Sarah Spreckley on behalf of Park Lane Events
Autumn has officially started and with less than 100 days to go until the most wonderful time of the year, now is the perfect time to tick one job off your Christmas list and book your festive celebration with friends, family or colleagues. If you’re looking for a central London location that offers superb hospitality, flexibility and a little something different to other run-of-the-mill venues, then we would love to welcome you to share some Christmas cheer here with us at The Caledonian Club.
Located centrally between Knightsbridge and Mayfair and only a short walk from Victoria; our Scottish private member’s club offers an elegant venue for both formal and informal Christmas events for non-members. Our stunning listed building boasts a variety of rooms in which to come together and be merry; from the intimate Oval Room that can accommodate 16 for a private dinner to the impressive Johnnie Walker Room with a seated capacity of 120 or standing capacity of 250, our expert in-house team are on hand to suggest and guide you through from enquiry to event to ensure you are looked after at every step.
With roaring fires to set the scene, an impressive selection of whiskies available to sample and the very best in Scottish hospitality guaranteed, we are proud to offer our guests a stylish setting in which to celebrate.
With festive finger buffet menus starting from £29 and seated menus from £41.50 per person, we still have selected dates available in December including exclusive use (dry hire) on New Years’ Eve – why not raise a glass to a new decade in with your nearest and dearest and sing Auld Lang Syne in a truly Scottish setting? Alternatively, we can provide the perfect venue to celebrate Burns Night in January – for more information, head to www.caledonianclub.com or email the team on email@example.com
Sarah Spreckley on behalf of Park Lane Events
Last week saw the team from Park Lane Events proudly support The Caledonian Club at the Business Networking Club Event Show at Central Hall, Westminster.
Over the course of a very busy day, a steady stream of pre-qualified corporate event bookers and venue-finding agents were welcomed to our stand where we were able to present what The Caledonian Club has to offer for non-member events. Contacts new and old were able to chat to the Club Secretary and learn a little bit of history behind why the Club is such a hidden gem in our City – there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact in our ever-increasing online world and the BNC highlights how valuable this still is. New event enquiries were received directly and we were also able to share our Autumn Conference offer via the BNC Event Magazine where we are offering reduced rates on a Monday and a Friday.
As an exhibitor, the team behind the BNC have thought of everything to make the day run as smoothly as possible; AV is on hand for any technical hitches that may occur and a ‘call card’ allows texts to be sent to a specific number for stand support, to report ‘selling’ to exhibitors and even a request for sweets when that mid-afternoon sugar craving kicks in! Complimentary breakfast, lunch and afternoon treats are also brought to stands for exhibitors to help fuel the day – a much-welcomed perk that we’ve not experienced at any other event shows.
For attendees – hourly competitions, an impressive line-up of seminars and delicious food served throughout the day all work together to enhance the visitor experience; add to this a relaxed atmosphere in a stunning location and you have the perfect ingredients for a successful business show.
This is the only exhibition that The Caledonian Club partake in during the calendar year and we have already secured our spot for 2020. A big thanks to the fabulous team behind the scenes at the BNC that work tirelessly to make the event such a success – we look forward to joining you next year!
Sarah Spreckley on behalf of Park Lane Events
When we think of traditional Scottish celebrations, Hogmanay and Burns Night spring to mind, usually taking place during the darker, colder, wintery months of the year. Traditionally celebrated on or around 25th January, Burns Night marks the birth of the great Scottish poet, Roberts Burns and often sees friends and family gather together to share a night of music, revelry, fine food and drink and readings from the bard.
Here at The Caledonian Club, we are proud of our reputation for offering the very best in Scottish hospitality and are well practiced in hosting Burns Suppers’ and other themed events. 2018/19 saw approximately 30 dinners take place at the Club throughout the Burns season and we are proud to have the opportunity to welcome our Members and guests back year on year to share the celebrations with our team.
As one of the finest Scottish venues in our capital and with a varied choice of private dining spaces available, our doors are also open throughout the whole calendar year for event hire; why not bring family, friends or colleagues together to celebrate Tartan Day on April 6th which marks the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, or you could wait until July 1st and celebrate International Tartan Day instead?
