St Patrick’s Day London 2019: Events, parades, parties and food to celebrate the Irish holiday – Evening Standard

Your guide to what’s hot in London

Your guide to what’s hot in London

It’s time to dig out that polyester GuinnessSt Patrick’s Day[2] comes around this Sunday March 17.

As everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day, Londoners can prepare for a homegrown knees-up to rival our friends across Irish Sea.

From parades to parties, Guinness to bright green beer, with dinners, brunches and Irish-inspired snacks[3] keeping us well-fed throughout, a whole host of homages to the Emerald Isle are popping up in the capital to mark the weekend.

So put on The Pogues, grab a handful of shamrock and head to one of these craic-ing St Patrick’s Day events in London.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

(PA)

The focal point of all the capital’s St Patrick’s Day festivities will be the annual parade, which is expected to attract more than 125,000 people to watch its live musicians, dancers and more travel from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square. After the parade, the square will host a free party, filled with live music, food and dancing. For more about the goings-on, check out our guide to the parade here.[4]

From Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square, london.gov.uk[5]

The Piano Works

The Piano Works[6] is hosting a two-day party that straddles its dual venues in Clerkenwell and Leicester Square.

On Saturday, the east London venue will welcome emerald fancy dress (with glitter artists on standby to add a little extra sparkle), with the live band taking requests for everyone’s favourite Irish songs. Meanwhile, the bar will be selling bargain pints of Guinness at just GBP3 each. The party continues on Sunday at the West End venue from 3pm-10.30pm (including the cheap Guinness) before morphing into the venue’s SingEasy event, a sing-a-long lead by Theatreland stars.

WC2, EC1, pianoworks.bar[7]

The Sun Tavern

With the largest collection of Irish whiskey[8] and Poitin in London, no surprise The Sun Tavern has some fairly raucous St Patrick’s Day plans.

The Bethnal GreenRyanairMadness frontman Suggs[11] will join the party for a DJ set, with the party going on until 2am.

441 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN, thesuntavern.co.uk[12]

The Dairy & Counter Culture

(Nic Crilly Hardgrave)

Irish chef Robin Gillcocktails[14], including a Spud Sour made with roast potato infused gin, and finished with Pom’o from Killahora.

Next door at Gill’s snack bar Counter Culture, the chef will be shucking Dooncastle oysters[15], to be enjoyed alongside an all-Irish menu featuring Irish lamb tartare with St. Tola goat’s cheese, stout and beef stew, and a dessert of Guinness cheesecake with coffee caramel.

14-15 The Pavement, SW4 0HY, the-dairy.co.uk[16]

Homeboy

Where to find the best Guinness in London

10 show all

1/10 Homeboy

A gleaming, glinting den of utter joy. A neighbourhood bar executed with disarming charm, Homeboy comes from top Irish bartenders Aaron Wall and Ciaran Smith, who’ve stuck to a premise that should be foolproof – good drinks, fair prices – but which seems to befuddle so many others.

The duo are dry, game for a laugh and expert at cocktails. Start with a Whisky Smash. Wall and Smith are exacting with their Guinness too; the pair and their (presumably long-suffering) Guinness rep spent a long old time fiddling with the taps for the right pressure, playing with the pipes to stop the beer coming out shiveringly cold, and are exacting about when exactly the lines get cleaned.

It may seem fussy, but the pint is near perfect; sitting at the bar knocking them back is glorious – heading to their back room, London’s smallest Irish pub, feels a touch conspiratorial, and all the more fun for it. Grand.

2/10 The Coach and Horses

Though one or two American accents can be heard barking in the one room bar, this devoutly old-fashioned boozer has managed, despite sitting at the east mouth to Covent Garden, to avoid a life as a tourist hell-hole. Guinness lovers will be drawn in from the bragging signs outside, that boast of being the best Guinness in London, an award they picked up from the Irish post.

Inside, the walls are a ragtag of old newspaper clippings and pictures, and old fashioned mirrors, while staff friendly, chatting to their regulars, and service is quick. So how is the pint? Pricey, but beautiful, actually, and they’re certainly dedicated to giving it time to rest before topping it up for the proper head.

