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find the best pub in the world

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sighmo has written 13 entries about this goal

Sad to say..

.. the pub around the corner does not qualify as the best pub in the world. It’s a fine spot; nice people, pleasant bar staff, a pool table , a big screen with all the big sporting events and outside benches that sit on the verge of a small country road all work in it’s favour but there is a slightly wary atmosphere within and a local lunatic called Martin who has decided that I am his new best friend.
Best friends who start a conversation with “Nobody likes me in here”, are to be avoided. Particularly when they tell you that “John’s pissed off with me ‘cos I put my hand on his wife’s knee”.
Is he now? Well fancy that!



At the moment..

.. I can only assume that the Best Pub in the World is very far away from here. Without doubt in a different time zone, probably on a different continent and even posibly in a different hemisphere. That far away!



Eugene's

What could be more uplifting than a bracing walk in beautiful winter sunshine along the Cliffs of Moher? Surely one of the most magnificent views that the world has to offer. If you have ever done this then you will probably have driven home through the town of Enistymon and you may even have pulled in looking for a nice bar in which to warm yourself up with hot brandy and port. Hopefully you will have pulled up at Eugene’s bar, as I did last week with my girlfriend and my brother and his wife. It is a gobsmackingly beautiful little bar. Lit up with christmas lights it looks almost too good to be true but Eugene’s is one of those places that looks great from the outside and then gets even better when you go in. It’s warm and cosy, lit by a roaring coal fire and so narrow and snug that it would be rude not to say hello to those around you, including Toby the dog, a giant, docile german sheperd who will doze happily at your feet – unless you accidently stand on him like my brother did. It also has the distinction of having been the bar of choice for the cast and crew of “Father Ted” which was filmed nearby and there are photographs of them on the walls down at the back. If you’re ever down that way make Eugene’s a part of your day, it’s great… just don’t step on Toby.



The Long Hall

Theres something about the first free night after a long job ends. Having spent months going to work in the early evenings there is a glorious liberation in pushing through the doors of a nice pub, in the company of good friends, to settle down for an evening of gentle, generous beering.
On Sunday night I met up with five friends. One of these, Anthony, is english and will be going home in a week or so, so Padraig decided we should take him on a stroll through some of Dublin’s finest drinking houses. We gathered in The Palace, which i spoke of before, then moved on to the Stags Head and finally to the Long Hall on South Great Georges Street. as the name suggests its long and narrow with a quite beautiful atmosphere. It is cosy and warm and everything about it begs you to forget your troubles and re-adjust your settings to relaxed and happy.
My favourite memory of the evening was Vincent doing the Family Guy version of Narnia where he climbs through the washing machine after a lost sock and meets Tumnus; “Give me back my sock ya goat bah-stad”



Toners

Last night I went to Toners on Baggot street. It is one of the great treasuresof Dublin Pub-land. Buried in Dublin’s money belt, it has survived the ravages of the Celtic Tiger economy and remains gloriously unmodernised. It is a narrow slip of a bar, with genuinely old fittings and a warm, wooden ambience. I met Cathy there about 8 oclock and wouldn’t you know, the snug inside the door was free. Gertrude joined us with her cousin, James, who runs a swimming pool business in Westchester, New York.
What a great evening! Beer and laughs amidst the vague comfort that winter was whistling by outside the window. Yummy.



The Welcome

Theres a pub on Parnell Street in Dublin, not a stones through from the Parnell monument on O’Connell street called the Welcome Inn. Its a raggedy part of town. Its run down and dirty. The buildings are short, squat and without charm. In fact, if you passed by the Welcome you’d think it was derelict. To tell the truth if some unlikely set of circumstances caused you to step inside you would still think it was derelict, and having taken a quick glance at the battered seating and broken down tables you would do a quick about turn, slip back out onto the street and count your blessings that you had escaped an encounter with the seedier side of life. BUT, all is not as it seems. The Welcome is the best kept secret in Dublin. It is run by a bloke who was left it in his fathers will and has no interest whatsoever in treating it as a business. He opens when he feels like it and flatly refuses to do any work on the place , let alone make efforts to entice customers. He plays great music like van morrisson, johnny cash and niel young and if you fancy stopping in for a beer, then thats great. The few people scatttered at the bar are quietly friendly and its for all the world like some local kid has built a pub in his tree house.
Its where we escape to after work for a quiet few pints away from the shop talk and social competition. Bring a friend and relax, theres no pretension here. Just beer. And if Harry is around maybe a bag of chinese jellies to be passed around.



Neary's

On friday night after work I went to Neary’s on Chatham street. I went in at about 5.30 with a couple of work-mates. I dont know what time i left but i didnt get home untill about 4am. During the evening i met Ronnie Drew, the legendary Irish folk singer with The Dubliners; kissed a strange girl; invented a cocktail; AND found time to discuss infinity with a man who looked very like the bloke from My Name Is Earl.
Neary’s is that kind of pub. It is a 15 second walk from Dublin’s premier shopping street (Grafton St.) and while it fronts onto Chatham st, there is a back door onto the stage door alley of the Gaiety theatre. As a result it gets a large theatre and mucic clientele which makes for some interesting evenings. Perhaps the most famously interesting of these was when the infamous actor and bon viveur Alan Devlin left the stage of the theatre in mid performance of The Pirates of Penzance (uttering the immortal line “Fuck this for a game of soldiers”); strode through the auditorium in full navy regalia; walked around the block into neary’s; jumped onto the bar; drew his sword; and demanded in uncompromising language to be served a pint of guiness.
I met him once and asked him how he managed to make it over the orchestra pit ( he’s only about 5’4” and..well…a bit round), but he couldn’t remember.
On another occasion, the same Alan Devlin, strode into Neary’s and demanded to be served. “Give me a pint of Guiness”, he said. “Get out Devlin, You’re barred!”, said the barman. Devlin left, muttering. About ten minutes later a rotund man, no higher than 5’4” came in with a paper bag on his head with two eyeholes torn in it. “Give me a pint of Guiness”, he said. “Get out Devlin, I told you you’re barred!”, replied the barman. “Ah Jaysus”, said the legend, “how did you know it was me?”



The Palace Bar

on Fleet street is a lovely old style bar with high stools, a nice little snug, and pleasant but not over-powering staff. A nice place to get quietly warmed up after work or on a sunday evening. Theres a similar bar on Abbey street called The Oval but the few times I’ve been in there has been a collection of unpleasant drunks that turned me off it. I guess that a hazard in places that sell alcohol!



The Summit

This bar in Howth has an awful lot going for it. Open fireplaces, snugly compact, a very nice outdoor smoking area and an ambience that hints at interesting conversation. It also has a pool table (unusual in Irish bars) and some very cute bar girls. Being at the summit (the clue is in the title) of Howth hill it is also adjacent to one of the east coasts finest cliff walks.
I like it lots.



The Corner House

The Corner House in Carrigaline is not the best pub in the world but it is a great place to watch a football match. Swamped with Liverpool fans for the Champions League final on wednesday night, there was a terrific buzz in the place, not to mention old friends and the bould Paddy behind the bar.
The Gaelic Bar, a bit down the road is not the best pub in the world either, but they do boast a curiously well populated Leyton Orient supporters club who can be found there in large numbers of a sunday lunchtime. Ten out ten for eccenticity.



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