True, Brighton may be as far away from Scotland as is possible to be (without being Cornish). But our shared love of literature, savoury grub and midweek pissups reveals our kinship with north-of-the border brethren.

Who the hell is Burns?

Burns Night (or, more properly, ‘Burns Supper’) celebrates of the life and work of Ayrshire’s romantic poet and lyricist Robert Burns on January 25. Often regarded as the greatest Scot, Burns is most famous for Auld Lang Syne, and he he churned out dozens of tender sonnets and lively comic verses.

How can I honour him?

Burns Supper traditionally follows a standard format; the guests are ‘piped in’ by an actual bagpipe player (or a Spotify playlist nowadays). The host gives a speech, the haggis is served with neeps 'n' tatties (turnips and potatoes); everybody eats and drinks, lots. Then a toast to the lassies honours the fairer sex. A reply to the laddies is recited by the lassies. Then, finally, a few of Burns’ wise words are recited, before a little dancing. 

So food, booze and bantz, what’s not to like? Here's where to sink a few wee drams in Brighton on the 25th. 

THE COAL SHED

This classy spot on Boyce’s Street serves signature Aberdeen Angus steaks year-round anyway. For Burns Night, they’re going full-throttle with Cullen skink, confit yolk and curry on arrival; Cured halibut, smoked herring roe, pickles and rye to start; BBQ langoustines, barley miso and Ayrshire bacon to follow; Black Angus feather blade, neeps ‘n’ tatties and haggis for the main event; finished off with Cranachan and heather honey. Phoar. 

£45 for 5-course menu and drink on arrival

PASCERE

2 AA Rosette holders Pascere are hosting their first Burns Supper and we highly recommend you don your finest tartan attire and attend. The mouth watering menu consists of Haggis, neeps & tatties; Cullen Skink; Treacle cured scottish salmon, birch ice cream and pine; Venison loin & venison haunch with hay, parsnips & parsley root; and Cranachan to finish. There’s an optional matched wine flight for the night too. It would be rude not to. 

£45 for 5-course menu 

THE NIGHTINGALE ROOM

The extravagant performance venue nestled above The Grand Central are throwing a Burns inspired knees up with a twist. They’re bringing out the good stuff with this expert whisky tasting. Sup on six fine Scottish whiskies and learn the ways of the dram with a half time supper of Haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties thrown in for good measure. This Rabbie party is set to be real neat.

 £30 for Whisky Tasting and Supper

SUSSEX YEOMAN

We all know the Sussex Yeoman make a damn fine roast, but did you know they’re also serving up one of the most down right delicious Bobby Burns Suppers in Brighton too?! For starters choose from Cock-a-Leekie Soup or Salmon Fishcakes with beetroot & fennel salad; Mains are made up of Haggis, neeps & tatties (with a veggie option), Mutton, bacon and red wine stew or Venison haunch with Scottish oat rolled tatties; Pud you’ll need to keep room for is the classic Cranachan.

£22 for 3-courses 

BIG BRIGHTON BURNS NIGHT BASH

Quite responsibly held on the Friday after the big night, this ceilidh, (essentially a Celtic dance-off) promises traditional tunes and dozens of kilted expats tearfully paying tribute to Scotland. Expect a cheerful knees up to bagpipe classics, including Cumberland Square, Strip the Willow and the immortal Gay Gordon.

£20, advance tickets 

BRITISH AIRWAYS i360

Get yer kilt on and go celebrate Burns Night at 450ft high. Fly in style whilst tucking into deliciously Scottish-themed canapés and sipping on Harvey’s Lewes Blend Whisky. This is a special, extended flight to really get you in the ceilidh mood. 

£22.50 for residents. £25 for non-residents. 

THE POND FT. MESTIZA

Street Diner are sending in Mestiza's Filipino pop-up to take a tartan twist on the terrace this Burns Night. Louise will be looking for inspiration from Scottish ancestry to cook a supper of Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, Whiskey cream & Cranachan for you to stuff yer (baw)face with. 

Dishes range from £5 - £7

THE SOUTHERN BELLE

Fine food, whisky, music and merriment awaits you down at The Southern Belle this Burns eve. Dust off your kilt or the family tartan and head down for a good ol' Scottish knees up! Proper Scottish eats consist of Cock-a-Leekie Soup; Homemade Haggis, peppered neeps & tatties, steamed greens and The Southern Belle's very own stockpot gravy; Cranachan will fill the last of your tum and with a good ol' slog of whisky you'll be sure to be jigging the whole night through. (Vegetarian alternative available on request)

£17 for 3-courses 

Published -17th January 2018