The 16 remaining original Victorian era pubs of Dublin

Millions of people flock to Dublin every year for a chance to see up close, just what makes a Dublin pub so special. For most, the older the better. There is no shortage of authentically traditional pubs in the city, but as the decades go by, the numbers drop. Some of the best pubs in Dublin were built in the Victorian era, which stretched from 1837 to 1901. Many of these remain to this day and retain the majority of their original fixtures and their Victorian characteristics.

In Kevin C. Kearns’ ‘Dublin pub life and lore’, he lists the remaining Victorian pubs still in operation today. Sincethe book was published, 2 have closed down, Conways on Parnell street and Regans on Tara street. Here we will go through the remaining pubs and just why they are worth preserving and why they are part of Dublin’s rich heritage and remain some of the best places to go for a pint.

Interesting to note is that most of these pubs have snugs, which are a rare sight in modern pubs.

The Palace bar, Fleet street


The Palace bar is still richly celebrated as one of the most traditional bars in the city, drawing in tourists from the Temple Bar area looking for a more authentic experience. A pub where writers, journalists, artists, and others have congregated for decades. They still have a great tradition of supporting the GAA and traditional music. They have a lovely traditional snug and have moved with the times by offering a good selection of Irish craft beer.

Toners, Baggot street


Toners has a reputation of having one of the best pints of Guinness in the city according to Rory Guinness, a descendant of Arthur. It still retains its character on the inside and they have tried to recreate it in their newer beer garden. The snug was in recent years voted best in the country.

Doheny and Nesbitt, Baggot street


A pub mostly associated with journalists and the local business crowd, Dohenys is still very much traditional. It’s a big rugby pub, and they also have traditional music from Sunday to Tuesday nights.


The Swan, Aungier street

One of our favourite pubs in the city. The fixtures remain the same, and they proudly boast of their status as a Victorian era heritage pub. You can still see signs behind the bar that advertise ‘Colour TV available here’ from when the bar started to modernise in terms of what they offer.


The Long Hall, Georges street

One of the quintessential Dublin pubs for those visiting and looking for a bit of tradition. Bruce Springsteen is known to drink here when he’s in town, and who could argue with his taste. The walls are decorated with muskets, antique clocks, and other period paraphernalia. A Dublin classic.


Slatterys, Capel street

Slatterys is listed in the book as being a Victorian era pub, but there have been some recent renovations. These were mostly of the upper floor, so it shouldn’t affect the pubs Victorian status. It is also one of the few remaining early houses in the city, opening early in the morning for those who work unsociable hours.


The Stag’s Head, Dame Lane


The jewel in the crown of the Louis Fitzgerald pub group, and one of the most recognisable pub names in the city. There’s a large snug room behind the bar that is extremely cosy and retains a stained glass ceiling. If you see footage of the pub from the 60s and 70s you could barely tell the difference to today, bar the increase in taps on the counter.


Ryans, Parkgate street


Also known as Bongo Ryans, it has one of the most sought after snugs in the city. Like all Victorian pubs, it features large ornately carved wooden dividers that break up the bar.


The International Bar, Exchequer street

Best known as the home of stand up comedy in the city. The main bar is quite a small space, but it’s one of the most homely in the city.

Gaffneys, Fairview

The Hut, Phibsboro

Bowes, Fleet street


Bowes recently reopened their new snug after a bit of a refurb. Plans were underway to expand the bar into the neighbouring Doyles and ladbrokes, but the planning permission was turned down. this may well be a good thing for admirers of Bowes, as it will retain all the makes it good.

Kehoes, South Anne street

Such is the popularity of Kehoes, it can be hard to get a seat in this well worn and well loved pub. When full, it can appear to be a bit of a mazey design, with creaking stairs taking you to areas you wouldn’t expect existed. The snug beside the bar to the left as you walk in is a fine place to meet with friends.

