As “citizens of the world” both ideologically and gastronomically (our stomachs have never held any continental bias and will happily welcome all and everything good that is offered), we don’t tend to feel to much of a pull when it comes to National Holidays. However, our native-born Scottish-ness comes out full blast every year on 25th January to celebrate Burns Night and give ourselves an excuse to guzzle down gorgeous whiskies and address the “Great chieftain o the puddin’-race” – the delicious and underrated haggis – to the sounds of Gaelic music. This year is no different. We’ve come up with a list of great London venues where you can celebrate Burns Night 2019 and banish the cold with a dram or two.
Roast will host an exclusive whisky pairing dinner on Friday the 25th of January 2019.
After being welcomed with a Bobby Burns cocktail (Chivas Regal 12, Martini Rosso Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Absinthe), attendees will sit down to a five-course menu with whisky pairings. Canapés will be followed by Grilled Orkney Scallop; Roasted Loin of Highland Venison with Haggis Bon Bons; a Selection of Scottish Cheeses and Pickles; and a Classic Clootie Dumpling and Custard. A variety of whisky pairings will highlight the smooth malty, chocolate flavour of Glenmorangie’s Signet in comparison to the fruity, citrus notes evident in the Dalmore paired with dessert.
A pip-player and speaker will accompany the meal in true Highland fashion.
Priced at £145 per person, tickets are available now and can be purchased here: https://www.roast-restaurant.com/burns-night/
Roast, The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL
Scotland meets America
Smith & Wollensky
To celebrate Burn’s Night this coming year, Smith & Wollensky have created a special menu that revels in all things Scottish:
Executive Chef, Tom Cook, has created a three-course menu in collaboration with Macallan Highland Scotch Whisky that will be served on the 25th January, and will be priced at £59 per person.
Guests will start the meal the traditional way with a Noggin of Macallan 12-year whisky followed by Macsween Haggis with Neeps and Tatties and a Red Wine Jus. This will be followed by a 225g Scottish Fillet of Beef and accompanied by Pan-Fried Mushrooms or Sautéed Spinach and French Fries. The meal will be rounded off by the traditional Scottish dessert, and one of our all-time favourite puds, Cranachan (made of oats, cream, whisky and raspberries).
A piper will transport guests to the Highlands and a speaker will be on site to “Address the Haggis” by Rabbie Burns’ famous poem.
Smith & Wollensky, The Adelphi Building, Covent Garden Riverside, 1-11 John Adam St, London WC2N 6HT
No Need to Book
The London EDITION Hotel
The Lobby Bar at The London EDITION will be transformed for Burns Night.
From 7pm until 9pm on 25th January, visitors will be treated to the sound of London’s top Scottish Ceilidh five-piece, Licence to Ceilidh, who put a fresh twist on traditional Scottish tunes and dances. In addition, guests can look forward to special menu of Chivas Whisky cocktails including Bobby’s Bru (Chivas 12, Coconut Irn Bru, Lemon Juice, Green Tea, Grated Tonka); The Bard, made with Chivas 12, rhubarb bitter, cynar amaro and a cherry garnish; and Sentimental Burns comprising Chivas 12, Suze, Rin Quin Quin Aperitif, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Soda Water and a Lemon Wedge Garnish, all priced at £14 each.
Complimentary traditional Scottish bites will be making the rounds including both vegetarian and meat haggis balls, followed by a traditional shortbread.
The London EDITION, 10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP
Progressive Hebridean Distillers (PHD) will be showcasing their Port Charlotte Whisky and The Botanist Gin for a modern Burns Night supper at the ever-innovative Mr Lyan’s Hoxton venue, Cub. Celebrating the best of modern Scotland, Craig Grozier, in-house chef for the PHD distillery and founder of the innovative dining concept Fallachan in Glasgow, will be taking the reins of the Cub kitchen. Working with the team, he will be developing a Burns-inspired 10-course set menu of five dishes and five drinks to create an offering the revolutionary Robert Burns would be proud of.
