Where to toast the haggis this Burns Night
Published 18 January 2018

He may have died in 1796 but the life and work of Robert Burns is still marked around the UK in the last week of January. Traditionally an excuse to celebrate Scotland’s national poet with haggis, bagpipes and, of course, a wee dram of whisky, a number of restaurants have special events planned for Burns Night 2018

Proud Scotsman Neil Borthwick has created a five-course menu for the occasion at The Merchants Tavern, kicking off with game sausage roll and salt cod beignet before a multi-choice menu that includes cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties, and Dundee marmalade sponge pudding with Lagavulin whisky. There’s even a deep-fried Mars bar served at the end. The five-course feast on 25 January costs £45 per person.

Irish chef Richard Corrigan’s team includes a healthy Scottish contingent so it should be no surprise that Corrigan’s Mayfair is hosting a Burns Night celebration on 25 January. Expect a reciting of the ‘Ode To Haggis’, while Scottish sommelier Natalie will offer a ‘Toast To The Lassies’ – all to the tune of the bagpipes played by Richard Corrigan’s multi-talented doorman Paddy. Diners will be served a whisky pairing to accompany each course and enjoy dishes such as Speyside whisky-cured scallops; haggis-stuffed Aberdeen Angus Wellington; clootie dumpling and Glayva custard and Scotch whisky salted caramels. The five-course meal costs £75, with £35 for the whisky or wine flight.

Outlaw's at The Capital will be serving a Scottish-inspired menu on 25 January. Created by head chef Andrew Sawyer, the four-course menu (£68) will be accompanied by an optional whisky flight (£42) paired by The Capital's resident whisky expert and ‘Keeper of the Quaich’, Cesar Da Silva. The menu includes whisky-cured salmon, saffron kohlrabi and horseradish yogurt and haggis with swede, carrot and mashed potato. Finish with a decadent dark chocolate mousse, stout cake, milk ice-cream and kumquats.

Dundee-born chef (and self-styled bard) Jeremy Lee may have made his name in London but he will be keeping the Saltire flying at Quo Vadis with a special Burns Night feast on 25 January. Joined by the chefs of Black Axe Mangal, the menu is under wraps until the day but last year’s featured ‘glitter, numbing spices, haggis, bagpiper and other joys’. Tickets are £50 can be purchased at bamburnsqv2.eventbrite.co.uk

At Craft in Greenwich, co-owner Stevie Parle and the team will be joining forces with award-winning boutique whisky makers Compass Box for a four-course Burns Night menu and whisky pairing on 25 January. The menu includes a special haggis made on the premises using Yorkshire lamb and Craft’s own blend of spices and grains, served with neeps and parsley tatties smothered in cured butter and whisky sauce. It costs £48 per person for four courses and five whisky serves.

Rather than hosting an event on Burns Night itself, Glasgow restaurant Stravaigin is making a whole weekend of it by holding a Burns Brunch on 27 and 28 January. As well as a three-course menu for £21.95 per person (including a wee dram), there will be piping, poems and a performance from The Caledonian Cowboy. Sister restaurant Ubiquitous Chip will also be celebrating Burns Night on 25 January with an evening of food, theatrical performance, music and a ceilidh.

The Pony & Trap near Bristol is keeping its Burns Night menu under wraps until the day but chef-owner Josh Eggleton promises a six-course tasting menu with an optional whisky or wine flight for £60 per person.