Whether you like your Burns Night traditional, alternative – or even ‘radical’ – there’s something for every taste in Edinburgh this year. So dig out the kilt, brew the whisky and groom the haggis – and celebrate the life of Scotland’s national poet. Here’s a selection of what’s on offer:
WEDNESDAY 21ST JANUARY 2015
Supper with Burns: an alternative Burns Supper in the beautiful setting of the Storytelling Cafe, serving up a delicious three-course dinner – with the centrepiece haggis – and a generous helping of Burns stories, songs and lore. Hosted by storytellers David Campbell and Linda Bandelier, with Donald Smith and clarsach player Katie Harrigan. Book early to avoid disappointment! 7-10pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Tickets cost £30 and can be booked online here or by calling 0131 556 9579. Also at same time on Thursday 22nd January 2015 (Tuesday 20th already sold out)..
The Sun Inn Burns Supper: enjoy a four course meal at this beautiful old coaching inn and AA Four Star hotel close to the River Esk. The Sun Inn, Lothianbridge, Dalkeith. £30 per person: to book call the hotel on 0131 663 2456.
THURSDAY 22ND JANUARY 2015
Leith Festival Burns Night Fundraiser: 7pm, Leith Dockers Club, 17 Academy Street. £20/£15: to book call 0131 553 1929 or 0131 629 1214.
Supper with Burns: an alternative Burns Supper in the beautiful setting of the Storytelling Cafe, serving up a delicious three-course dinner – with the centrepiece haggis – and a generous helping of Burns stories, songs and lore. Hosted by storytellers David Campbell and Linda Bandelier, with Donald Smith and clarsach player Katie Harrigan. Book early to avoid disappointment! 7-10pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Tickets cost £30 and can be booked online here or by calling 0131 556 9579. Also at same time on Wednesday 21st January 2015 (Tuesday 20th January already sold out)..
FRIDAY 23RD JANUARY 2015
St Columba’s Hospice Fundraising Burns Supper: hosted by Grant Scott, featuring Bruce Fummey and including Still Game’s Tam and Isa aka Jane McCarry and Mark Cox. Welcoming drink, 3-course meal, cheeseboard and whisky, plus ceilidh with music from Corra. 7pm-late, Corn Exchange, Newmarket Road. £55 per person: tickets can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0131 551 1381. St Columba’s is also appealing for bottles – of wine, whisky or whatever alcohol you like – as prizes, so if you can donate anything, please drop it off at the hospice reception at 15 Boswell Road.
SATURDAY 24TH JANUARY 2015
Burns Night Community Ceilidh! An evening of live poetry, music, food (haggis, neeps and tatties) and dance. If you would like to perform a poem, song or dance, contact Rachel at llh.pchp.org.uk. 5-9.30pm (food served 5.30-6.30pm), Royston Wardieburn Community Centre, Pilton Drive North. Tickets £1 in advance only, from the Community Centre Reception. Wear comfy shoes for the sports hall floor. Children welcome when accompanied by a parent or carer.
Cafe Tartine Burns Supper: a three course meal and a nip of whisky, with actor Jock Ferguson compering and reciting some Burns, plus live music from a Scots folk trio. Guests are encouraged to read out their own favourite Burns poem! 7.30 for 8pm, Cafe Tartine, 72 Commerical Street. £29.95 per person: early booking advised on 0131 554 2588.
The Scotsman Hotel’s Burns Night: a delicious four course Burns supper with Haig whisky cocktails – ‘a traditional Scottish experience with a piper to address the haggis’. For over 18s only. 6.30 (prompt)-9pm, The Scotsman Hotel, 20 North Bridge. £50 per person + booking fee: to reserve your places, call the hotel direct on 0131 622 2900.
Neu Reekie’s Burns On Fire: ‘a wild carousel of poetry, colour, visuals and music’. Poets, musicians, DJs and more, including Kathleen Jamie, Tam Dean Burn, Kevin Williamson and the BARK Collective, and Emelle. Ticket price includes haggis (vegetarian version available), neeps and tatties and a complementary whisky. 7pm, Thomas Morton Hall (Next to Leith Theatre), 29-30 Ferry Road. Tickets cost £15 each and are available from Brown Paper Tickets. Neu Reekie is supported by Creative Scotland and this event is in association with Leith Theatre Trust.