Finnegans, Dalkey


Cassidys, Camden street

Come in here on a Sunday after an All Ireland final and you’ll fear for the safety of the structure! It heaves with fans adoring both the victorious Dubs and this fine pub. Bill Clinton stopped in here for a pint in the 90s on a presidential visit.


The Norseman, East Essex street

When the book we are referencing from was published, this pub was known as The Norseman, it then became Farringtons, and it has now reverted back to The Norseman. A fine treat for visitors to Temple Bar to be able to have a pint in an original Victorian era pub.

There are a number of other pubs that have strong characteristics of the Victorian age, but are not clasically Victorian, including…

  • Mulligans Poolbeg street
  • Mulligans Stoneybatter
  • Hanlons North Circular road
  • Kavanaghs Aughrim street
  • The Gravediggers Glasnevin
  • McDaids Harry street
  • The Lord Edward Christchurch
  • The Portobello Rathmines
  • Slatterys Rathmines
  • The Brazen Head Bridge street
  • Searsons Baggot street
  • Sandyford House



32 Irish pubs named in Michelin’s ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ Guide for 2017

Larkin's, Poacher's Inn and The Old Spot have each retained their place in the Michelin 'Eating Out in Pubs' guide.

Thirty-two pubs across the north and south of Ireland have retained their places in Michelin’s latest ‘Eating Out in Pubs’ guide, but no new Irish entries have featured on 2017’s list.

Of the 32 pubs featured in the guide, 25 are in the Republic of Ireland, while seven pubs in Northern Ireland have held onto their spots on the prestigious list.

County Down continues to lead the way in terms of the country’s best pub grub, with six establishments, including Pheasant in Annahild and the Poacher’s Pocket in Comber, holding their spots in the guide for 2017.

Cork continues to trump the capital in terms of pub gourmet, holding five listings in the guide, including Deasy’s in Clonakilty, Mary Ann’s in Castletownshend and Bandon’s Poacher’s Inn.

Lisdoonvarna’s Wild Honey Inn and Toddies at The Bulman in Kinsale have each received an ‘Inspectors’ Favourite’ accolade in the most recent guide.

Dublin’s The Old Spot and Kildare’s Harte’s, who entered the guide for the first time last year, have held onto the prestigious mention in the guide, which was published on Friday.

Guide editor Rebecca Burr said the quality of the fare in many pubs now rival that of restaurants: “We are increasingly witnessing how pubs can provide a platform for young chefs to start their own businesses, and how inventive these chefs can be, particularly when it comes to the sourcing of their ingredients.”


Billy Andy’s at Mounthill, near Larne

Restaurants Bill andy's.jpg



Morrissey’s (Doonbeg), Vaughan’s Anchor Inn (Liscannor), Wild Honey Inn (Lisdoonvarna) and Linnane’s Lobster Bar (New Quay)

Linnane’s in New Quay

resta linnanes.jpg



Mary Ann’s (Castletownshend), Poacher’s Inn (Bandon), Deasy’s (Clonakilty), Cronin’s (Crosshaven) and Toddies at The Bulman (Kinsale)

Poacher’s Inn in Bandon

poachers inn.jpg


Pheasant (Annahilt), Poacher’s Pocket (Comber), Parson’s Nose and Plough Inn (both in Hillsborough) Pier 36 (Donaghadee) and Balloo House (Killinchy).

Pheasant’s in Annahilt Co. Down


Old Spot and Chop House (both in Ballsbridge)

The Old Spot




Moran’s Oyster Cottage (Kilcolgan) and O’Dowd’s (Roundstone)

Band Arcade Fire visit Moran’s in Kilcolgan





O’Neill’s Seafood Bar (Caherciveen)


Harte’s (Kildare), Ballymore Inn (Ballymore Eustace) and Fallon’s (Kilcullen)

The Ballymore Inn in Kildare


Oarsman (Carrick-on-Shannon)

The Oarsman in Carrick-on-Shannon



Fitzpatricks (Jenkinstown)


The Tavern (Murrisk) and Sheebeen (Westport)


Hargadons (Sligo Town)


Larkins (Garrykennedy)

Larkins in Garrykennedy Tipperary

reata larkins.jpg


Lobster Pot (Carne)

The Lobster Pot (Carne)

Lobster Pot.jpg


Byrne & Woods (Roundwood).



