Licensees enjoyed a bumper St Patrick's Day with record sales and huge queues seen across the country.
Irish pubs especially reaped the rewards of the big trading day with some operators reporting queues outside venues from lunchtime onwards. Other licensees celebrated the day with special menus and promotions on products such as Guinness.
Alex Salussolia (pictured), managing director of Glendola Leisure, said this St Patrick's Day saw best ever sales for the company's Waxy O'Connor's chain.
He said: "We had record sales across our four venues and we feel that was thanks to better execution of our business plan and the fact that there is a slight upturn in the market."
Glendola offered a free trip to Boston, USA, for the first customer to have a drink in all four Waxy's venues, which are situated in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, using public transport to get from one to another.
The success of St Patrick's Day was shared across the trade.
Jeremy Probert, director of communications for managed chain Mitchells & Butlers, which owns Irish pub brand O'Neill's, said: "Anecdotal evidence suggests it was a stormer this year. Our promotional activity went down well - we offered every reader of the Evening Standard a free pint of Guinness."
Spokesman for Guinness Paul Flanagan said: "Our first estimate is that we sold four million pints on St Patrick's Day. On an average day we would sell one million. We are up on last year and very pleased with the performance."
Peter Hughes, licensee of the Porterhouse in Covent Garden, London, said: "It was unbelievable. We had a queue outside from 6.15pm until closing."
However, he said the success of St Patrick's Day showed what an opportunity was being missed with St George's Day.
"I can't understand why the politicians just don't make St George's Day a bank holiday and get on with it," he said. "Australia Day is huge for us here as is US Independence Day. St George's Day doesn't get the same recognition."