Guests can be greeted at our door by a piper and you could even add a whisky tasting into the proceedings! Accompanied by our well-travelled barman who certainly knows his malts – guests can enjoy a tasting session pre or post dinner in one of seven private event spaces, accommodating up to 120 for a seated dinner. We can also offer a more intimate event for up to 40 guests by using our Selkirk room for pre-dinner drinks, moving to the Stuart Room for dinner and then back to the Selkirk for post-dinner dancing!
With the option to add live music to your event or even raise spirits and heart rates with a ceilidh, our team is on hand to advise what has worked historically at the Club and would love to welcome you and your guests. For more information, please head to Burns Night at The Caledonian Club or contact the events team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7201 1508 to make an enquiry.
Thanks to Earthy Photography for piper image.
Sarah Spreckley on behalf of Park Lane Events
It’s that time of year when invitations start landing in your inbox for the exhibition season. We all know that these dates are an essential addition to the calendar when working in the events industry, but how do you prioritise which ones to visit? As a smaller venue, we are very selective when it comes to deciding where we should exhibit, yet there is one date that we always ensure is in our events diary – the Buyers’ Networking Club Event Show which takes place on July 10th at Central Hall Westminster. This show proudly markets itself as ‘the show eventprofs recommend’ and after exhibiting there for the past 2 years – we tend to agree.
Here are 5 reasons why we think you should visit and if you do – we look forward to seeing you there!
- With an impressive selection of companies all available under one roof, visitors to the BNC can meet face-to-face with properties, suppliers and event related businesses. It’s a cliché but it’s true – people buy people and the show offers the opportunity to chat with event buyers, venues and business owners in a relaxed and informal setting which isn’t often the case at traditional networking events.
- If you come and visit us on stand 128, you will have the opportunity to meet directly with David Balden, the Club Secretary and Lyndsey Taylor from Park Lane Events. David is the font of all knowledge when it comes to The Caledonian Club and can answer any questions you may have (and can also share lots of great anecdotes and stories about the Club if you have the time!)
- As a Scottish member’s club, the only way to see The Caledonian Club is by becoming a member or by holding or attending an event there, but you don’t need to be a member to hold an event at The Club! If you pop by and introduce yourself to us at the show, we will be able to add you to our mailing list where you will receive updates, special offers and an invitation to our Summer drinks on the terrace which is a lovely event! There may even be whisky on the stand!
- Another reason to attend the show are the Seminars! The BNC organises a varied and informative programme of educational seminars, providing the perfect opportunity to learn from industry experts on a whole range of topics, trends and tech that have an impact on the events industry. It’s often difficult to keep up to date with changes and innovations and this gives an opportunity to bring yourself up to speed as to who and what the movers and shakers are.
- And if you need any more reasons to attend – complimentary catering is available all day for visitors and exhibitors – need we say more?! With delicious breakfast, elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea options offered along with drinks – the show will keep you fully fuelled and energised throughout the day. The show also runs hourly competitions with some fabulous prizes available as well as a pre-chosen free gift when registering. The show understands your time is precious and they are grateful that you have taken the time out of a busy schedule to visit.
We would love to meet you! The Caledonian Club will be located on stand 128 and our team would be delighted to have a chat and tell you a little more about our gem of a venue.
Elegant, sophisticated, and welcoming, the Caledonian Club has built up a reputation for being one of London’s finest and most sought-after venues for hire. This beautiful Scottish members club offers its clients and guests an atmosphere of true grandiosity, coupled with a sense of homeliness and old world charm. Together, this makes venue hire at The Caledonian Club a truly exclusive and memorable experience, making it a venue which simply cannot be overlooked. With its gorgeously decorated function rooms and social spaces, this stunning venue for hire in London is bound to make a powerful and lasting impression!
Situated in the heart of Belgravia – one of London’s most stylish and luxurious neighbourhoods – the Caledonian Club is a venue for hire which never fails to go above and beyond expectations, delivering perfection and breathtaking surprises at every turn. Indeed, with its Scottish and period decor, fabulous location, and superb team of event professionals, it’s a splendid setting for all manner of events, ranging from receptions to birthdays, business meetings, weddings, workshops, and much more besides.