6 reasons to visit Scotland in autumn

For our indie travel journal, A Year in the UK & Ireland, we ventured to Scotland for two months over September and October 2015 – and we were blown away. Counter to popular belief about Scotland’s weather, we were met with blue skies and sunshine almost throughout, plus landscapes so golden it was as if they’d been brushed by King Midas himself.

For that reason, we think there’s no better time to visit Scotland than autumn. If you need further convincing, here are six strong incentives.

visit scotland, scotland autumn, scotland travel

1. Golden hues

The leaves start changing colour around mid-September in Scotland. Greens turn to yellows, golds, burnt oranges and fiery reds, transforming its national parks and rural areas into spectacular autumnal sights. As there is so much wilderness in Scotland, it makes it a particularly apt place to take in these seasonal colours.
We fell for Cairngorms, in particular around Glen Clova (the front cover shot of our journal) and further north around Aviemore. Head to Loch an Eilein, a freshwater loch that is mesmerising in autumn when the trees start to turn and colours reflect in the still waters.

2. Indian summers

In the last five years or so, the weather in Scotland has seemed more pleasant over the months of September and October – we can certainly vouch for that in 2015. Recent reports predict that these months in 2016 are also set to be warmer than usual, with temperatures reaching around 25°C through September and into October.
While not all of Scotland will enjoy these Indian summer spells, select your destination wisely and you could be enjoying a balmier side to Scotland this year, and for years to come.

3. Fewer crowds

Despite these changing climactic conditions, it’s undeniable that July and August will always be busier months for tourism. School holidays dictate these peak periods, and as post-Brexit blues have forced more people to holiday in the UK, more Brits are choosing to travel around their own country, making it busier than ever. The crowds – and the peak season prices that come with them – can be easily avoided by choosing to visit Scotland in autumn.

visit scotland, scotland autumn, scotland travel, red deer scotland

4. See the red deer rut

In autumn each year, the red deer across the UK go through the rut – a period of mating whereby stags have to round up a suitable female. Their penetrating roar can be heard across the landscape during this time, and there are often fights between rival males trying to lay claim to the same female.
This magnificent display of nature at work can be seen across Scotland, and is often made even more stirring because of the country’s isolation. There are few things more rousing that being alone on a glen and hearing a roar far off into the distance. Head to the windswept isles of Jura or Rum in the Inner Hebrides for sure-fire rut sightings.


5. Perfect pub evenings

Although the weather might be warmer, this is still the UK and the evenings cool down drastically – but the Scottish are prepared. With cosy pubs across the land, there’s ample opportunity to hunker down in a local tavern, a traditional made all-the-more inviting by the imminent threat of cold evenings and winter drawing close.
Not only are there plenty of watering holes, there’s lots of local firewater to go round too – Scotch. Settle down in a pub on a chilly autumnal evening in Scotland with your hands curled around a glass of Islay’s finest single malt.


6. No midges!

The midges that descend upon Scotland in the summer months have been ruining holidays for countless years. You can be bitten by these little pests hundreds of times over the course of a weekend away, leading to the most infuriating evenings and so-called ‘midge misery’. Even though you can find midges all over the globe, the local species – known as the Highland midge – is recognised as particularly ferocious. In autumn, the midges have long-since departed. Sayonara, suckers.

Would you visit Scotland in autumn?





