St Patrick’s Day is coming up on Sunday 17 March, so that means it’s time to put on all of the green clothes in your wardrobe, then tell everybody that your mum’s cousin’s dog (twice-removed) was Irish. I mean, you’re practically a native, right? If you want to skip the Shamrock head-boppers this year in favour of something a touch more sophisticated, take a look at our pick of London restaurants and bars celebrating in style.
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Mayfair
What: Richard Corrigan, otherwise known as London’s most famous Irish chef, is hosting a lively lunch at Bentley’s on 16 March. Kicking off at 1pm, the ‘Feast of St Patrick’s’ will feature the likes of traditional Irish stew, smoked salmon, and bacon and cabbage, with apple tart or Irish cheeses to finish. The Six Nations Wales vs Ireland rugby match will be shown on a big screen from 2.45pm with live music kicking off from 6pm. On the big day itself, the restaurant will host a post-parade brunch from 2pm.
Where: 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG
How much: Lunch or brunch, £70 per person
Borough Market, Borough
What: From 13-23 March, Borough Market will be showcasing some of the finest food from Northern Ireland. Although the market is usually closed on Sundays, it will open especially on St Patrick’s Day for a family-friendly showcase of all things Northern Irish. You can expect to find a wide range of artisan products available, including meats, traditional breads and sauces. There will also be a selection of Irish spirits available, including gin, whisky and rum.
Where: 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
How much: Free entry
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What: Brigadiers might be known for its stellar Indian cuisine, but it will be tipping its hat to Ireland this Paddy’s Day. From 12-5pm, guests can tap their feet to live Irish folk music from band The Stomping Boondocks, while a celebratory Guinness Butler Service will make sure there is never an empty glass of Guinness in sight, and a £20 supplement will get you free-flowing Black Velvets. Dishes to tuck into will include a masala carabinero prawn cocktail and hot Goan sausage oysters.
Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
How much: Sunday roast, £30 per person
What: This underground cocktail bar, which is set in a disused tube station from the 1940s, will be taking a trip to the Emerald Ilse for the Irish holiday. It’s teamed up with Roe & Irish Whiskey to serve cocktails such as The Irish Toucan – a combination of whiskey, homemade Guinness syrup and green apple cordial, garnished with a four-leaf clover foam. You can also listen to live music from Miss Alice Keys, who will be playing Celtic tunes on the piano, accompanied by a fiddle player.
Where: 13 Kingly Court, W1B 5PW
How much: Cocktails, £12.50
What: At Richard Corrigan’s other Mayfair haunt, Saturday 16 March will see a special cookery class being held, where guests can learn all about the chef’s modern takes on classic Irish dishes. On St Patrick’s Day itself, the restaurant will serve a four-course lunch, including the likes of Irish stew served from the trolley, and fish pies filled with lobster, scallop and haddock. To finish up, there’s apple tart with whisky custard, or bread and butter pudding with Irish cream ice cream.
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH
How much: £49 per person
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What: Not content with just one day of celebrations, Homeboy will be remembering Ireland’s patron saint from 13-17 March, with visiting Irish drinks brands, special cocktails and a boozy brunch on the day itself. The brunch will see guests indulge in comfort food dishes such as a full Irish, dressed fries and Irish stew, along with drinks from Roe & Co Whiskey. The festivities will be accompanied by live music throughout the day and some of Ireland’s most popular DJs.
Where: 108 Essex Rd, N1 8LX
How much: Cocktails from £8
The Piano Works, West End
What: Joining in with the festivities, Piano Works is revamping its ‘brunch to the beat’ for one weekend only. Brunch includes two-courses and a choice of bottomless Prosecco, Bloody Marys or mocktails from 12-4pm, with dishes such as eggs royale with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce. While you dine, you can request the live pianists to play your favourite Irish tunes, and if you forget to wear something green (you eejit), Piano Work’s ‘glitter artists’ will be on hand to douse you in green-hued shimmery stuff.
Where: 47 Whitcomb Street, WC2H 7DH
How much: £50 per person
Rotunda, King’s Cross
What: On Friday 15 March, Rotunda will host a St Patrick’s Day celebration in aid of two charities – The Clink and The London Irish Centre. The festivities will kick off at 12.15pm with a canapé reception, featuring Black Velvet cocktails (a combination of Champagne and Guinness). The reception will be followed by a four-course lunch, while guests will also be able to enjoy live Irish music, a raffle and an auction all in aid of the good causes. Raffle prizes include a trip to Amsterdam, so let’s hope you have the luck of the Irish on your side.
Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG
How much: From £95 per person
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The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green
What: The Sun Tavern will be celebrating its Irish roots on 17 March with a whole day’s worth of shenanigans. Starting from midday, the atmosphere will be buzzing thanks to a Cèilidh band, while Oyster Boy will be shucking out complimentary oysters and later in the evening, Suggs from Madness will take to the DJ decks. To drink, there are three special cocktails (including the cheekily-named Ryanair) alongside the Tavern’s regular list of over 150 whiskies and Ireland’s notorious spirit, poitín.
Where: 441 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN
How much: Cocktails, £7.50
If you like celebrating with the Irish all year round, take a look at our pick of the 10 best Irish pubs in the capital.