Let’s take a closer look at the unique features offered by The Caledonian Club as a venue for hire in London, and consider just what it is that makes this beautiful Belgravia mansion house such a fantastic choice for those seeking something truly special.
Make a Bold Impression by Hiring a Venue in Fashionable Belgravia
It would be impossible to write about the appeal of the Caledonian Club without making some reference to Belgravia, the chic and beautiful London neighbourhood in which this elegant 19th century mansion is located. For over two centuries, Belgravia has been considered the last word in urbane sophistication, and its iconic townhouses and public gardens are emblematic of London’s status as a stylish modern city in touch with its historic roots.
The Caledonian Club takes great pride in its location within the heart of Belgravia, and venue hire of the Caledonian Club allows guests the opportunity to enjoy the unique ambience of this part of London. For example, many receptions and parties held at the clubhouse will make use of one of Belgravia’s signature garden spaces – the perfect place in which to soak up the atmosphere, have a few photos taken, and generally make the most of this world-renowned part of the capital.
London Venue Hire Bursting with History
When one thinks of London venues for hire, it’s all too easy to immediately conjure up images of soulless, grey, industrial spaces, or corporate meeting rooms packed with identical office furniture. The Caledonian Club is the perfect antidote for such things; it’s a venue which exudes so much charm, so much history, and so many unique features – it’s safe to say there really isn’t another venue like it to be found anywhere else in the city.
The Caledonian Club is housed within the last mansion of its kind to be built in Belgravia, and offers its guests and clients the chance to soak up the atmosphere of a genuine 19th century townhouse. All throughout the venue, a huge number of the original furnishings have been beautifully maintained and preserved, and the decor and interior design of the entire building have been carefully selected to exude a sense of period grandeur and sophistication. Everywhere you look, there are clues to the building’s history and prestige, and the important role the club has played for the Scottish community here in London. To utilise the Caledonian Club as a venue hire opportunity is not merely to make use of beautiful function rooms – it’s a chance to partake in a slice of history, and to immerse oneself in beauty, elegance, and true Scots hospitality.
Highland Sophistication and Flawless Scottish Charm
Hiring The Caledonian Club is all about providing those moments of exclusivity, and an array of sensory treats which make this stunning Belgravia mansion a venue that stands head and shoulders above the rest. That’s why this venue offers a range of wonderful options for those seeking to hold their parties, receptions, meetings, and other events, and never stops seeking new ways to delight. The Caledonian Club is well renowned for its incredible catering; whether traditional Scottish food, whisky tasting experiences, finger buffets featuring fresh and seasonal produce, or something tailor-made for an event is required, this venue is guaranteed to hit all the right notes from the first moment to the last.
What’s more, The Caledonian Club features a team of event professionals and venue hire specialists, each of whom are absolutely committed to ensuring the whole experience goes ahead exactly as envisioned. No request is too great or too small, and the Caledonian Club team will be only too happy to talk through the multitude of options and opportunities open to you.
A Range of Flawless Function Rooms
As with any top-quality venue for hire in London, the Caledonian Club offers its patrons and guests a wide array of stunning function rooms and halls to choose from, with a fantastic range of sizes and styles available.
The largest (and many would argue, the most impressive) of the function rooms for hire at the Caledonian Club is the beautiful Johnnie Walker Room. This function space for hire is incredibly elegant and atmospheric, and it highlights the unique features of the club in a most glorious fashion. With a wealth of period features and breathtaking design points, the Johnnie Walker Room has a capacity for 200 guests or 150 seated attendees, making it ideal for sizeable receptions in which more space is required.
However, the options do not end there. Other popular function rooms for hire in this beautiful Belgravia venue include the Library (a magnificently ambient and sophisticated space), the Morrison Room, and the Ballroom, each of which have their own capacities, their own unique atmosphere, and a long list of factors which make them perfect for different types of events. With intimate spaces for up to thirty attendees, and larger rooms suitable for over a hundred guests, there’s no doubt about the fact that The Caledonian Club offers no shortage of venue hire opportunities that will inspire, delight, and provide many memorable moments.
Venue hire at The Caledonian Club is an opportunity to make a real impact with an event, elevating it from the ordinary to the truly extraordinary. Why not get in touch today, and see what this stunning Belgravia mansion can do for you?
