23 in-person and virtual events to celebrate Burns night

Burns night is just around the corner and, unlike last year, there will be some in-person events.

Published 18th Jan 2022
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

From informal suppers to traditional menus and dishes from famous chefs, there's something for all.

For those looking to celebrate at home, there's the option of virtual Burns suppers and whisky tastings.

Here we take a look at some of the best events to toast our national bard this month.

SMWS virtual big Burns bash

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) will host a virtual Big Burns Bash to celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns, while appreciating Scotch malt whisky.

Taking place on Thursday 27 January (8 pm until 10 pm GMT) members and non-members from across the world are invited to join the Society’s Burns Night live stream on both Facebook and YouTube that features a line-up of music and poetry performances.

Hosted by long-standing BBC Radio Scotland presenter and whisky enthusiast, Vic Galloway, guests will be treated to music from Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, Skye-based musician Donald Livingstone and Jamaican artists Nickeishia Barnes and Steve ‘Lightning’ Newland.

Society ambassador John McCheyne provides the ‘Immortal Memory’ and academic and human rights activist. Sir Geoff Palmer will discuss what Burns means to him.

There will also be live poetry performances and chat with Scottish actor Tam Dean Burn and Scots-language poet Len Pennie.

For more information on the virtual Big Burns Bash please visit the SMWS website.

The Ivy on the Square, Edinburgh

This year Edinburgh's Ivy on the Square is inviting guests to try a limited-edition menu featuring some traditional Scottish favourites with an Ivy twist.

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On Tuesday, 25 January, diners can enjoy a good helping of Scottish cuisine with classic Burns Night dishes, including a Haggis Neeps and Tatties Shepherd’s Pie, and the regular favourite Oatmeal-rolled Lathallan Haggis Bon Bons.

For those with a sweet tooth, the menu also features a Hazelnut Praline Parfait.

Additional themed cocktails will be available alongside entertainment that will pay tribute to Robert Burns and his work.

Cocktails include My Love Is Like a Red, Red, Rose (£9.75) a whisky lover’s twist on the classic Bramble cocktail with Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky, lemon juice, sugar and a float of Crème de Mure; and My Heart Is In The Highlands (£12.75) an indulgent champagne cocktail with Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky, Grand Marnier & The Ivy Champagne poured carefully over a sugar cube soaked in Angostura Bitters.

To view the full menu and make a reservation, visit the Ivy's website.

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irn bru burns

IRN-BRU is launching its first-ever restaurant to serve up a modern take on the traditional Burns supper.

From Fri 21 – Tues 25 January, BRUber Eats will be delivering meals direct to doors across Edinburgh in celebration of the National Bard.

The restaurant, Burns By BRU, will be serving a BRU-infused menu, including haggis nuggets with a spiced BRU chutney, fried neeps and tatties and a Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pie with a BRU glazed crumble. All washed down with can of BRU, of course.

There will be a limited number of meals available each night on Uber Eats and IRN-BRU will donate the cost of every meal (£5) to Scottish foodbanks.

Burns Supper at Murrayshall, Perthshire

Dating back almost 100 years before the Bard’s birth, Murrayshall will be paying an entertaining and gourmet tribute to Scotland’s national poet at its Burns Night on Tuesday 25 January.

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After whisky cocktails and canapés guests at the 40 bedroom hotel at Scone, built in 1664 and set in 365 acres, will be piped through to a private dining room by Pipe Major Andrew Low to enjoy a four course dinner prepared by head chef Craig Jackson and his team.

Recitations of Burns’ poems will be given by Brian Baxter, well known as a Fellow of the Scottish Toastmasters’ Association, humanist celebrant, long distance runner and fundraiser of almost £100,000 for charities including SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airforce, and Families Association) of which he is the Perth & Kinross Branch Main Fundraising Manager.

Fiona Pugh, recently appointed Murrayshall’s Head of Food and Beverage, commented: “Our historic location provides a magnificent setting for events and this grand night will be a fun and inspiring occasion which will do Rabbie proud.”:

Tickets are £55 per person. Murrayshall is also offering a special rate of £40 per person for bed and breakfast (based on two people sharing a room).

To book call 01738-551171 or email info@murrayshall.co.uk.

Aberfeldy and Canvas cocktails

Aberfeldy is honouring Burns Night this year with an evening of whisky cocktails with an at-home event presented by Canvas.

