As some of you may know, my mother is Irish, born and bred in beautiful Dublin, therefore I tend to go relatively often. This, in fact, is already the third post dedicated to this wonderful city and I have to confess I wasn't sure about how to approach it. In the end, I decided to simply share what we did during this brief stay and invite you to have a look at the two previous posts for more tips and ideas, also because every time we did something different. (Link: Dublin 2018, Dublin 2017).
In general, the weather is variable (yes, you really get the four seasons in a day), people are friendly and the beer is good. But in addition to these true common places, Dublin has a lot more to offer. Whether you are into art, sports, food, or nightlife, the city will be able to satisfy your whims.
As for us, we were staying at my nana's house, so in the evening we ate at home and wandered around during the day. We were very lucky with the weather, as it was incredibly sunny and warm and it actually never rained! We also spent quite a good time in our neighbourhood and in the nearby neighbourhood of Sandymount, where my grandfather used to have a greengrocer's (now a bookshop), so ours was an extremely laid-back and relaxing vacation and I miss it already.
WHERE WE ATE
Located in Wicklow Street, in the heart of the centre, Cornucopia is one of the first vegetarian cafeterias to have opened in Dublin. There is no table service, first you decide what to eat and then you take a seat. Although the ground floor is lovely, I suggest going to the first floor, where the room is illuminated by a beautiful light. I had hummus with a green salad with samphire, a mayo dressing and toasted flatbread , while Vito had cannelloni and two sides of veggies. Very good value for money.
Super cosy cafeteria at two minutes from Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Friendly environment, beautiful design and exquisite food, with plenty of vegetarian options. The two pups are the two poached eggs that appear in almost every dish. I had roast potatoes, poached eggs and kale, served with a cream and white wine sauce that was simply to die for, while Vito had avocado on toast, poached eggs and chorizo. Lovely!
Bright and spacious cafeteria offering delicious food at great value for money. I immediately fell in love with the design and the atmosphere: a variety of wooden and metal tables, sofas, couches, old and contemporary furniture and lots of books and beautiful objects. The food was delicious, with most of the greens grown locally. Vito had overnight fennel and garlic braised pork with a caper mayo, while I had avocado on toast with pickled red cabbage and two side salads, one green and one with grains. After lunch we enjoyed a coffee, leafing through their selection of books. Lovely experience and will definitely go back.
WHAT WE DID
The Irish Museum of Modern Art, located in Kilmainham, is housed inside the former Royal Hospital, in a space that alone is work a visit. The entry is free of charge, with the exclusion of temporary exhibitions, and part of the works showcased are from their own education and community department. In addition to all this, the grounds, huge and made for finding peace.
Trinity College & City Centre
Trinity College stands out in all its glory in the middle of town and a visit to the old library is highly recommended. It is nice also to simply walk around the greens. Grafton Street is literally one minute away, and from there you can explore Saint Stephen's Green park, the town, Powerscourt Town Centre, and reach Temple Bar (remember that on Saturday morning there is a farmers market offering local street food). At a 10 minute distance, Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library, one of my preferred museums and cafeterias. Last but not least, in town, I enjoy buying food at Fallon & Byrne, while my husband's favourite is Sheridans Cheesemongers.
Don't forget to cross the River Liffey and visit the north too, with its post office in O'Connell Street and the shops around Henry Street.
The National Gallery houses the national collection of Irish and European art and, like all other museums, the entry is free of charge. Of course, being Venetian, I never fail to stop in front of the paintings by Veronese and Tintoretto, but many are the masterpieces, among which a Caravaggio. The museum also offers a lot of free guided tours and family-friendly tours.
Saint Patrick & Christ Church
The two most important churches in Dublin, with Christ Church being the elder and the seat of the Archbishop of Dublin. Strange but true, both are protestant churches.
DAY TRIP TO HOWTH
Howth is a charming fishermen village at one hour train from Dublin, well worth a visit. The perfume of the sea can be perceived as soon as one steps out of the train, and the sight of the landscape immediately pays off the effort of the journey! Vito and I enjoy walking along the piers, hoping to see a seal appear from the water, obviously looking for food...
Just in front of the train station, this small market hosts food stalls and stalls of local artisans. In one place I bought a loaf of whole grain bread with walnuts and dried pears (really good!), in another a couple of cookies and in the cupcake stall, I fell in love with the decorations. Cute market!
For lunch we stopped at Beshoff, the one along the pier. The space is very big and divided in two main areas: the proper and fancier restaurant, and the market with a smaller kitchen, where we ate. We started with local oysters, accompanied by a vinegar, lemon and red onion condiment, then Vito had sautéed cockles with aioli and I had John Dory and scallops cooked in a spicy red pepper and orange sauce. Delicious!
After lunch we had a walk around Howth Castle, where I couldn't help notice the gorgeous shed where until a while ago they used to organise cookery classes.
So, this is more or less how we spent our holidays: in a very easy-going and relaxed way. Five nights and four days to recharge the batteries...
Hope you enjoyed it too and talk soon!