Oh dear, I’ve been away for ages. No matter. Here are some St Patrick’s musings
On this St Patrick’s Day eve, I am moved to ponder the question of the Irish pub – is there a town in the world that does not have one ? In my corner of smalltown France we have numerous establishments all claiming to be pubs, though only one that could be qualified as « Irish » – or ersatz celtic – the O’Briens – all furniture and fittings from Ireland – the wonders of archtectural salvage – though furniture and fittings at the O’Briens were all ripped out of Irsh school rooms and country Post Offices – the place doesn’t even sell Guniness, but it’s as Irish as you’ll get around here., and come tomorrow night the place will be heaving with St Patrick’s revellers, htough not many of them Irish – there is a distinct lack of Irish ex-pats in my corner of France.
So, why, in a small French town, with little or no Irish connexion is everyone out celebrating St Patrick’s day ? – Well, it’s a good excuse for a drink, and pretty much like that other imported festival, Halloween, a few years back, it just became fashionable to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Unlike Halloween, which no one really celebrates anymore, old St Pat is still a good occasion to let the whiky and beer flow.
And talking of beer (or stout) …
Guinness in France – well until the late 90’s, the only place you could get draught Guinness in France – outside of Paris – was Lourdes – barrels of the stuff would be flown in to slake the thirst of weary Irish pilgrims – then somewhere in the 90s we had the Guinness explosion – draught Guinness ecen made it down to my provincial backwater – in the mid-noughties the Guinness pumps ran dry, and all we could get was Murphy’s stout – Begorrah ‘twas a sad day.
Back to my research – is there a town in the world without an Irish pub. Well, St Tropez has its own Irish pub – The Kelly’s Irish pub. Looking further afield – with récent évents in Ukraine, I perused the web for Irish pubs in Sevastopol and there are two establishments : the Artishock Brewery and the Pena pub – both claiming to be pubs, though no hint of Irishness. What about Mongolia ? There ‘s sure to be no irish pub there –
Welcome to the Grand Khan – what appears to be Oulan Batour’s (or Ulaanbataar – as the locals say) only Irish pub. The website is well worth a visit
Happy St Patrick’s to you all