Ewan Munro/Creative Commons

3/10 The Auld Shillelagh

Stoke Newington might be a bit of a trek from anywhere that’s not Stoke Newington, but the Auld Shillelagh is convincing enough reason to visit. Young for a pub – born 1991 – the place is an old soul. Curled into a tight corner and tiny from the outside, in through the door it somehow opens up, though the space is kept cosy with old photos and newspaper clippings, alongside the odd sports trophy.

Owned by brothers Aonghus and Tomas Leydon, and run day-to-day by Tomas and wife Iwona, the Guinness really is quite perfect, rich as anything. Its reputation runs not just through London, but across the Irish sea, where the the press there cite it as London’s best pint of the black stuff. Accordingly, everyone from Shane McGowan to Brendan Gleeson has swung by, though there are countless stories of Irishmen in town heading up to test the stuff against their exacting standard.

Look out for the live music, too.

4/10 The Guinea Grill

The Guinea is a decidedly English institution, and so perhaps appears an an anomaly on this list. Nevertheless, if Irish bar manager Oisin Rogers is in, there are few places better for a pint of Dublin’s most famous export (though the rest of the staff are all a dab hand too). Despite sticking to halves of Special while working, Rogers is that rare breed who can adequately explain why the 119.5 seconds pouring time is more than advertising bluff, and who’s willing to prove it too.

You can also expect to see him pouring pints in his bright green velvet jacket on special occasions. “I’ve been told I looked like ‘a f****** pool table'” he says, happily.

5/10 The Toucan

This independently owned, tough-looking pub is too often overlooked by those stumbling into Soho, and barely any online presence helps keep the secret. Inside, it’s warm and eccentric; as the name suggests – a nod to the old mascot – they have long been in the throes of a kitsch love affair with Guinness, and have decorated accordingly, with posters and memorabilia used the way most places use wallpaper and paintings. This makes the Toucan: it’s quite unlike anywhere else and a little bit mad to boot.

Upstairs, sat at the bar in the dim glow of the pumps, it feels like being out of London, like finding a bolthole bar by an abandoned stretch of seaside. Downstairs, where Hendrix once played, is cosier, bigger, louder, good fun. Just about everyone here seems to settle on the stout here, and they’re served a thick, heavy, proper pint.

It really is stout; substantial, heavyset. The kind you can almost chew. Break up the pints with a dream from their broad medley of Irish whiskies.

6/10 The Lamb & Flag

This 17th century pub welcomed some of London’s favourite sons through its doors down the years, with the likes of Charles Dickens enjoying a drink or two here back in the day.

As well as being a historic London spot, it’s got a great reputation for Guinness too. In fact, the Rose is such a brilliant spot to enjoy a pint that it gets very busy on a pretty regular basis, so you might not squeeze in. Punters regularly spill out onto the street on summer evenings here, but it’s more than worth tackling the crowds to enjoy a silky smooth pint at this Covent Garden gem.

33 Rose St, WC2E 9EB Sky Moore-Clube

7/10 The Tipperary

A tiny Fleet Street institution and a beautiful little surprise. The Irish charm starts with the sign outside, which is supposed to share the history but is mostly just a shaggy-dog story.

Inside, there’s no mockery, no top o’ the mornin’ send-ups or satire; just plenty of old whiskey jugs, lots of green and a little sports memorabilia, including a pair of crossed sticks from the old Irish sport of Hurling. The Guinness is the real deal, too, and with a heritage – the pub claims to be place was the first place outside of Ireland to sell the stuff. Squeeze yourself in, it’s worth it. darkestlondon.com

8/10 Waxy O’Connors

The grand exterior of this fine old Irish pub in Rupert Street is pretty unmissable, but it’s inside where the place really comes alive.

Go through the Mayfair boozer’s doors and you’ll find a wonderfully ornate interior, a fantastic atmosphere and of course a brilliant pint of Guinness. The pub quite rightly prides itself on the quality of its beers, and when the pub comes alive on match days there’s nowhere better to enjoy a few pints of the black stuff in W1. Look out for their selection of Irish whiskey, too.

