Food & Drink

An Irish guide to London

Where to eat, drink and be merry this St Patrick's Day

Don’t sell yourself short this St Patrick’s Day with a pint of Guinness in an O’Neills. London’s food and drink scene is richly augmented by a strong Irish contingent, both creatively as the brains behind beers and spirits, and demonstrating their genius at the pass. If you’re claiming your great great great grandfather’s Irishness as your own and donning the gold and green this 17 March, here’s where to find the real deal.

Kernel Brewery

Kernel Brewery, Emma Hop

Yes, one of the city’s most popular and successful micro-breweries is overseen by an Irishman. Evin O’Riordan started out working in cheese with Neal’s Yard Dairy, brewing his own in his kitchen. The brewing grew into an arch in Bermondsey, and the result is one of the pioneering craft beers in the city’s resurgent scene.

Arch 11, Dockley Road Industrial Estate, London SE16 3SF, thekernelbrewery.com

40FT Brewery

40 FT Brewery crowd

Steve Ryan, editor of food zine Root + Bone on the side, partnered with Swedish brothers Andreas and Frederik Pettersson to brew some of the best beer their side of the A10 (and possibly further afield). Their larger is what they’re known for – a Kölsch beer with larger flavour than a lager (hence the name) – but they often have a decent stout on the go too. Either way, it’s anything but Guinness. 

Bootyard, Abbott Street, London E8 3DP, 40ftbrewery.com

The Dairy, Counter Culture, and Sorella

The Dairy

Everything Dubliners Robin and Sarah Gill put their hands to turns to restaurant gold. Proprietors of The Dairy in Clapham, one of the finest restaurants in south London, next door they run Counter Culture with a menu that changes and roams the globe. They’re also the brains behind Sorella, also in Clapham, an Italian restaurant with a Michelin Bib Gourmand. All are praiseworthy places to dine, and when Darby’s opens at Nine Elms later this year, it’s sure to be a winner. Book ahead to get a table.

15 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, London SW4 0HY, the-dairy.co.uk

Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, Corrigan’s Mayfair, and Dickie’s Bar

The don of London’s Irish food scene has to be Richard Corrigan. Every year he goes all out to celebrate St Patrick’s day across his three London restaurants, and this year will be no different, with Irish classics made from ingredients grown on his Ireland estate, Virginia Park Lodge. At Corrigan’s expect Irish stew, seafood dishes like fish pie made with lobster, scallop and haddock, and charred baby leeks with wild Irish mussels. Meanwhile, Bentley’s hosts a feast for St Patricks on Saturday March 16 for £70pp with smoked salmon, bacon and cabbage, Irish stew, apple tart and Irish cheese. Or slug down a Black Velvet or an Irish Coffee, made properly by Dickie’s Northern Irish bar manager Kalem McLoughlin.

28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 7EH, corrigansmayfair.co.uk, dickies.corrigancollection.com

£70 per person on 16 March 2019, 11 Swallow Street, Mayfair, London W1B 4DG, bentleys.org

O’Shea’s Butchers

O'Shea's Butchers

Some of the finest meat in the capital comes through the hands of Darragh and Michael O’Shea, the eighth generation of this family business. As well as supplying restaurants like Hedone and chefs like Jose Pizarro, you can buy their meat for yourself at Maltby Street Market, over the counter, every weekend.

Arch 14, Apollo Business Park, Lucey Way, Bermondsey SE16 4ET, osheasbutchers.com

Myrtle

Ever since Anna Haugh left Bob Bob Ricard, those in the know have been keeping their eye out for what she’d do next. The chef’s pedigree includes working with Philip Howard and Gordon Ramsey, and as of April you’ll find her at the helm of her first solo restaurant, Myrtle, where the menu comes with an Irish twist. Taking inspiration from her childhood in Tallaght, Dublin, expect Clonakilty black pudding rolls, beef and boxty cake, and Burren Smokehouse mackerel rillettes.

Opens April 2019, 1A Langton Street, London SW10 0JL

Gridiron

Taking over what was once home to The Met Bar, since Gridiron opened last autumn it’s provided a culinary home for Irishman Colin McSherry who’s collaborating with open fire meat-cooking aficionado Richard H Turner. It’s hearty fare that highlights the importance of forgotten rare-breed animals and ethically sourced fish – think Dexter prime rib, Tunworth mashed potato, burnt leeks – all cooked over open fire.

COMO Metropolitan London, 19 Old Park Lane, London W1K 1LB, gridironlondon.com

Allegra

Irishman Patrick Powell, has an illustrious CV. The former head chef at Nuno Mendes’s Chiltern Firehouse has struck out for his own solo venture, Allegra, on the 7th floor of Manhattan Loft Gardens in East London’ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Opening in April, expect modern European food prepared with herbs and vegetables grown on the hotel’s sky gardens.

Opens April 2019, 20 International Way, Olympic Park, London, E20 1FD, manhattanloftgardens.com

Core

Lauded as the world’s best female chef at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards in Bilbao last year, there’s no doubting Northern Irish chef Clare Smyth’s excellence. Core is her Notting Hill restaurant where her food is flawless, a blend of classical French training and British artisanal influence.

92 Kensington Park Road, London, corebyclaresmyth.com