The lone Belfast Spoons was boisterous, filthy and showed little signs of food trade, so I ignored the temptation top check out the Bridge House’s Norn Irish specialities and headed for some authentic Lebanese felafel in the heart of the student quarter.

Honestly, Umi Falafel is stunning, with a soundtrack to match.

Next door, Molly’s Yard remains the upmarket choice for your scallops, potted venison and fadge (look it up),

and a reminder of the time when the local GBG selection included a place where you had to come for a meal to enjoy a pint of Whitewater, an abomination in the Guide.

These days the entries seems to include quite a few entries that don’t even serve real ale.

Now, I don’t care whether Northern Lights , the Donegal Bay showcase on the Ormeau Road serves real ale (whatever that is) or not,

but there’s no pumps and I very much doubt anything here meets the exacting standards of the casketeers.

The hazy Althea was a gloriously (chilled) pint of murk, and the place packed with drinkers on a Thursday night. Lovely place, with Springsteen soundtrack, a bit reminiscent of that Blackpool Brewhouse, and that’s a good thing.

But should it be in a Guide to the best real ale ?

That would be an ecumenical matter.


  1. An abomination indeed. Called in there about 10 years ago following the GBG and were told that we had to buy at least a basket of bread before we could have a drink. We didn’t have a drink as Whitewater beers are definitely not worth the price anyway, never mind with the cost of bread we didn’t want on top. The Bridge House JDW has been excellent whenever we’ve visited, must have a crap manager now!


  2. Curious. Felafel to me is a chickpea ball. Your picture I would call a gyro. What do you call it? I wasn’t sure the term felafel is the restaurant name or the order. Wondering if we use different terms.


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