Still my favourite pub in the world...
I went to Dublin, Ireland back in August 2013 with my fiancée and a group of friends for a long weekend. On our first evening around 5pm my good friend, Joshua and I found ourselves waiting for the girls to certify themselves ‘ready’ in appearance for the night to follow. So it seemed we had quite some time to kill (as I'm sure you can imagine).
Josh said to me “I want to take you somewhere. It’s a special place and you’ll love it!” He didn't often say things like this, so I didn't quite know what to think, or how to feel!.. With no time to question the secret location he wished to take me, we set off... My heart half full of curiosity, half full of fear I followed him from our glamorous Holiday Inn down the streets of Dublin. After about 15 minutes he stopped outside an old terraced building which looked quite small and fairly ordinary to me. Large wooden panels on each side, with two long windows either side of the door and then a sign above it all reading "Rody Bolands". Josh looked at me and opened the door. 'This must be it then' I thought to myself...
After walking through the front door the seemingly small entrance opened up into a wide lobby area with high windows both in front and behind us. To the left and right of us old bicycles, instruments and sports equipment hung from the walls. I was already taken in by the rustic décor and character that welcomed me. I remember looking from side to side and nodding in approval like I was some kind of old tennis racket connoisseur!
Passing through the second door and onto the pub floor the room opened up further! It was huge!.. Somehow though it didn't seem to lose that 'cosy pub feel' that is essential in any countryside, town or city pub! The early evening sun shone through the high windows behind me highlighting the dust particles that floated as if in slow motion through the air. The pub was almost empty and the dark wood furniture, dimly lit walls and classy wooden stalls surrounding the bar just made everything feel right!...
Josh was already at the bar, he’d been here before, he wasn’t interested in the dust particles and he was thirsty! After regaining my focus to why we were actually here (which was to drink alcohol) I walked over to the bar and the barman, an old Irish gentleman wearing a white shirt and black braces came over to take our order.
We told him we'd like "two pints of Guinness, please", he just nodded politely and told us to "take a seat". Take a seat? But I haven't paid or taken my drink yet I thought to myself. It was slightly odd, but actually quite nice. I already felt like he trusted me, which is quite a rarity today. Still a little confused to why we were taking our seats already, without our drinks, I did as I was told. We sat at a cosy and comfortable little booth with leather cushioned seats and observed the surroundings of this quaint and charming pub. I watched the barman across the room from me as he walked back and forth every minute or so to the pump that he was pouring our pints with. It was taking a while, but I was happy to wait. About seven or eight minutes later he brought over to our booth two pints of Guinness and said "There you go, lads" in his satisfying Irish accent.
The words “Good things come to those who wait” sprung to mind as I gazed at the beautiful smooth black liquid with it's perfect head height. He’d obviously taken pride in pouring this – even though it was probably about the 30th pint of Guinness he’d poured that day! What a gent!
Now came the moment, the first ever sip of a Guinness in Ireland, in Dublin, the city it is brewed!.. And yes, it pretty much blew my mind! Being so used to drinking Guinness in England, there was just no comparison whatsoever. The taste was incredible!
I'll be honest, I'm pretty terrible when it comes to really describing in detail what something tastes like, but hey ho, I'll do my best... It was cold, rich, roasty, creamy and as smooth as a Mr Whippy ice cream! In other words it was awesome! Better than I had anticipated. It was clear to me now, as they say, that Guinness doesn’t travel well! I wish I was Irish, damn it! I now really was in love with this place, the Guinness had sealed the deal!
Over the next couple of days we went back to Rody Bolands a few more times. Once late at night, once late afternoon, and even at 10am the morning before our flight home to get that last Guinness fix! The time I enjoyed most though was still that first early Friday evening visit. That was for me it's best time, as it was quiet, but not lacking atmosphere, it wasn't over-crowded and it allowed you talk with friends, enjoying those moments without distractions. That being said, it still had a fantastic feel with cheerful Irish vibes in the evening when packed out with it's locals!
So if you're a Guinness lover and you ever find yourself in Dublin, I would recommend paying Rody Bolands a visit!
I hope to return there one day!
Thanks for reading.