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“Soak up the grandeur and enjoy”

The Bar at The Merchant Hotel
Ranked #41 of 1,051 Restaurants in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Irish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Soak up the grandeur and enjoy”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

First visit to The Merchant and it lived up to my expectations. Stunning ceilings, chandeliers, opulent decor, open fire and beautiful Christmas decorations. I didn't mind paying a tenner for a cocktail and £6 for a glass of vino. My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and excellent service, I can't wait to take my other half next time we are visiting Belfast.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sc0ttyD0g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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719 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    444
    150
    62
    41
    22
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great music, limited and overpriced menu”
Reviewed December 3, 2013 via mobile

If you are after a nice restaurant for a great dinner experience this is the wrong place. There are only 3 or 4 options of starters, mains and desserts. The wine list is also limited(with good options thought).
However if you are not after a great meal experience but some (overpriced) food while listening to very good band playing live jazz, you found it, there no reason to look further. The ambience, the decoration and the music sets the perfect climate, specially if you are going with a partner. Be prepared for the bill as it comes higher than a better "food only" restaurant.
If you really enjoy Jazz I suggest to book a table on the second service (for an extra £10 per person) and keep the table whilst you enjoy the live music to the last tune, around midnight.
Although the service is quite poor for the price paid the staff is very helpful and do their best to accommodate your request. (Not holding the food while a bottle of red wine chill for 10 minutes because the kitchen is closing is not acceptable while there are tables next to you who even ordered their food yet).
Is worth for the music and lack of similar places in the city.

Helpful?
Thank Mr_WS9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
co londonderry
Level Contributor
112 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Beautiful decor but poor food”
Reviewed November 10, 2013 via mobile

Lovely setting very romantic however I was expecting much better. Service waa good and place was busy however the food was extremely rich and very salty. Left with a dodgy stomach so wouldn't recommend for food but defo for drinks

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank baileysandcream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Disappointed wheelchair user”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

As this place is not long built I was initially disappointed that as a wheelchair user I was not afforded the courtesy of being able to use the front door. I can't understand why a graded ramp wasn't built to the front behind the hedgerows. Having to use the side/hotel entrance made me feel like a second class citizen having to use the back entrances. this should be a thing of the past for new builds!

the dining area is compact/intimate but due to the size of the chairs it means it's very cramped and as we were seated in the middle of the dining room it meant that when i need to go to and from the restroom or leave at the end of the meal I had to ask people to move and interrupt their evening.

The restroom itself is badly designed. there's an automatic door that opens when you open the first door in the corridor, this then blocks access to the disabled washroom as that door opens against it, which meant that to get into the restroom i had to pass it, go through the automatic door, turn around and then open the restroom door whilst in the other doorway. the restroom itself was all style over substance. Rather than put in a fold down baby change table, the designers obviously thought that wouldn't go with the look and put in a full sized changing table that, whilst on wheels had nowhere to go if you wanted to line your wheelchair up with the toilet. Exiting the restroom was just as annoying as entering.

The food, however, whilst nice was easily forgettable when constantly being aware of how the room was filling up and thinking about who I was going to have to disturb when getting to and from the table.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Damian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moira, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Sadly disappointed in service”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Went to Berts last night to celebrate a milestone with my husband and daughter. We have been before and raved about the experience and service. Last night we arrived expecting the same, but this time it fell sadly short, we asked to keep the table for the evening and agreed to pay extra £10 per person for the privilege. We were allocated the furthest table from the stage and did express disappointment at this to the person (we think could have been French), but were not offered anything else although another couple coming in after us was given a choice of tables. Closest tables to the stage were given to a party of very drunken "ladies" who were up and down all through the time we spent in the restaurant, one actually leaving to be sick! They were given a great deal of attention and had even complained about their food, which I might add was excellent!!
We had to wait on being seated to order drinks, and with the fiasco going on tried to get attention to pay our bill and leave, we had to literally grab a waitress to get the bill. We spent exactly 2 hours and twenty minutes in the restaurant and were charged the £30 extra for the table.
Once again the food did not disappoint but the service did and lack of eye to detail which we enjoyed on our last visit most certainly did let us down.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank flojo711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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