36 Hours in Galway

Galway might be Ireland’s most charming city: compact, walkable and filled to the brim with independent shops and restaurants that walk the fine line between cool and kitsch. Cozy, old-fashioned pubs showcase the city’s ever-growing selection of craft beers, chefs serve up west-of-Ireland ingredients in creative new ways, and almost every building housing a modern cafe or new atelier has a centuries-old story behind it. It’s not a city in which to hustle; rather, it’s one in which to enjoy a locally brewed pint, relish the excellent seafood and get your fill of views of the rushing River Corrib as it sweeps out to Galway Bay.



1. GO TO CHURCH, 3:30 P.M.

Kick off a Galway visit with a dip into the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, which dates back to 1320 and is still used for Anglican services. The (possibly apocryphal) story goes that Christopher Columbus worshiped here in 1477. Check out the smashed faces of the stone angels, damaged by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in a bout of mid-17th-century vandalism, and note the lovely low Gothic arches. When services aren’t being held, the church is calm; on a recent visit, a solitary man was playing the organ to rows of empty pews.



Coffeewerk+Press is at the forefront of Galway’s nascent coffee scene (Urban Grind, on William Street West, is also good). The multiconcept space opened in 2015, and its ground-floor cafe serves precisely made coffee from Denmark’s Coffee Collective (cappuccino, 3 euros, about $3.35). Up the stairs you’ll find a gallery displaying work by 40 international and local artists — you can buy postcards of their work in the cafe. A second floor hosts a design shop selling everything from colorful cups and saucers from Amsterdam-based Jansen+co to gorgeous modern tweed items by the Galway Tweed Project, which are good protection from the howling winds that come off the bay and are chic to boot.



Opinions differ, passionately, as to where you’ll find the best fish and chips in Ireland, but McDonagh’s is a strong contender. Four generations have been serving fish and chips (€8.50) over the counter to customers who can sit down and dig in at the provided tables and benches. The adjoining restaurant opens at 5 p.m. and has a more formal atmosphere, plus an expanded menu of seafood, but it lacks the old-fashioned appeal of drizzling vinegar over crispy battered cod and a heaping helping of thick-cut chips and eating them with your hands.


4. PINTS IN A SNUG, 7:30 P.M.

Just up the street from McDonagh’s is Tigh Neachtain’s, one of the town’s best spots for happening upon a spontaneous traditional Irish music session. Crammed with snugs (small, partly closed-off sections) and warmed by open fires in the winter, this century-old pub is often standing room only, filled with people sampling one of the more than 100 whiskeys on offer. But that just adds to the cozy atmosphere engendered by the old enamel advertisements and shelves of books. The building itself was once the home of the Earl of Connemara, Richard Martin, known as Humanity Dick, one of the founders of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.




Ard Bia is a well-established local favorite, and for very good reason. The unpretentious, much lauded restaurant takes full advantage of the bounty of local produce in Galway as well as its prime location. Try to get a seat by the window, which looks right out on the River Corrib. It’s got rustic-chic appeal, with simple wooden furniture, a good wine list and a short menu of homey dishes like avocado toast with poached egg and the quintessential Irish lunch: a ham and cheese toasted sandwich (here it’s made with baked ham and Gubbeen cheese from West Cork, with tomato relish). Brunch for two, around €25. From Ard Bia, step across the alley to the Galway City Museum (both are by the Spanish Arch, a part of Galway’s medieval city walls and a local landmark). The compact museum (free) features exhibits on Galway history, including a life-size Galway hooker fishing boat suspended from the ceiling.


6. NUNS ISLAND, 12:30 P.M.

The delightfully named Nuns Island is an easy walk over Bridge Street and home to quiet green spaces, as well as the Galway Cathedral (free). Built on the site of Galway Jail, sold to the Bishop of Galway for £10 in 1940, the stone building was dedicated in 1965, and its 144-foot-high octagonal green dome is a signature part of the Galway skyline. Inside, Romanesque arches and stained glass make this one of the more beautiful modern cathedrals.


