Burns Night is being celebrated at Cutty Sark this Friday, January 25, with an evening of ceilidh dancing, poetry, scotch whisky and haggis, in honour of Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns, writes Holly O’Mahony…

The evening’s entertainment includes a special performance of Burns’ poem Tam O’Shanter. It’s after a key character in the poem, Cutty Sark, that Greenwich’s iconic tea clipper gets her name.
Robert or ‘Rabbie’ Burns (1759 – 1796) is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Today, Burns Night suppers and ceilidhs are held across the UK on what was Burns’ birthday.

The tradition dates back to 1801, five years after Burns passed away, when friends gathered at the poet’s first home, Burns Cottage, to celebrate his life.

Burns Night celebrations at Cutty Sark begin at 7pm, when guests are invited to explore the 150-year-old ship after dark and enjoy a complimentary dram of scotch whisky at the bar. London ceilidh band Licence to Ceilidh will then kick off the evening’s entertainment at 8pm.

A hot meal of haggis, neeps and tatties; stovies; or vegan haggis is included in the ticket price, and will be available to enjoy in the ship’s café during the interval. Poetry readings and a Highland bagpipe performance will entertain guests while they dine.

The second half of the ceilidh then commences at 10pm. Tickets include access to Cutty Sark, a hearty meal of traditional Scottish fare, a welcome drink (redeemable any time before 11pm) and the chance to dance underneath the gleaming hull of Greenwich’s historic tea clipper.

Burns Night ceilidh at Cutty Sark, King William Walk, SE10 9HT. January 25, from 7pm – 11pm. Admission: £35.