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Picture of Crown Liquor Saloon
Image posted by Blackthorn _
Submitted on Friday, 18th October 2019
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Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

46 Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7BA
Correct details

Pub Type

Nicholsons (Mitchells & Butlers)

Served areas

Reviews of Crown Liquor Saloon (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Quinno _ left this review about Crown Liquor Saloon

Described elsewhere as the jewel of Northern Ireland’s pubs and really it’s very hard to disagree, it’s astounding both inside and out and is up there with the best interiors in Britain - it may well be the most ornate. Described in depth below, so a tl;dr – ‘high Victoriana’, amazingly intricate tiled exterior which matches the inside - doored booths (labelled A-I), ceramic bar frontage, stained glass windows, illustrated mirrored panels, carved wood features and animals, patterned floor tiling and probably a load of other stuff I didn’t note – every time you look round you notice something new. Leased by Nicholsons via the National Trust, so I was pleased to see three cask ales on; Black Sheep 2020 (sadly a flat musty aspiratored mess, NBSS 1), Titanic Plum Porter (3.5) and TT Landlord. Also Whitewater Stout and lager on the keg, tried both of those as well (the lager was decent). Staff were well-drilled and on-the-ball, with one lass asking us if we wanted a booth seat when one was vacated. Ate here and the food was standard pub grub, if a little on the expensive side. Beware that it’s actually a fairly small pub so time your visit for the quieter hours – there were a dozen or so people turned away on my visit as the place was at COVID capacity, and that was on a cold blustery Sunday evening in January. Should be number one on your Belfast visit list, you won’t want to miss it. Just a shame about that first ropey pint… 8.5

On 17th February 2022 - rating: 9
[User has posted 4331 recommendations about 4317 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Blackthorn _ left this review about Crown Liquor Saloon

Perhaps the most iconic of all Belfast pubs, it’s in a prominent, street corner position on a busy thoroughfare and looks immediately appealing with it’s ornate exterior tiling, imposing pillars and stained glass.

It certainly doesn’t disappoint on the inside either, and although it’s perhaps a little smaller than it initially appears (due to the mirrored back wall), what there is, is really quite splendid. Victorian style tiling is on the floor, with an embossed dark brown ceiling. The ornate stained glass windows on two sides are a very impressive feature and must count as some of the most intricate that I have seen. Seating along the right hand side was divided in to individual booths with a low level, carved wooden door providing access. A brass bell push in each booth presumably provided table service at one time, although I suspect that now they are merely decorative. A similar booth arrangement was at the front on the left, but the majority of this side of the pub was taken up with the bar counter. Carved animals adorned the woodwork and there was also some ornate tiling on the wall at the front.

Not only was this by the far the most impressive interior of all the Belfast pubs we visited, but in also had quite an impressive beer selection in an area that largely seems to be a real ale dessert. On this occasion the line up consisted of Doom Bar, Whitewater Belfast Ale, Stewart’s 80/-, Mourne Gold, Nicholson’s Pale Ale and St Austell’s Proper Job. Cider choice was disappointing though with only Magner’s being available, but overall a fantastic pub and certainly a must visit for any visitor to Belfast.

On 22nd October 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1789 recommendations about 1713 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about Crown Liquor Saloon

Often cited as the best pub in Northern Ireland, this fabulous example of a Victorian gin palace certainly lives up to such claims from an architectural point of view. The pub’s facade displays some pretty stunning, ornate tiling along with restored signs and impressive etched glass windows. Entering from the main road, you pass through a doorway with a nice mosaic tile floor design depicting a crown image, flanked by some detailed etched and stained glass windows, before emerging into the main bar area, with the servery along the left hand wall and some unique fully-partitioned booths to the right, each with its own door. The room has a decorative tile floor, an elaborate moulded ceiling, some superb ‘fish scale’ carved pillars and a run of elaborately etched and stained glass windows. The ten booths all have low doorways flanked by carved lions, bears, dragons and so on, and inside, hard bench seating runs around a single table, with the floors decorated with their own patterned tile design. The partitioning screens between each booth have a number of painted panels and coloured window panes whilst the doors have been fitted with smart, decorative handles. The servery is a real stand-out feature thanks to the incredible glazed tile bar counter with its polished granite top, heated foot rails, gas lamp lighting and grand bar back displaying high arched mirrors, old barrels, some attractive advertising friezes and pretty stained glass inserts. The toilets, to the rear of the room, also have fine glasswork in their doors and nicely tiled interiors, making them worth a quick look too. Aside from the booths, seating is very limited, with the odd drinking ledge here and there and a good deal of standing room opposite the bar. Upstairs, there is a split level dining room with its own bar. This is a much plainer space with lounge furniture on the lower section and formally set tables through the rest of the room, with decent fireplaces and a basic servery along the right hand wall as you enter.
The pub is currently operated by Nicholson’s, who have invested a good deal into the pub and deserve some credit for the maintenance and restoration of the interior. A typical Nicholson’s ale range was available, comprising Broughton Hoppopotamus, Madness Absolutely, Mournie Gold, St Austell Proper Cracker, Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted and Nicholson’s Pale Ale. The Hoppopotamus was in fine shape but the Mournie Gold was flat and less enjoyable, although this was poured from the first floor bar, so I’m not sure if this was a location specific issue. As you would expect, the pub is very touristy, with a large group of Italian students entering as we were leaving and a few couples from the Far East popping in just to take some photos during the course of my visit. We also ate here, in the less interesting first floor dining room, and found the food to be pretty decent standard pub fayre.
This really is a must-do pub for anyone interested in historic pub interiors, as it has to be one of the finest restorations of its kind and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring all the intricate details and grand gestures the pub has to offer. Whether it is the best pub in Northern Ireland though, I cannot say, but it did strike me as lacking the genial, lively atmosphere you might expect to find this side of the Irish Sea – a factor that perhaps makes this worth a look, but perhaps not a full session.

On 25th January 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]


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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Clive Thompson
Latest updates View all updates for Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast
17th Feb 2022, 19:43
Review submitted by Quinno _
 
30th Jan 2022, 21:10
Picture submitted by Quinno _ deleted by owner

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Child Friendly : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Darts : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Dog Friendly : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Jukebox : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Karaoke : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Live Music : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Micropub : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Pinball : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • Wheelchair Access : No last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 17 February 2022 by Quinno _
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