Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in Paris: What’s On?
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“He drove the snakes from Ireland’s green fields,” or so the story goes. The feast day of Irish patron Saint Patrick returns this year on Thursday the 17th of March, and we have a few suggestions for how you can paint the town green.
Brunch to Begin
The Green Goose
Prudently begin your Parisian Paddy’s weekend with a hearty brunch. The Green Goose on rue des Boulets in the 11th doesn’t exactly serve up a full Irish breakfast but rather variations on the theme and the most delightful mini-scones you’ve ever set eyes on. Surprisingly, you won’t find Guinness here, but the bar stocks an extensive handpicked selection of Irish craft beers in bottles and on draught which are well worth a taste. Inside, the decor is “Irish” but subtly so, making it a good spot to gently begin the celebrations.
Exhibitions, Gigs & Events
Centre Culturel Irlandais
Appropriately located within the artistic Latin Quarter, The Centre Culturel Irlandais (CCI) has been dedicated to the promotion of Irish artistic creation in France since its inauguration in 2002. Each year the center hosts an array of cultural festivities in honor of St. Patrick. This year, Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival presents “Commencez! Beckett in Paris”. Over 16 days, 16 Irish artists and theater companies will celebrate and explore revered Irish playwright Samuel Beckett’s relationship with the city through a presentation of their work at the CCI and in other venues around the city.
On the day itself, the CCI will hold an open studio with visual-artist-in-residence, Corban Walker. Walker, who represented Ireland in the 2011 Venice Biennale, invites those interested into his studio from 6:30 pm on the 17th to take a look at his sculptural works in progress.
Also on the agenda at the CCI is music. A four-piece traditional folk group known as Lynched will kick off the musical proceedings at 8:30 pm in the CCI’s intimate chapel. The group’s eclectic repertoire includes street-songs, classic ballads, dance tunes, traditional music and their own original material. An Irish folk/roots act from Co. Donegal, The Henry Girls will complete the evening. Well-known for their fine close-harmony vocals, these three sisters “blend classic traditional Irish trad with a hint of Americana and a nod to bluegrass”. Tickets are €15 (€12 for students and unemployed) and can be reserved online at www.centreculturelirlandais.com.
Cabaret Sauvage de Paris
Described by the Irish Times as “an all-French band who play Irish traditional music brilliantly,” Doolin will play the Cabaret Sauvage de Paris in Park de la Villette at 8.30pm on the 17th of March. Tickets cost €17and are available online at www.cabaretsauvage.com.
Le Palais des Congrès de Paris
Celebrating Celtic culture through music, dance and special performances from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany, the 10th anniversary edition of La Fête de la Saint Patrick will take place on Saturday the 12th of March at Le Palais des Congrès in Porte Maillot.
Sights to See
As part of Tourism Ireland’s 7th annual Global Greening initiative, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde will be lit entirely with green lighting. Other famous buildings across the globe including the Colosseum in Rome and the Empire State Building in New York will also go green on the 17th to mark the occasion – a pretty special sight to behold.
Don’t Forget Dessert
Dalloyau teahouses and patisseries have decided to pay tribute to St. Patrick by revisiting the French classic pastry “religieuse” this time with an Irish twist. The gourmet creation will comprise a soft pastry filled with chocolate coffee cream and a hint of Irish whiskey, topped with a chocolate “chapeau” and an edible four-leaf clover for luck. This temporary treat can be tasted between the 14th and the 20th of March in participating Dalloyau teahouses scattered across the city.
A Nightcap to End
Owing to this pub’s friendly atmosphere, and the guarantee of a decent pint of Guinness and a packet of Tayto crisps, The Cork and Cavan has garnered loyalty from Irish expats and Parisians alike. The small pub, which is located on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin at number 70 Quai de Jemmapes, will be celebrating Paddy’s Day in style with plenty of drinks specials on the night and over the weekend.
Joyeuse Fête de la Saint-Patrick!
Lead photo credit : Sacré-Cœur Basilica goes green for St. Patrick's Day, courtesy of the Irish Embassy
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