Friday and Saturday (SE16)
“There’s nae better party in toon!” promises KERB. Nice little line to use when suggesting it in the WhatsApp group. Then you say it on the night and the lads aren’t feeling your accent. “Were you doing Ian Paisley?” someone asks. But hey, you’re here! And KERB legends – Wild Game Co, Deeney’s etc – are doing one-off Scottish street-food dishes like the Macbeth Toastie, with haggis, cheddar and onion.
Properly esoteric-sounding Scottish stuff as part of a one-off menu. Cock-a-leekie soup & prunes; heather honey tart with creme fraiche. Probably all that Alex Salmond ever eats. Salmond, handed a phone at lunch, barking “can’t this wait until after my cock-a-leekie soup and prunes?” There’s a special whisky, grapefruit and honey cocktail too, Rabbie’s Dram.
This night’s called Burns Baby Burns – also the title of a God-level Simpsons episode. The sort you catch yourself faffing on about two pints into a Tinder date. “It’s got several mischievous references to Caddyshack, Laura!” The vibe at St John is a 19th century Highland Castle, with literary recitals, an absolutely massive haggis, a banqueting table, and twirling fire poles. OTT and fantastic.
Here’s the one if you want to get properly drunk while hiding behind Burns’ tenuous veil of high culture. Special whisky cocktails have been dreamed up, each available for just £5. Like The Deer Stalker: Glenfiddich, lemon juice, maraschino, egg white. Some old man, doubtlessly alone, doubtlessly dead inside, will probably grumble something like “Scotch in a cocktail… Sacrilege.” They’re a fiver mate, loosen up!
The home of the fantastic Veni-Moo Burger has absolutely gone for it. While others have meekly tooted the Burns Bagpipes, Mac & Wild has grabbed them and emptied its lungs with a whole week’s worth of events for ol’ Rabbie. Whisky and beer pairing, haggis-making, the works.