The Deerstalker: A new era for Kelly's Portrush

If I was to say the words "Kelly's Portrush" to you, you probably already have an image in your head. I have spent my university years at university in Belfast and never lived the North Coast life like many of my UUC friends. However, I had heard many a story from Kelly's and their infamous LUSH! nightclub. I absolutely adore the North Coast and it's somewhere I tend to venture on a sunny day for a family lunch as it's only about 50 minutes away from my home. I was invited to the Kelly's complex to check out their latest addition, The Deerstalker. Kelly's is a really iconic part of the Northern Irish club scene. Everyone has played there from Calvin Harris to Fat Boy Slim. I had never been to the complex, although I had driven past it many times. It encompasses the Golf Links Hotel, multiple bars, restaurants and the nightclub. In my head, I thought Kelly's was completely different but I was so surprised and pleased by what they had to offer.

The Deerstalker opened at the end of March. A huge redesign took place under the hands of Drew Henry who also designed the interior of The Merchant Hotel. The idea of the new restaurant and bar was taken from the original 1972 Deerstalker bar that was part of the complex of this family run business. Inspired by the countryside, the bar feels like a hunting lodge. It's fun, intimate and cosy. Although we visited on a summer night, it would be equally as beautiful on a winter's night with a large whiskey! The interior is stunning and you can really tell that Henry's team have spent a great deal of time paying attention to detail. The outdoors stable that is covered over, serves as the comfiest and cosiest smoking area I have ever seen. As a non-smoker, it was very appealing to me! With stools, fireplaces and lots of horsing regalia, it's probably the coolest smoking area I've ever seen. The bar also opens out on to this area. I can imagine it absolutely packed during the summer. 

We also sample some drinks and bar food during our visit all of which was lovely. The staff were also very welcoming and friendly- something that the North Coast is famous for. Overall, I am so impressed with The Deerstalker and can't wait to take my family for a visit. I know that my mum and grandma will be as fascinated as me sitting in the bar- you nearly don't know where to look with the many paintings and animal sculptures on display. This truly is a new generation for Kelly's Portrush and one I am glad to see. 

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