Jazz & Blues
The Merchant Hotel
May 11, 2018
Located in Belfast’s beautiful Cathedral Quarter, Belfast’s award-winning Merchant Hotel boasts not one but several delightful drinking options for the discerning visitor. The first to be found in this fantastic Grade A-listed building is known only as The Bar. But when the decor is this sumptuous and the drinks this good, who needs names? It’s an opulent and refined space, all glittering chandeliers, damask walls and elegant swagged curtains the perfect spot to enjoy an immaculately presented cocktail served with a flourish by an expert bartender. From refreshing Brambles (gin, blackberry liqueur, fresh blackberries and cane syprup), Sherry Cobbers and Pimm’s Cups to a variety of Punches and a huge range of champagne cocktails, the menu combines sophistication with decadence. If your pockets are deep, The Bar also boasts the most expensive cocktail in the world. The Cloth Ear, meanwhile, is the hotel’s public bar. Colourful, character-filled and eclectically decorated sheet music covers the walls alongside wooden moose and deer heads it’s popular with the after-work crowd. A decent drinks list and an appealing food menu of light bites and tasty, locally-sourced dishes all go toward making it an excellent weeknight option. If you fancy something livelier, the art deco Berts Bar plays live jazz seven days a week and state-of-the-art light and sound systems ensure that a trip downstairs to Ollies Nightclub is a pulse-racing experience. Whatever you’re looking for, the Merchant Hotel is likely to have it. But if you’re seeking a truly memorable experience, make a bee-line for The Bar first.
What their peers say
“Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry have compiled the greatest cocktail menus in the world. Muldoon’s demure, selfless attitude is the perfect foil for young Jack McGarry’s ferocious attention to detail in his drinks. The regal room and library of rare booze only distances the Merchant Bar from the rest of the field.” Jim Meehan of PDT, New York
Main photo credit: The Merchant Hotel official website page