I took a work trip to our offices in Belfast earlier this month. I went with a couple of colleagues I’m fortunate to call friends so we decided to stay on an extra night. As Belfast is rather famous for a wild night out, a later flight meant we could enjoy it without the worry of flying with a hangover!
The night started with a free bar and from there… we were really sucking diesel (to coin a phrase we learned earlier that night)
We also learned about Tayto cheese and onion crisps and their healing properties but that’s a whole other story!
We collated our recollections -vague in places- of the evening and coming up are the must visit bars and pubs that topped our list. I’d like to say we judged on a strict criteria including drinks range, location, atmosphere, music, liveliness, toilet quality, speed of getting served -and all the other things that matter. Truth is, we judged on what we could remember!
1) The Rusty Saddle
Great central venue with an upstairs private party area. That’s where we hung out with our free bar wrist bands. To be honest we didn’t go mad here as we were too busy meeting all our Belfast colleagues and chatting the night away. There was plenty of seating here, getting served was speedy and there was an outdoor area and a separate cocktail bar with a good menu.
From the cocktail menu
Perfect Storm: Kraken spiced rum, Velvet Falernum, lime, ginger beer, Angostura Bitters
2) The Dirty Onion
What a riot this place is! The pinnacle of Cathedral Quarter, an inside outside bar with lots of areas and the main theme is awesome live music! Whilst we were there there was a group of musicians playing all the chart music -but on their fiddles. The sound typically Irish but everyone was dancing and singing because everyone knew the tunes.
3) The Harp Bar
We all remember this bar being brightly lit and huge! The decor is mirrors and red velvet resonant with Victorian Belfast. Everyone was really erm -tipsy let’s say, but it wasn’t cause for uneasiness. The whole place just seemed to bounce together in unison to whatever the band was playing. People chatted to whoever was next to them and grabbed anyone for a friendly jig. Don’t go here if you’re the type who frowns at being bumped about a bit. You just have to go with it. ￼
4) The Thirsty Goat
Staying in Cathedral Quarter to another inside outside bar. There’s lots of wood and barrels and a kind of Alpine theme -and a giant glass case in the middle which houses a stuffed goat rolling a barrel. At drier and warmer times the bar is open air, but it was torrential rain on our night so the roof was closed. It’s still feels big and open and there are push button heaters and lots of shrubbery to further cement the outdoor living idea. Bar photos are from the bars mentioned with thanks.