The Bulman

The Bulman Bar, County Cork provided by <a href="http://www.jamesfennell.com/" >James Fennell</a>
The Bulman Bar, County Cork provided by James Fennell

Forget kitsch theme pubs. The Bulman in Kinsale, County Cork, adds an authentic mariner’s touch that locals love

The Bulman is a little Kinsale pub that hails back to the 1800s and has catered to myriad sailors, coastguards, merchants and even to people completely unfamiliar with sea life.

Sit a moment with the more elderly regulars and you just might hear the story of the Irish-Italian fisherman who could drink 30 pints a day, and looked 80 by his 50th birthday. A cautionary tale, yes, but it’s a good one.

The pub’s walls are shaded by great wooden beams under a bronze-coloured ceiling. And they’re plastered with paintings of ships and pictures of ocean scenes.

Of course, every proper ship needs a ship cat, and the Bulman carries this tradition onto land. Rusty, the Bulman’s resident feline, is a quiet fixture within the pub. Rumour is he makes a wonderful Irish coffee, but we’re yet to see it.

Grab a window seat and gaze across Summercove harbour, and you’ll swear off bad nautical theme-pubs for good.