It is nearly that time of year again. The 17th March – the day the inhabitants of the Emerald Isle, those with Celtic blood, and just about everybody else, celebrates St Patrick’s Day in London. It is a great excuse for a party and an excellent catalyst to lift up spirits in the midst of what is normally a rainy and cold spring day.
London has a conspicuous and wide reaching Irish community who like to celebrate their national holiday in style, offering a welcoming and light hearted atmosphere. But just which is the best place to enjoy the festivities of St Patrick’s Day in London? Below we take a look at some of the venues on offer in and around the city:
Trafalgar Square – St Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
Organised by the Mayor of London, the festival held in Trafalgar Square is now in its 13th year and is an extremely popular location for people to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It regularly attracts over 100,000 people and provides a showcase of Irish music, dancing and arts.
The aim of the festival is to use the holiday to expose those in attendance to traditional Irish customs and culture. This year the theme is ‘World of Dance’, with a wide variety of dance groups and societies joining in to pay homage to Irish dancing, which is embroidered into Celtic history.
The festival is always held on the closest Sunday to St Patrick’s Day and, as such, will be on Sunday 16th March.
Located in the heart of the West End, Waxy O’Connor’s is a great choice for your St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Offering a warm and traditional welcome, Waxy’s is a unique venue, offering four bars in a labyrinth of six levels. Each bar has a different atmosphere, however all are sure to be jubilant around the 17th March. With live music four days a week, there is guaranteed to be some traditional Irish music to accompany the celebrations. Check out Waxy O’Connor’s website for more details.
Tir Na Nog (Wandsworth)
Literally translated, Tir Na Nog means the Land Of The Young. Whether you are just old enough to grab a pint, or are looking to relive your younger days, this quaint family run pub in Wandsworth is a good choice to choice to join The Land Of The Young and celebrate in style.
The last two St Patrick’s Days have been extremely successful, with a combination of Guinness, big hats and excellent live music igniting a party. If you are looking for an intimate venue offering reasonable prices and friendly service, then Tir Na Nog could be for you.
TNT Elk bar party (Fulham)
Elk Bar is located in the trendy area of Fulham, West London. St Patrick’s Day 2013 saw Elk Bar throw an epic party, which had revellers singing and dancing until the early hours. A large pub with a range of well-priced food and drinks specials, the owners are sure to want to raise the roof again this time around. Visit Elk Bar to find out more.
If you want to celebrate St Patrick’s Day at a venue which is steeped in tradition and history, then The Tipperary is the location for you. Over 300 years ago, the pub was purchased by owners from Dublin and became the first Irish pub outside of Ireland. The pub retains its original character, dating back to the 1700’s and has a really special ambience. Situated near St Paul’s, this classic Irish haunt is sure to be extra busy around St Patrick’s Day, and more information can be found here.
The Porter House
The Porterhouse are the largest independent Irish Brewery. A chain with their flagship venue in London’s trendy Covent Garden, the Porterhouse is a great venue to spend St Patrick’s Day, sipping on some traditional Irish ales.
The largest bar in London, The Porterhouse is spread over twelve different levels, so it can be as large or intimate as you make it. With live music a passion for the owners, it is sure to rocking and packed to the rafters to celebrate the Irish holiday.
Keep up to date with events and acts lined up for the 17th March at The Porterhouse website.
1 Big Night Out Pub Crawl
Fancy celebrating with like-minded people and want to get some walking in to work off those pints? The 1 Big Night Out team are certain to put together a St Patrick’s Day bonanza after the success of last year’s event.
The 2013 event started in London’s West End, covered five bars and contributed to some sore heads the next morning. With free t-shirts, drinking games and the chance to meet new people, fun was had by all. Check out the 1 Big Night Out website for more details soon.
The Cow (Westbourne Park)
Where better to spend your St Patrick’s Day than in a pub that prides itself on ‘Guinness & Cigars’. Located around Westbourne Park, near London Paddington, this pub prides itself on its Irish heritage and its renowned fish dishes.
Popular with locals and strangers alike, you are sure to get an intimate and jovial atmosphere on St Patrick’s Day. The Cow is a great venue to enjoy the black stuff with fellow Guinness enthusiasts and it is nice to populate a pub whose owners are passionate about Celtic heritage and their traditional Irish food and drink on offer.
A Friendly Day Full of Frolics
Wherever you decide to go on St Patrick ’s Day weekend, you can be sure to find a friendly and welcoming crowd, happy to share in the traditions of the Emerald Isle. They say that no one knows how to drink and party like the Irish…and if you can’t beat ‘em, you may as well join them.