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Where to toast St. Pat in London for St. Patrick's Day 2017

It’s the one day of the year when finding a party isn’t a problem.

On St. Patrick’s Day the challenge is often deciding where to go.

On the day when much of the world’s ethnicity is put on hold to join the Irish in toasting their patron saint, Londoners are no different.

There are parties everywhere with lineups to get into the hot spots and where servers carry trays of green-coloured beer, the more traditional Guinness, Murphy’s or Kilkenny, Irish whisky and culinary delights such as Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and soda bread.

There are several Irish-themed pubs in London promising to deliver the music, food, alcoholic beverages and fun you’d expect to enjoy across the pond.

Fionn MacCool’s, 867 Wellington Rd., where Celtic music is a staple, the Kitchener-based Celtic band The Shenanigans will welcome the crowd with a set at 11 a.m.

“I expect to be full by noon and I don’t expect there to be an empty seat before midnight,” said MacCool’s general manager Chris Durnin.

“This will be our second St. Paddy’s Day, so it’s pretty exciting. I don’t know quite what to expect, but we’re preparing for the biggest crowd of the year.”

The five-piece Shenanigans will be followed by a series of Celtic music performers and dancers through to closing.

But the options Friday are many, from neighbourhood pubs to Legions and even Aeolian Hall, where St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated with the Great Canadian Fiddle Show.

Here’s a wee sampling of popular St. Patrick’s Day party venues:

  • Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub & Restaurant at 700 Richmond St. with the Mike O’Brien Band performing Irish tunes mixed with pop covers;
  • McCabe’s Irish Pub & Grill at 739 Richmond St. with a musical lineup that includes Alan Charlebois, Jordan MacDonald and Blackbelt Jones. The roof-top patio is open to keep the expected lineup off the street and content with a beverage;
  • The Scots Corner, 268 Dundas St., will feature music by The Gurriers and The MacNificents and serve traditional Irish fare that includes corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, potato-leek soup with soda bread and sticky toffee pudding.
  • The Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St., the Great Canadian Fiddle Show, featuring traditional fiddling and step dancing with performers Shane Cook, Celina DiCecca, Alanna Jenish, Colleen Jenish and Tony Nesbitt-Larking. Tickets $ 25 advance, $ 30 at the door, available at the box office, by calling 519-672-7950, or online at aeolianhall.ca.
  • The Waltzing Weasel, a British-style pub at 1324 Adelaide St. North, where aside from the daily menu that includes steak and kidney pie, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips you’ll find corned beef and cabbage added.
  • The Morrissey House, 361 Dundas St., keeps a wide selection of craft brewery beers, Irish drinks and a menu that will include Irish lamb stew (reservations required).

Before heading out to that St. Patrick’s Day celebration, a little advice:

  • Check to see if reservations are required.
  • Arrive early to avoid lengthy waits. Many lineups start forming hours before opening, which is usually 11 a.m.
  • Don’t be having too much fun without a little sustenance. Eat where you are or before you go.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Moderation is the key. But call a taxi or other service, have a designated driver, take a bus, or walk.

Sláinte

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