14-16 Rupert St, W1D 6DD

9/10 The Faltering Fullback

Finsbury Park institution the Fullback is one of the most popular sports pubs in North London and the cosy front room makes for a great place to gather on weekends. It’s also one of the best Irish pubs in the area, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Guinness. Their supply is lovingly maintained and the pints served from behind the charming bar are dependably good.

It’s great for washing down the wide selection of Thai food served out the kitchen too, making this one to try out the next time you’re close by.

19 Perth Rd, Finsbury Park, N4 3HB

10/10 Bar Hercules

This is not the one for a traditional Guinness. When the old Pillars of Hercules went – bemoaned by some, but the place really was Godawful – this self-proclaimed ‘Cocktail Pub’ moved in, backed by the Be At One group. They’ve got a team who know what they’re doing – look out for one-time Scout bartender Charles Roche.

Roche is exacting in what he wants, which happens to be a decidedly fresh pint. Guinness here is light, clean tasting; while some pints have all the meat and gravy and comfort of a good pie, here it’s an entirely different affair – you could have this stuff in the baking hot sun and be quite happy. Roche says its because he insists on the lines being cleaned once a week – conventional wisdom says stick to once a month, tops – and the result is distinctive.

It won’t be for everyone, especially not coming in a proper Guinness glass, but it’s worth seeking out. All to easy to sink.

1/10 Homeboy

A gleaming, glinting den of utter joy. A neighbourhood bar executed with disarming charm, Homeboy comes from top Irish bartenders Aaron Wall and Ciaran Smith, who’ve stuck to a premise that should be foolproof – good drinks, fair prices – but which seems to befuddle so many others.

The duo are dry, game for a laugh and expert at cocktails. Start with a Whisky Smash. Wall and Smith are exacting with their Guinness too; the pair and their (presumably long-suffering) Guinness rep spent a long old time fiddling with the taps for the right pressure, playing with the pipes to stop the beer coming out shiveringly cold, and are exacting about when exactly the lines get cleaned.

It may seem fussy, but the pint is near perfect; sitting at the bar knocking them back is glorious – heading to their back room, London’s smallest Irish pub, feels a touch conspiratorial, and all the more fun for it. Grand.

2/10 The Coach and Horses

Though one or two American accents can be heard barking in the one room bar, this devoutly old-fashioned boozer has managed, despite sitting at the east mouth to Covent Garden, to avoid a life as a tourist hell-hole. Guinness lovers will be drawn in from the bragging signs outside, that boast of being the best Guinness in London, an award they picked up from the Irish post.

Inside, the walls are a ragtag of old newspaper clippings and pictures, and old fashioned mirrors, while staff friendly, chatting to their regulars, and service is quick. So how is the pint? Pricey, but beautiful, actually, and they’re certainly dedicated to giving it time to rest before topping it up for the proper head.

Ewan Munro/Creative Commons

3/10 The Auld Shillelagh

Stoke Newington might be a bit of a trek from anywhere that’s not Stoke Newington, but the Auld Shillelagh is convincing enough reason to visit. Young for a pub – born 1991 – the place is an old soul. Curled into a tight corner and tiny from the outside, in through the door it somehow opens up, though the space is kept cosy with old photos and newspaper clippings, alongside the odd sports trophy.

Owned by brothers Aonghus and Tomas Leydon, and run day-to-day by Tomas and wife Iwona, the Guinness really is quite perfect, rich as anything. Its reputation runs not just through London, but across the Irish sea, where the the press there cite it as London’s best pint of the black stuff. Accordingly, everyone from Shane McGowan to Brendan Gleeson has swung by, though there are countless stories of Irishmen in town heading up to test the stuff against their exacting standard.

Look out for the live music, too.

