I visited Dublin once on a school trip when I was 15. All I remembered from that exciting excursion was seeing wide historic streets, not being old enough to try the very expensive pints of Guinness and learning about Molly Malone. My long weekend this time round was rather different… My friend and I spent three days wandering the grey but beautiful city, trialling coffee shops and cafes, perusing chic design stores and wandering round iconic museums and libraries. Dublin is a city which is instantly welcoming and quick to know, but there are always new neighborhoods to discover and so much history to learn.
The Merrion Hotel – The Merrion Hotel has a surprisingly discreet exterior and is concealed behind one of the finest restored Georgian facades in the city centre. It is proudly known as the city’s top hotel, an elegant five star abode where most of Dublin’s prestigious visitors stay. The bedrooms are traditional and lavish, the restaurants are renowned and the service is second to none.
Meet me in the Morning – We fell instantly in love with this little cafe, from the charming name (after a Bob Dylan song) to the stylish interiors, flavoursome lunch plates (think daal with brown rice, pickled radish and chorizo) to the great coffee (specialist beans are carefully sourced from around the world).
777 – Many regard this Mexican eatery as one of the best restaurants in town. The dark and sultry venue on George’s Street serves up vibrant and fresh food and strong tequila cocktails.
Kaph – This friendly independent coffee shop is located on Drury Street, in one of the most popular shopping areas of town. The cafe is dedicated to Single Estate Coffee, and holds afternoon tasting sessions for very keen coffee drinkers.
Fumbally – Fumbally is an institution in Dublin. The eclectic space is busy throughout the day as locals and tourists come in to work, drink, eat and socialise. The health-conscious food is delicious and the coffee is locally roasted.
Clement & Pekoe – Nestled amongst the shops and bars on South William Street is Clement & Pekoe, a lovely cafe specialising in loose leaf tea and expertly roasted coffee. When the weather is bad it is a cosy place to take shelter and enjoy a comforting hot drink.
Guinness Storehouse – This historic building is the home of Guinness, and has been since 1759 when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years. Wander round the interactive museum and learn about the story behind Ireland’s most famous drink before sipping a beer at the rooftop bar overlooking the city.
Trinity Library – The Library of Trinity College Dublin serves Trinity College and the University of Dublin. It is the largest library in Ireland and is often used in films. The never-ending room is staggeringly beautiful, a must see while in Dublin.
National Gallery of Ireland – A grand and important museum housing many great works of art spanning the 14th to 20th century. The gallery contains an impressive collection of Irish works alongside many renowned European paintings and drawings.
The Library Project – This creative venture is found in Temple Bar, a volunteer led space run by PhotoIreland Foundation. Here you will find a specialised bookshop, gallery and a public resource library of photobooks.
Indigo and Cloth – A stylish boutique showcasing a range of menswear from local and global designers. I loved discovering Irish brands such as ‘Loft’, an accessories brand from Belfast and ‘Bean and Goose’ chocolate, made in the Wexford countryside. There is also a small cafe in store, a collaboration with Clement & Pekoe.
Scout – This vintage and clothing store in Temple Bar is owned and run by Wendy, who carefully curates her shop with a lovely selection of Irish and International labels including Armor Lux, Petria Lenehan, and Le Bas.
Industry – A lifestyle concept store with design-focussed homeware, lighting and ceramics. There is also a small cafe inside selling delicious salads, juices and coffee.
Many thanks to the Visit Dublin for their help with this trip, more information here.