Dinner and Scottish Dancing at the Boulevard, Soho for Burns Night.
The Boulevard Theatre and restaurant in Walkers Court is one of the most exciting new venues to open in Soho is recent months. Set in the heart of Soho, the Boulevard was once home to the famous Raymond’s Review Bar, now over 30 years later it has had a stunning makeover boasting a beautiful theatre and a very chic Art-Deco styled restaurant and lounge bar.
The theatre is hosting a great variety of interesting new shows and the restaurant has an all-day menu which is designed by head chef Greg Hillier, previously of The Commonwealth Club and The British Academy, it offers a good range of affordable, vibrant unfussy food which focuses on using quality ingredients with great plant-based options available.
Having previously enjoyed a fabulous night out at both the theatre and restaurant I was delighted to be returning for their Burns Night celebration in honour of Scotland’s most-loved ‘Bard’, Robert Burns, who is paid tribute to on 25 January each year. The first Burns supper was held in 1801 and in the 200 plus years since then, new traditions have been added but the sentiment remains the same: to pay tribute to Scotland’s national poet.
For Burns Night, The Boulevard was hosting a traditional three-course meal with performances of poetry and live music throughout the evening from ‘Live Canon’ and renowned piper, David Colvin. Followed by a Late Night Ceilidh with London’s favourite “Licence to Ceilidh”.
The restaurant was buzzing with an enthusiastic crowd of diners all there to enjoy this celebrated Scottish tradition. The restaurant manager Sebastian runs a tight ship, and he made sure the night went off with a bang and we received great service throughout the evening.
We started our meal with some warming soup, perfect for a cold January evening. My ‘Cullen Skink’ smoked haddock and potato soup was deliciously rich and velvety with big chunks of tender smoked haddock.
My friends cock ‘a’ leeky lee, potato and barley soup was green and creamy, brimming with succulent leaks, diced potatoes, and barley.
We accompanied our Burns Night meal with a chilled bottle of Ciello Bianco 2018, a dry mineraly wine with notes of apple, peach and a honey nose, which paired well with our robust meal.
The grand moment, of course, was the arrival of the Haggis, the bagpipes played, Burns poetry was recited and it was brought ceremoniously to the table for everyone to enjoy.
“Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware, That jaups in luggies: But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer, Gie her a Haggis!”
My friend loved the authentic lamb haggis, which was crammed with fresh herby meat and oatmeal, and my veggie haggis was an absolute triumph, it was jam-packed with juicy mushrooms and oatmeal, full of flavour and it was remarkably light. Both were served with a sweet swede and carrot mash, perfect fluffy roast potatoes, finely sliced slithers of crunchy turnips and a rich gravy.
For pudding, we were served a divine plate of sweet Cranachan raspberries, with crisp toasted oats, sticky honey and on theme whiskey cream.
We were thoroughly entertained throughout our delicious meal with customary Burns Night songs, bagpipes and Rabbie’s famous verses masterfully delivered by the talented trio of performers – David, Jim, and Clark.
Particularly well executed was Burn’s “Tam o’ Shanter” which is a narrative poem he wrote in 1790.
They made a welcome toast to the lasses (and the lads) and told us that although Robert Burns was known to be a bit of a womaniser he was also a bit of a feminist and he was noted to have said that the rights of women merit some attention. Here, here Robert!
And of course, we made a final well-deserved toast to the mortal memory of Robert Burns!
Feeling fully in the spirit of the evening by now it seemed only right and proper to try the ‘Flight of Whiskey’.
Whiskey expert Louis, talked us through the trio, not being a whiskey connoisseur myself it was a bit of an adventure for me.
The Irish Canadian light rye whiskey, drunk with ice was definitely my favourite, it was smooth and light, perfect for my undeveloped whiskey pallet.
The single malt Oban 14 (aged for 14 years) is best drunk neat. It was a high-quality fruity tipple; punchy, fiery and rather medicinal.
And finally, the Port Charlotte single malt aged for 10 years, best served with water – deep, rich and very smoky.
After a wonderful evening in the restaurant, eating delicious Scottish fare and revelling in Celtic tradition we headed upstairs to the theatre for ‘Licence to Ceilidh’ … This excellent Ceilidh band got the whole room up on their feet and we danced the night away until the early hours… Absolutely fabulous fun!
I’m just hoping the Boulevard does a Burns Night event again next year, as I’m sure to return.
Boulevard Theatre and Restaurant
6 Walker’s Ct,
London W1F, UK
For more about The Boulevard Theatre Restaurant check my recent review. And, until the end of February, you can catch the Sunset Boulevard at the Boulevard – Theatre – click the link to read our review.