The Harbour Bar, 1-4 Dock Terrace, Bray
Why not start the list with our near neighbours, friends and owners of the greatest pub in the world. No, we’re not being biased, the title was conferred by none other than Lonely Planet and we’re certainly not going to disagree. From intimate gigs and stand-up comedy upstairs to trad sessions in the bar, there’s always something going on. And if you’re looking for a quiet pint their Snug has you covered. When enjoying a Wicklow Wolf in their outdoor terrace and the sea air makes you hungry Colm of Fulacht Fia next door will sort you out with some delicious grub.
Durty Nelly’s, Bunratty, Co Clare
There aren’t many beer gardens that can boast of being in the shadow of a 15th Century castle. Durty Nelly’s in Co Clare is one of those famous landmark pubs and for good reason. Great food, hospitality and music set against the backdrop of the stunning Bunrartty Castle. Named after a woman of the same name who legend has it collected a toll, in various forms, from people who crossed the bridge. Later she was to create a poitin that became famous throughout the land for its medicinal benefits and ability to cure all ills. While a Wicklow Wolf won’t do the same, a pint of American Amber with a view of Bunratty Castle will make you feel pretty good about life all the same!
The Barge, 42 Chalemont Street, Dublin 2
On a summers day office thirsty office workers flood to the Grand Canal at Charlemont street where they can catch the last of the sun’s rays as it sets over Dublin. The Barge provides one of the most well-known outdoor drinking venues as you can sit on the lock or the canal bank watching city life go by and you won’t be the only one who finds yourself still there long after the sun has set. But one word of warning, watch out for cyclists when coming back with your round!
The Camden Exchange, 72-73 Camden Street, Dublin 2
If you do find yourself moving on, only a few minutes down the road is the Camden Exchange with an intimate outdoor area at the back. There’s a fantastic menu, including tasty street food served from a Citroen Hy van in the bar itself! Not hipster. Just really cool. The lively crowd creates a great atmosphere and combined with their craft beer selection makes for an ideal night out.