Sarah Spreckley on behalf of Park Lane Events
Virginia Woolf knew exactly what she was talking about when she famously said ‘one cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well’. Bringing people together to share good food and conversation is undoubtedly one of life’s simple pleasures and where better to enjoy a private dining event than with us here at The Caledonian Club?
Founded in 1891 and tucked away in Belgravia, our stunning listed building is home to a varied choice of private dining spaces that can accommodate from 10 to 250 guests. Whether you’re looking to host a corporate dinner, special celebration, or just the opportunity to bring friends, family or colleagues together in an exclusive and traditional setting – The Caledonian Club offers Scottish hospitality at its very best.
Our highly experienced and knowledgeable team will guide you through from enquiry to event and can make recommendations to ensure your dining experience at The Caledonian Club is remembered for the right reasons. With a delicious new spring menu available offering dishes such as Portland Bay Crab, Honey Roast Duck and Glazed Lemon Tart, the Head Chef can help create a bespoke menu to satisfy every palate and accommodate all dietary requirements. A selection of wines and whiskies can be suggested by our Sommelier to accompany your dining experience and pre-dinner drinks taken on our secluded terrace (when our reliable British weather allows!)
The Caledonian Club are delighted to offer a complimentary glass of sparkling wine for all private dining bookings for 20 guests or more, please quote ‘PDSpring’ when enquiring.
For more information on availability please contact our team on email@example.com
London rightly deserves its reputation as being one of the world’s leading centres of corporate events, and the ever-bustling and dynamic capital has no shortage of impressive and imposing corporate events venues, each with a calendar full of fascinating conferences, gatherings, meetings, launches, receptions, and more. However, while there are plenty of both large and intimate events venues in the city to choose from, few – if any – possess the beauty, charm, and prestige of The Caledonian Club. This stunning and beguiling members club for those of Scottish heritage, nestled in the heart of one of London’s most beautiful neighbourhoods, is quickly gaining a name for itself as a leading venue for corporate events, and it really isn’t difficult to see why.
As soon as one walks through the doors of The Caledonian Club, you’re met with a sense of serenity, elegance, and utter sophistication. From the classically decorated meeting rooms, function spaces, and communal areas, to the incredible catering options and luxurious classic furnishings throughout, it’s clear that The Caledonian Club has something quite different to offer attendees and delegates of corporate events in London. When it comes to organising and hosting business events which need to make a deeply positive and lasting impact, this is one corporate events venue which simply cannot be overlooked.
Let’s take a closer look at The Caledonian Club, its history and prestige, and what it has to offer the events scene in London today. Whether you’re seeking to inject a sense of the Highlands into your next business launch, awards ceremony, or away day, or simply want to host your latest workshop series in a truly elegant and impactful setting, there’s little doubt that business events at The Caledonian Club are guaranteed to get your attendees talking.
Corporate Events That Truly Impress
They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, and that those first impressions can influence a lifetime of decisions. If this is indeed the case – and we really do believe it is – then choosing the right venue for your business events is of paramount importance when it comes to showing your company in the best possible light, and giving your sponsors their chance to really shine. The Caledonian Club is a truly wonderful corporate events venue to consider for business events of all types and sizes.
Not only will you have the chance to host your event in one of London’s most desirable and elegant neighbourhoods, The Caledonian Club offers the kind of interiors, ambience, and levels of service and attention to detail which will leave your attendees open-mouthed with amazement, and eager to spread the word about the sense of classic luxury and sophistication. The Caledonian Club has built its reputation across decades and decades of dedication to sheer excellence and exclusivity.
Your delegates and partners in attendance will take great delight in soaking up the exclusive atmosphere of this stunning venue, and enjoying the period furnishings and decor which fill the spectacular rooms of the club. However – despite The Caledonian Club being very much imbued with a beautifully vintage and authentic 19th century look – the events team are more than capable of setting up all of the AV and PA equipment you could wish for. As such The Caledonian Club is just as suited for contemporary business events as well as old-fashioned hospitality, blending the finest of both worlds in inimitable fashion.
