Celebrate.....Burns Night

By Sheila McWattie

- Last updated on GMT

Burns Night is an opportunity to drive sales in a quiet month
Burns Night is an opportunity to drive sales in a quiet month

Related tags Scotland Robert burns

Sheila McWattie looks at what licensees are planning for Burns Night in January

Memorial supper

ETM group owned London pub the Jugged Hare is hosting a traditional supper to honour the memory of the late poet Robert Burns on Friday, 23 January. Head chef Stephen Englefield will serve a five course menu priced at £65 per person, with haggis take centre stage alongside specially matched wines. Some of the dishes to be served up include roast Scottish mutton loin with haggis stuffed belly, neeps, taties and jus and haggis ‘hot pot’ with Scotch quail’s egg.

Hefty haggis

Free haggis is just one of the treats on offer at the Clachaig Inn’s highly informal Burns Night event in Glencoe on Saturday 24 January. Guessing the weight of the haggis to win a Clachaig T-shirt, listening to local duo White Rose and drinking plenty of whisky are all enthusiastically encouraged. Alongside the pub’s usual menu, featuring Isle of Lewis black pudding with locally smoked sweet-cured bacon and apple & plum chutney, the specials board to honour the bard will include cock-a-leekie soup, neeps and tatties, of course. The haggis will be supplied by Macsween of Edinburgh, the well-known family-run business reputed to have founded the world’s first factory solely dedicated to haggis-making. The company, established by Charlie and Jean Macsween as a butcher’s shop in the Scottish capital in the 1950s, now produces more than 1,000 tonnes of award-winning haggis annually. 

Sociable theme

Glenmorangie, a whisky named after the Scots Gaelic term for sociable, will be the tipple of choice during Burns Night celebrations at Mr Fogg’s, run by Inception Group, in Mayfair’s Bruton Lane, central London.
The Victorian-style bar, modelled on the type of Mayfair house Jules Verne’s famous fictional adventurer Phileas Fogg is likely to have occupied after travelling around the world in 80 days, is described as "refined but truly off-the-wall, breathing liveliness and fun into the area". Kilt-wearing withsporrans is encouraged at the Scottish-themed festivities, which will include haggis canapés and begin, in the style of all Mr Fogg’s celebrations, at 6.01pm precisely, continuing into the wee hours.

Burns and Bumps

A Japanese single malt whisky recently beat Scotch to the title of Best Whisky in the World, as compiled by the Whisky Bible 2015. But while Scots might feel sore at not even making the top five, Charlie McVeigh’s BUMP Caves in Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, south east London, will be building bridges by throwing a cross-cultural celebration of the two whisky-making nations with its Japanese Burns Night.

Joining forces with BUMP Caves and producing the event’s five-course menu is BBC’s MasterChef 2011​ winner Tim Anderson, who runs successful pop-up Japanese restaurant Nanban and recently published his first cookery book, Nanban: Japanese Soul Food​. Pairings will include haggis gyoza, neeps and tatties (haggis pot-sticker dumpling and korokke – a potato-swede Japanese croquette – served with a sweet, salty sauce infused with whisky) matched with Suntory Hibiki 12-year-old on Shiso ice; tempura Mars bar (deep-fried Mars Bar in light batter) with BrewDog’s Abstrakt craft beer, and layered wafu cranachan dessert: a yuzu and raspberry compôte with sesame, heather honey and whisky granola, topped with candied kumquats and black sesame Chantilly, served with Hakushu Distillers Reserve Old Fashioned with Sencha tea and pine.

BUMP distiller Max Chater will be on hand to provide some of the finest Japanese whiskies, BUMPs, mixed drinks and Scottish beers. He distils his own spirits using the bar’s rotary evaporator, also creating syrups, liquors, vermouths and infusions.

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