Basement party at Dublin, ITC Sonar Bangla

Complete with wooden flooring and European-style wooden furniture, Dublin in the basement of the famed ITC Sonar Bangla brings to Kolkata the idea of pubbing, Irish style. A welcome change from cramped watering holes, Dublin’s spacious interiors are reflective of a well-laid-out lounge. You have the option of either sinking into the plush sofas or chatting up the bartender from the high bar-stools. The seating, adjacent to the dance floor, also gives you a cosy saloon-like feel.

The dance floor is in a well-like area at the far end of the pub. A flight of stairs leading down on both sides will take you there. The DJ's console is set along the wall, and revelers mix freely with the guy who is manning it.

The dimly-lit night club has two bar counters to handle the extra crowd that comes in on weekends and holidays. Though in spirit it tries to capture a bit of Dublin, the spirit it serves surely doesn’t match that. There's no Guinness Stout available here. It's also quite rare to spot a can of the dark frothy beer that you’d get in any other night clubs in Kolkata.

That doesn’t mean you lose heart. Dublin, being in a five star hotel, serves very good foreign liquor. Ask for single malts and scotch, and they are likely to surprise you. Cocktails on a weekday are very impressive; surprisingly, the same can't be said about weekends even if it's the same bartender. A rule-of-the-thumb while drinking out should be: strictly no cocktails on a busy night.

The music is the other thing that makes you feel that you are not quite in the land of whiskeys. It is predominantly masala mix with a healthy dose of Bollywood, hip-hop, house, remixes or anything that is popular at the time.

The food menu is exhaustive and one can have a full meal here, not just snacks. On an easy night the manager may also arrange for food from any other restaurant in the hotel if you so desire.

So if you are keen on having a basement party, a la Irish night clubs, Dublin at ITC Sonar Bangla is where you head to.

Wine and Dine