Often there are musicians up in the front corner playing a session of tunes. There are plenty of places to sit and relax, up close to the music if you’d like, a bit farther away at the bar, and at a range of tables near enough and far away to either of those things to enjoy a chat and a drink of one of the many beers and ales available on draft or by the bottle. In the back room, there might be a singing session going on, or perhaps someone hosting a private vent such as a wedding reception or a family party, all adding to the atmosphere of the place, which is both festive and relaxed. Where is all this? The Burren in Somerville, Massachusetts. It may not be that TV made famous and rather touristy bar where everybody knows your name, but there’s always a feeling of welcome at The Burren.

The burren, in Ireland, is s a distinctive landscape of rock said to have been formed by glaciers passing over west Clare in ancient times, with stone formations built by giants, fairies, ancient people, or geology, take your pick. The Burren in Davis Square just a short way from the center of Boston is warm, friendly, wood toned gathering place that is both Irish and American.

That idea is carried out in the food served at the Burren, too. At weekend brunch you could order a full Irish fry with eggs, black pudding, and Irish bacon. You could also have a classic American breakfast of eggs sunny side up with American bacon. Eggs Benedict is on the menu as well. Lunch and dinner menus offer the same mix of Irish and American fare, with, as is not so common in Irish pubs, quite a few dishes that will suit vegetarians well and plenty of fish from nearby New England coastal waters on offer too. It’s all quite tasty and, Irish expats and lovers of a true Irish pot of tea take note, the know how to brew a proper cup of tea at The Burren as well — and they use Barry’s Tea.

It’s a good place to sit of a quiet afternoon over that pot of tea, and equally entertaining to stop in with a group to enjoy a drink. a chat, and a meal, and often, music form a singer who writes his owns songs, and an Irish tune or two as well.

photograph is of one of the front windows of The Burren during the Christmas season, and is copyrighted. thank you for respecting that.

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Kerry Dexter is one of six writers who contribute to Perceptive Travel’s blog. You will often find her writing about places, events, and people connected with music, history, and the arts in Europe and North America. You may find more of Kerry's work at her site Music Road as well as in Wandering Educators, National Geographic Traveler, Ireland and the Americas, and other places online and in print.

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