The time of year that we celebrate all things Ireland has come back around, falling on a Friday, meaning we have a fantastic long weekend for St Patrick’s Day festivities in London. Previously we have advocated just heading down to your nearest and best Irish pub in London to get some of the authentic experience and as much Guinness in your gullet as you can handle. This time around we thought we would think of one or two different things for you to do to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and Irish culture – beyond just drinking.
Guinness is, undoubtedly, the drink of St Patrick’s Day. The black stuff is sold in over 150 countries and they reckon they sell 14 million pints on St Patrick’s Day alone. I imagine that doesn’t include any of their other 20 beers, which would certainly up that staggering figure. To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Guinness and London Beer Week have got together to through the mother of all shindigs at The Pickle Factory in Hackney, Friday 17th March. With whole host of drinks by Guinness and the food by street food stalwarts Kerb, it promises to be a grand night out. Not to mention, Guinness are headlining London Beer Week’s Beer Edit, so if you want to have more Guinness, check that out too.
Waxy O’Connor’s is celebrating with a weeklong series of fun, frolics and events. Every single night has some live Irish music, but Monday has a Jameson’s whiskey tasting, Wednesday has as a Guinness tasting, Thursday has more beer tastings from Franciscan Wells with the brewers there. Meanwhile, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are full of late night parties and the final day of the Six Nations tournament. There’s a lot happening and a lot to enjoy.
If you are looking for something a little different, how about enjoying the finest comedy to come out of Ireland? No, we are absolutely not talking about Mrs Brown’s Boys (shudder at the thought), we are talking about the magnificent Father Ted. Head down to the Clapham Grand to enjoy 3 episodes of show, £1 unlimited popcorn, G & Tea cocktails, cakes and followed up by a 90’s vs 00’s Irish special club night. Ah, go on!
If you are after a night with a touch more panache and class, whilst still enjoying something quintessentially Irish, then perhaps this is where the Bloomsbury club steps in. Over the Friday and Saturday night, they are hosting a St Patrick’s Day Sesiún. This includes live music, a bespoke cocktail menu made from Ireland’s own Dingle Distillery vodka and gins, beers from the Porterhouse Brewing Co (which you can obviously also get at The Porterhouse), an Irish inspired menu of snacks as well as some River Dancers.
Of course, there is plenty more to Irish culture than the above drinking focused nights out. Our new mayor of London announced a 3 day St Patrick’s Day party across the capital earlier in the year. These plans include the fantastic St Patrick’s Day London parade from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square, with sports clubs, bands, community groups and heaps of pageantry. It ends with a main music and performance stage, a tea tent, community stalls and Irish street food. Camden Market also has Irish Music and a screening of the Six Nations England v Ireland game. There’s even an Irish Film Festival taking part in London over the weekend too. So if you wanted to enjoy some alcohol-free Irish culture, you certainly have plenty of chances this weekend.
Whilst there is that Irish Film Festival taking place, the American comfort food cookers at Boondocks are putting on the Scorsese classic Gangs of New York for their basement cinema club. So you can enjoy a film of Irish struggle in new America whilst enjoying some American cuisine including Cajun popcorn, mac & cheese and chilli dogs. Ok, we think this is really pushing it to call it a St Patrick’s Day event, but since it is had 9 Oscar nominations, we’ll allow it.