I could murder a decent pint of Guinness, really could.
And I know (amidst the pandemic) it may be quite a while before such an experience occurs again.
So, here is a short piece about one of my favourite bars and potentially one of Ireland’s best pints of Guinness.
Feel free to disagree!
It’s a blustery November Saturday afternoon. There is rain in the air, the seas are high and grey clouds skitter across the horizon.
The front bar of the Harbour Bar (Portrush, Co. Antrim http://www.ramorerestaurant.com ) is still relatively quiet. Sporting and Guinness paraphernalia and a corner HD screen catch the eye. A small and very well used bar conceals kegs, pipes and taps. The wee snug for two, sandwiched between the bar and the main window is unbelievably free. “Result”, says my big mate as we settle in.
I watch as couples, tourists, mates come and go. There is an easy banter between Willie (the Barman) and locals, the weekly news catch up in full flow. Some of the tourists are examining the world map in detail before removing someone’else’s pin, to place it where they come from.
As for the Guinness, well the first pint has gone down nicely. Too nicely. Creamy, kind of tart yet “caramelly” (if such a word exists.) Willie and his team are pulling pints on a semi-industrial scale and offering samples of Guinness to Americans (I think.) I restrain myself from snorting out loud as the Guinness hits the back of their throats and “she” and “he” can’t help but pull an involuntary grimace. Two half pints are ordered anyway.
The wind and rain have picked up outside as the light fades. There is a warm haze of conversation and I can hear snippets about people’s week at work, conversation about the weather (a Northern Irish past-time) and general (and usually harmless) “nonsense” that folk talk when somewhat lubricated.
Feeling warm and “fuzzy” I wonder if I too have begun to talk “nonsense.”
(For more information on Northern Ireland’s “North Coast” visit http://www.tourismni.com)