7. LOCAL BREWS, 2:30 P.M.

Galway’s craft beer game is exceptional, even in a country where Guinness has in many pubs been displaced by microbrews. Stroll back into the city center by way of the Salthouse Bar, one of the pubs owned by Galway Bay Brewery, and the perfect place to sample a midafternoon pint or two. Try the brewery’s own maritime-themed beers like the Buried at Sea chocolate milk stout, or the Of Foam and Fury double IPA (pints around €5), or let the bartender pour you a few samples of craft beers from around the world and a draft of cask ale.


8. ON YOUR BIKE, 3:30 P.M. P.M.

A cycle down the “prom” (promenade) out to Salthill means taking in beautiful Irish coastal scenery: beaches strewn with seaweed and rocks, a lighthouse and gloriously big sky. Rent a black-and-red bike from one of the 16 Coca-Cola Zero stations scattered around the city center (€3.50 for three hours) and cruise your way west along the curve of Galway Bay toward Salthill, making sure to look out for the Aran Islands in the distance. The town of Salthill has become trendier recently, with a number of hip pubs, but if you decide to stick around until opening hour at 7:30 p.m., head to O’Connor’s. It dates to 1875 and though it seems custom made for tourists, this cramped, antiques-crowded space is patronized by locals and serves up an excellent pint of Galway Hooker (named after the boat, not the profession).


9. LOAM, 6:30 P.M.

Galway’s been building a reputation for imaginative cuisine that’s hyper-focused on local ingredients, thanks in no small part to Loam. It had been open only 10 months when it picked up a Michelin star in 2015, a testament to the detail-driven creativity of its chef, Enda McEvoy. The six-course tasting menu (€60) of deceptively simple dishes changes daily (they characterize their food as “obsessively seasonal”) but is always an amalgamation of west-of-Ireland products, from Connemara air-dried lamb to West Cork cheese. A recent meal included a savory broth of squid, shiitake and beach herbs, and hay-flavored ice cream.


10. GRAB BAG, 9 A.M.

One of the liveliest and most eclectic of Galway’s (and Ireland’s) night-life venues, the Roísín Dubh’s stage has been graced by everyone from Two Door Cinema Club to De La Soul — and that’s in addition to the comedy nights, open mikes, silent discos (a room full of headphone-wearing dancers bopping away to music only they can hear) and D.J.s spinning everything from indie to electro-pop. There’s also a rooftop terrace with city views. The cheerful, laid-back crowd is at least partly made up of some of Galway’s many university students. Saturday nights feature live music earlier on, then D.J.s and dancing until 2 a.m.



11. SHOP STREET, 10 A.M.

Do as the locals do and wander up and down the aptly named Shop Street. This, with the connecting High Street, is the liveliest part of the city, packed with shoppers even on inclement days. Stop by Lynch’s Castle, which dates back to the 14th century and displays beautiful gargoyles, stonework and coats of arms (the Lynches were one of the 14 Galway “tribes,” or merchant families, who effectively ruled the city in the early modern era). The building was restored in 1930 and is now an AIB bank. Up the street is Aunty Nellie’s Sweet Shop, where the shelves are lined with big jars of old-fashioned sweets. Pick up a handful of sherbet limes or rhubarb and custard bonbons (€1.40 for 100 grams) before strolling across the street to Cloon Keen Atelier. This boutique perfumery offers chic fragrances and candles, all made by hand in nearby Spiddal.



Take a jaunt to Moran’s Oyster Cottage, an oversized, thatched-roof “cottage” that sits on the banks of the Dunkellin River and serves up succulent native oysters. A 25-minute drive southeast of the city center, this family-run restaurant serves Irish lobster, seafood chowder and legendary oysters, which are sourced from a nearby estuary and served on a bed of seaweed. Have a pre- or post-lunch drink in the tiny front bar, which doesn’t appear to have changed in a century. Lunch for two, around €60.



