Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Dublin

   TRAVEL

I booked my flights last-minute, I travelled with RyanAir on the way out and AerLingus on the way back. I had great experiences with both.STAY

The Westbury

My partner Tom was working in Dublin so I crashed his hotel room. It was an absolutely gorgeous hotel and I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s not part of the Dorchester hotel group but felt like it and for me there’s nothing better. I knew I’d enjoy it from the second I walked in, you see I’d spotted my House of Hackney palm cushions. Apparently the co-owner of House of Hackney is Irish.

EAT

{ I must say that I did find eating out expensive in Dublin, similar if not a bit more than eating out in London}

Industry & Co

I mentioned this in my shopping and coffee list but for light bites and pastries this was fab!

Fade Street Social

This was recommended by The Westbury concierge, we normally like to do our own research but this trip was a bit last-minute. Owned by Dylan Mcgrath {an Irish celebrity chef } we chose the tapas style food downstairs as opposed to the slightly more formal restaurant. It was a good choice and all the food was flippin’ great. It’s not traditional tapas – think more mini lobster rolls and crab toasties.

Fallon & Byrne

A grocery shop with a wine bar in the basement- need I say anymore?

Brother Hubbard

A bit off the beaten track this place gets rave reviews. I wandered past whilst exploring the North side of the river and grabbed a sandwich from it’s take out place – Little Hubbard.

Coffee Shop, George Street Market

I was a bit tired when I landed so unusually for me I couldn’t be bothered to traipse up and down to find Dublin’s best avocado on toast. I popped into this unassuming coffee shop because it was busy with grannies and I trust grannies to lead me to a good café. I had a fuss free Americano with a cheese and brown bread sandwich. I indulged in a bit of people watching and planned my sight-seeing route.

COFFEE

Arguably one of the most important parts of any trip is finding good coffee. I’ve banned myself from getting a coffee from those big ol’ chains though I needn’t have worried there’s plenty of amazing places around.

Industry & Co

I mentioned this in my shopping / eating section but I got the best mocha here and the tiles are ON POINT!

Danger Donuts

Three words; salted caramel doughnuts. #yourewelcome

Clement and Pekoe

I didn’t actually get a coffee from here but there was a queue every time I walked past which means a) the coffee is great b) the take out cups are really instagramable.

DRINK

I think I’m in a very tiny percentage of people who visited Ireland and didn’t do the Guinness experience. To be honest I just wasn’t that fussed, plus I spent the days by myself so I didn’t think getting tipsy alone was wise. That said I did drink a few Irish coffees – Baileys version.

Stag’s Head

Established in 1770 the staff are friendly and the atmosphere lively, if you’re going to have Guinness anywhere they it might as well be here. P.S It’s featured in a number of tv programmes and films so you might recognise the interior.

The Sidebar

This cocktail bar was in the hotel we stayed at but it was gorgeous, the bartenders wear white tuxedos and to me it reminded me of the Polo Lounge in Los Angeles { high praise from me as I love the BHH}. If you’re going on a romantic weekend this is a lovely place to stop by.

DO

Books Of Kells / Long Room, Trinity College

The moment you step inside Trinity College Campus you immediately regret all your education decisions why on earth did you not apply for this University; surely is the place to go. The campus was not only gorgeous but lively and musical. Students {or as I’ve started to call them – kids} were playing Bowie songs on saxophones in their tiny skinny jeans whilst supping what I imagine was artisan coffee with almond milk.

The Book of Kells exhibition was easy to find and well laid out. Dare I say it I found the context part  more exciting than the book itself though the book absolutely beautiful. My experience was hampered by what felt like 17,000 Spanish exchange children who pushed past and swarmed the perspex viewing box like bees. Mindful / frustrated / slightly scared of this army of kids I hurried toward the Long Room.

When you climb the steps to the spectacular Long Room the first thing you notice is the smell of old books and it’s heavenly. The Old Library {a Thomas Burgh’s masterpiece} holds thousands of rare and early volumes. In the 18th century, the college received the Brian Boru one of the three surviving medieval Gaelic harps which is on display here.

