For my friend's birthday we went on a somewhat pub crawl of Belfast, The Perch being one of many that we visited. It's very rare that you'll find a rooftop bar in Northern Ireland, and our ever-changing weather just might have something to do with that. For Saturday mid afternoon, Franklin Street was somewhat busy and given it's questionable exterior and several stairs later, the Perch didn't disappoint - think acoustic playlists, hanging bird cages, and wicker furniture. Being October it did rain, but that didn't distract us from having drinks at the (roofed) bar area - the staff even have blankets on hand for chilly customers. Being me, I went for a safe bet and ordered a White Zinfandel but, despite mixed Trip Advisor reviews, apparently their cocktails are to-die-for.
Moving on, we later popped into Ritas which just happens to be next door and I'm assuming is owned by the same people. With soft lighting, seats by the fire, and rugby on TV, Ritas calls to those looking for a quieter drink - where as The Perch is more of a quirky first date location. It's cosy atmosphere, velvet sofas, and sociable booths, make Ritas a popular calling point for pre club drinks, according to Belfast locals. To this day, I can honestly say I've never had a better mojito than the one I had at Ritas. Amazing.
Both bars typically have evening entertainment at the weekend, but unfortunately we had to catch the train home! We did however get time for a drink or 2 in The Apartment/Zak's Bar and got to enjoy a chilled out acoustic session. Being across the road from Belfast City Hall, this also stands as a prime drinking spot for anyone who's given up on the beer tents at the Christmas Market - running from 14th November to 20th December. Laters, Belfast!