26 July 2014

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Top five bars and restaurants for Irish craic


Corrigan's Mayfair - restaurant14.jpgThe main St Patrick’s Day celebrations pass in a flurry of lurid green felt hats, temporary shamrock tattoos and many, many pints of Guinness. But if you’re hoping to celebrate Ireland’s national day with a touch more sophistication, look to London’s Irish-owned restaurants or visit our suggestions for the pubs serving the best stout in town.

The Auld Shillelagh, Stoke Newington

This award-winning North London take on an old-school Irish bar is perfect for acting the maggot and enjoying the craic. Hospitable Roscommon expat staff have been serving pints of well-kept, properly poured black stuff for more than 20 years.

Corrigan’s Mayfair (pictured, right)

Larger-than-life chef Richard Corrigan is perhaps London’s best-known Irish import. His much-loved eponymous restaurant offers live traditional Irish folk music on St. Patrick’s Day itself – plus a bevy of other St Patrick's Day-related activities, such as cookery classes and special brunches complete with poetry readings. Whatever day of the year you visit, you can expect pitch-perfect plates in comfortable but unstuffy surroundings – and while the dishes themselves aren’t Irish, the soda bread alone is worth a visit.

Porterhouse, Covent Garden

This Irish-owned bar brews its own beer and stout and supplements the fruits of its labour with a worldwide selection of top-class imports. Its Covent Garden location and lively atmosphere might mean that things turn rowdy around the big Irish festivals, but it’s worth a visit at quieter periods for a pint of the black stuff.

The Rake 02 - The_Rake_02.jpg

The Rake, London Bridge (pictured, left)

A 200-strong selection of niche ales (including stout), as well as knowledgeable staff and a location next to one of the city’s best food markets make The Rake the perfect place for a pint and a quick bite to eat. Head down to this out-of-the-way one-off for pure St Patrick’s perfection.

Tipperary, Fleet Street

It’s reckoned that this authentic Irish boozer was the first outside the Emerald Isle. Pop in for traditional Irish stew with bacon and cabbage, and a pint (or two) of well-known real ales, big-name lagers, and Guinness (naturally).

This feature was updated in February 2013.

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