Where to celebrate Burns Night in London
You don't have to be in Scotland to celebrate Burns Night. Here's what London has to offer this month
Robert Burns may be Scotland's national poet but his birthday is a global celebration, with people the world over throwing Burns Night suppers, parties and ceilidhs throughout January in honour of the bard. If you're in London, you may be far from Scotland but Scotland won't be far from you thanks to the many Burns-related events taking place. Here are just some options to help you decide how best to enjoy Burns Night in the capital.
Head to Bourne and Hollingsworth for a sophisticated bash (25 Jan) complete with whisky cocktails, a Burns banquet and a traditional ceilidh. Don your best tartan outfit for 1 Lombard Street's Burns Night (25 Jan) and you'll be given a complimentary Old Fashioned to go with your haggis. On the same night, The Jugged Hare are hosting a Burns Night Supper and Fine Wine Evening, Lady Ottoline are putting on their own Burns celebration with food, whisky and bagpipes and The Duke's Head Putney have got a three-course Burns Night banquet dinner.
Celebrity chef Paul Wedgewood will be taking over Library (25 Jan) for an extra special Burns Night supper, serving up his own take on some traditional Scottish dishes. Over at Fusilier House in Balham, join in on Fiddle Paradiddle's biggest ceilidh event so far (20, 21 Jan), with food provided by Julia's Kitchen. The Grove's Burns Night (25 Jan) will have a set menu with specialties like haggis and Cullen skink as well as deep fried mars bars and Irn Bru sorbet. The Burns Club of London will be celebrating Burns' birthday with a dinner at The Caledonian Club (21 Jan), with recitations, pipers and a two-hour ceilidh to end the evening.
To commemorate Burns through his music, visit Union Chapel for Band of Burns (29 Jan), a one-off event with 11 top musicians from the UK folk world. They'll be performing some of Burns' best known works and new compositions set to popular poems. At The Spice of Life, the Country Soul Sessions Burns Night Special (21 Jan) will feature live music from special guests Black*Scarr, East Lonesome Drifters, Follow The Crows, Michael Dunnigan and Louise Loft, as well as poetry readings and a traditional meal thrown into the mix. The City of London Sinfonia will be transforming Wilton's Music Hall (24, 25 Jan) for The Devil's Violin, with fiery fiddling from violinist Alexandra Wood and folk fiddler Henry Webster, who will lead the orchestra. A Burns Night ceilidh led by License to Ceilidh will end the night.
For a huge party, Burns Hootenanny! at The Biscuit Factory (27, 28 Jan) is the place to be. There's also Burns Night London 2017 at Hammersmith Town Hall, which promises 6 nights of eating, drinking and dancing (20, 21, 27, 28 Jan & 3, 4 Feb) and the Queen of Hoxton's Burns Night in the WigWam (25 Jan). You'll also find ceilidhs at Westminster Cathedral Hall (25 Jan) and Battersea Arts Centre (25 Jan).
Burns Night at Hootenanny Brixton (21 Jan) will be well worth a visit thanks to the excellent music on offer. Pipe and drum folk band Soar Patrol will be performing alongside Patch & the Giant, Ilaria and DJ Carpetface. Frank and Dean's Burns Night Hootenanny at Boisdale (25 Jan) will have a great menu and even better music while South Place Cinema will be showing Braveheart (25 Jan), with Michelin-star Scottish nibbles created by executive chef Gary Foulkes. At the Leicester Square Theatre, celebrate the bard's birthday with some of the UK's top comics who will be taking to the stage at the Burns Night Comedy Gala (25 Jan). Enjoy stand-up from Simon Munnery, Fern Brady, Richard Gadd, John Hastings, Chris Kent, Imran Yusuf and Tiffany Stevenson.