Is there such a thing as the perfect pub? Lemming, Knoxie and I went to Ireland with no intention of finding that out but our adventure led us close to finding the answer.
We arrived in Belfast, found our hostel, dumped our bags and headed off to explore. We decided to find a pub to sample the Guinness and plan our itinerary.
Finding a pub proved tricky. There were plenty of them to choose from but Knoxie was very selective. We seemed to walk the entire length of Belfast but each pub we came across was deemed too scary, too posh, too empty, too busy, too brothelly, or had too many bars on the windows.
Eventually we found a place that Goldilocks Knoxie was happy with. We marked out the places we wanted to go on the map and decided to visit the Titanic museum that afternoon. Four pints later we found that the museum had closed at five and we had missed it.
That evening we searched for more Knoxie approved bars. Eventually we found a table in a traditional Irish pub. However this seat was right opposite the men’s toilet, where judging by the fact that countless men came out still pulling up their pants, there was not much room.
On Saturday we got up bright and early to catch the bus into Dublin where we had a quick gander at the castle and St Patrick’s Cathedral before searching for some decent pubs. Once again plenty of bars failed Knoxie’s scrutiny (too laddish, too posh and too full). We stumbled across a pub which I thought Knoxie would describe as ‘too bohemian’ but she thought it was cool. However we didn’t stay long as it turned out to be too cold.
Eventually we found a pub where we could sit and watch the rugby while a live band played. This seemed like a perfect place to settle but we had one problem. We faced a two and a half hour journey back to Belfast on a bus with no toilet. Knoxie came up with the genius idea that as alcohol is dehydrating we should drink more to avoid the need to pee. Amazingly, it worked.
On Sunday we took a coach tour up to the Giant’s Causeway. The driver told some good tales and pointed out some interesting features of the Irish coastline in his thick London accent. We stopped at Carrick-a Reed and paid £5 to walk over a 5 metre rope bridge in the wind and hail then sat on the coach, cold and wet before exploring the rocks at Giant’s Causeway. Luckily there was a nice pub with a fire where we enjoyed a hot toddy and dried off before the coach trip back to the hostel.
That evening we discovered a bar with a huge pool hall but cold toilets and too many cupboards. Then another with a cool secret garden but soggy toilet paper and too many TOWIE rejects.
Next we found a pub with a warm fire and nice music but nowhere to sit. We left after encountering some discarded jeggings in the toilet.
We retired to the hostel after our busy day but were woken in the night by our roommate and her male visitor. As if trying to block out the sound of them attempting silent sex in the bunk underneath Lemming wasn’t bad enough, he also snored and his phone went off every half hour.
We returned home the next day, exhausted from our interrupted night’s sleep. I’m not sure that we found the perfect pub but we had fun looking and concluded that enjoying the company of the people you are with is more important than the place – unless it’s too cold, too busy, too brothelly…