Christ Church Cathedral

The oldest of the two medieval Cathedrals it’s a pretty building with a synod attached. You’ll find the tomb of Strongbow in this church. I was going to look around but it didn’t look very welcoming and I didn’t fancy paying €6 get in and €4 for information #sorrynotsorrySaint Patricks Cathedral

Founded in 1191 Saint Patricks Cathedral is mostly known for its connection with Gulliver’s Travel author Jonathan Swift but I feel I should also point out that it’s spire at 43 metres tall means that St Patrick’s is the tallest church in Ireland because apparently size matters. Personally, I was glad to visit just to check out that tiled floor- talk about pinterest tile inspo. On a more serious note it was a friendly and welcoming church and I enjoyed their displays on Jonathan Swift, especially the part when he two-times his girlfriends.Famine Memorial

Located along the River Liffey, these statues together memorialize the Great Famine designed by Rowan Gillespie that Ireland endured between 1845 – 1849. Mass starvation and emigration, causing one million to die and at least another million to emigrate. The memorial depicts weary, emaciated forms marching towards the docklands in search of the promise of a better life in the US or Canada. It’s really moving and the starving dog make me well up.

National Library of Ireland

I’m not going to lie I went just to have a peek at the amazing reading room but I spent at least an hour totally immersed in the W.B Yates exhibition. It’s interactive displays use videos, poetry readings and artwork to show Yates’ childhood and controversial working practices. If you’re interested in poetry, literature or weird religious practices you’d love this. I sat and listened to the poems read by actors and even Yates himself for a good half an hour and decided how listening to poetry is good for our soul. After this I went to visit the reading room. You must leave your belongings and phones in a locker before entering the room so I didn’t take any photos but it had to be one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever seen. It’s no wonder Ireland has produced so many literary greats with sensational rooms like this to work in.

National Museum Ireland

Shamefully I just popped in here for 20 minutes, I had walked and walked and this was the last attraction on my list. I’d left it a bit late and the museum was shutting but I was so impressed I’d definitely pay a return visit. I loved the Egyptology section and was amazed by the large collection of Viking gold; I’ve never seen anything like it.

Saint Stephen’s Shopping Centre

Okay so this might not have the best shops in Dublin { that would be Brown’s Grafton Street} but it is worth a visit to admire the beautiful view.

CHQ Building

This place is worth dropping by after seeing the Famine memorial if want to warm up or get a coffee. This large glass building used to be the tram garage but now hosts many food outlets and a tech hub sponsored by Google, I guess the building was part of their incredibly low tax threshold deal 😉

Chester Betty Library / Dublin Castle

I honestly cannot stop talking about this place, I spent about two hours in there and took details notes on my iPhone, seriously. Chester Betty was a wealthy business man who collected lots of East Asian and Middle Eastern art and religious books and manuscripts including some incredibly rare Egyptian Papyrus. If you’re a fan of religious history, books or illustration this is a must do. It’s free and has a friendly café; it was the highlight of my trip. I must admit I didn’t go into the castle but I did walk around the grounds – they provide a great picture opportunity.

Drury Street / George Street Market 

As much as I love a good museum I naturally gravitate towards the arty places. I love that people care about producing beautiful things as much as me. Wander down this street and pop into the beautiful shops { particularly Industry & Co and Irish Design Company}Jam Art Factory / Patrick Street 

I walked down this road on the way for Saint Patricks Cathedral and popped into to Jam Art because of their gorgeous prints displayed in the window. I spotted one I’d love but Canadian tourists nabbed it before me.Powerscourt Town House

Another trendy road is William Street, on here you’ll find the Powerscourt Town House. This gorgeous Georgian building is home to independent interior shops {Article}, knitting and bridal shops, jewelers, café and the most beautiful florist called The Garden.

The Winding Stair 

I wandered past lots of lovely looking bookshops { inc Gutter Books – love the Wilde inspired name } but didn’t have time to venture in except this one. It was warm and cos y and I loved its little reading nook in the corner.

Overall I really loved Dublin – I’d love to spend longer in the museums and libraries but in the same way I’d love to go their for an international rugby match, Temple Bar just had such a great atmosphere. I found Dublin inexpensive to get around but found eating out quite expensive.

 

 

 



Posted by Alexandra Falleyn at 8:56 am no comment