The Abbey (Carrigaline)

I have reviewed this pub previously when it was called ‘Hogans’ but it has been the above name for the past few years and it deserves another review under the current management. It has the same interior as it did previously but it is now a much busier spot than it has been, mainly due to the fact that there is a much improved menu and live music is a regular feature in the bar these days. I have been there several times recently and have found the food, drinks and service to be excellent. A staff member even phoned me after having a recent meal there with friends to check if all was to our satisfaction. This was a nice touch.

This bar/restaurant was recently number 1 in Cork on trip advisors list of top restaurants. I would certainly recommend heading in for a pint but it is still more of a restaurant in my opinion. The toilets are well maintained but there is only cubicle available. There is a nice smoking area out the back and there is a car park here as well.

Head in to the Abbey for a meal/drink. It’s a very decent spot.

The Malt Bar

We had a bite to eat in this bar yesterday which is located in Lismore, Co Waterford. The malt bar is part of Lismore House hotel. It enjoys an enviable location over looking Lismore castle. We sat down at the front of the bar with the kids and I have to say that the service and value was excellent. I broke one of my own golden rules. I had a pint of Murphy’s outside of Cork which was a mistake as the pint wasn’t great. The food on the other hand was really good and we all ate well and the girls were quiet during the whole time there which says a lot. They ate all their food.

It was very busy in this bar with people eating and was full when we were leaving. I didn’t use the toilets here but Jen did and she said the ladies toilets were only ok. It’s definitely a place I would head back to for food and possibly to spend the night as well.

Food rating: 8/10
Pint rating: 6/10
Overall rating: 7/10

Final comment: A really nice looking building in a prominent location in Lismore.

Eamonns Place

We visited the really beautiful town of Lismore, Co Waterford yesterday. I popped into this pub for one quick pint. There is a big menu board outside with plenty of options. When I walked in I was expecting a modern establishment but was pleasantly surprised to find a cosy little bar with just a few older men sitting around watching horse racing. I said hello to a man standing at the bar who turned out to be the bar man and I presume the owner from the conversation I had with him. I ordered a pint of Guinness for the very reasonable price of 4.30 euro. It was one of the best pints of stout that I’ve enjoyed for a long time. The man serving at the bar was chatting away about his grand children and the fact that he would like to have another staff working in the bar but the business isn’t there presently. It is one of those bars that you can just walk into and enjoy a pint by yourself and no one takes any notice.

There is a beer garden and restaurant area down the back and I saw a sign for them but didn’t go and see them. I used the toilets and they were old fashioned but clean and had one cubicle available. I noticed a public phone in the corridor on the way into the toilet. There is plenty memorabilia around the pub to peruse. A few of the customers ordered sandwiches while I was there and they looked tasty. I would like a local like this myself.

Toilet rating: 7/10
Pint rating 9/10
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Final comment: Eamonns place is a decent old fashioned public house with a damn fine pint of stout.

Eds Bar

We stayed in the Charleville Park hotel in North Cork for the second time recently. I had meant to post a review of the hotel bar after our first stay but didn’t get round to it. Ed’s bar is a modern hotel bar with two sections available. The bar is a typical hotel bar with plenty staff serving. We had food on both occasions when we stayed there and the the quality wasn’t 4 star and we had to wait quite a while as well which didn’t help. I was drinking Smithwicks on our recent stay and they were really good pints. The bar staff were really efficient and friendly when serving drinks.

There are toilets in the bar area and also off the corridor by the restaurant and to be fair they were very well maintained any time that I saw them. The bar lacks atmosphere as there was no live music on any occasion I was there and people tended to leave after they had eaten.

Toilet rating: 8/10
Pint rating: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10

Final comment: Despite some of the negatives I have highlighted here I will certainly head back to this hotel and stay again as everything else from the rooms to the leisure facilities were top class.

The woolshed Baa and Grill

We had a soccer night out recently and headed in here for a few drinks. We firstly walked through this pub and into the porterhouse which is in the same building but we came back into this pub in order to accommodate our group. We got two tables and we also ordered food including finger food and pizzas. The food was reasonably priced and tasty. I was a Woolshed baa and grill in Dublin previously and being a chain it had a lot of similarities to here. It is located on Shears street in Cork city in the Mardyke entertainment complex. It is a big pub and on the night we were there, there was a table quiz on in the back area. The review of the drink here is going to be something I cannot do. I got all my drinks in the porterhouse next door and brought them into this pub which appeared to be what a lot of patrons were doing.

The toilets were well maintained when I saw them. No real comments on them. I saw the staff here around the pub and they were all very helpful to people and efficient. There was live music on the night which was enjoyable. I will be back.

Toilet rating: 7.5/10
Overall rating: 7.5/10

Final comment: It’s a city centre pub that is certainly worth checking out.