A clichéd cullen skink and cranachan free zone, Cub’s focus on sustainable luxury is perfectly complimented by PHD’s forward-thinking approach to distilling on the windswept Scottish island of Islay. This in tandem with Craig’s style of cooking and his use of native foraged ingredients will create a fresh take on the Burns Night supper. An added element of authenticity will be provided with an address of the haggis by Cub’s resident Glaswegian, Robin Honhold, and as the original sustainable dish, a vegan-friendly haggis will also be available.
The signature cocktail of the evening will be the Neo Caledonia – a martini-style drink created with both Port Charlotte 10-Year-Old and The Botanist. The Botanist and Port Charlotte offer a nod to the island of Islay, while Great British Vermouth pays homage to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh, showcasing all that the modern country’s great landscapes have to offer. Joined with wild foraged berries fermented with birch syrup to deepen the flavour, pepper dulse to give an umami edge, and a touch of barley vinegar from Orkney to brighten and balance, it is topped off with a pickled berry and pine-infused Port Charlotte spritz, bringing the wild and foraged flavours of Scotland to life.
Tickets for 25th January are £75 per person. For reservations visit www.lyancub.com. The Burns Night menu will also be available as an option alongside Cub’s usual set menu offering on Saturday 26thJanuary.
Cub 153 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ
Contemporary Scottish Whisky Cocktails
Adam Handling’s Iron Stag
Subterranean whisky cocktail bar Iron Stag by Chef Adam Handling, located beneath The Frog in Hoxton, is home to original cocktails and Scottish delicacies. Bar manager, Jason Glynn, has created a menu of special whisky-based drinks in ode to Scotland’s great Rabbie Burns, running Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th January 2019.
Clementine Wine (Wolfburn Northland Whisky, Clementine, Vermouth, Cherry Juice) – a subtle twist on a classic Bobby Burns
Mr. Burns (Wolfburn Aurora Whisky, Forced Rhubarb Vermouth, Orange Sugar) – a traditional take on a Bobby Burns cocktail but with a more fragrant touch, using an homemade forced rhubarb vermouth to add an unexpected flavour profile and an orange sugar which marries together the floral and sweet notes in the cocktail
Black & Gold (That Boutique-y Whisky Company Secret Distillery #2 Whisky, Benedictine, Fermented Blackberry & Sesame Soda) – based once again on a classic Bobby Burns but served as a highball and incorporating herbal notes from Benedictine and topped with a bittersweet fermented blackberry and white sesame seed soda
Cocktails can be matched with Iron Stag’s signature Haggis Bon Bons and Cheese Doughnuts, or for something sweet – the iconic Battered Mars Bar served with Honeycomb Ice-Cream And Salted Peanut.
Those taking part in Drink Up’s Scotch Whisky Weekend can enjoy the cocktails for £6.
Iron Stag, 45-47 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PD
Whisky, Whisky, All Around
Bar Swift x Ardbeg Whisky
In case you haven’t had enough of a Burns Night celebration this weekend Bar Swift will celebrate Scottish heritage and pride with Ardbeg whisky, Scottish nibbles and live Gaelic music on Sunday 27th January.
Swift will be serving Ardbeg’s An Oa (the newest addition to the Ultimate range); our favourite Ardbeg staple, the complex and inimitable Uigeadail; and the deep-peated wonder, Corryvreckan, as house pours meaning you can have your Manhattan, or any classic, with any one of them for just £12 double or £6 single. In addition, this is your chance to sample the rare Dark Cove committee release 2016 for £20 double/£10 for a single. That may sound like a lot for a dram but there is only a few bottles of this expression left in the world, and it is well-worth a tenner!
Alan Dunn and Gerry Bloom will treat participants to Gaelic classics and free Scottish nibbles like smoked salmon & haggis will be on offer.
Book your tables now, available as long as stocks last: www.barswift.com.
Bar Swift, 12 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TQ