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Burns Night Celebrations in London

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
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Burns suppers for both scots and sassenachs
Whether or not you enjoy the poetry of Robert Burns (most of us Sassenachs can't even understand all of it) I promise you that you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself if you attend one of the traditional Burns suppers. You don't have to be Scottish, or even in Scotland, to dine on 25 January, Burns's birthday. There are a few places in London where you can enjoy all the traditions which include the Selkirk Grace, (most of this is intelligible to those of us born south of the border) the piping in of the Haggis, the Address to the Haggis (you'll probably need a translation for this), the meal itself, which includes the eating of the aforesaid haggis accompanied by neeps and tatties, all washed down with generous glugs of Scotch whisky. After dinner, you will have an opportunity to listen to an amusing speaker raise a toast to the Lassies, and the response on behalf of the Lassies.

Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Image: Alexander Nasmyth / Wikimedia Commons


If you're in the mood for a Burns supper, here are a few suggestions.

Vinopolis are offering a two-course meal preceded by whisky cocktails and a whisky master class on 25 January.

Haggis
Haggis
Image: Kim Traynor/Wikimedia Commons


At Marco restaurant at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge you'll be able to stuff yourself with a four-course meal, wine and whisky for £49. The haggis will be toasted and served by footballer, Tommy Docherty.

The Ceilidh Club will be celebrating in grand style five times over at Hammersmith Town Hall on 18, 19, 25 and 26 January, as well as on 2 February. There will be a buffet meal, worked off with three hours of dancing.

The Streetwise Opera Ceilidh Burns Night will take place at Cecil Sharp House with ceilidh dancing to the George Buchanan band. All the traditional foods and drink will be available throughout the evening.



A really classy way to enjoy your Burns supper would be at Butchers Hall. The ticket includes a sparkling wine reception, five-course meal (including Scottish salmon and beef), ceilidh dancers, bagpipes, drums and whisky tasting.

Haggis Garnished with Neeps and Tatties
Haggis Garnished with Neeps and Tatties. Image: Biology Big Brother/Wikimedia Commons


The Alma Scottish Food and Drink Festival takes place in Islington over an entire week, between 18 and 25 January. In addition to sampling Scottish ales, cheeses, venison, game, haggis and traditional Scottish dishes, Burns Night itself will be celebrated with a piper and Scottish music.

So wherever you decide to celebrate Robert Burns, whether or not you don your kilt and sporran, pour a wee dram and say slainte to 'the great chieftain o' the pudding-race'.
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Why? To celebrate Robert Burns
When: Usually 25 January, but other dates apply
Where: Lots of different venues
Cost: Details are on the websites
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