Barfly: The Wellington
Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4, Telephone: 01 6607344
Tragically, The Wellington isn't a theme bar devoted to the worship of durable rubber footwear. Rather, it is firmly in the tradition of cookie-cutter 'auld Dublin' pubs that seem to sprout like dandelions as you take the lazy stroll from Stephen's Green to Ballsbridge. Does anything distinguish it from the bevy of lookalike boozers in the neighbourhood? Well, yes.
To start with, consider the futuristic front doors, which appear to have been acquired on eBay from a Star Trek set designer. Stepping into the brightly lit interior -- little danger of losing your keys in here -- the first thing that grabs your attention is the set of enormous inflatable rugby balls dangling from the ceiling. Eh sorry chaps, the Six Nations is over.
On the other hand, The Wellington is rather cosier than most licensed establishments in this stretch of the capital. In place of endless acres of lounge booths and bars, it makes a virtue of its pokiness with bric-a-brac. Incidentally, when arranging to meet friends, be careful not to confuse The Wellington with The Waterloo across the road. Not many pubs in Dublin are named for the Napoleonic wars. It seems unfortunate that two are in such close proximity. From personal experience, we can tell you it's all too easy to get your 'W's in a tangle.