Hosted by Aberfeldy’s Global Brand Ambassador, Matthew Cordiner alongside three of the UK's top bartenders, the evening will endeavour to commemorate Burns Night in a more contemporary way by bringing together the old and the new, inspired by Robert Burns' iconic poetry.

Canvas, who is currently paving the way for the premiumisation of the at-home drinking experience, was founded in early 2021 by Jonny Shields, a former Brand Strategist in the drinks industry and Jess Morgan, a former manager at Dandelyan.

Linking up with the best bartenders they develop at-home bar concepts which include drinks, bespoke scents, playlists and the service expected in a top bar through a short series of videos.

Crafting an ideal package for this year’s Burns Night, Canvas has brought together bartenders Stephen Mutty, Danny McManus and Kaitlin Wilkes-Back to each create a cocktail inspired by Burns.

From Stephen’s, ‘Tae an Apple’ - an exploration of the forgotten friendship between society and nature, inspired by Auld Lang Syne; to Kaitlin’s Roisín Spritz, a very unconventional way to enjoy a Scotch, inspired by A Red, Red Rose.

Finishing off with a tribute to his favourite way of drinking a ‘hauf an hauf’ - Danny uses Honey IPA in his ‘The Scots Mile’ to craft a complex sipper to end the evening’s festivities.

The box also includes a room spray which also takes inspiration from ‘A Red, Red Rose’ with sea rose notes playing against the ‘classic’ Scotch drinking ambience of a roaring fire and leather armchairs as well as Birchwood coasters handcrafted at The Workshop Aberfeldy.

While a curated playlist of contemporary Scottish music sets the tone, and a series of short videos hosted by the bartenders ensures guests feel comfortable serving the drinks at home.

As no Burns Night would be complete without Haggis the evening comes with its own toast in the form of potato crisps and an original poem from Matthew Cordiner, ‘The Toast to the Haggis Crisp’ to mark the significance of traditions both new and old.

A Modern Burns Night experience boxes are priced at £55 + postage and are designed to be shared between two.

They are available for pre-order now online, with a choice of delivery dates on the 20th Jan or 27th Jan.

Five-course feast by Wedgwood the Restaurant, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s award-winning Wedgwood the Restaurant has launched it popular ‘Burns Box’ again this year, and it's available nationwide.

The Scottish feast includes a copy of Robert Burns’ famous poem ‘Address to a Haggis’, a dram of whisky to toast Scotland’s national bard and a five-course Burns supper created by chef patron Paul Wedgwood.

Paul is known for his nose-to-tail cooking and innovative approach to one of his favourite dishes (he once celebrated Burns Night with a Guinea Pig haggis at famed Peruvian restaurant Maido) whilst in Peru.

With his use of seasonal Scottish ingredients, Paul has created a menu that the famous Scot would be proud of.

The menu features Whisky and Douglas Fir cured salmon, Wild Highland heather moor grouse ham and a Chocolate and clootie dumpling brownie.

The Burns Night box is priced at £150 for two people and includes free nationwide delivery.

Additional wine selections from the Wedgwood wine cellar will also be available to order.

Haggis at home from Balgove Larder, St Andrews

If you’re hosting a Burns supper at home, farm shop and butchery Balgove Larder produce an award-winning haggis that can be picked up in-store or sent out across the country.

Head butcher James Lothian and his skilled team use a traditional recipe featuring a closely guarded secret blend of spices.

Find out more and order online here.

Burns Night Supper at The Lawn, North Berwick

Celebrate Robert Burns birthday with a Burns Night Supper at The Lawn, North Berwick on Tuesday 25th January.

BBC Masterchef, The Professionals finalist executive chef Chris Niven and his team will be serving a four-course menu with curated drinks pairings and performances of the Bard’s poetry collection and bagpiper playing familiar Scottish tunes.

The menu includes: Belhaven smoked salmon rillettes; smoked haggis, whisky, turnip, confit potato; chicken breast, leek, prune, wild rice and The Lawn cranachan.

After dinner there will be Petits fours - Whisky sours jelly, IRN BRU & white chocolate macaroon and Scottish tablet, blackthorn sea salt.

The supper is priced at £65 per person. There is also an overnight package at Marine North Berwick available for those wishing to celebrate into the wee small hours.

Reservations can be made online.

Richard Turner and Derek Johnstone partner for Burns Night Supper at 18, St Andrews

KINGSBARNS, UK - 24th January 2019: Kingsbarns Distillery celebrate the launch of their first flagship whisky, Dream to Dram - Lowland Single Malt, during a launch event at the distillery in East Fife. (Photograph: MAVERICK PHOTO AGENCY)

Executive chef and MasterChef: The Professionals winner, Derek Johnstone, will be teaming up with Richard Turner, chef and co-founder of London butcher Turner & George for a very special Burns Night Supper at 18, St Andrews.