4/10 The Guinea Grill

The Guinea is a decidedly English institution, and so perhaps appears an an anomaly on this list. Nevertheless, if Irish bar manager Oisin Rogers is in, there are few places better for a pint of Dublin’s most famous export (though the rest of the staff are all a dab hand too). Despite sticking to halves of Special while working, Rogers is that rare breed who can adequately explain why the 119.5 seconds pouring time is more than advertising bluff, and who’s willing to prove it too.

You can also expect to see him pouring pints in his bright green velvet jacket on special occasions. “I’ve been told I looked like ‘a f****** pool table'” he says, happily.

5/10 The Toucan

This independently owned, tough-looking pub is too often overlooked by those stumbling into Soho, and barely any online presence helps keep the secret. Inside, it’s warm and eccentric; as the name suggests – a nod to the old mascot – they have long been in the throes of a kitsch love affair with Guinness, and have decorated accordingly, with posters and memorabilia used the way most places use wallpaper and paintings. This makes the Toucan: it’s quite unlike anywhere else and a little bit mad to boot.

Upstairs, sat at the bar in the dim glow of the pumps, it feels like being out of London, like finding a bolthole bar by an abandoned stretch of seaside. Downstairs, where Hendrix once played, is cosier, bigger, louder, good fun. Just about everyone here seems to settle on the stout here, and they’re served a thick, heavy, proper pint.

It really is stout; substantial, heavyset. The kind you can almost chew. Break up the pints with a dream from their broad medley of Irish whiskies.

6/10 The Lamb & Flag

This 17th century pub welcomed some of London’s favourite sons through its doors down the years, with the likes of Charles Dickens enjoying a drink or two here back in the day.

As well as being a historic London spot, it’s got a great reputation for Guinness too. In fact, the Rose is such a brilliant spot to enjoy a pint that it gets very busy on a pretty regular basis, so you might not squeeze in. Punters regularly spill out onto the street on summer evenings here, but it’s more than worth tackling the crowds to enjoy a silky smooth pint at this Covent Garden gem.

33 Rose St, WC2E 9EB Sky Moore-Clube

7/10 The Tipperary

A tiny Fleet Street institution and a beautiful little surprise. The Irish charm starts with the sign outside, which is supposed to share the history but is mostly just a shaggy-dog story.

Inside, there’s no mockery, no top o’ the mornin’ send-ups or satire; just plenty of old whiskey jugs, lots of green and a little sports memorabilia, including a pair of crossed sticks from the old Irish sport of Hurling. The Guinness is the real deal, too, and with a heritage – the pub claims to be place was the first place outside of Ireland to sell the stuff. Squeeze yourself in, it’s worth it. darkestlondon.com

8/10 Waxy O’Connors

The grand exterior of this fine old Irish pub in Rupert Street is pretty unmissable, but it’s inside where the place really comes alive.

Go through the Mayfair boozer’s doors and you’ll find a wonderfully ornate interior, a fantastic atmosphere and of course a brilliant pint of Guinness. The pub quite rightly prides itself on the quality of its beers, and when the pub comes alive on match days there’s nowhere better to enjoy a few pints of the black stuff in W1. Look out for their selection of Irish whiskey, too.

14-16 Rupert St, W1D 6DD

9/10 The Faltering Fullback

Finsbury Park institution the Fullback is one of the most popular sports pubs in North London and the cosy front room makes for a great place to gather on weekends. It’s also one of the best Irish pubs in the area, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Guinness. Their supply is lovingly maintained and the pints served from behind the charming bar are dependably good.

It’s great for washing down the wide selection of Thai food served out the kitchen too, making this one to try out the next time you’re close by.

19 Perth Rd, Finsbury Park, N4 3HB

10/10 Bar Hercules

This is not the one for a traditional Guinness. When the old Pillars of Hercules went – bemoaned by some, but the place really was Godawful – this self-proclaimed ‘Cocktail Pub’ moved in, backed by the Be At One group. They’ve got a team who know what they’re doing – look out for one-time Scout bartender Charles Roche.

Roche is exacting in what he wants, which happens to be a decidedly fresh pint. Guinness here is light, clean tasting; while some pints have all the meat and gravy and comfort of a good pie, here it’s an entirely different affair – you could have this stuff in the baking hot sun and be quite happy. Roche says its because he insists on the lines being cleaned once a week – conventional wisdom says stick to once a month, tops – and the result is distinctive.

