Belfast bars are known all over the world as being cosy, atmospheric and simply the best for craic, banter and a good pint!
We're lucky to have so many gorgeous old buildings that many great public houses call home here in Belfast.
This month I have been really inspired by all of these beautiful meeting places and as a result am very excited to announce my new line of products based on Belfast bars.
Come along with me as I show you some of my favourite Belfast bars and tell you a wee bit about them.
The Crown Bar
The Crown Bar is quite special to me as it is one of my oldest Flax Fox designs.
Located on Great Victoria Street, The Crown is a timeless Victorian gin palace built with tremendous attention to detail.
The mosaic tiles were originally made by Italians during their free time when they were over helping to build churches.
The craftsmanship is excellent and thanks to a lot of investment the place has been refurbished to keep its history intact.
One of the most iconic features of The Crown Bar is its ten booths - more commonly known as snugs - for very intimate and cosy experiences.
It feels like you're part of a movie tucked away in a wee snug with some friends as the light floods in from the stain glass windows. The place is definitely worth a visit and goes down really well with visitors.
My Crown Bar artwork is available for sale as a mug, postcard, t-shirt or full-scale print.
Just across the street, you'll find Robinsons: a bar known for official Titanic memorabilia, great atmosphere, and local charm. ⠀
(Plus few Belfast bars can boast of having 5 different venues under the one roof!)
Robinsons was established in 1895 and pays tribute to the shipbuilding heritage of Belfast through its collection of items rescued from the wreckage of the Titanic along with letters, postcards, and even the famous Philomena Doll from the iconic ship.
Located on Bank St, Kelly's Cellar is one of the oldest bars in Belfast (there's a big debate about which one came first!)
Built in 1720, the place has changed very little with many key traditional features still intact - including the good old uneven concrete floor.
Due to its age and location, the pub has a long and rich history. Many people claim that a rebellion was plotted in Kelly's... others just like to show up for the company!
With indoor and outdoor seating you'll find a wide mix of people from all over the place coming together to enjoy some live music, good food, and a hearty drink.
The Sunflower is a lovely 'gimmick-free' pub tucked away behind Belfast Central Library.
From the outside there are two key features that set it apart from the other Belfast bars:
- A security cage on the front door - a relic of Belfast's past.
- A painted sign outside that reads "No Topless Bathing, Ulster Has Suffered Enough.'
If you're into street art the streets surrounding The Sunflower have plenty to offer, including new art from this year's Culture Night.
Duke Of York
The Duke Of York holds the real estate to what has probably become the most photographed street in Belfast - a lovely cobblestone road called Commerical Court - located in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.
There are so many iconic Belfast bars in this neighboured but the Duke Of York stands out among them all.
In a neighbourhood full of new modern venues, the Duke Of York stays true to the old traditional ways and values of the Belfast pub.
Located by the Albert Clock, you'll often find McHughs filled with people chatting and unwinding after the day of work in an extremely cosy setting.⠀
One of the things I like about the colder weather is the fact that McHughs has open fires and lights them during the winter - hard to beat an atmosphere like that.
When the building was built in the 18th century the River Farset still ran down Highstreet but was gradually covered over bit by bit, though the river still flows underneath to this day.
This is why if you look closely - the Albert clock is slightly wonky or looks as though it is sinking... because it sort of is!
Named after the late poet, the John Hewitt was opened to fund the Belfast Unemployment Centre back in 1999... pretty smart Belfast business if you ask me.
Basically, the unemployment centre always relied on grants to fund the work they did. One day they came up with the idea of opening a business to support their work and so the idea of the pub was born.
The pub was named 'John Hewitt' because he officially opened the centre back in 1983 and the name has stuck ever since.
Shop for products inspired by Belfast Bars
All of these Belfast bars are well worth a visit whether you or a local or visitor to the city.
Over the years I have created art piece by piece of these local places and now have gathered them into a 'Belfast Bar Collage' to pay homage to these special places.
You can purchase this collage as well as tea towels, postcards, mugs and even t-shirts of other Belfast bars in my store.
Thanks so much for reading this post and please do let me know your favourite Belfast bars in the comments.