The peerless Irish pub
No visit to Ireland is complete without experiencing
its thriving pub culture. Pubs are more than just
places to have a drink – you can tap your feet to a
traditional music session, ponder the meaning of life
with newfound friends, feast on delicious food or just
enjoy the quiet settling of your pint of stout. Early in the
day, the pub is a perfect place to relax with the daily
newspaper, exchanging views on world politics with
whomever you meet. Food is also high on the agenda,
with many Irish pubs offering excel ent food; Vaughan’s
Anchor Inn in Liscannor, County Clare; Aherne’s
Seafood Bar in Youghal, County Cork; and Balloo
House in Killinchy, County Down, all boast
After dark, pubs step it up a notch, and you’ll find
the ubiquitous “ceol agus craic” (music and fun) in
plenty of establishments. The House of McDonnel in
Bal ycastle, County Antrim, for instance, hosts regular
traditional music sessions, while the Brazen Head in
Dublin City has music every night.
What the Irish value most, however, is that you don’t
have to know someone to strike up a conversation.
Take a seat at the bar or in a snug (private spaces that
used to be reserved for the ladies), order your drink,
ask a sensible question, offer a reasonable opinion, and
someone is sure to engage you in conversation.
If you don’t fancy a chat, sit at a table and no one will
bother you – but if you accept a drink from someone,
it’s considered polite to buy one back!