Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. It's the food's you can have that just make it awesome. Eggs, salmon, bacon, bread, and then sweet things like waffles and french toast. I don't understand people who don't eat breakfast.
But my first Northern Irish breakfast would be a rather different one. We were off to see a man named Willie Jack, who owns Belfast's most frequented pubs for some breakfast time Whiskey Tasting. Hmmm strong stuff on a empty stomach. Risky business.
But with no time to question the logic who arrived at the cathedral quarter of Belfast where Willie's pubs are. The area is covered in these murals which depict famous N.Irish people and also some subtle political views. It makes for a very interesting look.
The murals are definitely worth a scope, and if you can get Willie Jack to talk you through them, then that's even better. Just ask for him at one of his three bars.
After a good nosey we all headed in to The Dark Horse for 'breakfast'.
On a sleepy Sunday morning we were about to do a Irish vs Scottish whiskey tasting. Why? Because we could. God help me.
The Dark Horse itself is a gorgeous traditional Irish pub. You won't find any slot machines, or food being served here. But you will find every single type of whiskey and ale you could ever want.
We sat down and got things started. First up was an Irish one, Midleton Dair Ghaelach.
The smell was quite a heavy dusty wood smell, with a strong cinnamon and clove smell.
Due to it's high alcohol content, it was definitely sharp on the throat, and the clove was quite apparent. It is quite smooth though, and if you can hold whiskey in your mouth for 30 seconds, you really notice this.
Next up was Bushmills 10 Year Old Irish Whiskey which was the winner of Best Irish Single Malt Whiskey at the 2007 World Whiskies Awards.
This is slightly lighter than the first, with more of a nutty, almond taste, but still with spices in it. It's also got a slight honey taste to it if you roll it on the tongue.
We moved onto the next Irish whiskey, the Redbreast Single Pot 12 year.
This one is much richer than the others, and feels thicker in your mouth. It almost warms your mouth too. If you imagine sherry and fruit, it's got that taste too it.
We then moved onto the Scottish ones, with a taste of Laphroaig 10.
Wow. All I can really say is medicinal! It almost chokes you on first taste. I couldn't really get past the medicinal taste to be frank, but the others said it has a smoke taste. Lovely...
Finally we had Kockando 12 year, a rather sweet whiskey. It smelt of honey and and a little bit of ginger too.
It was a hard choice but my favourite was the Redbreast Single Pot 12 year but my absolute worst was the Laphroaig 10- stay away!
After all that whiskey, we then sat down to a specially cooked Irish vs Scottish breakfast, starting with whiskey soaked oats. You can see where this day was going...
Next was the fish course. Sorry Ireland, but Scotland wins my heart. Poached eggs and smoked salmon get's me every time.
Then it came to the... err full... English? Not sure what to call it here, but on the left is Scotland and on the right is Ireland.
It was a very close call. I loved the potato bread from Ireland, but sausage and egg was better in Scotland.
Over all Scotland was my winner. Eek, I might be in trouble now.
Moving swiftly on we headed over to one of Willie's other pubs The Harp Bar.
From late afternoon onwards they play live music and it's one of the hot spots to be in Belfast.
But for a Sunday morning, I was here to pull my first ever pint.
What did I pull? Had to be Guinness of course.
Orlando had never pulled on either, so apparently it was quite the occasion.
It was also my first taste too.
Without offending the Irish, I can't say I liked it.
I'd much rather stick to coffee- and when it comes from this beauty, it's hard to resist.