The Welcoming Burns Night Ceilidh: an evening of traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing with an international twist – live Scottish music from the Ceilidh Minnow Band and African music from Rise Kagona! There will be clear instructions for those new to ceilidh dancing, and food and drink will be available on the night. Funds raised will go to The Welcoming and St John’s Development. Work off that Christmas pudding and dance the night away! 7.30-11pm, St John’s Church Hall, Princes Street. Tickets £5, £3 to members of The Welcoming, available on the door or in advance from the church office (tel: 0131 229 7565 – open Monday to Friday) or The Welcoming Office, 20 Westfield Avenue (07944 186166). The Welcoming Association is a charity bringing together asylum seekers, refugees and people from Scottish and local minority ethnic communities; it aims to welcome newcomers, learn together and improve English language and literacy skills. The project supports new migrants in getting to know the local culture through outings, music, drama, visual arts, talks, and visits from service providers in law, employment, housing and education. For those who would like to get some pre-ceilidh dance experience, there will be an optional one-off ceilidh dance class 1-2.30pm on Wednesday 21st January at St John’s Church Hall.
SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY 2015
Word Power Books’ Radical Burns Nicht! Traditional Scottish meal (vegetarians catered for), whisky (optional!), with songs and poetry readings in the spirit of the Bard. 7pm, Spoon, 6a Nicolson Street. £10 per person: advance booking and payment essential – call into Word Power Books in West Nicolson Street, call them on 0131 662 9112 or email them at email@example.com.
Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart Parish Burns Supper: with music, poetry and songs, haggis, neeps, tatties, home baking and tea/coffee. Other drinks available to buy. 3.30-5.45pm, Lauriston Jesuit Centre, 28 Lauriston Place. £6/£4 (school age children): proceeds will go to the organ fund.
Burns At The Close: an evening of traditional Scottish food, poetry and a guided tour of Mary King’s Close, meeting characters along the way. A one hour historical tour, including a nip of whisky or a glass of prosecco, readings of some of the Bard’s most famous pieces, and traditional Scottish delicacies with a twist. 6.15pm, The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street. £25 per person: advance booking required via website or by calling 0845 070 6244. Please make sure you inform the venue of any special dietary requirements.
Summerhall’s Burns Supper: Summerhall welcomes you to the sound of bagpipes; your master of ceremonies will deliver a bite-sized history of the Bard, followed by recitals of some of his poems and songs – with an opportunity for you to participate in a recital yourself (please contact the organiser if you wish to do so – details on website). Haggis, neeps, tatties and a nip of whisky, followed by a lively ceilidh with The Auld Alliance (Ceilidh Me Softly) Ceilidh Band, with dancing to suit all levels of ability. 6-10pm, Main Hall, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. Tickets £20/£18: book via website or call the Box Office on 0131 560 1581. Organised by Trotting Fox Events.
Burns Night at the Victoria Bar: recite a poem or sing a verse and get a free dram of whisky! Victoria, 265 Leith Walk.
Burns Night with Viking Long Table! Haggis, neeps and tatties, dining in the Viking style, with a free dram if you recite a Burns’ poem for fellow guests. Please be seated by 7pm – the haggis will be addressed at 7.30. 7-11pm, Hemma, 73 Holyrood Road. If you would like to book ahead call Hemma on 0131 629 3327.
The Whiski Rooms Burns Night Suppers: a fun and traditional supper, with two sittings. Bagpipes, speeches, haggis (vegetarian version available) and whisky – plus cock-a-leekie and cranachan. 5pm or 8.30pm, Whiski Rooms, 4 North Bank Street. £35 per person, reservations (& £10 deposit) essential.
TUESDAY 27TH JANUARY 2015
Cafe Ceilidh: Celebrating Robert Burns. Join Linten Adie and friends from the Scots Music Group for a free afternoon of songs and music in the Storytelling Court, celebrating the work of Robert Burns. 2-4pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. No booking required – just come along.