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Food & Drink

03rd Jan 2019

Beer Garden Guide – McNeill’s On Capel Street Has The Best Beer Garden For A Small Gang Of Mates

James Fenton

What do you look for in a beer garden? Well, first and foremost there has to be some sun. That’s out of the control of most pubs, to be fair.

Atmosphere? While a heaving outdoor area is grand for when the mood takes you, there’s nothing like the buzz created by your own mates.

Size? It’s all well and good having plenty of space but when you’re faced with the long walk to the toilet, there’s nothing worse than finding yourself lost in a maze of staircases and emergency exits.

Yep, sometimes all it takes to enjoy a pleasant summer’s evening is a nice, compact beer garden where you’ll get a bit of sun and chew the fat with your nearest and dearest.

That’s exactly what McNeill’s provides. Even if you don’t think you’re familiar with the place, you can bet that you’ve walked by it on more than a few occasions. Unlike other pubs built on the corners of Capel Street and its surrounding areas, the front of McNeill’s almost blends into its neighbours’ facades and can easily be missed if you’re not looking out for it.

Once you swing open the doors though, you’ve stumbled into an absolute gem. The narrow design gives off quite a homely vibe and if you wander in during the winter, a roaring fireplace takes centre stage. In the summertime though, you’d be advised to make your way towards the back of the building where you’ll find one of the finest beer gardens in the city waiting for you.

Small in area but bursting with character, the section contains a bench where people can get comfortable as well as a couple of barrels which are suitable for small groups to gather around for an hour or three.

The brightly-coloured bricks complement the sun perfectly and since the area is so compact, it only has enough room for a certain amount of people at any given time. This makes it the ideal spot for a nice quiet drink just a few yards from the hustle and bustle of Capel Street.

Heaters provide a bit of warmth if things get a bit chilly but if you find yourself shivering too much, you can always head back inside where you’ll find live trad music six nights a week.

For the sports fiends, McNeill’s shows most major events and they also serve food for whenever hunger strikes. If you’re yet to sample the pub’s friendly charm and delightful little beer garden, you best do so before the summer is out.

If that’s not possible, add it to your ‘cosy winter pub’ bucket list.

(all pics: McNeill’s)

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