The Vicarstown inn (re-reviewed) (Cork city)

I had a lot of negative things to say about this pub when I previously reviewed it. I was in their recently and the transformation could not be more profound. This pub used to be a very quiet, unwelcoming pub that was poorly maintained from our first visit there. It is now one of the city’s hottest pubs. We could barely get in the door when we were there recently and you could tell that their has been a lot of money invested. I admired the bar staff’s efficiency and ability to hear customers orders above the loud music. I noticed some craft beers for sale there. We made our way down to the back of the pub and out to the very impressive heated smoking area.

I enjoyed the pint of Murphy’s and would have stayed for another but we moved on. The toilets are small but were reasonably maintained when I saw them. I think who ever over hauled this pub deserves immense credit as it now appears to be a big money maker.

Toilet rating: 6/10
Pint rating: 7/10
Overall rating: 7.5/10

Final comment: The Victarstown inn enjoys a very prominent city centre location on North Main Street and is certainly making the most of it.

The Oar (Crosshaven)

Recently we headed for a few pints in this pub in Crosshaven. I previously reviewed this pub under its former name ‘The moonduster’. Myself,Ken,Charlie and Mark headed in early and took a seat to the left as you walk in the door. We sat next to the blazing fire which was extremely welcoming on a bleak evening. There wasn’t many in there when we arrived but people stated coming in steadily throughout the night. The service at the bar was good and the pints were excellent . I was on the Beamish and that went down a treat. There is a pool table up in another area of the bar. It is a very pleasant pub to sit for a few pints in. I don’t think that there have been huge changes from what I can remember from my last visit.

The toilets are just off the bar and are small but were well maintained. I know there is a room up stairs as well that is used for functions. A really decent pub that has been taken over relatively recently and we wish the owners well with their venture.

Toilet rating: 7.5/10
Pint rating: 8/10
Overall rating: 8/10

Final comment: this is definately that I can see myself visiting a lot in the future.

O’ Reillys (Crosshaven)

I was out for a few pints with Finian before Christmas and headed into this pub in Crosshaven. It has been there a while now but only got to visit then. It was very busy on the night we headed in and there were no seats available. I did notice another area off the bar and it was empty but perhaps it is a function room. The service at the bar was efficient and friendly and the two pints of stout consumed weren’t bad at all. There was a band playing and they were too loud for my liking (maybe I’m just getting old).

The toilets were not in great condition when I saw them which is perhaps not surprising as it was very busy. I’d say it would be a good place to watch a match on TV.

Toilet rating: 6/10
Pint rating: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10

Final comment: Is this my favourite pub in Crosshaven? No. That said there are some great pubs down there. Pop in for a pint.

Kerry Coast Inn (Cahersiveen )

As any avid readers of this blog will know we review a lot of pubs in the south Kerry region as we have a base down there in Waterville. The Kerry Coast inn is located in the town of Cahersiveen Co Kerry. It appeared on the ‘at your service’ programme hosted by the Kerry legends Francis and John Brennan. We headed in on a Saturday evening and it was very busy. We managed to get a seat just inside the door to the right by the front window. The first thing that struck me was the amount of people eating in the bar. It was obvious that it is popular for food and the meals looked very apitising it has to be said. I had two pints of Guinness and Jen had two glasses of wine and they went down very well.

The bar staff were extremely efficient and polite despite there being a crowd around the bar waiting to be served. The toilets were very well maintained and I would have no complaints about. You can stay at the Kerry Coast inn and there is a nightclub in the premed is for good measure.

Toilet rating: 8/10
Pint rating: 8/10
Overall rating: 8/10

Final comment: Cahersiveen has a lot of pubs and this is up there with the best.

O’ Briens (Churchtown)

We went for a few days break away to the Charleville park hotel last week during the school Easter holidays. On our second day there we went to Liscaroll to the delightful donkey sanctuary. On the way to the sanctuary I spotted a pub called Boss Murphy’s as we were passing through Churchtown and was ver interested in visiting there for a pint. On the way back Jen brought the two older girls to the playground and I went to see the pub. Unfortunately it wasn’t open when I went to go in so I instead walked across the road to O’Briens, the only other pub I could see in the village. I went in and had the baby with me who I gave a bottle of milk while enjoying a pint of Murphys. The lady behind the bar was very pleasant and pulled my pint and had it to me very quickly. She was in conversation with two other men at the bar and all appeared friendly. The bar lady asked me if I was after moving to the area and I told her I was just passing through and having a few pints. She was very chatty and had a word for anyone that came into the bar. The pints that I had were really good and I enjoyed them a lot. The pub itself is small and is a real country pub which I love. There is lots of horse memorabilia on the walls in this pub.

The toilets were out the back and they were maintained very well. There is a smoking area out the back as well. Jen and the kids came into the pub and Jen ordered coffee which she wasn’t charged for. That was a very nice gesture. In the end I was glad that Boss Murphy’s was closed as I would not have discovered this pub otherwise and it was quite a find. This pub proves that that you can still walk into a pub in Ireland and instantly feel like a local.

Toilet rating: 7.5/10
Pint rating: 8.5/10
Overall rating: 9.5/10

Final comment: What a find this was. A really good experience and the people of Churchtown are lucky to have such a nice local