The distant droning bass sound of a piper piping is sure to give you shivers, but unfortunately bagpipes aren’t often heard south of the Scottish border. There is one evening a year, however, where we English like to embrace all things Scottish. Celebrated on the 25th of January, Burns Night is an excellent opportunity to celebrate in what is often a very dreary month. To mark the life and birthday of Robbie Burns, the famous Scottish poet, Burns Night festivities consist of poetry readings, a hearty supper and dancing. So load up your plate with haggis, neeps and tatties and get ready to party like the Scots.
It might surprise you, but you don’t need to go to all the way to Scotland to enjoy a great Burn’s Supper. Board the Cutty Sark for an evening of poetry recitals, porridge, hot toddys and ‘stripping the willow’ (a Scottish country dance). The Cutty Sark is named after a line in Burns’ poem Tam o’ Shanter and its figurehead depicts one of the witches from the tale, so is an excellent place to mark the occasion. If ships aren’t your thing, throw on everything tartan that you own and make tracks to Bermonsey. At The Biscuit Factory you can eat haggis mac ‘n’ cheese, scotch eggs and cranachan sundaes, whilst enjoying a whisky cocktail and a live ceilidh band. Or perhaps opt for a more raucous evening at Burns Baby Burns where the bard’s typical offerings are accompanied with magic, fire and face painting. Motor around the festivities in Mihai Razvan’s Audi A8 hired from easyCar Club.
For those that feel that a true Burns Night must be celebrated north of the border, there are plenty of party options in Scotland’s capital. Burns often visited Edinburgh to observe his work being printed and there are several statues of him around the city, including the striking Burns Monument on Calton Hill. Beyond the profusion of traditional Burns Night options, featuring whisky, Scottish folk music and three-course dinners, there are also some more unusual offerings! Head to Swedish cafe Hemma to enjoy your Burns supper Viking style. Not a party-animal? Learn more about the history of Burns’ life at the National Museum of Scotland’s Burns Unbound season. Need some wheels to get you round the city? Rent Becky’s Renault Clio, but make sure you don’t exceed your limit of one wee dram.
When it comes to Burns Night jollifications, Glasgow is not to be out done by its neighbour Edinburgh. Bored of the typical Burn’s Supper fare? Why not give it a twist with some Caribbean food at The Rum Shack’s Reggae Burn’s Night? Alternatively, you can head to a Burns themed comedy night at the Stand or listen to a performance of new songs inspired by the national bard in St Andrews Square. If you’re an all female group, you’ll be allowed to attend the Gaia Women’s Burns Supper. Burns was a great lover of the ladies, so this celebration is a great tribute to the poet! Navigate your way around Glaagow’s merrymakings easily in Daniel’s Volvo XC90.