11:35. No sign of movement in the Crown. The gaggle of foreign tourists seemed to be blaming me, who’d been waiting outside the historic entrance for 28 minutes already. “Let’s go in the pub next door while we’re waiting for the pub” said Mrs RM. Robinsons Bar, also known by the more traditional Fibber Magee… Continue reading In an unexpected turn of events, I take Mrs RM’s advice.
They couldn’t work out how to get up early on Saturday morning after a night out on Bangor, though, so Mrs RM and I headed out to Great Victoria Street with a plan to queue at the door for 11am opening and nab a booth. No-one else ? Oh, well take some pics. A few… Continue reading WAITING FOR THE CROWN TO OPEN
Nearly forgot, I did have a beer in Bangor (N.I.). but the Rabbit Rooms is one of a host of inviting little places where you can here fiddly music, eat Strangford Lough mussels and drink Guinness £2 cheaper than in Dublin. OK, it’s no Crown Liquor Saloon, but the beer range is very typical of… Continue reading COCKTAILS IN TEA POTS IN THE RABBIT ROOMS
I have to add (N.I.) to any posts about Bangor (N.I.) or Patrick from Bangor (N.Wales) will wonder why I didn’t visit his wonderful pub. This Bangor is Belfast’s seaside town, the Margate of the west, with its street art, kiddie “funpark”, urgent warnings to repent, and micropubs. OK, not micros (yet), but lots of… Continue reading BANGOR (N.I.) IS AN ENERGY
Fairley’s in Coleraine was my final Northern Irish tick. Like the aforementioned Hillside in Hillsborough, it had recently been booted out of the GBG in a “booting out ceremony” in Dundonald, due to the crime against nature of not serving real ale. But what if it DID start serving cask again, hmm ? Like, a… Continue reading A NAGGING DOUBT ABOUT DONAGHADEE
Even if we hadn’t had the Giants Causeway on the Belfast To Do list, we’d have needed to hit the northern coast as Coleraine was home to my final Northern Irish tick. Look carefully at the GBG map and you’ll see more breweries than Guide entries outside Belfast. The withdrawal of Spoons from the North… Continue reading MRS RM SEARCHES FOR ME IN THE WRONG COLERAINE PUB
Friday was designated “Antrim Coast”, the day we did the Giant’s Causeway, the Game of Thrones sites (no idea why) and (by luck) my last Northern Ireland tick. 180 miles, and all of them on far better roads than we have in England, an absolute joy. Shame about the drizzle. A notable absence of coffee… Continue reading BASS CLICKBAIT ON THE ANTRIM COAST
“Time for a Spoons in Ards before we check-in to Bangor, Mrs RM ?” Do Ards, and there’s only 3 (plus Donaghadee just in case it restores cask) left to do and I can pink in the whole of N.I. ! Why not, it’s on the way, we’ve never been to Ards/Newtownards/N’ards and there are… Continue reading THE THINKER. AND OTHER GREAT REASONS TO VISIT NEWTOWNARDS.
Day 1 of the Northern Ireland Tickathon, and while my son hit the Dublin Guinness factory, Mrs RM and I wobbled round Strangford Lough trying to find cask. Strangford Lough has some cultural resonance, I’m sure Van Morrison wrote about a light snack of two pounds of potted herrings or similar, but I bring you… Continue reading THE “INTERNATIONAL SIGN OF THE HANDPUMP” USED TO NO EFFECT AT STRANGFORD LOUGH
I know you’ve been patiently waiting for an obscure B.A. Robertson reference (especially Scott), and there it is. Pub No. 2 on the Norn Iron Tickaton, and the first one actually in the Guide. It’s the White Horse in Saintfield (pop. 3,381), which looks promising when framed by bodies of water either side on the… Continue reading BANG BANG (CHICKEN) THE IRISH TICKS FALL, BANG BANG WHEN RETIRED MARTIN CALLS