I was in Belfast at the weekend and following recommendations from practically everyone I spoke to prior to our visit we booked lunch at The Crown Liquor Saloon. Here is a little introduction to the pub and what we thought of it.
The Crown Liquor, it seems, is a bit of an institution in Belfast, it is located on Great Victoria Street and just a few minutes’ walk from the main station. The pub dates back to the 1880 and despite a couple of refurbishments retains many of its original features including gas lighting. With private booths lining one side, a well-stocked bar on the other the pub and both a beautiful flooring and ceiling it is certainly inviting, when we walked in at 1.30pm the atmosphere was already buzzing. The recommendations of it being a go – to venue were certainly founded on expertise.
Luckily, we had the foresight to book a booth beforehand otherwise I am pretty sure we wouldn’t have been lucky as walk in customer. The booths themselves are pretty special – you can close the door to your little private group or keep it open and soak it up. (We did a bit of both).
So we ordered some food and there really was something for everyone from your traditional bar food, sandwiches, starters, sharers etc. Our group stuck mainly to the Irish Stew with chunky bread which seemed the traditional thing to have and it didn’t disappoint. It was slightly thicker than the southern equivalents I have tried, so I don’t know if this is the way in Northern Ireland or just this pub but it was delicious. The serving was not huge but with 3 chunks of bread to mop it all up it was more than adequate. The rest of the food was good too so from our fussy group there were no complaints.
The pub is part of the Nicholson chain and it you sign up to their newsletter you can get 25% off and this includes drink too. We decided that with an offer this good we needed to stay a bit longer and this offered a fantastic saving.
After our food we left the booth and soaked up the vibe in the bar. Everyone was so friendly (and I am pretty sure that is the way it is rather than the amount consumed).
I can certainly see why the pub has gained the reputation – it is thoroughly deserved and I would definitely recommend anyone visiting to try it out (but book a booth in advance if you want to eat).
(There is an upstairs but we didn’t see this part of the bar so cannot comment on that areas).