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Celebrating the Irish in London

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you may find yourself wanting to connect more with the Irish Culture.

Irish people have been emigrating to Britain since records began, and they’re still coming! The reasons throughout history may have varied (from job opportunities to a change of scene, and even famine).

Irish people have contributed a lot to London’s offerings, from pubs and music venues, to shopping and cultural figures. So, if you’re longing for an Irish experience, you’re sure to find it in London.

Checkout the Famous Irish

Oscar Wilde

One of the most legendary figures in Irish Culture is Oscar Wilde. The novelist and playwright lived in London for most of his life, and you can still visit many of his favourite high-class haunts.

These include the legendary 18th century bookshop Hatchard’s on Piccadilly, and the traditional cigar sellers James J. Fox on St James’s Street. You can enjoy afternoon tea in the mirrored salon where Oscar Wilde’s downfall began at the Cafe Royal, or eat an opulent dinner in the glitzy Savoy Hotel

The Savoy takes great pride in the story of Wilde regularly hosting a group of 13 at the Savoy restaurant so that a ceramic cat called Kasper with his bowl of milk would be set down to dine with them to make up the number to 14. (This superstition prevails to this day in the hotel.) But to really soak up Oscar Wildes wisdom, the best thing to do is to find one of his plays, which are always being performed in London’s many West End theatres. Another quotable character is George Bernard Shaw. Shaw moved to London in 1876 and lived the rest of his life in the city. You can find a plaque commemorating his contribution to literature in the beautiful surroundings of Fitzroy Square.

The Donovans Bros Sign

Photo: Roy Reed from Ghost Signs: A London Story

On a walk through 46 Crispin Street, you may casually pass by one of London’s famous ghost signs. Not sure what a ghost sign is? Well, ghost signs are former advertising signs that have stuck around and share a glimpse of the past.

The Donovan Bros sign is a 1940s relic showing the history behind Irish immigrants who came to London many years ago and opened their own businesses. In this case, they sold paper bags for the traders selling fruits and vegetables at the nearby Spitalfields Market.

Visit an Irish Pub

There’s no better way to connect to Irish culture than visiting an Irish pub. Known for their laid back atmosphere, an Irish pub is sure to provide you with good music and memories. Don’t forget to order a pint of Guinness!

Here are our three recommendations for Irish pubs in London:

The Toucan

Where: 19 Carlisle St, London W1D 3BY

What: A pub with a special focus on Guinness memorabilia. Check out their vintage artwork while sipping on a Ireland’s iconic pint of Guinness!

Photo Couresty of @thetoucansoho


Where: 40 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AD

What: An Irish sport bar, which serves as the perfect place to watch an Irish rugby match.

Photo Couresty of @philomenas_pub

The Auld Shillelagh

Where: 105 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0UD

What: An iconic Irish pub referred to as the “Most authentic Irish pub in the world outside Ireland” by the Irish Times

Photo Couresty of @auldshillelagh
Experience Some Irish Music

Music has always been very important to Irish people. Irish traditional music dates back to when the Celts first arrived in Ireland (that’s almost 2,000 years). As a country, Ireland has produced some of the most talented musicians in music history; U2, Sinéad O’Connor, Thin Lizzy, Shane MacGowan, the Dubliners, Van Morrison, Enya, The Cranberries, Westlife, and Hozier – not forgetting Niall Horan!

But if you want to get involved, you can enjoy the Irish contribution to music at Waxy O’Connors, an enormous Irish pub in the heart of London’s West End. (It gets its name from a famous Dublin candle maker.) It has 6 floors, 3 bars, and in the heart of the pub there’s a giant 250-year-old beech tree that’s been perfectly preserved.

They have live music 7 nights a week – so there’s always a lively atmosphere there, no matter what day (or night) you decide to go. Check out what they have planned for St. Patrick’s Day here.

Events this Week:

If you’re looking to get in touch with your inner Irish side specifically this weekend for St. Patrick’s Day check out these events!

House of Jameson: B*witched Live

When: March 15th from 6pm – 11pm

Where: BOXPARK Wembley

What: Iconic Irish girl band B*WITCHED is headlining this incredible St. Patrick’s party!

Photo Couresty of @officialbwitched

St. Patrick’s Festival

When: March 17th from 12pm – 6pm

Where: Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN, GB

What: A St. Patrick’s Day Festival full of Irish Culture. Read more about the Festival here.

Photo Couresty of City of London

As you see, London does not suffer from a lack of Irish culture if you know the right spots to go. Luckily for you, we at Totally Tailored are always ready to find the best places in town for whatever best fits you and your needs. Contact us to book a tour tailored to your needs.

Written by Jasmin Gleeson and Isabella Abouhana

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