On Tuesday, the world will raise a glass to St Patrick’s Day – a celebration of Ireland and its rich cultural history, but mostly a time to drink too much Guinness. For those who would rather not spend 17 March down the pub, Harden’s has got some great suggestions on where you can tuck into some Irish oysters, washed down with a lovely pint of stout (what else?)…
“Fresh-as-you-like seafood, among the west London glitterati” – Tom Conran’s cramped but “friendly” Oirish boozer, on the Bayswater/Notting Hill border, “is a great pub in its own right”, but its Guinness and oysters “make it a pearl!”.
“Oysters zinging with the taste of the sea” and other “phenomenal” seafood has made a major hit of the “crowded” but “happy” Borough Market original; its more spacious Soho and, now, Spitalfields spin-offs are good too, if not quite so much fun. There’s plenty of Carlingford oysters and draught Guinness to go around.
“Amazing” oysters – loyal customers can even win an Oyster Card, geddit? – head up a menu of “simply prepared and beautifully presented” fishy dishes at this “seaside-style” café. They may not have draught Guinness to go with your Carlingford Rock oysters, but try a Hammerton Oyster Stout instead.
“Sit downstairs and be entertained by the team of charming oyster shuckers”, if you visit this handy veteran fish restaurant, a couple of minutes from Piccadilly Circus; there’s also a less interesting dining room upstairs. This 17 March enjoy an all-day three course feast for £65 per person hosted by Richard Corrigan with traditional Irish music aplenty. Celtic classics include: beef and stout pie, collar of bacon, truffle cabbage & carrots, grass fed Irish beef with horseradish cream and Treacle Guinness tart with whiskey cream.
If you’d rather drink champagne with your oysters try…
Expansion has done nothing to dim the charms of this “fabulous” bar attached to the Theatreland legend, where “simply outstanding fish dishes” are “efficiently” served perched at a stool around the glamorous and supremely “buzzy” bar. Carlingford Oysters and Dublin Bay prawns on the menu too. Sick of all that Guinness? Have a glass of champagne instead, £10.50 for a glass of Cremant de Jura Brut NV Benoit Badoz N/V.
“Just right for Soho”; this “high energy” champagne and seafood bar is a “fun” place in a very handy location; it’s “always full”. Accompany your Irish Rocks with a glass of their house champagne (£10.50). Afterwards if you’re still pining for a pint then you’re just a stone’s throw from Waxy O’Connors, get your Guinness there.
For a Paddy’s Day deal head to…
This Caprice Group operation came up a little short in the latest survey. Although “never terrible” it was “never as good as hoped either”. But for a very decent Paddy’s Day deal this may be just the ticket – enjoy half a dozen oysters and a pint of Guinness for £15.50.
Or perhaps one day to celebrate St Patrick and all his achievement (driving snakes out of Ireland is no mean feat) just isn’t enough? In that case you’ll be glad to hear that the GNH bar at the Great Northern Hotel in King’s Cross is hosting an oysters and Guinness week. Get a dozen bivalves and a pint of stout for £18 and steak & Guinness pies for £5.