Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Video: Sup most expensive pint anywhere on island of Ireland in the Belfast bar with stunning city views

Peek at new upscale cocktail bar

By Christopher Woodhouse

You can now sup the most expensive pint on the island of Ireland at Belfast's newest bar.

The Observatory on the 23rd floor of Hastings' swish new Grand Central Hotel on Bedford Street will charge you £8 for a pint of draught beer.

It beats the previous record holder, Oliver St John Gogarty's in Dublin's Temple Bar, which sells a pint of Heineken for €8 after 11pm.

The Observatory also outprices the likes of exclusive Dublin hotels such as The Shelbourne and The Merrion, as well as the K Club in Co Kildare and Trump International in Doonbeg, Co Clare.

The exclusive "liquor lounge", which opened last week, has two beers on the menu for the sky high price.

Observatory India Pale Ale, brewed exclusively for the hotel by Whitewater Brewery in Castlewellan, and Spanish lager Estrella Damm Inedit, made in collaboration with sommeliers from the now closed three Michelin star restaurant elBulli.

If that's too rich for your blood, you can save yourself a quid with their range of beers at a more modest £7, including Whitewater Brewery's Belfast Black stout and Belfast Ale. If you've only time for a quick one after work, a 330ml bottle of Corona or Estrella also costs £7.

If you're making a night of it, the range of bespoke cocktails starts at £14 for the likes of a rum-based Harland and Wolff, rising to £89 for the whiskey and Champagne combo of the Sir William's Serve.

A gin starts at £9 for locally made Jawbox or Shortcross, but add £4 to that if you want a Schweppes 1783 tonic with it.

You can spruce up your G&T with garnish selected by the bar's cocktail makers from the Irish Gin Serves selection, but you'll have to fork out £16 for the 50ml measures.

If you're driving, there's the St Anne's, made with non-alcoholic gin at £9, or a bottle of Oscar Wilde water at £4 for 330ml and £8 for 750ml. The cheapest bottle of wine on the menu is the £45 (£10 a glass) Spanish Fransola Sauvignon Blanc.

The dearest is the £245 a bottle Penfolds RWT from Australia, but you can have just a glass for £50.

The bar boasts that it's the "most spectacular and luxurious of liquor lounges" with "never-before-seen views of Belfast and beyond".

It also claims to be the "highest bar in all of Ireland", but the folks at the Ponderosa or Johnnie Fox's might have something to say about that.

When Sunday Life called in last week, manager Stephen Meldrum said: "We have an exclusive range of draft beers which have been made especially for this floor, hence why we are charging a premium price for a premium product.

"The experience on this floor is unparalleled to anything else that you have in Northern Ireland."

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