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Pubspy - Sandyford Our first time is a great one in Dublin's Sandyford House

Great pints and chats in a comfy boozer

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The Sandyford House really impressed our team

The Sandyford House really impressed our team

The Sandyford House really impressed our team

Sandyford House - Sandyford, Dublin

IT'S not often we can say that we've never been to a certain pub before, especially in Dublin.

Pub Spy is bound to have been in every pub in Ireland at some point or another at this stage after almost 50 years on the go, but this week's visit to the Sandyford House was a new experience for our travelling party.

Even our Old Commando said this was a first-time experience for him. Sandyford village is quite small and parking isn't the easiest thing to source. Our designated driver was forced to climb out of the pub-mobile via the passenger door such was the tight squeeze but after the initial struggle we finally made it to the Sandyford House.

A barman with glasses was on duty alongside a young waitress and they immediately checked for our Covid passports and signed us in. Our order was taken and we were told we could sit wherever there was a free table. They serve food in this pub, and it seemed to be doing a steady trade, but our travelling troops weren't in the mood for grub, just stout, although the chicken wings were tempting the Young Commando.

We sat just across from the counter in the front bar and the barman delivered our pints to us without delay. Costing €5.20, the Guinness was as creamy as they come.

"That's like putting a dessert spoon straight into a carton of Avonmore whipped cream," the Old Commando joked as he wiped his upper lip. "I've a feeling these are going to go down too easily."

Island's Edge, Ireland's newest stout, was also available on draught along with three different versions of Rockshore, Orchard Thieves, Coors and Hop House 13.

There was a mixed clientele during our stay, mostly middle-aged couples or groups of men backing horses.

The atmosphere was good, especially in the front bar where it was a bit more relaxed and nobody was dining.

The timber flooring in the lounge was shining and was spotlessly clean while the wine and black coloured leather barstools and bench seating were in excellent condition throughout.

Hand sanitisers are located in different areas of the pub and both the customers and staff were all compliant of all the current regulations that are in place.

"Surely to God they won't close pubs and restaurants again," the Young Commando said.

"Surely they won't close anything," one customer replied to him. "You'd swear the hospitals were ran perfectly up until 2020 and there wasn't bodies left on trollies all night with the way they talk," the customer continued.

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"Lockdowns are a great way to hide the enormous flaws and problems that exist in one of the highest funded health services in the world though. A few less executives on outrageous wages and few more beds and nurses wouldn't go astray," the Old Commando growled.

There are at least four TVs in the front bar and with the boring international football break on at the moment it was mostly horse racing grabbing people's attention.

A framed Dublin football jersey hangs proudly in the front bar while one of our Commandos counted at least 50 bottles of Jameson behind the counter.

It was very cosy in the front bar and the temptation to stay until closing time was becoming more and more appealing indeed.

The Young Commando inspected the toilets before we were due to depart and he reported back that everything was clean with nothing out of place.

This was our first time to visit the Sandyford House but we fully intend to call again some day.

The staff were courteous, the premises were clean, the pints were good and there was a good clientele.

What more could you want?

Rating: Four pints out of Five

One for the road

Reed on the River - Lucan, Dublin

THE Old Commando could have stayed all day and all night. This is his type of pub, a majestic throwback to old Ireland, a simpler time, a better time.

The young barman and barmaid on duty were both friendly and two good characters. They engaged with everyone and had plenty of to talk about. There was an all male clientele during our stay and judging by our surroundings, we'd guess it usually is an all male clientele. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the banter among the locals and there are at least four TVs in the bar.

A Dublin flag hangs proudly from the ceiling while a Tottenham flag is draped across the walls not far from a photo of Irish patriot Michael Collins. We sat in 'Noel's corner' sipping our pints of stout until it was time to go, but we promised the Old Commando we'd come back again some day. The toilets checked out fine.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

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