Traditional Pubs

It’s been said that the pub is the poor man’ […]


It’s been said that the pub is the poor man’s university.  If this is true, Kenmare has no shortage of opportunities for higher education. The town boasts a fine selection of pubs for you to choose from – indeed, both traditional pubs and gastropubs abound.  On different nights of the week, live traditional Irish music gatherings, known as a “seisiúns”, take place in different pubs. The schedule varies from week to week so best check with the tourist office for the most up-to-date details.

Of course, one of the must-do things when visiting Ireland is to have pint of Guinness. Indeed, it is perhaps second only to the shamrock as being recognised as a symbol of Ireland. One thing to know is that the perfect pour takes time.  Guinness needs to first be allowed to settle and only then is it topped up and ready to be sipped.

Pete McCarthy, in his highly entertaining travel book McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey of Discovery in Ireland, offers a wonderful little account of the ritual:

“He half poured my pint of Guinness, then let it stand for three minutes, in the time-honoured way. This lets the stout settle. It also allows for the barman to ask you who you are, where you’re from, and why you’re here.  The other customers listen and nod. Then he fills the pint, smooths off the head with a table knife with a parchment-coloured handle, and waits for you to take the first sip.  And then the conversation continues.”

Worth a read is A Luxury Travel Blog’s 19 facts you never knew about Guinness. It includes fascinating information such as “A pint of Guinness has 198 calories approximately, which is less calories than you’ll get in a pint of orange juice or skimmed milk”.  Good news indeed!

One tip – if you want to pass for a local order “a pint of the plain stuff”.