Burns Night is upon us, and we have all the deets
‘Good luck to you and your honest, plump face, Great chieftain of the sausage race!’
Burns Night is one of those dates in the diary that we mark without paying much attention to its originality. And just as we don’t need an excuse to flip pancakes on Shrove Tuesday - raise a wee dram for a Scottish Bard’s birthday? Sure! Toast a tripe-encased sheep’s stomach? Why not? Bagpipes, poetry, dancing? Bring it on!
First commemorated by a group of Rabbie’s mates back in 1801, many Burns Night traditions are still held at suppers and events across the UK 200 years on. We’ve lined up five of the best cafes, pubs and restaurants in Leeds honouring Scotland’s most famous poet. Kilt optional.
Like much of Scotland, The Bridge seems to get its fair share of North Atlantic climate. But there’s nothing better to do on a wet drizzly day than hunker down with a pint of Virtuous. Book in for its Burns Night event on Wednesday 25 January and enjoy a themed food menu, complete with an addressing of the haggis by one of their very own regulars, a lovely local Scotsman. Who knows, you may even spy Nessie wading onto the banks of the River Aire.
Wednesday 25 January - all day
The Kirkstall Bridge Inn, 12 Bridge Rd, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3BW
With an award-winning white heather scotch and a trilogy of 50th-anniversary single malts paying homage to their master distiller, Billy Walker, Philosophy blends leading industry knowledge with the finest ingredients aged in high-quality wooden casks. Join the distillery for a whisky masterclass like no other, alongside a selection of Scottish snacks prepared by the Fourth Floor Brasserie chefs.
Tuesday 24 January
6.30pm – 10pm
Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie, Leeds LS1 6AZ
Ox Club knows its meat. Its seasonal menus often feature blushing bone-in Aberdeen Angus steaks seared to perfection on an impressive solid fuel grill. So you’d like to think it knows how to treat a haggis. The Ox Club Burns Night Supper event is now in its eighth year, and for £75 a head you’ll be treated to Scottish shellfish, venison direct from the Harewood Estate, and even an Irn-Bru doughnut or two. With complimentary drinks pairings from London’s Compass Box Scotch whisky-makers, book early for this one to avoid disappointment.
Wednesday 25 January
5pm - 10pm
Ox Club at Headrow House, 19a The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 6PU
Located bang in the centre of town, you won’t need to travel far to tuck into a hearty Burns Night supper at Browns Brasserie. Each course is served alongside a glass of Glenfiddich’s finest whisky, and the traditional menu of Scottish mussels, haggis, neeps and tatties, and cranachan will not disappoint. With three courses for £30, it’s excellent value too!
Wednesday 25 January
Browns Leeds, Unit H28 The Light, 70-72 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8EQ
£30 – £46pp
If you’re not into innards, Grön Kafé up in Oakwood is offering a plant-based supper club that doesn’t scrimp on those smoky Highland flavours. This healthy vegan menu features cured carrots on Fife Bannock bread with chive cream cheese and pickled cucumber to start and a whisky and blueberry cranachan with layers of yoghurt, compote and granola to finish. Not to mention some pretty special single malt laced chocolate truffles for afters. For £40 per head, the peaty drinks pairings are included.
Wednesday 25 January
6pm & 8.30pm
Grön, 454 Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS8 2HU
Just when you thought Scottish cuisine couldn’t get any more refined - Haggis came along. Whether you love the stuff or find it offal, there are plenty of places to pick up both the lamb and veggie versions around the city, ready for your water bath and ceremonial sword on the 25 January. We’ve spotted sightings of the traditional MacSween product at Kirkgate Market, plus Crag House Farm Shop on Otley Road, Keelhams in Skipton, and Crimple Hall outside Harrogate. Most of the major supermarkets around Leeds are stocking it too. So, gather your honest men and bonnie lasses for a haggis and highland fling.
Read again: 'A claggy chore' - The Cut and Craft, reviewed
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