Burns night in the barn
Perthshire’s Monachyle Mhor hotel is always good for a hooley and this month’s Burns Night celebration is no exception. A traditional knees-up in the on-site barn, there will be haggis, bagpipes and everything a good Burns supper should have. Warm yourself beside the barn’s roaring woodburner amid the glow of hundreds of tealights. Sit at long feasting tables for a supper of local produce cooked by the hotel’s award-winning chef, Tom Lewis. Or let the Glengoyne whisky flow, fuelling music, poetry and dancing late into the night.
29 January; Mhor.net
This year’s Obsession festival sees 23 stellar chefs from around the world descend on Lancashire’s Northcote Hotel to show off their skills. Each one will take over the restaurant’s kitchen for a single night, presenting a wine-paired menu that celebrates their expertise.
From Slovenia’s Ana Roš and Italy’s Gennaro Esposito to Beijing’s Zhao Guang You and Sydney’s Daniel Puskas – along with British chefs Michael O’Hare (Leeds’ The Man Behind the Curtain) and Anna Hansen (London’s The Modern Pantry) – a global panoply of cooking styles and flavours will be represented.
20 January – 5 February; northcote.com
Saturnalia Real Ale Ramble
One of the best-known Roman festivals, Saturnalia took place each winter, a celebration of agricultural bounty in honour of the deity Saturn. Feasting, gift-giving, partying and an overturning of the normal order (masters would serve slaves) were crucial components of the festivities. If the normal order for you involves a dry January then this event certainly reverses that custom.
Part of the Saturnalia Beer Festival, in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells, as well as a range of winter warmer ales and Roman-style recipes to try, participants can stride out on a Saturnalia Ramble, hiking routes that follow ancient Roman roads, and supping free ale at check points along the way.
14 January; green-events.co.uk
Wedgwood the Restaurant
To celebrate Burns Night in the Scottish capital there are few better places to do it than at Wedgwood the Restaurant. This intimate, family-owned restaurant on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is giving the event a modern overhaul; chef Paul Wedgewood will be serving a very different version of haggis (one made from pigeon, rabbit and squirrel) alongside roast partridge, venison and Douglas fir-cured salmon with grapefruit. Pudding veers more towards old favourites – cranachan and a sticky toffee pudding served with a whisky and butterscotch sauce.
25 January; wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk
The France Show
Cheese-, wine- and saucisson-lovers of the UK will be uniting at this annual celebration of all things French. Taking place at London’s Olympia this month, stalls and presentations will cover a vast range of subjects, from French holidays and accommodation providers to buying a home in France.
For us it’s all about the food, though, with tutored wine tastings to try, cooking demos to watch and a market of over 40 French food producers to shop from.
27 – 29 January; thefranceshow.com