It was around 3pm on Christmas Eve that Pintman №2 and I finally called a ceasefire on the shopping. Being weighed down with bags and weary from the experience of toyshops on the 24th of December we agreed that any gifts which were unbought at this stage were fated to remain so until after the big day. It was also, coincidentally enough, at this particular point of the day that we decided it was time to go to the pub – a decision that had more than on occasion given way to discourse and debate amongst ourselves on par to that heard in the houses of The Oireachteas… except with more profanities. But given the day that was in it, and the energy levels being as they were, I was in no fit state to offer any alternatives when Pintman №2 suggested we visit The International Bar on Wicklow St. So with bags in tow – we headed for some well-deserved Cosy Christmas Pints.
The International is a pub that for reasons unbeknownst to us hasn’t really featured an awful lot in our collective drinking careers. The pub itself is housed in a striking terracotta structure and sits on the corner of streets: Wicklow & St. Andrew. In the bit of research we undertook on the building we ironically found it to be described as large and sober in a book detailing Dublin architecture, we also stumbled upon the fact that it was designed by the same architect responsible for Kavanagh’s of Aughrim St – One George L. O’Connor.
By some minor Christmas miracle we managed to nab one of the few seats when we arrived into the pub – which is smaller than the size conjured up from its exterior. As we wedged in between two separate sets of tourist we arranged our multitude of bags into any agreeable space and called for a few pints. These pints, which were sank without complaint, were all the sweeter given the fact that the pub, despite being situated within the epicentre for overpriced porter, charged an even fiver for a pint, an act we couldn’t but commend them on. We also tucked into a toasty which gave change back from a fiver – which we all agreed was good going.
The pub itself is a fine sight – Victorian in its décor it boasts a long granite bar which runs the length of the room and sits beneath a high ceiling. The floor is finished in a mosaic tiling and the back of the bar is fully fitted with bespoke wordworkings which include carvings of Irish river gods, according to the pub’s website.
We couldn’t really fault this boozer too much, we should also note that it’s a bit of an institution for comedy which is hosted in a bar on another of the premise’s floors. We certainly enjoyed cosying in on a Christmas Eve and will certainly return at a less festive time during the year.