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.
Your wedding day deserves to be utterly perfect, and with an intimate wedding at The Caledonian Club, your most romantic dreams are sure to become a reality. There’s nothing quite so wonderful as an intimate, small wedding venue when it comes to providing the utmost in elegance, luxury, and vintage charm, and The Caledonian Club has proven time and time again to be amongst the finest in the capital.
As soon as you step into this small wedding venue, the full glory and grandeur of The Caledonian Club becomes completely apparent. Not only is this beautiful building a Scottish private members club, it’s also one of the most unique event venues in London, and one which is fully capable of hosting weddings and wedding receptions of a wide range of styles and themes. From the stunning, sweeping central staircase, to the immaculately furnished private spaces and function rooms, there’s little doubt that The Caledonian Club is an understated gem of a building; one which is perfectly situated for a London-based wedding of the utmost sophistication.
Elegance and Wonder Epitomised
While The Caledonian Club is certainly a small wedding venue in comparison to many others, it’s the consistent intimacy and elegance this building exudes that makes it so special and popular with those seeking somewhere unique for their celebration. Within its walls, you’ll find a collection of utterly splendid rooms, each available to hire for a civil ceremony, a reception dinner, or both.
The largest and grandest of these rooms is the Johnnie Walker room, which is resplendent in its design and period features, and which has a capacity of 200 guests for a civil ceremony, and 150 guests for a sit-down dinner. For more intimate and cosy nuptial celebrations, the library, the Ballroom, and The Morrison Room (among others) are available to hire, and offer guest capacities ranging from 30 to 150.
No matter which rooms or spaces you choose for your special day, The Caledonian Club guarantees a wedding event which bursts with Belgravia charm from start to finish, and which ensures that all of your requests receive the full attention they require. Indeed, our dedicated team are trained to make sure that your wedding goes as smoothly as possible, and that all of your wishes are fulfilled. Make no mistake: a wedding at The Caledonian Club is one which you and your guests will cherish the memory forever.
Our Intimate Wedding Package
We believe that our small wedding venue in London should strive to ensure that your wedding is always exactly as you envision it to be. Whether you have a particular theme in mind, or wish to make use of our sumptuous and elegant bedrooms, we will always do our best to rise to every suggestion, and fulfil every request.
In order to get a clearer idea of what a wedding at The Caledonian Club would be like, we’ve listed the features of our intimate wedding package below, showing you the scope and level of luxury our small wedding venue can provide.
- Two glasses of Ayala Brut N.V
- Selection of three delicious canapés
- Three course meal, prepared by our talented catering team, followed by coffee and authentic Orkney tablet
- Half a bottle of club wine
- Still and sparkling water served alongside the meal
- Use of the club’s cake stand and knife for that all-important cake cutting
- Beautiful tartan table runners
- Bed and breakfast for the wedding couple on the night of the event
All of this is available for just £120 per person (inclusive of VAT), and can be arranged for parties with a minimum number of 60 guests.
The Details That Make All The Difference
We always ensure that at the forefront of our minds is the fact that every wedding at The Caledonian Club is a unique and personal event, and that this special day is all about you, your hopes, wishes, and dreams. That’s why our team never fails to go the extra mile when it comes to customisation, personalisation, and making the very most of this uniquely beautiful small wedding venue. What’s more, as we offer wedding couples exclusive use of the club’s function rooms at weekends, we are able to ensure that our team are 100% focused on your wedding alone for the duration of your special day.
As one of the most highly esteemed private clubs in London’s glamorous and exclusive Belgravia district, we’re deeply proud of our heritage, and of our history of providing quality service. We always make sure that this sense of pride, commitment to excellence, and the sheer grandeur of our small wedding venue comes across in each and every event we host.
We’re especially keen to make the most of our unique location. For couples seeking the perfect photo opportunities for their wedding, we not only have our striking central staircase and our elegant period rooms at your disposal; we also have access to Belgravia Square Gardens, a private Grosvenor Estate garden surrounded by beautiful Georgian properties.It’s a haven of timeless luxury and tranquility in the heart of the city, and no matter the season, it always makes for a wonderful photo location. Guests also have the chance to make us of our beautiful and elegant outdoor terrace, the perfect space in which to mingle, celebrate the happy couple, and enjoy a glass of Champagne.
We also know that when it comes to dream weddings and wonderful events in our small wedding venue, it’s impossible to overlook the importance of food. Your wedding meal is central to your big day; it’s a time to gather friends and family members together, share speeches and memories, and offer best wishes for the future. At The Caledonian Club, we’re lucky to have a highly skilled team of chefs working in our kitchens, who would be only too happy to meet with you to discuss their specialties, and take onboard any suggestions you might have for your wedding dinner.
The Caledonian Club: Scottish Romance in the Heart of London’s Belgravia
When it comes to small wedding venues in London, few can compare with the sense of wonder and timeless elegance on offer at The Caledonian Club. Whether you’re looking for an event which revels in its intimacy and smaller scale, with just a handful of close family members and friends, or are seeking a larger, more vibrant wedding, we have the capacity and capability to fulfil your wishes. The Caledonian Club is committed to providing couples with dream weddings in the heart of London’s most beautiful neighbourhood, and we’d be delighted to hear about your wedding plans soon.