By Irene Fogarty
N’inquiete-pas! “Craic” is the Irish for fun. And though I’m still recovering from the French thrashing the Irish took (33-10) in rugby three weeks ago, I always looks forward to St Paddy’s day here. March 17th is a much calmer affair here compared to the wild celebrations in New York, Dublin and other cities. That said, there are still some great authentic “Irish” bars in the city, which always recognize the day. Just remember since St Paddy’s falls on Wednesday this year, it will not be like a weekend night in many places — and be prepared to fork out at least 10 euros for a pint of the black stuff (Guinness). It may be Paddy’s Day but you’re still in Paris! So here are a few favourite Irish pubs in Paris that will go all green on the night. Be sure to check out their websites for the latest updates.
The Quiet Manâ€¨ – 5, rue des Haudriettes, 3rd arrondissement, (Metro: Rambuteau : Line 11). Names after the famous John Wayne movie, The QM is one of my faves. This small bar is full of atmosphere. Whether you’re watching rugby or just going for a pint, there’s a great mix of people here. (Check out the site for a cool game of online darts! http://www.thequietman.eu/)
Corcoran’s – St Michelâ€¨28, rue St Andre des Arts, 6th arrondissement, (Metro: St. Michel or Odeon Lines 4, 10), RER: St. Michel (Line C). Corcorans is probably one of the best venues to hear Irish music and see football or rugby. WIth happy hours, big screens and real Irish meals (the meat and guinness pie is surprisingly good!), Corcorans is always packed, usually with a younger crowd. There are also bars in Bastille, Clichy, Saint Miche and Grands Boulevards ; go to http://www.corcorans.fr/ for all the addresses and St Paddy’s Day events.
Kitty O’Sheas -10 rue des Capucines, 2nd arrondissement,â€¨(Metro: Opera : Lines Eight) Like its Dublin sister bar, Kitty O’ Shea’s has become one of the biggest Irish pubs in Paris. Attracting an international crowd for all the rugby games, it’s full of conviviality. Known for its friendly staff, it really has an irish feel to it. Every Sunday at 8pm, « Dirty Linen », an Irish band, plays traditional music hère and on Wednesday evenings, quiz master Dave Simons Check out the website for March 17th célébrations : http://www.kittyosheas.com/paris.asp
James Joyce – 71, bd. Gouvion St. Cyr, 16th arrondissement (Metro: Porte Maillot : Line 1). The first time I passed this pub, I had to take a look in because of its beautiful black exterior. Inside is just as exciting, but don’t be surprised if the place is packed with British tourists.
If you’re off the drink or just not in the mood for a bar, why not go for something more cultural? Check out North Cregg, one of Ireland’s best traditional music groups. With the haunting vocals of Claire Anne Lynch, Christy Leahy’s spirited accordion-playing, and Liam Flanagan’s accomplished fiddle and banjo playing, North Cregg embraces musical influences from around the world to create their own distinctive style. Hear them live at Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5 rue des irlandais, 75005 (Metro Cardinal Lemoine: Line 10) 75005, March 17th,19.30pm, â‚¬15, reservation necessary. Click here for more info, http://www.centreculturelirlandais.com/modules/movie/scenes/home/index.php?fuseAction=musique
Still just keen on staying home? Here are a few well-known Irish DVDs you might enjoy. «The Quiet Man,» « The Butcher Boy,» « As I Went Down » or more recently, « In Bruges» with Colin Farrell. No matter what you do, have a good one, Slainte ! That’s «santé» in Gaelic).
Ireland’s most famous writer, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 -1900), spent his last years in Paris at the Hotel d’Alsace, a dingy spot in the 6th, leaving behind an unpaid bill at his death. Today L’Hotel, on the cobbled Rue De Beaux Arts, is one of «the» places to stay in Paris in the heart of the chic St-Germains de Prés, where you can pay up to 650 euros for a night and indulge in its one Michelin star Le Restaurant. Wonder what Oscar would say about that now!