Food & Drink

Raise a dram and celebrate Burns Night

Looking for a place to toast Scotland’s national bard? Peruse our top picks for Burns’ revelry in the week ahead

It’s that beacon of carousing hope that arrives every January – Burns Night, one of our very favourite Scottish anniversaries, will be marked throughout the country next week with celebrations involving suppers, poetry and many a quality malt.

Here’s where we’ll be sipping on a dram to mark the life of Robert Burns:

My Name’5 Doddie Burns Supper – The Brewery, London

Set to be one of London’s biggest Burns nights with over 450 people attending, this celebratory event – presented by hastaworld and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation on Wednesday 25th January – will honour the bard while also raising funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research. Set up the late Doddie Weir OBE, the charity is committed to helping improve the lives of those affected by MND.

There are individual tickets available or by tables of 10, with the evening including a five-course dinner accompanied by bagpipes and toasts, as well as a line-up of celebrities providing entertainment through poetry and song.

Turnips, Tunes, Toasts & Talisker – Kelvingrove Café, Glasgow

Glasgow venue Kelvingrove Café is inviting locals to a shindig full of Talisker cocktail specials, specially-crafted Scottish nibbles and dance floor tunes from Ervin Trykowski. Commencing at 9pm on Wednesday 25th January, entry is free and drinks specials will include a bespoke menu of Talisker cocktails, named after authors renowned for writing about the sea.

The evening’s bites with a tasty twist will include haggis and neeps in wee tatties, sticky whisky pork belly skewers, Arbroath smokie pakoras, haggis and pear bridies and cranachan and raspberry ganache bars.

Burns & Beyond – various venues, Edinburgh

Image: Unique Events

For a celebration of the bard that’s more live music orientated, take a gander at the programme for Burns & Beyond 2023. Presenting the very best in traditional and contemporary art and culture from across Scotland and beyond, this year’s event sees the return of The Twilight Sad – Stripped Back at the Assembly Rooms Festival Club, and very special shows from Kinnaris Quintet & Friends, featuring guests Julie Fowlis & Karine Polwart. 

There will also be a feast of Burns Night fun at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, ceilidh events and a free live music programme with Red, Red Rose Street.

Burns Night at 18 – The Rusacks, St Andrews

Atmospheric rooftop restaurant 18 St Andrews is celebrating the anniversary of Burns’ birth with a menu designed by award-winning chef Derek Johnstone – showcasing the best of Scottish produce and creating dishes with the country’s favourite traditions in mind. The four-course menu is priced at £75 per person, and is a special event taking place on Wednesday 25th January.

The menu will feature a contemporary twist on cock-a-leekie with roast chicken consommé, leek, barley and wild rice; followed by the address to the haggis – accompanied by a piper and served with a dram of Bowmore whisky. The main course will feature grilled sirloin of Scotch beef from butcher John Gilmour, skirlie and bone marrow crumb with charred onions, with classic cranachan for dessert.

Ned’s Club Burns Supper – The Ned, London

Proud Scot and BBC TV presenter Phil MacHugh joins forces with Scottish actress Laura McMonagle to host this year’s Burns Night at Ned’s Club.

Don your tartan garments for fun and frolicking at The Ned’s Club Burns Night Supper on Saturday 28th January for an evening of Scottish dancing and a traditional haggis feast. The black tie (or kilted, in this instance!) event will also feature entertainment by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, with a host of stars to make Burns Night 2023 at The Ned one to remember.

Burns Supper at The Lawn – Marine North Berwick

Executive chef David Haetzman has created a traditional menu for Burns based on locality and seasonality, using producers in East Lothian and surrounding areas. The three-course menu is priced at £55 per person (including tea, coffee and tablet), with celebrations taking place on Wednesday 25th January.

The evening will comprise of a traditional cock-a-leekie with chicken, leeks, rice and prunes; haggis with neeps and tatties with a dram to sip during the ‘address to the haggis’; pavé of East Lothian beef, skirlie potato cake, roasted artichokes and red wine sauce. To finish, guests can enjoy an iced cranachan parfait, brandy snap and whisky cream.