It’s all about the Emerald Isle this week (and next). So here's our guide to the good craic.
Come Thursday March 17, there will be a lot of people dressed in green, and there will be a lot of drinking. But London's official celebration of St Patrick, on March 13, will also be an Ireland-themed party that any fun-lover would be mad to miss. Sunday’s parade will leave Piccadilly at midday, winding its way to Trafalgar Square to join the sports clubs, dance schools and marching bands that will be entertaining the crowds until 6pm.
Want to get your own feet moving? Fly across the floor of a Grade II-listed art deco hall at an Irish céilí on Saturday March 12. Run by Greenwich Dance, the evening will feature live music from The Threepenny Bit and an expert caller to guide dancers of all levels through the steps. Michael Flatley is not invited.
It wouldn’t be St Paddy’s Day without a pint of the black stuff, and no London pub is more devoted to it than Soho’s Toucan. Vintage posters cover the walls, and you can even order a Guinness cocktail. If you really want to. If you’d rather get sozzled on something less obvious than Guinness or Irish whiskey, try attending Last Libations at B&H Buildings, a tasting masterclass which on March 17 will include poitín. The Irish moonshine was so potent that it was banned for three centuries and only legalised in 1997. Time to get reacquainted.
And the leprechauns!
You can build your very own lucky mascot at Drink, Shop & Do’s papier-mâché leprechaun workshop on March 17. The crafty fun is free when you buy a drink. Bring some friends along so you’ll have company on the post-cocktail hunt for that blessed pot of gold.