It won’t be for everyone, especially not coming in a proper Guinness glass, but it’s worth seeking out. All to easy to sink.

New Irish bar Homeboy – which is home to “London’s smallest Irish pub”[17] – is celebrating its first St Patrick’s Day with a five day run of festivities. It’s collaborating with Irish drinks brands including Roe & Co, Slane, Jaw Box and Silkie for special cocktails – things kicked off earlier this week – and they’re hosting a themed brunch on the big day itself.

A “Full Irish” breakfast[18] will be on offer, alongside dressed fries and “Da’s Irish Stew”, all accompanied by sets from Irish DJs visiting especially for the occasion.

108 Essex Road, N1 8LX, homeboybar.com[19]

Jameson at Peckham Springs

Jameson are getting started early, with a party kicking off from noon on Saturday – think of it as a warm up for Sunday. The Irish whiskey brand are mixing up cocktails, with one on the house for the first 500 through the doors at Peckham Springs. The merriment goes further with live music from Danny and the Moonlights playing after the Six Nations clash between Ireland and France, and there’ll be games on throughout the day, including foosball and retro gaming on a PlayStation One.

Entrance is free, and things wrap up at midnight.

Peckham Springs, SE15 4QN

Wembley Park

In honour of St Paddy, the new Boxpark location in Wembley Park will be hosting Shamrock Sessions this Sunday, a family-friendly evening event filled with dance, comedy, face-painting, music and bespoke themed food from its 20-plus vendors. The main stage will welcome the likes of live band The Shipsters, who will lead a ceilidh, Irish dance troupe Scoil Rince Ceim Oir, and stand-up comedy from James Dowdeswell, Jalarth Regan, Patrick Monahan and Michael Legge.

18 Olympic Way, HA9 0JT, wembleypark.com[20]

Brigadiers

Bit of a twist, this one. Indian restaurant-meets-sports bar Brigadiers[21] is teaming up with none other than Guinness itself for its St Patrick’s Day shenanigans.

The Big Guinness Weekender at the Bloomberg Arcade hotspot will see bottomless black stuff on offer for just GBP20 per person, to be enjoyed alongside a special menu of spiced treats. Centre of the spread will be a St Patrick’s Day roast with an Indian twist: beef with masala Yorkshire puddings, jerra roast aloos (or potatoes), saunfiya masala gajjar and bone marrow rogani gravy with Bengali kasundi mustard. The restaurant will also screen Six Nations matches throughout the weekend.

1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR, brigadierslondon.com[22]

Camden Market

The spirit of St Patrick’s Day is set to sweep Camden Lock this weekend, with both food traders and up-and-coming Irish musicians getting involved.

Live performances will take place at venues across the Camden MarketChin Chin Labs[24] will be concocting a dessert of micro clover-infused ice cream on top of a chocolate potato cake with chocolate stout sauce, while quirky snack connoisseur Yorkshire Burrito will be serving up an Irish roast (salt beef, colcannon, cabbage and gravy) in a Yorkshire pudding wrap. Vegans can also get involved at Young Vegans’ stall, which will be selling a meat-free, dairy-free steak and Guinness pie.

Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF, camdenmarket.com[25]

Mr Fogg’s Tavern

Guinness thought it had the monopoly on St Patrick’s Day beer-drinking – and then Mr Fogg’s Tavern[26] went and made emerald green beer.

The bright coloured beverage is a twist on Mr Fogg’s house lager, and will be available on the day, alongside a host of themed cocktails made in collaboration with Tullamore Dew Whiskey. The Luck of the Irish mixes the spirit with Tio Pepe, cranberry and lemon, while the Four Leaf Clover blends it with manzana verde liqueur, apple, lemon, chocolate bitters and egg white. Traditional “fayre” including lamb shepherd’s pie and colcannon will be on hand to soak up the sipping, all while an Irish band fiddles on.

