Burns Night 2022: Meet London’s biggest Robert Burns enthusiasts

A house in Wandsworth feels like more like a tenement block in Edinburgh, as London’s biggest Burns Night enthusiasts celebrate the poet’s life on January 25.

For Bob Swift, Ruaridh Young, Simon Carmichael and Angus Maclachlan, January 25 - Burns Night - might just be their favourite night of their year.

It certainly seems like that when entering their home in Wandsworth - and you could be forgiven for thinking you were walking into a tenement block in Edinburgh.

An array of Scottish decorations cover the house, with the Saltire hung up and Scottish maps on every wall.

Ruaridh Young with his Scottish map. Credit: Claudia Marquis

As well as a giant whisky cabinet full to the brim with aged Glenfiddich and multiple bagpipes strewn across the sitting room.

And while it is not very surprising that haggis is on the menu for dinner most nights - on January 25 they are eating it honour of Robert Burns.

The clan’s Burns Night whisky cabinet. Credit: Claudia Marquis

This was Burns’ birthday and is usually celebrated with whisky, haggis, neeps and tatties and often a ceilidh.

Mr Young gives me the lowdown to the usual Burns Night agenda for the Westover Road clan.

It starts with “a humorous toast to the lasses and then the girl will do a toast to the lad”.

This is followed by the recital of an address to a haggis by Simon Carmichael, followed shortly after with a bagpipe performance by Bob Swift.

Haggis, neeps and tatties is then eaten and whisky is drunk - all in honour of the famous poet.