History, Prestige, and Beauty Combined
While 21st century London celebrates its dynamism, modernity, and forward-thinking approaches to business, it’s of utmost importance to remember that this is also a city which is brimming with thousands of years of history and historical prestige. This is particularly significant to bear in mind if you’re hosting a business event or corporate gathering aimed at international delegates – it would be a great shame, after all, for them to fly to one of the cultural capitals of the world, and to then miss out on gaining a real taste of classic hospitality and an authentic dose of tradition. This is just one of the many reasons why The Caledonian Club is widely considered to be one of the most exciting and sought-after corporate events venues in the capital: here, your attendees can experience a genuine Scottish welcome, and revel in the unrivalled beauty and elegance that only Belgravia and its majestic townhouses and mansions can offer.
The Caledonian Club as an entity dates back to 1891, when it was established as a private members club for Scotsmen in London, and a place where gentlemen could gather, share stories, and keep their traditions alive when far from the misty mountains of home. The clubhouse how it is today was formally opened on Halkin Street in 1946, although the building itself dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when it was a private residence of the esteemed Morrison family. It is worth noting that Number 9 Halkin Street was actually the last mansion of its kind to be built in London, cementing the unique ambience that The Caledonian Club possesses, and very much making it a gem from another bygone era.
All of this wonderful history and the intoxicating atmosphere of the Caledonian Club is something which exists in the very walls, halls, and furnishings of this fascinating corporate events venue in London. As mentioned, hosting your next business gathering at this location is something which sends a clear message to your delegates, guests, and attendees: that when it comes to your events, only the very finest will suffice.
A Range of Stunning Rooms for Corporate Events
If you’re looking to host a business event at The Caledonian Club, one of the first things both you and the club’s team of event organisers will need to know is which rooms and function spaces you’ll be needing to make use of. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the perfect space for your corporate event in Belgravia, as The Caledonian Club has no shortage of spectacular halls, dining spaces, and functional social and business areas to enjoy. Some of the most popular are listed below, although it is important to note that there are plenty of other options available, each equally impressive and ideal for a range of business purposes as the last.
While The Caledonian Club is certainly one of the smaller corporate events venue in comparison to many others in the capitaly, it’s the consistent intimacy and elegance this building exudes that makes it so special and popular with those seeking somewhere spectacular with which to impress their delegates. The largest – and perhaps the most impressive of all the function rooms at The Caledonian Club is the Johnnie Walker room, which is utterly beautiful in its design and period features, which has a capacity of 200 guests (or 150 seated attendees).
If you’re on the lookout for something a little more intimate for a workshop, a meeting, or a presentation, then the Library, the Ballroom, and the Morrison Room (among many others) are all available to hire, and offer guest capacities which range between thirty to one hundred and fifty attendees.
Whichever spaces or rooms you settle upon for your corporate event, one factor remains guaranteed: The Caledonian Club will provide all you need for a business event which will exude its unique Belgravia charm from start to finish, and the dedicated team will be on hand to ensure that every guest and delegate receives the attention they require, and the level of service your event deserves. Make no mistake: a corporate event at The Caledonian Club is one which all involved will remember forever, and there’s no doubt that choosing this beautiful period venue will work wonders for your business profile and reputation.
Traditional and Modern Catering Options for Business Events
The Caledonian Club is frequently utilised for a wide array of different events, which range from traditional Scottish weddings to cultural calendar highlights, and from high-powered corporate events to intimate business meetings and more. No matter what the occasion, the catering team at The Caledonian Club never fail to impress with the incredible food and drinks options on offer. If you’re planning a corporate conference or other business event at this beautiful clubhouse, you can rest assured that you and your delegates will be taken on a sensory journey quite unlike any other!
From light canapes to full sit-down multi-course dinners, the catering team at The Caledonian Club excel in providing mouthwatering food and drinks options for its guests. Using high quality Scottish and local ingredients, with a keen eye for seasonality and flavour, this venue is capable of ensuring your events are taken to new heights of excellence when it comes to flawless hospitality.
