Thursday, 9 July 2009

Lunch At Muriel's

Who, in Belfast, sells Lacoste polo shirts? There was no sign of them in the House of Fraser or Debenham's stores. I've a feeling there used to be an outfitter's shop at Lisburn Road who sold them ages ago. Warnock's! That's the place.

I cycled here and there on my bike, which is quite an advantage if you can be bothered; it instills a feeling of freedom, and there is no concern about car-parking.

At about ten past twelve I parked the cycle at Muriel's Café-Bar in Church Lane, perused the menu outside and tentatively walked in. It was still quiet, being early. I inquired if the room upstairs was open; so wandered up to have a look. Muriel's is rather Bohemian in character, the first-floor lounge-bar more akin to a Parisian salon. There are velour-cushioned, coloured sofas and arm-chairs; so it's really quite flamboyant.

My initial impressions were slightly negative, because none of the staff came near me for ten minutes. In fact I decided to sit downstairs. I found a table at the rear and sat down with a menu. I was just about to walk out when a member of staff approached me and took my order, bangers and mash accompanied by Martin Miller's gin and Fevertree tonic: quite a concoction altogether.

While I waited, I had an opportunity to study the surroundings: three or four tables; six customers seated and one on a bar-stool; washing lines suspended from the ceiling with women's knickers and thongs (all freshly laundered, no doubt) on clothes-pegs; old photographs attached to the ceiling horizontally; display cabinets with items of millinery (was Muriel a milliner?); and a sort of parquet floor.

One good point is that the bar is well stocked with premium spirits. My Miller's gin cost £3.60; however, the Fevertree tonic-water set me back a whopping £2.70! The bangers and mash came to me suspiciously swiftly. Surely the meal must have been re-heated? What was it like? It was like bangers and mash, no more and no less. It cost £7.50.

I think Muriel's would be a lounge-bar to consider for a few drinks now and again. It's certainly not a run-of-the-mill establishment by any stretch of the imagination.

I cycled home via Mersey Street, which was not an agreeable experience given the uneven surface, pot-holes and humps courtesy of the Roads Disservice.


davethewineguy said...

rio in shaftesbury square and used to be in donegall arcade sell the crocodile shirts!

Timothy Belmont said...

Great. Thanks.