From haggis to kilts, we’re celebrating all things Scottish this week. Roberts Burns night is an annual festivity celebrated on the 25th January, to commemorate the life and literary works of Burns in a night of eating, drinking and merrymaking. Over the years, it has also become a landmark of Scottish pride, and an opportunity for restaurants and bars around the UK to offer everyone a chance to soak up some Scottish culture.
Born in 1759, Robert Burns was a world-renowned poet and lyricist who shaped the Romantics literary movement. Inspired by the works of Alexander Pope, he shaped 18th and 19th century poetry in the UK. Burns’ most famous works include, “Auld Lang Syne” (1788) which is sung all over the world at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s.
But what’s the best way to celebrate this night?
A home-cooked haggis dinner with friends or a more formal supper is among the options. Traditionally, guests are meant to read out loud the famous “Address to Haggis” poem before they can start eating their meal. A traditional menu (usually haggis) is then served alongside whisky, wine or ale and entertainment for the night includes bagpipe playing, renditions of Burns songs and Scottish dancing. It’s definitely a night which celebrates cultural heritage and traditional experiences.
To get your haggis fix this Burns night, here is a list of traditional dishes (other variations may exist) and the best Scottish restaurants to have them in:
- Mac & Wild – Fitzrovia
Fancy a burger with a Scottish twist? Mac & Wild bring us the best of the best of Scottish sourced produce. Specialising in classic wild venison, beef, steak and seafood and of course, whisky, they mix tradition with contemporary food as they serve Haggis pops and Tattie tots for starters. Mac & Wild are offering special Burns special nights ranging from a Burns Silent Disco, a Burns special set menu on the 25th of January and Haggis making classes.
(65 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7PS)
- Deeney’s – Leyton
Deeney’s café only opened in October 2018 and already has a cult following. Their haggis toasties called the ‘MacBeth’ have been going down a storm with customers. For a veggie option there’s the ‘Lady MacBeth’. They are also hosting a special Burns night which is available to book now.
(360 High Rd Leyton, Leyton, London E10 6QE)
- Boisdale – Belgravia
Enjoy your haggis, neeps and tatties alongside the finest live jazz music in the heart of London. Boisdale serves the finest Scottish cuisine, book now for 4 course meals in celebration of Burns night.
(15 Eccleston St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9LX)
- Ghillie Dhu – Edinburgh
Lots of fun and amazing food, Ghillie Dhu is the perfect choice if you are looking for an authentic Scottish night, accompanied by ceilidh dancing every Friday night. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes abundant portions of black pudding and brie parcels; haggis, neeps and tatties; poached Scottish salmon with lemon and dill cream, and much more.
(2 Rutland place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD)
- Ubiquitous Chip – Glasgow
Open since the 1970s, this Scottish legend is well-known among the locals as “The Chip”. Located in the picturesque Ashton Lane, this bistro-pub offers a modern spin of Scottish classics and food locally sourced.
(12 Ashton Ln, Glasgow G12 8SJ)