One of the Traditional Pubs of Ireland Kelly’s Cellars, Belfast

Kelly’s Cellars is the oldest licensed premises in Belfast and also one of its most alluring. The original two-storey pub was built in 1720 by Belfast merchant Hugh Kelly who kept it as a bonded warehouse; rum, gin and whiskey were his mainstays. Nearly 300 years after it was founded, Kelly’s manages to find its feet somewhere between everyman drinking pub, political meeting place and historic museum. Folk music is a regular fare at weekends. As the pints and shorts slide across the bar, so the session players gather momentum by a roaring turf fire, a riot of button accordions, banjos, bodhráns, tin whistles, concertinas, flutes and fiddles. Between the reels, the Irish language is heard throughout the bar, used by staff and customers alike. If you’re hungry by day, you might get lucky with a bowl of Irish stew, champ and sausages or an Ulster fry.

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