The Perfect Location for Corporate Events in London
It would be impossible to list the benefits of hosting a corporate event at The Caledonian Club without making some mention of the venue’s location. Situated in the heart of Belgravia in West London (and with access to one of this neighbourhood’s famous garden spaces, should you need an outdoor aspect to your event), The Caledonian Club is wonderfully accessible by car, by foot, or by public transport. Being just a stone’s throw from major national and international train stations, and all of London’s airports, also makes this venue perfect for events with a global reach, and it means that The Caledonian Club is fantastically accessible no matter where in the world your guests are arriving from.
The Caledonian Club: The Ideal Venue for Conferences and More The Caledonian Club really is one of the most unique, most prestigious, and most exciting corporate events venues on the events scene in London today. Thanks to its beauty, its superb position, and its undying dedication to delivering the utmost in all that it does, The Caledonian Club is quickly garnering a reputation for excellence .
Images are ©Lee Allison
Sarah Spreckley on behalf of Park Lane Events
As we head into spring and look forward to longer days and balmy evenings (if the summer of 2018 is anything to go by….) now is the perfect time to plan ahead and take your next social or corporate event outside. Outdoor space can be hard to come by in our capital as the majority of venues simply do not have this facility to offer their guests and if they do – this can often come at a premium and be in high demand during the summer months.Tucked away in leafy Belgravia, yet only a few minutes’ walk from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly and Victoria and adjacent to Hyde Park Corner; the stylish and secluded terrace area at The Caledonian Club offers a peaceful and calm space which lends itself perfectly to cocktail receptions, post work drinks or networking events.
Booked in conjunction with our Oval Room, the pretty terrace area is able to hold up to 60 guests, with food and drink served inside or outside depending on our not very reliable British weather!
Afternoon tea on the terrace can also be served for smaller groups, as well as summer platters, accompanied with a glass of something fizzy or traditional tea – or both!
Hire of the terrace (including indoor space in case of inclement weather!) starts from £690 including VAT. For more information, head to www.caledonianclub.com or contact the events team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 235 5162 to make an enquiry.
Close your eyes, and think of Scotland. It’s a land of majestic natural beauty, of ancient and fascinating cities, of inventive and friendly people, and of a million other delights to all the senses. It’s also a country with one of the strongest, proudest, and most evocative musical traditions on earth, and for Scotsmen and women everywhere, the lilting ballads, feisty dances, and the irresistible power of the pipes are engraved upon their hearts, and never anything but an utter joy to encounter.
Over the centuries, Scotland has produced many of the most talented and timeless musicians, singers, and folk artists that have ever graced a stage. Imbued with a natural romanticism, and possessed of an ability to weave stories through song, they’ve contributed so much to Scottish cultural identity and a sense of being. Among the finest of the Scottish folk singers, we find the unique talent and stage presence that is Isla St. Clair; folk singer extraordinaire, and bonafide Scottish celebrity whose performances never fail to bring a reel to the legs and a patriotic tear to the eye.
Singing Songs as Old as the Hills
When Isla St. Clair takes to the stage, she brings centuries of heritage with her. Few folk singers today have such a clear passion for their material as Isla does, nor do they possess such an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history and cultural significance of the songs they sing. Whether she’s singing a simple reel, a timeless ballad, or one of her favourite popular folk numbers, Isla has the ability to capture her audience with little more than an acoustic guitar and her golden voice. At once melancholy and euphoric, her reinterpretations of iconic folk songs have brought delight to countless thousands across the years, and she seems to get better year by year on the folk circuit.
Isla St. Clair’s ability to transmit the history and majesty of the Scottish landscape, the essence of Scottish history and culture, and the incredible and evocative folk tradition she forms part of is a wonder to behold. It’s something which has come about after a lifetime of performance, study, and passion, and her expertise and mastery of the songs and her vocal skills are evident from start to finish. Isla’s musical career is one which has spanned the decades; she was already an established folk club singer in Aberdeen by the age of ten… and her star has only risen and risen since then. No wonder, then, that she is considered a preeminent folk singer and champion of Scottish musical heritage, and a performer of incredible pedigree and distinction.
