The coming weekend heralds the close of the Six Nations rugby as well as all the festivities that St Patrick’s Day brings to London. And that means there’s some stellar opportunities to go out and bask in Irish culture. Typically, we say the best thing you can do is go down to your most authentic, local Irish pub, enjoy the craic and have a pint of the black stuff. But if you fancy something a little more adventurous, here’s some of the best St Patrick’s Day events going on around the capital!
St Patrick’s Day without Guinness would be like Christmas without the tree, or Easter without the chocolate eggs. So, to get in on the Guinness action,get yourself down to Hawker House, where they are taking over the venue to provide a haven full of Guinness (the black stuff and some of their other brews), street food, a big screen showing all the rugby, and plenty of other activities and give aways as well. It sounds like it is going to be a bit of a mad one given there is the Ireland v England rugby match, with Ireland winning the tournament ahead of the match. Tickets to the Guinness event at Hawker House are very cheap too at £5 a pop (which includes a pint).
Guinness is also the drink of the day at Wright Brother’s restaurants across the capital on Saturday 17th March. Head down and grab yourself a platter of 12 oysters and get yourself some free Guinness as well (between 12-6pm). Guinness and oysters is an absolutely classic combination that Winston Churchill is reported to have written home about on a trip to Dublin once, cementing the pairing in the annals of history. Of course, Guinness promotional material have added to that over the years, with the classic whistling oyster in residence at their Storehouse. There’s plenty of T&Cs, but quote ‘St Patrick’s Day Platter’ to make sure they give em to you!
On the 18th March, the St Patrick’s Day parade will be marching down the streets from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square. There’ll be a stream of bright green floats, traditional Irish musicians, people dressed garishly as leprechauns, and plenty of classic Irish dancing to be seen. However, the party isn’t just limited to those on the March, with the observers lining the streets all enjoying a drink or ten and getting in on the action as well. There is also the hub of the event in Trafalgar Square, where there will be a stage for music as well as a food market and a tea tent.
If Guinness, Oysters and an all day festival isn’t quite your cup of tea, then there are other St Patrick’s Day events on the go this coming weekend. Over at Balthazar’s Boulangerie, in a nod to New York’s legendary St Patrick’s Day festivities, there will be Guinness cocktails and Irish themed foods being served up, including oysters, macaroons, cakes and rarebit. On the other hand, there’s also something a little bit more edgy going on in the Waterloo Vaults with RUCKUS; ‘a ‘raucous gangster knees-up’ set in 1918 and themed around the Irish Mob’. So a bit Peaky Blinders, a bit Boondock Saints. Go dressed up in flat caps, braces, waistcoats and the like!
There’s also a St Patrick’s Day Film Festival if you are feeling like being a little more cultured and a little less drunk. And if after that you fancy some good food, then consider The Montague, where they have a curated menu of Irish classics and inspired dishes.