WE’RE all Irish once a year – and there ain’t no Backstopping us now. Here’s our St Patrick’s Day (Sunday March 17) guide to some of the authentic Hibernian hoolie experiences around plus what we prefer to label ‘any excuse for wearing a daft green hat and necking the Jameson’.
Let’s kick off with the biggest surprise since “The Pope’s a Catholic” – “A Guinness is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have”. Not in our experience but you’ve got to hand it to Trof on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter for specially putting the black stuff on the taps for the entire weekend. Alternatively, they will be offering a Jameson’s cocktail special. They’re also ‘curating’ an Irish influenced Roast and Records (2pm-8pm) special on the Sunday. So beef, chicken, pork, punk, soul and disco. To book for this call 0161 833 3197.
Sweet-toothed, party-loving Leprechauns should make a beeline for All Star Lanes in the Great Northern Warehouse. Limber up with their ‘Pot O’ Gold cocktail, for £8.50, with Dubliner Irish whiskey and honeycomb liqueur, Mozart chocolate liqueur, Liquor 43, egg white, milk, double cream and a honeycomb crunch.
Then it’s into the all singing, all dancing St Paddy’s Day Drag Brunch (1pm-4pm) featuring @DonnaTrump (above) with a serving of bottomless Prosecco, Mimosas and Craft Beer.
Trust The Printworks to provide a comprehensive Irish extravaganza across its venues. They’ll have been Paddy partying for a week before the big day itself, the Pump Yard festooned with balloon arches and totems in the colours of the Irish flag. On the 17th there’ll be live music from Jimmy Doherty of The Velvet Tinkers from 4-6pm and 7pm-9pm.
It’s not just Irish-themed O’Neills and Waxy O’Connor’s leading the party parade either.
Hard Rock Cafe have created a ’St Paddy’s Shake’ which includes Absolut Vanilla Vodka blended with creamy vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookies, a touch of mint and finished with homemade white chocolate whipped cream. Available for £8.75 until close of play on Sunday. Again it makes you wonder it should be renamed ‘Dental Decay Day’.
Hard Rock is also serving da Guinness and Bacon Jam Cheeseburger which contains Jameson bacon jam and Guinness cheese sauce, served with seasoned fries (£14.25).
Alternatively check out the Irish food specials at Printworks neighbour Bierkeller – Irish Stew (£6.95) and Steak & Guinness Pie (£7.95).
Jameson Irish Whiskey (you jut can’t keep them out of this) have teamed up with Oxford Road food and craft hub Hatch for a weekend-long party with Six Nations Rugby including the tasty Ireland v Wales 14.45 clash plus Free Jameson, ginger and lime for first 100 guests ahead of both matches on Saturday, March 16.
Big brownie points for Hatch’s in-house beer bar Öl, who will be serving up a glorious stout alternative in White Hag from Co. Sligo. Throughout the weekend to an appropriate soundtrack Jameson Öl and the Electrik Box bar will be collaborating.
So what of the venues that maintain an Irish vibe throughout the year. W;; you’re probably guaranteed a smoother pour of the stout beginning with G and the live music’s more likely to have you jigging.
The Corner Boy on Hilton Street, NQ, has swiftly established its credentials after an Irish rebrand, enhanced by their St Patrick’s Day gig from 4pm on Sunday. All Ireland Champions Ardua are made up of Dublin sisters Roz, Joanne, and Katherine McVeigh – multi-instrumentalists, playing traditional Irish fiddle, button accordion, concertina, whistles, voice, with Irish dance.
O’Shea’s on Princes Street are sticking by old stagers Green Hot Clover to belt out favourite Irish hits (£7 entry) while across the weekend Mulligans off Deansgate are promising 12 live acts across the Saturday and Sunday.
Out in the suburbs St Kentigerns Irish Club (36 Wilbraham Road, Fallowfield, M14 7DW) are staging a St Patrick’s Day breakfast from 11am on the day as part of the Irish Festival (full events listings here). For just a £5 donation to Irish Community Care, you can play your part in picking Sausage of the Year.
From 12pm-10.30pm Chorlton Irish Club (High Lane, Manchester M21 9DJ) are hosting a St Patrick’s Day Party with live ditties from The Grace Kelly Band and a disco (request Craggy Island Eurovision entry ‘My Lovely Horse’).
Down on Wilbraham Road without a shamrock in sight two of Chorlton’s smartest food and drink operators, host The Creameries and Henry C, are hosting an evening of St Patrick’s Day cocktails and canapes. For £25 you’ll get three full-sized cocktails and three paired canapés. Oysters, goat Irish stew and Porter cake re expected to feature. Buy tickets here.
Elsewhere, back in the city centre, the NQ in particular, it’s back to wall to wall Jameson and bottomless bunches. Across three days Dive NQ are promising a ‘St Patty’ Burger with Jameson Glaze (£8), cheap Jameson and Gingers (£5) along with a Buy 2 Guinness, get 1 free offer.
Week in week out The Whiskey Jar in Tariff Street shifts copious quantities of Jamesons, so guess who’s sponsoring what promises to be one of the livelier Paddy’s parties.
Oblivion may beckon if you sign up for Black Dog NQ’s special St Patrick’s Day Bottomless Brunch. Available both Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm, this offers you over any two hours a Full Irish Breakfast, alongside potato boxty with fried tomatoes and mushrooms, and a jamo and ginger syrup spiked fried chicken and waffles plus all the Guinness you can drink.
Finally, if you’ve not had your fill of Jamesons on the big day head over to YES on Charles Street where there are free Jameson cocktails and live music from London duo The Rhythm Method. Nothing to with the Pope’s favourite form of birth control for his flock. In fact, nothing much to do with Ireland, we guess. Sláinte, Mancs.