St Patrick’s Day is this Saturday (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.
The Allegory, Shoreditch
What: This Drake & Morgan venue is throwing its doors open from 10am, inviting guests to watch Ireland take on England in the Six Nations, while choosing bites from the all-day menu. Your ticket includes a complimentary Jameson Ginger & Lime on arrival and there will also be live Irish music, which means you’ll have the chance to practise your ceilidh dancing skills.
Where: 1A Principal Place, Worship Street, EC2A 2FA
How much: £10
Balthazar, Covent Garden
What: New York is known for its St Patrick’s Day parade, so as a nod to its NYC original, Balthazar is offering some Irish specials throughout the weekend. The restaurant will dish out Carlingford Bay oysters with spinach, Cheddar rarebit, crispy bacon and seaweed crumble, while the boulangerie will be offering Guinness cake alongside a selection of appropriately coloured green macarons.
Where: 4-6 Russell Street, WC2B 5HZ
How much: Specials from £12
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 both Friday and Saturday. Kicking off at midday, both days will see a four-course family-style lunch, along with live music. Irish staples on the menu will include rooftop-smoked salmon, Irish stew, and bacon and cabbage.
Where: 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG
How much: £70
What: At Corrigan’s other Mayfair haunt, he’ll be putting some of his favourite Irish classics on the menu to celebrate St Patrick. You can expect to find the likes of collar of bacon with truffle and cabbage, crispy crubeens with beetroot and horseradish, and a treacle and Guinness tart with whiskey cream.
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH
How much: Mains from £30
What: The jury’s out on whether this crisps-only gaff qualifies as a real restaurant, but we must admit we’re intrigued by its St Pat’s offering. Hipchips has partnered with Baileys to create a Baileys and butterscotch dip for the occasion, while savoury-toothed diners can instead opt for the stout rarebit. We’ll leave it to you to see if they’re better than a pack of Taytos.
Where: 49 Old Compton Street, W1D 6HL
How much: Medium box with three dips, £6.75
What: Kick start your celebrations with breakfast at Irish restaurant and bar Nuala. From 9-11am, Nuala is offering an Irish seafood breakfast featuring an ice counter laden with oysters, mussels and crab claws. Stick around for live music in the basement bar, along with enough Guinness, whiskey and packets of Taytos to make you feel like you’re truly in the Emerald Isle.
Where: 70-74 City Road, EC1Y 2BJ
How much: Breakfast (including pint of Guinness), £25
Pop Brixton, Brixton
What: Pop Brixton is hosting an all-out Irish celebration from 5pm. To get the party going, you can expect live music from London ceilidh band, Fiddle Paradiddle, alongside Irish dancers. There will also be free face painting for anyone looking to paint themselves with the tricolour, and if your name’s Patrick, you’ll find a free pint of Guinness at the end of your rainbow before 8pm.
Where: 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ
How much: Free entry
Wright Brothers Battersea, Borough, Soho, South Kensington and Spitalfields
What: Anyone visiting seafood mini-chain Wright Brothers this Saturday will have the luck of the Irish on their side. Across all its sites, the restaurant is offering a St Patrick’s Day special, which sees any two guests who order a selection platter of 12 oysters, get a pint of Guinness each on the house. (Available 12N-6pm)
Where: 26 Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, SW8 4NN; 11 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD; 13 Kingly Street, W1B 5PW; 56 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3DY; 8a Lamb Street, E1 6EA;
How much: £36
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.