58 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4EA, mr-foggs.com[27]

Flat Iron Square

When St Patrick’s Day lands on the final weekend of the Six Nations[28] with Ireland still in contention for the championship, Irish passions ride higher than ever.

Guinness is taking fans of all nations under its wing at Flat Iron Square this weekend, where all three Saturday matches will be screened. On St Patrick’s Day, they’ll then be throwing Guinness-fuelled party to allow Irish fans to either celebrate or commiserate, complete with street food, live music, whiskey cocktails from Roe & Co and Irish dancing from The McGahan Lees Irish Dancers.

64 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU, flatironsquare.co.uk[29]

Borough Market

St Patrick’s Day at Borough Market[30] will offer serious foodies the chance to get to grips with the unsung cuisine of Northern Ireland. The Taste the Greatness of Northern Ireland showcase will see guest traders visit the hallowed market hall from now until March 23, including cheese collective Indie Fude and soda and potato breads from Krazi Baker.

The market will also host a special family-friendly celebration on March 17, featuring live entertainment, cookery demos and lots of fabulous Irish-themed food.

8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL, boroughmarket.org.uk[31]

Fest Camden

Club, bar and boozy brunch venue Fest Camden is kicking off its St Patrick’s Day celebrations early with a Guinness-filled bottomless brunch[32]. For just GBP35 per person, guests can enjoy a three course Irish brunch menu – featuring sausages and colcanoon, steak and Guinness pie and more – along with live music from the Kommitments, and an hour of bottomless Guinness or Bloody Marys.

The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH, festcamden.com[33]

Art Yard Bar & Kitchen

Bankside Hotel’s design-focused food hotspot Art Yard Bar & Kitchen will be putting its stylish twist on St Patrick’s Day this weekend. Guinness on tap means both pints and English sparkling wine-topped Hambledon Black Velvet cocktails, to be enjoyed alongside a hearty portion of pie made with beef and the black stuff, served with an oyster on the side.

Up at the bar, guests can enjoy Irish whiskey tasting flights, and a Lemon Clover cocktail made with JJ Corry The Gael whiskey and lemon verbena tea. Bankside Hotel, 2 Blackfriars Road, SE1 9JU, banksidehotel.com[34]

Where to eat Irish food in London

6 show all

1/6 Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill

Ireland is one of the oyster capitals of the world, and Richard Corrigan’s Mayfair restaurant Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill is a testament to this. The restaurant has been a London oyster institution for over a century – Corrigan hasn’t been in charge the whole time – selling a selection of the best oysters from around the country.

Among these, Irish examples include Carlingford rock oysters at entry level, right up to the prized Galway oysters, the most expensive on the menu selling at GBP7 each.

2/6 Roe

Brixton restaurant Roe is the brainchild of Irish-born seafood enthusiast Simon Whiteside. Following on from the European success of his Dun Laoghaire market stall Bia Mara (meaning seafood in Gaelic) and the opening of Hook in Camden, Whiteside has brought his enthusiasm for Irish seafood to Brixton. Roe, a stall in Pop Brixton, serves up largely British produce with the occasional nod to typical Irish tipples.

Soda bread is made with squid ink and Guinness, rendering it a rich black colour, which is then topped with seaweed butter and the likes of pickled mussels or octopus terrine. Ceviche with cucumber and lime comes swimming not in the usual citrusy tiger’s milk, but in Poitin, the traditional Irish spirit – and with a chaser of Ban Poitin for good measure. Justin de Souza

3/6 Core

Tempted to make a potato joke already?

Clare Smyth has a dish to make you eat your words. The chef patron of two Michelin-starred Core has become one of the most celebrated chefs in the country thanks to her work in fine dining London restaurants, but her signature dish harks back to her childhood on a farm in Northern Ireland eating an awful lot of spuds. Smyth’s Potato and Roe dish takes a Charlotte potato and slow cooks and marinades it in butter for more than 24 hours, before topping it with herring and trout roe and salt and vinegar crisps.

With potatoes like this around, we don’t blame the Irish for loving them so much.

