Horseshoe Bar

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last reviewed on 21-Jul-2009

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Address: The Shelbourne Hotel, 27 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland (Eire)
Tel: +353 01 663 4500
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sun 3pm-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu


This secluded hotel bar lays claim to being the first place to pour Guinness over champagne in a tall glass to create the Black Velvet cocktail. The hotel's menu quotes early 1870s for the drinks invention but others credit London's Brook's Club in 1861. Whatever the origin I am sure that more Black Velvet cocktails are poured in this hotel than anywhere else in the world.

The hotel has expanded since the 19th century a now boasts a second much larger bar on the left as you walk in the hotel's entrance. Ignore this head to this quieter, more intimate bar off to your right. Aptly named, its horseshoe-shaped counter juts out into the centre and dominates the high ceilinged room with moldings picked out in white against its towering maroon walls.

It is a quiet retreat where an older clientele sit at the leather banquettes and tables that line the room's perimeter and chat over cocktails lovingly made by the smiling Andreas.

This is a reassuringly staid place with spirits on optic, old-school standards and where they frequently sell the bottles of Krug at €420 a pop.

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