Dublin, Ireland - 2 days
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
They say that at the bottom of the rainbow sits a leprechaun, fiercely guarding a pot of gold. Now, I couldn’t possibly comment on the veracity of this fact, but what I can say is that one of the leprechauns' favourite places, Dublin, is indeed a little gem for a couple of fun days away with friends.
A brief flight from London takes you into the heart of the lush country, (well the airport at least) and a 30 min taxi ride onwards sees you in the centre of Dublin, the capital of the Emerald Isle.
On this trip, I went with a bunch of friends and started the evening with a walk through the famous Temple Bar area (an area of cobbled streets filled with pubs, galleries, shops and music) where we stopped for a quick bite at La Gondola.
Since we went as a group of eight, it was tricky to find a place that could fit us all at 11 pm on a Friday night before Christmas and so all of this informed our choice, plus our jolly taxi driver who recommended the place. The food was decent and the service delivered with a smile. However, I think there are much nicer places out there but a word of warning, they tend to be booked up in advance in the Christmas period. Long story short, we finished our meals with our tummies filled and headed out in search of adventure.
After a few rejections from various bars and pubs labelled as ‘sorry, it's a private party’ we managed to crash a company party and find ourselves a little spot at a tiny table next to the live band. And so the Irish magic began...the music, the dancing and the drinks transformed the atmosphere and we had a wonderful night filled with laughter and good spirits.
The next day we went for breakfast at a nearby coffee shop called Voila, where we had a decent Irish breakfast before we made our way to a pre-booked Guinness brewery tour. The brewery is a really interesting place and the tour itself is very educational for both beer lovers and haters (like me :)). The storehouse is laid out over 5 floors with a large pint-glass shaped atrium right in the middle. You can spend hours here indulging in beer, fun, facts and food.
After the tour finished, we moved on to the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head, dating back to the 12th century, where we had some drinks and food and took in the atmosphere.
Next on the list was our second pre-booked tour, this time of the Jameson whiskey distillery at their Bow Street location. What I can say about it is that even though Jameson is not my favourite whiskey, the tour itself and our guide made it into an absolutely amazing experience - Claudia, our guide, even made the entire group sing happy birthday to a bunch of us...which did, however, happen after a tasting of 3 whiskeys. Make of it what you will 😊
In the evening we went for dinner at a cosy independent cafe, Brother Hubbard North, a great place filled with plants, Mediterranean food and flavoursome cocktails. The service was quite slow, probably because of all the Christmas parties, but the chicken (and as I hear, also the lamb and the fish) dishes more than made up for it.
After a long day, we decided to head back to the house and enjoy a few drinks at our accommodation and reminisce about old times with good friends.
The next day we went for a coffee at the Natural Bakery, before walking to Elephant and Castle for spicy chicken wings and much more. The food at this unpretentious, American restaurant was delicious and very speedy as well - definitely recommend it. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the one and only Hard Rock Cafe, where we sipped on a range of festive cocktails and enjoyed live music.
Overall, I think Dublin is a nice place to explore for a couple of days, mostly with a group of friends. There are lots to visit as well (the Library at Trinity College with the famous Book of Kells, Dublin Castle, Grafton Street, the banks of the Liffey, etc.) but as we had done it before, we did not venture again. If you are going for the first time, here's a few tips to inspire you.