The rooftop restaurant has unrivalled panoramic views over the famous Old Course Golf Links and West Sands Beach.

A celebration of Robert Burns’ birthday with poetry and songs from his collection of works, the Supper will include a bagpiper and poetry performances of the Address Tae The Haggis.

Priced at £95 per person, Richard Turner, Derek Johnstone, and team will be serving a four-course menu with local distillery, Kingsbarns Distillery providing a curated single malt whisky pairing for each course and tutored tasting by expert, Kirsten Webb.

The menu includes: Cock-a-leekie: Roast chicken consommé, leeks, barley and wild rice paired with Kingsbarns Dream to Dram.

This if followed by an address tae the haggis: Haggis, neeps and tatties, paired with Kingsbarns Balcombe.

Then there's charcoal grilled steak, Bone marrow skirlie by guest chef Richard Turner, paired with Kingsbarns Bell Rock.

Finally dessert is cranachan: Oatmeal Breton, raspberry, whisky ice cream, paired with Kingsbarns Reserve 2021 followed by tea, coffee and whisky truffle.

You can make an advanced booking for 18 online, along with an overnight stay.

Bridge Inn Ratho Burns Night Supper

Nestled on the banks of the Union Canal, The Bridge Inn in West Edinburgh are hosting an intimate Burns Supper on the 25th of January for 50 diners.

Tickets are priced at £55 for the seven-course dinner or £75 for the seven-course menu and drinks pairing (prosecco on arrival and four wines with dinner).

Chef Tyler King will be using the very best local ingredients and vegetables from the pubs own walled garden.

The main course will of course include the address tae the haggis. Find out more and book online.

Burns supper Ballintaggart, Perthshire

This year, Dewars Aberfeldy have partnered up with Ballintaggart on a special Burns Night supper on Friday 21 January.

Guests can look forward to a four course tasting menu including Aberfeldy 12 glazed carrots, fresh mussels, truffle artichokes and a Yorkshire rhubarb dessert.

A Burns speaker will be doing readings and whisky cocktails will be available throughout.

Tickets are £55 per person.

Doddie Weir's Foundation Burns Night

London's biggest Burns Night is set to take place at The Brewery this month - with over 350 guests expected to attend.

On Tuesday January 25, 2022, global event company hastaworld and My Name'5 Doddie Foundation will present a tribute to Scotland's Bard all to raise money for the charity.

The inaugural event is expected to be the largest Burns event held in London, and while it will honour the legendary Scottish poet's life and work, it will also raise funds for Motor Neuron Disease (MND) research.

Guests will enjoy five-course dinner accompanied by bagpipes, as well as a lineup of well-known celebrities from the worlds of sport and television who will entertain with poems and song, as well as the traditional "Address to a Haggis."

Sky Sports TV Presenter and 'Scottish Lassie', Hayley McQueen will host the black tie event that will also feature entertainment by The Red Hot Chill Pipers with a host of Scottish stars in attendance.

Launched in 2017, My Name'5 Doddie Foundation was set up by Doddie Weir OBE - one of rugby’s most recognisable personalities - after the famous Scot revealed he was suffering from Motor Neuron Disease.

From the outset, Doddie has been driven to help fellow sufferers and seek ways to further research into this, as yet, incurable disease.

Tickets for the hasta Burns Night at The Brewery, London are available now or follow their instagram pages for further details and announcements.

Burns Supper in aid of Prostate Scotland, Prestonfield

Pop up restaurants
Picture: Prestonfield House Hotel Facebook

Prestonfield’s annual Burns Supper, in aid of national charity Prostate Scotland, returns with the usual mix of fine wine, whisky, seasonal food and an impressive fundraising auction.

Scottish broadcaster and actor Grant Stott will host the evening and introduce a number of musical surprises and guest speakers to ‘Address the Haggis’, ‘Toast the Lassies’ and ‘Reply fae the Lassies’, for a truly memorable evening.

Tickets cost £70 per person and include a welcome drink, three-course dinner with coffee and entertainment.

To book, call 0131 662 2323 or email events@prestonfield.com

The Three Chimneys – A Burns Dessert: Haggis-spiced crème brulee and Atholl Brose ice cream

No Burns Supper is complete without a good dessert and at The Three Chimneys, one of Scotland’s most iconic restaurants, they have prepared just that.

