspired spicing, which is less terrifying and much more delicious than it sounds.
25 January at Milroy’s Soho
Burns Baby Burns
One of the largest Burns Nights in London, St John the Hackney are here to transport you straight to the Scottish Highlands for an evening. Marvel at the traditional Burns spectacle including roaring bagpipes, an unbelievably oversized haggis and toasts of single malt between friends. The feast will include Scottish delicacies haggis and tatties (potato) that you’ll wash down with whisky before hitting the dancefloor for a raucous session of ceilidh. Grab your kilt because it doesne get more Scottish than this.
26, 27 and 28 January at St John of Hackney. Tickets start from £35 and include dinner, whisky and ceildhs dancing. Find out more here.
Photo credit: Alistair Veryard
Ruby and Pickles
You might love celebrating Burns Night but an evening of mince, tatties and sheep’s stomachs doesn’t suit everyone. Luckily Ruby and Pickles are presenting an alternative Burns supper, with a three course vegetarian menu including haggis with an Indian twist and a whisky-based welcome cocktail. This is the perfect event for fusing a much-loved Scottish tradition with London’s diverse pop-up culture.
22 January at The Joker of Penton Street, find out more here.
Whisky 101 at The Gallery
Nobody can drink like the Scots, and this night at West Hampstead’s The Gallery will celebrate and explore some of Scotland’s best beer and whisky. Including beverages from Siren Craft Beer Co and The Glenlivet, a distillery from the Highlands, guests will be able to explore beer, whiskies and cocktails alongside some Scottish themed canapés.
Jan 24 19:00 - 23:00. Tickets are £20 and include four flights of whisky, four samples of beer and four food pairing canapés. Find out more here.
Ceilidh Club Hammersmith
This self-described ‘little piece of Scotland in London’ holds regular ceilidh and will be honouring Burns Night with a selection of events surrounding 25 January. There will be three hours of ceilidh dancing, as well as haggis, neeps and tatties served as a buffet when you’re taking a break from the dancefloor.
Burns Night will be held at Hammersmith Town Hall on the 20, 21, 27, 28, Jan and the 3 and 4 Feb. Tickets are £35 with £22 concessions. Find out more here.
Ceilidh – Streetwise Opera
This homelessness charity will be holding a Burns Night with all proceeds going to help those sleeping on the streets. Featuring music from the ceilidh tree, dance the night away whether you’re a beginner or a little more advanced – either way there’ll be callers to help you learn the steps. After showing off your moves enjoy haggis, tatties and drinks at the bar.
25 January at 7pm, £17 for ceilidh only and £27 for dinner and ceildh. Find out more here.
KERB and Monkey Shoulder present Burns Hootenanny
Down in South East London is a night dedicated to Scottish street food, featuring one-off Scottish street food creations, a huge live electric Ceilidh, whisky den and cocktails, the addressing of the haggis, highland themed games and a poetry slam corner, all set in a secret Bermondsey warehouse.
January 27 at the Biscuit Factory Bermondsey, tickets are between £21.59 - £44.80. Find out more here.
South Place Cinema presents: Braveheart
‘You can take our lives but you’ll never take our freedom!’ – relive these famous words with a screening of this iconic Scottish film Braveheart at The South Place Hotel in the East End. Cosy up in the secret garden in deckchairs and a tartan blanket whilst enjoying gourmet whisky macchiato popcorn and a whisky cocktail.
25 January 2017 at South Place Hotel, tickets are from £32, find out more here.
Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival Burns Night Comedy Gala 2017
If you always need an excuse to enjoy an evening of comedy, Burns Night is the perfect one. Leicester Square theatre will be presenting seven up and coming comedians from the Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival for a comedy extravaganza that’ll have you howling with laughter through sips of whisky.
25 January at Leicester Square Theatre, tickets start from £15, find out more here.