Dress to impress
Tradition dictates that green should be worn as this colour was said to make the wearer invisible to leprechauns. Today, not wearing green on March 17 can result in a pinch from someone as a reminder that a leprechaun might sneak up and do the same.
So, to keep fairy creatures at bay – and avoid any human-inflicted pain – why not ask your guests to wear green? This allows them to be as adventurous as they wish, from sporting a simple jumper to dressing in it from head to toe.
Set the scene
You could stick to the same colour theme to help you decorate your home for your gathering or mix it up a little by including the white and orange which also make up the Irish tricolour.
Dining table settings are a good way to create atmosphere in a stylish and sophisticated way. Mix roses with green foliage and display on a crisp white tablecloth, laid with burnt orange napkins, for example.
On the other hand, St Patrick’s Day is also about having fun, so feel free to adorn your dining room with shamrocks, rainbows and pots of gold. Look out for novelty bunting, garlands and chocolate coins for an inexpensive way to create this standout look.
Either way, a flexible piece of furniture like the Horizon Extra Large Extending Dining Table is a perfect partner. It can seat anywhere up to ten people for a formal dinner or be used to serve a groaning buffet of delights for a more casual affair.
Find the right food
You can follow the novelty theme right through to your food, with a cake that looks like a Leprechaun’s hat, green iced-cupcakes and four-leaf clover shaped biscuits. But why not indulge in some hearty Irish cooking instead?
Choose from stout infused stews served with piles of colcannon (a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage), Irish cream cheesecake, freshly baked soda bread, and thick joints of bacon served with cabbage.
Not what you fancy? Use Irish-sourced ingredients to your own tastes instead, such as beef, cheese, mussels or salmon for a nod to the usual Irish custom.
Get the right drinks too!
What better way to toast St Patrick’s Day than with a tall pint of Guinness?
Or say “Sláinte!” – pronounced SLAHN-che – which is the Gaelic equivalent of “cheers!” with a shot of Bailey’s?
These are two of the more obvious choices but you could also look out for Irish craft beer brands, cider and, of course, whiskey.
For none alcohol drinkers, why not serve apple juice, orange juice or milk - in keeping with the colour theme? Host on your coffee tables a selection of drinks and nibbles. Try brewing rich Irish coffee and add cream instead of alcohol for those who are teetotal.
Then get your dancing shoes on!
Irish dancing is a fast-paced flurry of fancy footwork that’s sure to get any party going. Download some appropriate music and look for online tutorials if you’re new to the style – you’ll soon get everyone up and having a go in the name of St Patrick.