It’s good to have a hobby.
With that in mind, a few like-minded Lovin team members decided to put a little group together, something designed to stimulate the intellect and provide an outlet for good wholesome fun. We initially toyed with the idea of a book club… before utterly dismissing it in favour of just going for pints. And so, Pub Club was born.
For the latest edition of Pub Club, we headed down one of Dublin’s foremost thoroughfares for pubs and came across an absolute gem in the form of The Wellington.
The Wellington has stood at 1 Baggot Street Upper for almost 200 years and once you settle in, it’s easy to see why it’s long been a favourite of Dublin’s literary and musical greats.
The Dubliners were known to enjoy a pint in here, as were the likes of Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh. These days, The Wellington remains popular with tourists and locals alike, while big matchdays at the nearby Aviva Stadium always draw a crowd in.
We popped in at around 5pm on a Monday evening, thinking it was the ideal way to wind down and get over that dreaded first day back in the office after the weekend. We weren’t wrong.
Despite the pub being just a short distance from our offices, not one of us had set foot in it before, although we had copped the substantial crowds sitting outside it in the sun on the busy Baggot St corner in the summer months.
It’s got all the ingredients of the perfect summer pub – outdoor seating, a view of the canal, and proximity to a bounty of restaurants and eateries should you decide you fancied a meander for a pizza or a curry.
It makes the transition to Autumn/Winter seamlessly, with the small interior offering the perfect cosy hideaway from the cold.
Anyone who reads the site will know we are massively excited by Guinness’ genius ‘Switch to Pub Mode’ idea, and the fact that The Wellington is taking part in the initiative was a massive draw for us.
The campaign encourages people to disconnect from their smartphones over a pint of Guinness and have the proper chats.
Not only do you get to look at something other than the tops of your mates’ heads, there’s also a 2-for-1 offer on pints of Guinness for those who get involved, so it’s really a win-win for everyone.
The Wellington is home to one of the best pours of Guinness in Dublin, and just after we had popped our phones into the handy stackers, we were presented with four creamy pints.
It was 5:30pm on Monday and the atmosphere was just right – chilled out, with a few after-work heads peppered around the room and some quiet music simmering in the background.
It’s the kind of place that feels like it’s your cosy local away from home – the friendliness of the staff permeates the entire vibe.
The classic decor is complimented by staff dressed to the nines, and we settled in to our comfy high stools on the ground floor with the phones nicely tucked away in their beds.
It’s amazing the difference such a small change can make. You don’t realise how dependent on the phone you are until you actually put it away. There were numerous occasions where one of us would start patting our jean pockets frantically feeling like we’d lost something, but after twenty minutes or so, we all started to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
There’s something so lovely about spending the brief gaps in conversation looking around and soaking in the atmosphere, the people around you, rather than mindlessly swiping on the phone.
It’s the type of place that you can order your drink from your seat, and you’ll more than likely end up in conversation with the table beside you – such is the intimate setting.
As the evening progressed, various groups popped in as a halfway house between a night on the town or a pre-dinner pint. The chat and laughter rang around the room, with not one luminous screen in sight.
The Guinness #PhonesDown initiative runs Monday – Wednesday at The Wellington Pub, 1 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4. For a full list of participating pubs, head here.