The restaurant prides itself on using some of the freshest local ingredients, found on the Isle of Skye where possible, and head chef Scott Davies has created the ultimate Burns Night dessert for the occasion; a Haggis-spiced crème brûlée and Atholl Brose ice cream.

The Gailes Hotel – A Traditional Burns Night Feast

Paying homage to the Bard’s Ayrshire roots, The Gailes Hotel in Irvine has created a Burns Night menu in celebration of the famous Scot this January.

Diners can start with an Ayrshire trio consisting of black pudding fritter, white pudding wellington and haggis bon bons, before tucking into chicken, smoked bacon and haggis wellington or slow braised shin and haggis pie.

Desserts include a Lagavulin panna cotta and a cranachan cheesecake.

To book, visit the hotel's website.

BenRiach and Macsween virtual tasting

Speyside Distillery, Benriach, is teaming up with Macsween of Edinburgh, to bring a live virtual tasting and whisky masterclass to Waitrose & Partners customers on Burns Night (Tuesday 25 January 2022, 7.30pm to 8.30pm).

Hosted by Rachel Barrie, Master Blender at Benriach, and James Macsween, Managing Director of Macsween of Edinburgh, the two iconic Scottish brands will discuss the winning combination of whisky and haggis and how these two key components are vital to any Burns Supper.

This is part of a free event broadcast live from the Waitrose & Partners event platform.

Tullibardine tasting set

Tullibardine is set to take fans on a ‘stunning flavour journey’ with its very first tasting collection set.

The pack of four miniature bottles offers the perfect way for whisky lovers to discover Tullibardine’s award-winning signature range.

The set features four x 50ml bottles of the distiller’s sovereign, sauternes cask finish, burgundy cask finish and sherry cask finish single malt scotch whiskies, packaged in a stylish grey and gold case.

Priced at £19.50, you can buy the kit online.

Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow

Enjoy an informal Burns night Glasgow's best known restaurants.

The menu is a contemporary twist on the traditional Burns dishes that will be presented along with live entertainment and whisky cocktails.

Find out more online.

Oran Mor, Glasgow

This venue in Glasgow's west end is hosting a Burns Night 2022 with Dave Anderson & Friends on 21 January .

Guests can enjoy a traditional Scottish celebration complete with Piper, Haggis and Champit Tatties and a Toast to the Lassies along with a dram on arrival and entertainment.

Tickets are £50 and can be bought on the Oran Mor website.

The Bard & His Belles Burns Supper for the Beatson

This annual Burns supper will take place at the Hilton Glasgow on 21 January, and guests can expect an evening of entertainment, three course meal, special guests including author and speaker Alison Edgar MBE, and music from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Tickets are £70 and can be bought on the Beatson website.

Burns Big Night In

The National Trust for Scotland is once again live streaming this event from Burns Cottage in Ayrshire on 22 January.

Hosted by Edith Bowman, guests can enjoy live entertainment from home, including music, poetry and a cocktail class from The Glenlivet.

A Box of Braw for two, which contains a range of goodies, are available to order online along with tickets, priced at £26. Find out more on the Burns Big Night In website.

Question of Burns Supper, Glasgow

This event from Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland is back for 2022 on 25 January.

Guests can look forward to comedian Fred MacAulay, Robert Burns performer, Chris Tait, response on behalf of the lassies from Michelle McManus, song from Nicola Cassells, and all hosted by rugby legend, Andy Nicol.

Taking place at Glasgow Hilton, tickets are £95 and include a three course meal, drinks reception and entertainment. Find out more and book here.

The Whisky Exchange Burns Night virtual quiz

Celebrate Burns Night with a virtual quiz and taste along with the Whisky Exchange team with a Perfect Measure tasting set to explore a variety of whiskies.

The pack will be accompanied by a live Zoom tasting and quiz hosted by The Whisky Exchange’s Alex Huskinson and Chris Bolton at 7pm on 25 January.

The set costs £34.95 and includes six 3cl sample bottles of Compass Box Orchard House, Whisky Exchange Exclusive Benromach 2010 Cask #390, Glenallachie 15 Year Old, Ardmore 2011 9-year-old Watt Whisky, and two blind whiskies.

Prizes include two tickets to the Whisky Show, a bottle of The Whisky Exchange’s Whisky of the Year, Deanston 18 plus free tickets to in-store tastings throughout 2022.

An invitation to the quiz will be emailed to the recipient when each pack is purchased.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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