St Patrick’s Day in London is a great experience. Every year more and more floats festooned with the tricolour flags meander through London on March 17th, accompanied by Irish Dancers and bands. As the Irish would say “What a Craic!”
Our great capital city has been celebrating St Patrick’s Day since 2002. A Parade which encapsulates the best of Irish culture in a packed programme with some great entertainment. The parade finishes in Trafalgar Square, just around the corner from Smith & Wollensky London so why not stop by for a “Paint a Gat” (that’s Guinness by the way) or enjoy one of the best steaks in London?
The Irish are famous the world over for their ability to have a party to celebrate almost anything, or nothing at all, but St Patrick’s Day has become their global rallying call in terms of partying. St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, who has been credited with bringing Christianity to the wild country over the water. He gave them their national symbol, the Shamrock (which looks a bit like a clover) and it is his flag which forms the red diagonal cross on the Union Jack.
Now the Irish are also famous for telling a fine tale, exaggerating facts until they become reality. Where St Patrick is concerned there are many blurred lines between fact and fiction. The story goes that St Patrick was born in the UK in Wales, Cornwall or possibly Cumbria, in around 385 AD. When he was about 16 years old a raiding party captured Patrick and took him to Ireland where they kept him as a slave for 6 years. Finally he escaped and trained to be a Christian minister. When he was about 40 years old he was made a Bishop, he was sent back to Ireland to “convert” the local inhabitants.
He walked all over Ireland talking to individuals and trying to show them his faith, which didn’t make him very popular. They say that he walked nearly 200 miles in his pursuit, using the Celtic Cross as his emblem, superimposing the sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the traditional Christian cross so that the Irish would find it more appealing. He also used the Shamrock, a 3 leaved clover like plant to show the Irish that “God lived in their land” claiming that the petals of this wild plant represented the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are stories that he drove all snakes out of Ireland and that he wore a Green cassock, which is why green is worn on Saint Patrick’s Day. Another story claims that it was St Patrick who first called Ireland the Emerald Isle.
Whatever the truth about St Patrick, what we know for sure is that it is a wonderful excuse for a very fine Craic. So come to Smith & Wollensky London and raise a glass or two for our friends over the sea with this fine Irish toast:
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you, wherever you go.
(Pronounced “slorncha” which is Irish for Cheers)
Join us for a pint of Guinness and a burger at our bar for only £20 on the 17th of March