4/6 Corrigan’s Mayfair

Chef Richard Corrigan is one of the most fervent champions of Irish cuisine in the capital. His flagship restaurant Corrigan’s Mayfair has been flying its flag for more than 10 years, focusing on seasonal produce and celebrating both British and Irish meats. Irish beef gets a good showing here: an aged Irish beef tartare is served with crispy shallots and sourdough bread (another Irish favourite) and a Hereford beef sirloin is served with spinach puree and Cafe de Paris butter.

Alternatively, two diners can indulge in a sharing portion of Irish beef en croute with greens, watercress and Madeira sauce, before tucking into a selection of British and Irish farmhouse cheeses.

5/6 Homeboy

Irish duo Aaron Wall and Ciaran Smith opened cocktail bar Homeboy in Islington earlier this year, set on filling glasses with Irish-inspired cocktails along with beers, whiskeys and spirits from their home country. The Irish influence doesn’t stop in the bar: the food that comes out of the kitchen is a homage to the simpler pleasures of Irish cuisine. Top of the bill is a dish of “Da’s Irish Stew”, a warming concoction of lamb, carrots, mushrooms and herbs made to Smith’s dad’s own recipe and served with “Ma’s brown bread”, a creation credited to Wall’s mum.

The dish will be available on St Patrick’s Day, and then every day once the new bar has completed final tweaks to the kitchen. If you’re looking for an even more basic insight into Irish food habits, guests can also tuck into a cheese and onion Tayto crisp sandwich. Jason Bailey

6/6 Counter Culture

Dublin-born chef Robin Gill has been well and truly charming south London foodies since his hit restaurant The Dairy opened in 2013, now boasting three restaurants in Clapham and one on the way in Nine Elms.

While his venues are a modern European mash up (Sorella is through and through Italian), you’ll find nods to Gill’s native Ireland on the changing menu. A brunch staple at The Dairy is the Guinness soda bread, which is served with Secret Smokehouse salmon, egg and pickles, while Counter Culture is always in possession of a crop of Dooncastle oysters, a supplier from the west coast of Ireland which only supplies its oysters to two restaurants in the UK. Nic Crilly Hardgrave

1/6 Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill

Ireland is one of the oyster capitals of the world, and Richard Corrigan’s Mayfair restaurant Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill is a testament to this.

The restaurant has been a London oyster institution for over a century – Corrigan hasn’t been in charge the whole time – selling a selection of the best oysters from around the country. Among these, Irish examples include Carlingford rock oysters at entry level, right up to the prized Galway oysters, the most expensive on the menu selling at GBP7 each.

2/6 Roe

Brixton restaurant Roe is the brainchild of Irish-born seafood enthusiast Simon Whiteside. Following on from the European success of his Dun Laoghaire market stall Bia Mara (meaning seafood in Gaelic) and the opening of Hook in Camden, Whiteside has brought his enthusiasm for Irish seafood to Brixton.

Roe, a stall in Pop Brixton, serves up largely British produce with the occasional nod to typical Irish tipples. Soda bread is made with squid ink and Guinness, rendering it a rich black colour, which is then topped with seaweed butter and the likes of pickled mussels or octopus terrine. Ceviche with cucumber and lime comes swimming not in the usual citrusy tiger’s milk, but in Poitin, the traditional Irish spirit – and with a chaser of Ban Poitin for good measure.

Justin de Souza

3/6 Core

Tempted to make a potato joke already? Clare Smyth has a dish to make you eat your words. The chef patron of two Michelin-starred Core has become one of the most celebrated chefs in the country thanks to her work in fine dining London restaurants, but her signature dish harks back to her childhood on a farm in Northern Ireland eating an awful lot of spuds.

Smyth’s Potato and Roe dish takes a Charlotte potato and slow cooks and marinades it in butter for more than 24 hours, before topping it with herring and trout roe and salt and vinegar crisps. With potatoes like this around, we don’t blame the Irish for loving them so much.

4/6 Corrigan’s Mayfair

Chef Richard Corrigan is one of the most fervent champions of Irish cuisine in the capital. His flagship restaurant Corrigan’s Mayfair has been flying its flag for more than 10 years, focusing on seasonal produce and celebrating both British and Irish meats.