Isla St. Clair: A Life in Music
Born on the 2nd of May, 1952 into a musical household in Grangemouth, Stirling, it was clear from a very young age that Isla St. Clair had a life in music ahead of her. Her regular performances at the Aberdeen folk club – at the tender age of ten years old – made her a favourite with those seeking to hear the classics sung with the purity of her young voice, and by the age of twelve, she was performing on both television and radio. Through her appearances on popular television programmes, such as My Kind of Folk and Stories are for Singing, the young star made contact with plenty of well-established singers on the folk circuit (not least the hugely successful and now almost legendary Jeannie Robertson), which undoubtedly fueled her enthusiasm. After leaving school at seventeen, Isla decided to follow her dreams and her heritage, and became a full-time professional folk singer with dozens of credits soon appearing against her name on the national and international folk scene.
Before long, the allure of London was irresistible to the young singer, and her natural charm and flawless voice made her the perfect choice to present The Song and The Story. Popular with viewers up and down the UK, and with her old fans in Scotland cheering her along every step of the way, her television career began to take off in a big way. Of course, we all remember with great fondness Isla St. Clair’s long-running collaboration with Larry Grayson on the BBC’s family game show, The Generation Game. Her appearances on Saturday night primetime TV led to many new fans discovering her vocal work and folk heritage, and when she finally left Grayson’s side to renew her enthusiasm for live folk performances, her fans remained true and endlessly supportive.
Over the decades which followed, Isla recorded several albums of traditional Scottish music, to great critical and fanbase acclaim. These included the stunning Inheritance, as well as the transportative album Scenes of Scotland, which featured Isla getting in touch with the music composed by her mother, and which she had once danced and sang along to as a little girl. Today, Isla remains at the peak of her powers, and her love of performing live to an enthusiastic audience seeking authentic Scottish folk music has faded not one bit. Her voice remains pure and true, her clear understanding of and passion for her her songs remains at the heart of her engrossing performances, and the essence of the musical tradition of her homeland informs each and every note.
A Night to Remember at The Caledonian Club
Back in April 2017, Isla St. Clair performed at the Caledonian Club in London for members. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting venue for the veteran folk singer; she was surrounded by those who share an enthusiasm, a fascination, and a deep respect for Scottish heritage, folklore, and culture, and her performance was met with rapturous applause, and nary a dry eye in the house.
Such cultural events are far from unusual at The Caledonian Club. As London’s premier private club for those of Scottish descent and heritage, concerts, performances, dance events, poetry readings, dinners, and whisky tastings – among many more cultural highlights – are key aspects of this elegant club’s monthly roster of gatherings. It’s a place to be surrounded by friends and fellow countrymen and women, and something of a home from home, where tales are shared and memories relived. What’s more, with the Caledonian Club’s incredible chefs and catering team, it offers a more literal taste of home, and a wide range of sensory delights which are sure to transport you to the beauty and majesty of Scotland.
Isla St. Clair’s beautiful performance in one of the grandest rooms of the Caledonian Club was a genuine pleasure to be involved in, and her songs undoubtedly moved the emotions of all who were present. She’s sure to return some day soon, bringing her ancestral music with her… but in the meantime, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy at this wonderful events space and clubhouse. We hope to see you soon, and provide you with an authentic Scottish welcome that’ll never be forgotten.
For any proud Scotsman or woman, few nights of the year fill the heart with more national pride, or evoke the beauty and majesty of Scotland more successfully than Burns Night. Each year on the 25th of January, we gather together with friends, family, and our fellow Scots for a night of music, revelry, fine food and drink, and to share readings in honour of the bard of Ayrshire, Robert Burns.
Burns Night is a national celebration quite unlike any other, and is one which revolves around the power of words to conjure up a nation’s sense of self. As such, it is a festival not just of poetry, nor one which simply revolves around the life of a most singular man. It is a chance for the Scottish to take pride in all which sets them apart; their warmth, their inventiveness, their endurance, the beauty of their landscapes, the heartiness of their cuisine… and much more besides.
At the Caledonian Club – London’s exclusive and sophisticated Scottish private member’s club – it should come as no real surprise that Burns Night is one of the most important calendar events of the year. Burns Night in London is a beautiful, emotionally powerful, and deeply communal event; being away from one’s homeland and in the capital of another country gives this celebration even more significance, and emphasises the importance of brotherhood among London’s Scots. As a result, we strive to host Burns Night in a way which not only pays tribute to the bard himself, but which gives our members, their families, and their guests the opportunity to enjoy the very finest of Scottish music, food, company, and hospitality.
