2022 US Trip – Day 1 (O’Connells Pub in Howth)

I should add that I only spent one day in Dublin for those wondering why this US trip is currently stuck at a suburb of the Irish capital, there will be more American content than you can shake a stick at soon enough though.

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One challenging element with Howth is that there are a fair number of restaurants and pubs here, which is lovely, but it’s clear that the pubs are in general really looking for customers who want to have a meal. I noticed though that O’Connells had a large sign outside saying they were open, but their kitchen was closed, so this seemed fortuitous and so I went for that.

As another one of my irrelevant asides, I still can’t look at a Harp logo and not think of the memorable (well I remembered it) advertising slogan of “time for a cool, sharp Harp”. Who says children aren’t swayed by marketing messages for alcohol? Not that I ordered it, so it didn’t actually work here.

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I’ve had plenty of Guinness in Dublin, including at the storehouse on a few occasions, but I hadn’t had chance yet on this trip and so I thought that was appropriate. I went for a nice meal with it, of salt and vinegar crisps, a flavour I picked as the entire range available was salt and vinegar. A beautiful combination of food and drink, some great flavour combinations were going on there. I won’t claim that it’s only possible to get great Guinness in Dublin, but it does seem to be served just a little creamier here.

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This felt very Irish in terms of the atmosphere, plenty of character in the pub and it felt welcoming and comfortable. I had a pleasant half an hour or so here, soaking up the ambience whilst starring at my phone, which is something I wouldn’t be doing in a Sam Smiths pub as they’ve outlawed ambience. Not that they’ve got any in Ireland, and they seem to have ever fewer in the UK, but I digress. It wasn’t very busy, but perhaps many of their customers would have normally been looking for a meal as well, but the prices seemed reasonable for drinks and crisps at least.