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How to Celebrate St David’s Day in London

27 February 2019 Billie Manning

Get your leeks out everyone: it’s time to celebrate everything Welsh and wonderful!

Get your paws on some Welsh cuisine
Of the two top Welsh chefs in London at the moment, both are spoiling us with St David’s Day menus – lucky us. Pembrokeshire-born Tom Simmons heads up his eponymous restaurant in Tower Bridge with a strong focus on natural cooking and his Welsh heritage, and on St David’s Day will be offering a tasting menu with such delights as leek velouté with Welsh rarebit croquettes, and hand-dived scallop with laverbread. Over at Odette’s in Primrose Hill, chef and patron Bryn Williams (hailing from Denbigh) will be treating any Cymry to a special menu including Welsh cockles, and bara brith custard tart with rhubarb sorbet.
Tom Simmons Tower Bridge, 2 Still Walk, London SE1 2RA
Odettes, 130 Regent's Park Rd, Primrose Hill NW1 8XL

Leek soup

Drink Welsh
While there is a serious lack of proper Welsh pubs in London (guess the Irish have claimed that as their ‘thing’), there definitely still places you can drink Welsh and soak up a Cymru-loving atmosphere. Famous Three Kings in West Kensington has been popular among Welsh expats for years, and if you don’t get there on St Dai’s Day itself, they’ll be showing the Scotland-Wales showdown on at least a few of their 12 screens on 9 February. They also stock Tiny Rebel – try a ‘cwtch’ (red ale) or a ‘clwb tropicana’ (tropical IPA). And you can drink Tiny Rebel at plenty of other great London spots like The Dove, Strongroom (where Tiny Rebel recently celebrated their 7th birthday party) and The Island Queen, too.
 
Go out daffodil-spotting
Of course, St David’s Day falls right about the time that daffodils are coming into bloom, blessing London’s parks with their bobbing yellow heads. The Royal Parks plant a mind-boggling one million daffodils across their sites every year, so you’ll never be left wanting, but where’s the best place to spot them? It has to be between St James’ Park, where the lion’s share of Royal Parks bulbs are planted, and Osterley Park – you can slot in a quick visit to the house while you’re there, too. You’ll also find a lovely yellow display at Kew, of course, as well as Kensington Gardens.

Daffodils in St James Park

Sing your heart out at Westminster Cathedral
Keep it saintly and head over to Westminster Cathedral for a special St David’s Day Mass, where there will be a reading and prayers in the Welsh language. There will also be all the Welsh hymns you remember from your childhood, beautifully sung by a Welsh choir, too – you’ll soon feel like you’re back in the valleys.
Westminster Cathedral, 42 Francis St, Westminster SW1P 1QW

Get down with BBC Wales Horizons / Gorwelion
If hymns aren’t your bag, get down to the Betsy Trotwood to find yourself some buzzing new Welsh talent. Horizons/Gorwelion is a super exciting new scheme from BBC Cymru Wales which is aiming to develop new independent contemporary music in Wales, and they’re holding a St David’s Day celebration with three whole floors of contemporary Welsh bands and musicians, including Nia Wyn and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.
The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road EC1R 3BL
 
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