Carol Forster column

Saint Patrick.
Saint Patrick.

Being more than a wee bit of the Irish myself, ancestrally speaking, it was both heart-warming and surprising to find the gorgeous Irish themed venue, ‘Saint Patrick Jazz Club and Restaurant’ in Barletta, which I first visited with my husband James and some Barlettan friends one balmy June evening two years ago.

Now I’m familiar with Barletta’s eateries, which are all great, but when I spent an evening at ‘Saint Patrick’, I was presented with food so delicious and beautifully presented that I came over all Queen-like, and felt thoroughly spoilt, not to mention delighted.

The owner and manager, Francesco Petruzzelli, opened it in February 1999 and, as Prince’s famous song goes, it became a place ‘to party like it’s 1999’.

Not only are you spoilt with the most wonderful dishes, but you are also entertained by very classy musicians of such calibre as Patrick Fradet, New York jazz trumpeter, or Italian pianist Antonio Farao, nearly every night.

The result is a treat for the senses that stays with you and sees you return time and time again.

In 2004, the pub restaurant was awarded ‘Best in Puglia’ in newspaper ‘Gazetta del Mezzogiorno’.

Then, incredibly, a group of BBC journalists researching the best Irish pubs in the world, spent some time there without revealing their purpose, and voted it ‘Best Irish Pub’ they had ever visited. As a result, it will feature in a forthcoming BBC documentary.

Saint Patrick also has a beautiful ‘Bed & Breakfast’ very nearby.

The medieval building, once owned by the noble ‘Della Marra’ family, and later used by the Jesuits, is located near the Baroque ‘Chiesa del Purgatorio’ (1727).

It later went to the Bonelli family, which is its current name.

The manager Leopoldo Vitobello and his wife now run this beautiful establishment.

Each room has a unique name and theme, with its own stunning decor, such as ‘The William Butler Yeats’, ‘Oscar Wilde’ or ‘James Joyce’ rooms.

So, if you happen to visit Barletta down in the Puglia region, why not see for yourself what a superb venue this is.