A taste of home – British & Irish bars in Montpellier

CC Image courtesy of cyocum on Flickr

Having a big expat community and steady ebb and flow of overseas students it’s no surprise that Montpellier has plenty of British and Irish bars. With Guinness on tap and sport on the TV any expat will feel right at home. And while nobody comes to France to live a British or Irish lifestyle, being away from home drills it home that there’s some things those two islands in Northern Europe got right. Pubs are a prime example.


Route Irish


Tucked away on a beautiful little square just off Rue Foch, not far from L’arc de triomphe de Montpellier, is O’Carolans. This Irish bar features multiple screens showing live sport and a choice of beers that’ll be familiar to most. Excellent, friendly service and a sizeable outdoor seating area on one of Montpellier’s many beautiful squares choice make this an excellent choice whatever you’re after. It’s only downsides are those shared with it’s peers: a lack of pub grub and the Irish bar price premium.


In the same family but on the other side of the city centre is Fitzpatricks. Pretty much everything in the paragraph above holds true for this Irish bar. It too has multiple screens showing live sport, most of the beers you’d expect, and a nice outdoor seating area. My personal preference is for O’Carolans but I’d struggle to explain why. Both are good places to grab a beer and watch the sport.


On the outskirts of town near the growth area around Port Marianne are two Irish-themed bars. The first, which opened on St Patrick’s Day 2012, is O’Sullivans, a bar with several big screens, snacks, sizeable seating areas inside and out, and a decent selection of beer. Plus, happy hour, which runs from 17:00 to 21:00, cuts the price of any beer to €4. Unfortunately wine is more expensive than most bars at €5 a glass. The other similar bar in the area is Irish Corner. It’s ok but is in many respects eclipsed by O’Sullivans.


Best of British


There’s also room for a couple of loosely British themed bars in Montpellier. The Shakespeare is something of a local institution. It’s less well equipped for multiple games of televised sport than the Irish bars but makes up for it with cheaper beer, happy hour, and weekly events like the Tuesday night quiz. A nice outdoor area, once the hairdressers has closed, makes the pub a nice spot on a summer evening too.


A few minutes walk from Shakies is Vert Anglais a kind of English-French hybrid bar. This is one of the few bars to serve substantial hot food and it also has a nice outdoor area on a busy square. It has a happy hour, which dovetails nicely with the Shakespeare, and a weekly quiz.

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