Its Alive! The Stag's Head in Dublin
Not dead yet.
It just seems like it, I mean its only been a year since I posted here. What do you want?? ;)
Problem is that here in Toronto I pretty well go to the same bars when I do get out. I do have a couple new ones to post about, so stick around if you're looking for Toronto bars, but for the next while there will be regular posts here because I have just returned from one of the best, if not the best, cities in the world when you're talking pubs.
I was there for five days and six nights. It was a work trip but I had a weekend in the city and my evenings free. I've been once before.
Its a terrific place. Love it. Its a gritty, dirty, lively, lovely town.
I did some research and had a list of fifteen pubs I wanted to try and hit. In the end, I managed to get to eleven on my list as well as four more. So I did pretty well.
I will do a writeup on nearly every one as nearly each is worth a visit. For the most part these pubs had history behind them. Each was unique in some way. All are close to the city centre. You could walk from the Brazen Head, the furthest west, to Mulligan's, the furthest east, in under fifteen minutes I would say.
God, I love Dublin.
No music in any of these places. A lot of them had a TV or two. It was Six Nations rugby that weekend and Scotland was at Croke Park. Plenty of kilted Scots in the streets and a really terrific atmosphere which I will talk about in many posts.
The first pub I visited on the Friday evening was The Stag's Head, a beauty that dates back to the 1870s and is hidden down a laneway just north of the Liffey. As you walk west from Trinity College towards old Dublin along Dame Street you see the tile pictured above. That's your cue to duck into the alley to your left, then another alley called Dame's Court and there it is.
One of many truly beautiful pubs I visited. Brick exterior. Stained glass windows. A red marble top bar. Dark wood everywhere and all else in deep reds and browns. A quiet place. A young couple, tourists likely, having a pint. Some older folks also enjoying their drinks. At the bar about a half dozen or so rugby fans, Scots and Irish, enjoying one of many drinks they would have that night, I would bet. Your man behind the bar was in shirt and tie and the two lovely women working were neatly dressed in black.
James Joyce was a regular patron of this pub.
Six Nations is terrific stuff. Its a real party - none of the hooliganism associated with soccer. A lot of folks will fly in for the game. A lot more fly in for the party. Indeed a lot of the host city will see people fly over to the visiting team's capital to party there. So there were Irish in Edinburgh and Scots in Dublin and a good time was had by all.
One thing about the Stag's Head and nearly every other pub I visited in Dublin. Guinness is king. I saw Beamish at a few pubs and Murphy's at none. You'll see Harp and Caffrey's and I maybe saw Kilkenney once or twice but I may be wrong. Dublin is a Guinness town through and through. You'll also see your Heiniken, Amstel, Stella, Bulmer's Cider plus Carlsberg and an American beer or two.
I love Guinness and it really is terrific stuff there.
You'll find something to drink - then just sit back and soak it up.
Labels: Dublin pubs