This January 25, aka Burns Night, you could nuke a Macsweens, like you always do, head up Arthur’s Seat to catch a wild one or be the chieftain of the haggis race by joining one of the Burns Suppers being thrown by Edinburgh’s restaurants. There are also a few who are doing takeaway, in case you’re a wee timorous beastie who wants to stay indoors this year. It’s also worth mentioning The Kilted Donut on Great Junction Street and St Stephen Street, as they’ll be offering a haggis doughnut on Sunday, January 23, proving without doubt that Homer Simpson had Scottish ancestry. Slainte.
The original Hendersons on Hanover Street was famous for its veggie haggis, and now it’s passed the baton to its newer incarnation in Bruntsfield, which opened at the end of last year. On January 25, from 5pm onwards, with staggered arrivals to suit social distancing rules, they’re serving a vegan and plant-based five course menu of Scottish food with a twist, with tickets at £42pp, including a glass of Prosecco or a mocktail. There will also be Burns poems, and the wearing of tartan and kilts is encouraged.
Bonnie & Wild, St James Quarter, Edinburgh, www.bonnieandwildmarket.com
There’s a party going on at this food marketplace, where almost all of the businesses will be offering something Burnsy on January 25. Broken Clock Cafe and Patisserie are baking Hot Toddy Cranachan Cake with vanilla, whisky and raspberry, as well as offering a Whisky and Hazelnut Choux au Craquelin. The Gannet East will be serving their refined take on haggis, neeps and tatties, Joelato are offering a cranachan gelato and a whisky sour sorbet, and El Perro Negro, East Pizza, Creel Caught and Erpingham House are currently dreaming up their limited-edition dishes.
Order on this Scottish Gallic restaurant’s website for their Burns-themed Cafe at Home menu, which is available for collection on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 January. For £39.50pp, there are four courses, book-ended by sourdough bread and, at the other end, Artisan Roast coffee and their own shortbread. The haggis appears as a starter of bon-bons, along with Arran mustard mayonnaise, watercress and pickled turnip, while the main course is a Borders venison and root vegetable puff pastry pie and clapshot. They even chuck in a nip of whisky.
Woodland Creatures, 260-262 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, www.woodlandcreatures.com
This Leith pub, which described itself as an “easy going hangout” is serving a bit of an alternative Burns Supper, with a starter of haggis soft shell tacos, which include “whisky infused haggis soil”, then Balmoral chicken and an Irn-Bru infused cranachan, at two courses for £17.50 and three for £22.50. You can add drinks for another £12.50, which includes a whisky cocktail on arrival and a dram of Arbikie rye whisky.
Edinburgers can have a Burns Picnic delivered to their door, courtesy of this cafe, with branches at the Sculpture Workshop at Hawthornvale, as well as Morrison Street and a van in Inverleith Park. This offering consists of Isle of Mull cheddar on a sourdough baguette with sour plum chutney; haggis, rosemary and leek sausage rolls; barley, kale and hazelnut salad and salted rosemary shortbread. There’s a vegan equivalent available, with alternatives including celeriac and winter herb pate and toasted seeds on the baguette. Each picnic is £9.50pp. Eat it indoors, since Burns wouldn't want you to freeze your haggis bon-bons off.
Forth Floor Brasserie & Bar, Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square (0131 524 8350, www.harveynichols.com)
Harvey Nichols aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to their traditional Burns menu, which is available from January 24 to 29. It consists of a Cullen skink starter followed by haggis, neeps and tatties, with cranachan to finish, all for £25, or an extra fiver if you also want a nip of Glengoyne 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky.
Get your wee sonsie face along to Ratho, where this gastropub is serving up a Burns Supper on January 25. They only have space for 50 diners, and tickets are £55 for a seven-course dinner or £75 if you add a drinks pairing of Prosecco on arrival and four glasses of matched wine with dinner. There will be an Address to a Haggis, though their version is inside ravioli, along with pickled turnip, crispy potato, leek and watercress veloute. Other courses include an Arbroath Smokie doughnut and a chocolate and whisky pave with sea buckthorn and brown butter ice-cream.
This restaurant is delivering its Burns Box nationwide. For £150 for two people, including delivery on January 25, it consists of five courses, with whisky and Douglas fir cured salmon; Cullen skink barley risotto; wild Highland heather moor grouse ham; venison and haggis meatloaf and the excellent sounding chocolate and clootie dumpling brownie with spiced muscovado custard, cherry gel, ginger snap cumb and lemon balm. The box also includes a copy of Address to a Haggis and that essential wee dram.
Scottish Malt Whisky Society, 87 Giles Street, Edinburgh (0131 220 2044, www.smws.com)
This lot weren't going to neglect Burns Night. They’ve got three courses, three drams, pipers and other entertainment, all going down as part of their A Glass O’ Whisky Punch Wi’ Honest Men event at The Vaults, for £65pp. It takes place on January 25, from 6.30pm until 10pm.