St. Andrew’s Day is a Scottish national holiday that’s celebrated on the 30th November. If you’ve got some highland blood and want to celebrate in the capital, there are plenty of events taking place throughout the city to suit all tastes. Listed below are seven of the most talked about celebrations this year.
If you’re looking for a truly traditional way to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day, the Ceilidh Club in Cecil Sharp House – an award winning folk arts centre – will be hosting a one-off event. Activities will include Scottish dancing and singing, scotch tasting and food sampling.
ScotsCare is a charity that helps to raise funds for poor first and second generation Scots who live in London. The organisation has been in existence for over 400 years, and this year’s St. Andrew’s Day dinner will be the 348th that they have held. The event will take place at the Caledonian Club and promises an excellent selection of traditional Scottish food and drink.
The Savoy hosts one of the most famous and respected St. Andrew’s Day celebrations in all of London. Here you can join a host of Scots from sports, business and entertainment for a nice sit-down dinner. Guests this year include Sky Sports’ Kirsty Gallacher, broadcaster Fred MacAulay and the sensational Scottish Fiddle Band.
St. Andrew’s Day Ball
For a classy night out consider attending the St. Andrew’s Day Ball at The Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace. Dinner starts at 7.15pm for serving at 7.45pm and traditional Scottish dancing will commence at 10pm. There is a strict dress code: highland for men and full length evening dresses for women. Tickets for dinner and dancing are £130 per person and include a champagne reception; three course meal with wine, breakfast and soft drinks; and whisky and wine throughout the night. Dancing only tickets are priced at £85 per person.
If you’re not in the mood for a party, then there are quite a few quieter options, such as enjoying a traditional Scottish meal in the Albannach in Trafalgar Square. On St. Andrew’s Day bookings fill up quickly, so best call ahead. They’ll be serving plenty of Scottish classics such as haggis and Angus beef, and they have a very impressive range of scotch whiskies at the bar.
Boisdale is another Scottish-themed restaurant, and unlike the Albannach, is a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the more central areas. Here you’ll find traditional Scottish food accompanied by a live jazz band. They also have a whisky bar, caviar and oyster bar, and cigar bar all overlooking the River Thames and Canary Wharf skyline.
Boot and Flogger
Boot and Flogger is a Scottish cigar and wine bar on Redcross Way. It was opened in the 1960s and is often considered to be London’s first “real” wine bar. The venue is very charming and retains many of its old features. Visitors often say that it has the atmosphere of a private members’ club even though everyone is welcome. If you’re looking for a quiet place to sit down and sample a few drinks on St. Andrew’s Day, it’s the perfect place.
St. Andrew’s Day may not be as well known as its Irish cousin, St. Patrick’s Day; however, that doesn’t make it any less special. If you’d really like to pull out all the stops this year and try something completely different, consider taking a ride on the London Helicopter.