On 17 March, London's Irish community — and tens of thousands of others — celebrate St Patrick's Day. From now until Tuesday a multitude of special events are happening. But there's more to do than simply dress up as a leprechaun and down pints of the Black Stuff (although, as you'll see, that's hard to avoid altogether). We're rounded up the traditional — and some of the more unusual — events taking place from tonight, through to Paddy's Day itself.
1, MUSEUM LATE: The Museum of Brands in Notting Hill has an evening dedicated to Guinness. Expect themed cocktails, live entertainment, a Guinness treasure hunt around the museum and a ceilidh duo. On Friday 13 March, 18+ £10, prebook, from 6.30pm
2. FESTIVE PARADE: The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival takes place in Trafalgar Square with an Irish food market, children’s activities and a host of Irish community organisations. Watch traditional and contemporary music, song and dance on the main stage. On Sunday 15 March, free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm
3. IRISH FILMS: The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square hosts an entire day of Irish short films. Screenings include Oscar-nominated Anywhere But Here and award-winning animation Somewhere Down the Line. On Sunday 15 March, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-5.30pm
4. GUINNESS SAUSAGES: Polo 24 Hour Bar in Bishopsgate celebrates all week-long with a full Irish Breakfast special of Guinness sausages, black pudding, white pudding and much more. Also, the Pie of the Week is steak & Guinness... our mouths are watering already. 16 March-22 March — open 24 hours every day
5. PARTY IN THE PUB: Head to The Water Poet in Shoreditch and party all day long. There's Irish craft beer and cocktails, served alongside a special Irish menu, plus live music from 6pm. On Tuesday 17 March, free entry, 11am-11pm
6. TEA DANCE: The London Irish Centre in Camden has organised a shedload of events for St Patrick's Day. Their Tea Dance is a properly traditional celebration, attended by revellers of all ages: head to the cultural centre and enjoy folk music accompanied by a three-course dinner and prize giveaways. On Tuesday 17 March, £10, prebook, from 1pm
7. TRADITIONAL MUSIC: Jamboree in Limehouse hosts an evening of traditional Irish music. On stage is the John Langan Band, performing Celtic ballads and folk tunes. On Tuesday 17 March, £5, prebook, from 7pm
8. PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION: Admire the talent of Irish photographer Kim Cunningham, who launches her new exhibition at the London Irish Centre. On display, a series of photographs focus on Irish immigrants coming to London and their experiences in the capital. On Tuesday 17 March, free, just turn up, 7pm
9. IRISH PAINTING: St Patrick's Day is not all about drinking: why not celebrate creatively? PopUp Painting hosts a special class at the Jam Tree in Clapham: you'll be tasked with reproducing a poster of the Emerald Isle — no previous experience needed. On Tuesday 17 March, £25, prebook, 8pm
10. SILENT DISCO: Take the party to another level altogether — The Shard is throwing a silent disco party on the 69th floor. Start off the evening with whiskey and ginger ale, then jig all night to Irish tunes, while overlooking the rest of London. On Tuesday 17 March, £40, prebook, 8pm
What best way to start the celebration than with a good pint of Guinness*? We've rounded up the capital's best Irish pubs, just in time for St Patrick's Day.
*Other stouts, with a lower advertising budget, are available