Irish beef gets a good showing here: an aged Irish beef tartare is served with crispy shallots and sourdough bread (another Irish favourite) and a Hereford beef sirloin is served with spinach puree and Cafe de Paris butter. Alternatively, two diners can indulge in a sharing portion of Irish beef en croute with greens, watercress and Madeira sauce, before tucking into a selection of British and Irish farmhouse cheeses.

5/6 Homeboy

Irish duo Aaron Wall and Ciaran Smith opened cocktail bar Homeboy in Islington earlier this year, set on filling glasses with Irish-inspired cocktails along with beers, whiskeys and spirits from their home country. The Irish influence doesn’t stop in the bar: the food that comes out of the kitchen is a homage to the simpler pleasures of Irish cuisine.

Top of the bill is a dish of “Da’s Irish Stew”, a warming concoction of lamb, carrots, mushrooms and herbs made to Smith’s dad’s own recipe and served with “Ma’s brown bread”, a creation credited to Wall’s mum. The dish will be available on St Patrick’s Day, and then every day once the new bar has completed final tweaks to the kitchen. If you’re looking for an even more basic insight into Irish food habits, guests can also tuck into a cheese and onion Tayto crisp sandwich.

Jason Bailey

6/6 Counter Culture

Dublin-born chef Robin Gill has been well and truly charming south London foodies since his hit restaurant The Dairy opened in 2013, now boasting three restaurants in Clapham and one on the way in Nine Elms. While his venues are a modern European mash up (Sorella is through and through Italian), you’ll find nods to Gill’s native Ireland on the changing menu. A brunch staple at The Dairy is the Guinness soda bread, which is served with Secret Smokehouse salmon, egg and pickles, while Counter Culture is always in possession of a crop of Dooncastle oysters, a supplier from the west coast of Ireland which only supplies its oysters to two restaurants in the UK.

Nic Crilly Hardgrave

References

  1. Guinness (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. St Patrick’s Day (www.standard.co.uk)
  3. Irish-inspired snacks (www.standard.co.uk)
  4. check out our guide to the parade here. (www.standard.co.uk)
  5. ^ london.gov.uk (www.london.gov.uk)
  6. The Piano Works (www.standard.co.uk)
  7. ^ pianoworks.bar (pianoworks.bar)
  8. whiskey (www.standard.co.uk)
  9. Bethnal Green (www.standard.co.uk)
  10. Ryanair (www.standard.co.uk)
  11. Madness frontman Suggs (www.standard.co.uk)
  12. ^ thesuntavern.co.uk (www.thesuntavern.co.uk)
  13. Robin Gill (www.standard.co.uk)
  14. cocktails (www.standard.co.uk)
  15. oysters (www.standard.co.uk)
  16. ^ the-dairy.co.uk (the-dairy.co.uk)
  17. which is home to “London’s smallest Irish pub” (www.standard.co.uk)
  18. breakfast (www.standard.co.uk)
  19. ^ homeboybar.com (homeboybar.com)
  20. ^ wembleypark.com (wembleypark.com)
  21. Brigadiers (www.standard.co.uk)
  22. ^ brigadierslondon.com (brigadierslondon.com)
  23. Camden Market (www.standard.co.uk)
  24. Chin Chin Labs (www.standard.co.uk)
  25. ^ camdenmarket.com (www.camdenmarket.com)
  26. Mr Fogg’s Tavern (www.standard.co.uk)
  27. ^ mr-foggs.com (www.mr-foggs.com)
  28. Six Nations (www.standard.co.uk)
  29. ^ flatironsquare.co.uk (www.flatironsquare.co.uk)
  30. Borough Market (www.standard.co.uk)
  31. ^ boroughmarket.org.uk (boroughmarket.org.uk)
  32. bottomless brunch (www.standard.co.uk)
  33. ^ festcamden.com (www.festcamden.com)
  34. ^ banksidehotel.com (www.banksidehotel.com)

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