Alongside our dedicated Burns Night celebrations, our stylish and elegant functions rooms are also available to hire for hosting your own Burns Supper. Whether you’re looking to host an event which pulls out all the stops and comes complete with all the traditional trimmings, or wish to arrange something more intimate and personalised for your Burns Night celebrations, the dedicated Caledonian Club team will be on hand to help you make it an event to remember.
Who Was Robert Burns?
Born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25th 1759, Robert Burns (sometimes referred to as ‘Rabbie’ Burns) was a celebrated poet, who went on to become nothing short of a national hero for Scottish people everywhere. His poems, ballads, and lyrics commonly dealt with the civil and political issues of his lifetime, and his tendency to write in Scots dialect and use common Scottish idioms saw his popularity with the common folk skyrocket during his short life. His fame, and love for his work, become unrivalled by any other Scottish writer after his death in 1796.
The first ever Burns Supper was held on the 21st January (the anniversary of his death) in Ayrshire, during the late 18th century. It was a meeting of friends and associates, who were eager that the poetry of Robert Burns be preserved and remembered for posterity, and who believed that Burns’ work had the power to unite people and give them pride in their national identity. As such, Scottish folk music was performed, poems were read aloud and meditated upon, and traditional Scottish food was served. While the date of Burns Night was later changed to January 25th (to commemorate the bard’s birthday, and thus become a celebration of life, rather than a memorial of death), the essential features of that first Burns Supper have stayed more or less the same throughout the ages
Unmissable Features of Burns Night
While Burns Night can be a formal occasion or an informal, friendly, and revelrous one, and is by nature a night on which plenty of personalised touches can be easily added, there are a handful of charming features which simply cannot be excluded from a traditional Burns Supper.
These include toasts to the great poet himself (Scotch single malt whisky is as much as part of Burns Night as is the poetry!), and readings of his most popular works. The main event of the Burns Supper, however, is unquestionably the presentation of the haggis; that most Scottish of dishes, and a savoury, peppery delight which warms the soul so well on a cold January evening. The haggis is brought to the diners on a large platter, accompanied by the full ceremonial bombast that only the Highland bagpipes can provide. The supper host will then recite the beloved Burns poem ‘Address to a Haggis’, and the haggis will then be sliced in half to rapturous applause, before being dished out to the guests alongside a series of delicious sides.
The Caledonian Club: Celebrating Burns Night in a Truly Elegant Setting
It’s hard to imagine a better or more appropriate place in London at which to celebrate Burns Night than the Caledonian Club. Not only is our club home to some of the capital’s most beautiful interiors and furnishings, it’s also a place where one can enjoy fine Scottish cuisine, a superb array of drinks, and all the warmth of genuine Scottish hospitality. We specialise in welcoming guests to our stunning and sophisticated function rooms, where they can experience all the music, revelry, and patriotic enjoyment associated with this deeply special calendar event.
Burns Night at the Caledonian Club is never anything but an incredibly special affair. We work hard to ensure that everything – from the atmosphere, the food, and our esteemed guest speakers – are all as perfect as you deserve on this night of merriment and national pride. Our house piper, Pipe Major Calum Galleitch, provides the gusto and ceremonial music for the cutting of the haggis, and we always ensure that music is also performed by our handpicked favourite Scottish singers and accompanists. Our guests are able to enjoy a series of toasts, speeches, and readings from guest speakers, as well as tastings from rare and aged Scotch whiskies, donated specially for the night’s proceedings.
Of course, the main event – the supper itself – is provided by our team of highly talented chefs, and includes a haggis of supreme quality and flavour, buttery bashed neeps, and a host of other sides and Scottish delicacies. Burns Night is an evening on which we ensure all senses are deeply satisfied, and the poetry of Robert Burns lives on in every aspect of the celebration. As the bard of Ayrshire himself wrote:
“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”
Let’s give thanks to Robert Burns, Scotland’s hero of poetry and the source of so much pride and happiness, at the Caledonian Club; our elegant and beautiful home in the heart of London, where the spirit of Scotland never fades.