Ha Penny Bridge
With students wanting to travel further and further afield nowadays, it would be easy for most to overlook visiting Dublin. However there’s every reason to explore the Republic of Ireland’s lively capital, especially if you’re a fan of Guinness. With this in mind Impact travel lists its top attractions in Dublin:


Whether a fan of the Irish stout or not, the Guinness Storehouse is Dublin’s most loved tourist attraction. Located on seven floors at St. James’s Gate Brewery, highlights include a step by step guide of the brewing process, an insight into the company’s advertising and sponsorship campaigns, and an opportunity to pour the perfect pint. Make sure you finish your visit relaxing over a glass of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar where you can admire panoramic views of the city.


For art lovers, a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland is essential. The museum’s collection includes 2,500 paintings and 10,000 other works of some of the world’s most famous names, such as Caravaggio, van Gogh and Monet. There’s also major works from Irish artists Jack B. Yeats and Louis le Brocquy, and to top that off, it’s free to visit too.


Remarkably, people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all over the world, and whilst there is much fun to be had in drinking an overpriced, warm pint of Guinness in a wannabe Irish pub halfway across the world, why not celebrate it in Ireland’s capital? They don’t just celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin either; they make a whole weekend of it, with the highlight being the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Next year’s celebration takes place on the 14th-17th of March.


For those of you who love exploring the history of a city, make sure you see the Book of Kells. The manuscript can be found in the Old Library at Trinity College and contains the four Gospels of the New Testament, all written in Latin. Afterwards take a walk around the grounds of Trinity College – Dublin’s equivalent to Oxford and Cambridge universities.


Chosen by Trip Advisor as the top attraction in Ireland for 2014, a trip to Dublin won’t be complete until you visit Kilmainham Gaol. Formerly a prison, it is now a museum where visitors can take a tour of the spooky location and learn about how it played a crucial role in Ireland gaining independence.


Part of the joy of visiting other cities has to be trying all the local delicacies on offer. One traditional hearty Dublin dish is the Coddle: a sausage, bacon, onion and potato hot pot. Expect to also find a wealth of Guinness based stews, pies and cakes, and make sure you warm up with an Irish coffee on cold days.

Phoenix Park

Take a walk around the beautiful deer-filled Phoenix Park, home to Dublin Zoo and Áras an Uachtaráin; the official residence of the president of Ireland. Entrance to the park is free, however there is a charge to visit the zoo. If you want to go to a more central park, head to St Stephen’s Green, and visit the Shopping Centre while you’re there if you’re in need of some retail therapy.


Dublinia is an interactive museum based upon Dublin’s Viking and Medieval history. The museum is a fun way to learn about the city’s past and includes special Halloween exhibits, as well as various living history events and themed exhibitions throughout the year.

Aviva Stadium

Dublin is a great sporting city and the perfect place to watch a game. The Aviva Stadium, which opened in 2010, is the home of Ireland’s national football and rugby teams. It will also host four matches in Euro 2020, so there’s every opportunity to watch some of the best sports stars in the world. If you’re up for an unusual experience, head to Croke Park for some Gaelic football, or if sport isn’t your thing, take the Skyline Tour where you can enjoy fantastic views of the city from five viewing platforms.


If you’re unsure about where to spend your evenings in Dublin, head to the Temple Bar district. Here the pubs and clubs are focused around tourists, so expect slightly inflated drinks prices. Try the area in the day and you’ll find a wealth of cultural attractions, from stunning architecture to one of Ireland’s smallest theatres; The New Theatre, and a wealth of galleries and arts centres.



The Irish Pub Movie

THE IRISH PUB is a eulogy to the greatest institution in Irish society, the pub or more specifically the traditional Irish publicans who run them. The characters in this exceptionally endearing film all run and own pubs that have been in their families for generations and it is through their warmth, wit and wisdom that we gain an insight into the heart and soul of THE IRISH PUB.