We kicked off a 2 week road trip round Ireland in the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Our very first stop walking into the city was the oldest bar in Belfast, The Crown Bar – only because it had started to rain and it seemed sensible to shelter from the elements and sample some real local Guinness.
The Crown Bar is located on Great Victoria Street directly opposite the Europa Hotel. The Europa was known as the “most bombed hotel in Europe” and the “most bombed hotel in the world” after having suffered 36 bomb attacks during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. One amusing story we heard was that the locals always knew when the hotel was about to be bombed as there were numerous old cars and taxis parked directly in front of the Crown Bar to protect this important landmark!
The Crown Bar is a wonderful bar full of intricately carved wood and beautiful stained glass windows and colourful tilework. Apparently all the woodwork and tile work had been done by the the craftsmen who were in Belfast to work on the construction of the cathedral and of course they wanted to make some extra money on the side. The bar is now owned by The National Trust.
It has a number of private cosy cubicles or snugs where you can settle into to enjoy your favourite tipple with some friends.
The bar has a classic long wooden bar with local beers on tap and a good selection of Irish whiskeys.
And of course there was Guinness …. I had waited a long time to sample this in its homeland and I was not disappointed. It was poured with perfection, the barman waiting long enough for the drink to settle prior to a final top up before serving.
On our second visit to the bar we managed to secure a place in one of the snugs which had comfortable leather seats surrounded by the beautiful woodwork and stained glass decorations – a great place for a cosy drink.
The Crown Bar is a highly recommended place to visit, not only for the beautiful decorations of the bar, the great drinks, and the good service but of course the wonderful warm local Irish people you will meet there.
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