Monday, May 25, 2015

4 Days in Dublin

Back to our regularly scheduled programming! My family and I just got back from an incredible 10 days in Ireland and England.  We started in Dublin, where we spent 4 days.  Here's what we did, what worked and what didn't!


FOOD

Queen of Tarts - On our first morning in Dublin, we wandered around the city center, in search of warm, coffee and food.  Without particularly meaning to, we ended up at on of the better rated cafes in the area, Queen of Tarts.  The food, coffee and tea were all phenomenal, and the decor is super cute.  I ordered baked eggs, which was different, but delicious.  They also make their own orange juice, which was fun.

Leo Burdock's - Apparently, the only place to get fish and chips, according to my brother.  The portions were huge and really fresh, but tartar sauce wasn't a thing, and because we did take away, we didn't have enough vinegar.  It was good, and I'd recommend it, but make sure you get the proper side items!

Winding Stair - Our fancy meal!  My brother made Mother's Day reservations at this restaurant, which is on the second floor of a building a few down from the Ha'penny Bridge.  The view was extraordinary, as was the food.  Everyone in my family was thrilled with their meals, from starters to dessert.  It was definitely a more fancy/expensive meal, but well worth the cost, even just to spend a few hours with such a stunning view of Dublin

Brother Hubbard - Brother Hubbard is my favorite kind of restaurant - a little bit hipster, with a local, gratuitisly fancy/farm-to-table menu and fun combinations. I ended up getting a semolina pancake with mint and whipped creme fraiche and bits of toffee and currant jam.  So ridiculous, so delicious.  And the filter coffee was amazing.


ATTRACTIONS

Guinness Factory - I didn't have a ton of initial interest in going to Guinness - it seemed like such a tourist trap. To be fair, it absolutely is, buttttt, it's also well done and pretty informative.  The museum is enormous and there's a ton of information on all different aspects of the Guinness family and process.  I loved the first third, was a little bored by the second third, and effectively skipped the last third.  The final stop is the Sky Bar on the top floor, which boasts amazing views, a free Guinness and wall to wall people.  It was really overwhelming, but worth it for the views.

Howth - Howth was one of my favorite things about the trip in total.  We took the DART train out, and ended up with a surprise gorgeous day. Our first stop was the farmers market, open both weekend days, for what my family declared as the best seafood chowder they'd ever had.  We then walked through town and up to the cliff walk, where you can find incredible views and several hiking paths.  We ended up not hiking, just taking some pictures and then finding a random neighborhood park to have a picnic in.  The entire town is a delight, and only a 30 minute train ride from Dublin.

Kilmainam Gaol - Having missed Kilmainham on my first trip to Dublin, I was determined to take it all in. Unfortunately, one of the wings of the jail was closed, but the tour was still informative and very cool.  The building is amazing, and it was very cool to be in the middle of some amazing Irish history.


All things considered, Dublin was amazing.  We had fabulous weather and were able to do everything we wanted. I think the amount of time we spend (4 days) was perfect - it isn't a huge city, and we felt like we were able to really get to know it, even in just a few days.



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