I have a certain someone and Ireland to thank for my continuing ability to legally live, work, and eat on this side of the world. Without my main dining companion, his allegiance to the land of the shamrock, and about 500 pages of proof that we aren’t cohabitating out of convenience, I would almost certainly be on some Home Office black list. I’ve sat in the little holding pens by passport control at the airports, they’re not pleasant places to be so I’m eternally grateful to the man and the country.
At the time of the torturously long visa process, I had never even set foot in Ireland so I vowed that if the visa-gods let me stay, I would of course venture across and pay it a visit! As you know, the luck of the Irish was on my side (for the time-being as who knows what will happen after Brexit) so we kept our promise and jetted off to Ireland for a small road trip from Galway to Dublin… the former was filled with breathtaking landscape and delicious food, and the latter was filled with a bit of history and more delicious food and drink, here are my suggestions for where to eat and drink in Dublin…
The first stop on any visit to Dublin must be the Guinness Storehouse, the high-tech, high-sensory experience which is so much more than your usual brewery tour. To make the most of the entry fee, take your time winding up through each floor. You can explore the history of Guinness, find out how it’s made, and even learn how to pour your own, before enjoying a free pint with a view at the rooftop bar. I liked that the whole experience is self-guided so you can decide how little or long you spend at the Storehouse; we whizzed through it, partly because of the crowds, but true enthusiasts could spend hours here.
After a couple of pints of Guinness, a steak dinner at Featherblade, Dublin’s own version of an affordable steakhouse was definitely an appealing prospect. This trendy yet casual restaurant specialises in one cut which, as the name suggests, is the featherblade but they also have a daily specials depending on what’s available. We decided it would be criminal to deviate from the namesake steak so ordered two deliciously tender 9oz featherblades served with a salad and additional sides of beef dripping chips and charred broccoli. We also shared a starter, dessert, and some wine, and the bill was still cheerily small – definitely great value for money given the quality of the food and wonderful atmosphere.
If you’re in the mood for another pint with a side of toe-tapping live music, I suggest you stop into O’Donoghue’s, one of Dublin’s oldest bars. With live music on every night, you never know you might stumble upon. From the city’s up and coming musicians to some of Ireland’s most established artists, they all have one thing in common – their love of traditional Irish music. Make sure you have a good look at all the pictures that adorn the walls and see how many of the musicians you can name!
Old Jameson Distillery
The name ‘Jameson’ meant nothing to me until I met a certain someone. Now, the name on the label of a green bottle is a permanent fixture in our flat so it’s no surprise that we had to visit the Old Jameson Distillery. Based right in the heart of the city, this snappy but informative tour makes a good break from all your other sightseeing. The obligatory ‘how is Jameson made’ part was interesting but the tasting part was better – we tried varying ages of whiskey before relaxing with a final drink at the bar. It’s also just had a revamp so even more worthy of a nosey round!
Etto on Merrion Row
Etto had all the makings of a dining experience I knew we’d love: compact, seasonal dishes, an interesting but not overwhelming wine list, and an unpretentious atmosphere. They do a tasting menu on certain days but we decided to chance it a la carte because there were so many dishes off that which appealed. We whet our appetite with a good looking plate of jamon iberico and crusty bread, before taking a raw turn with carpaccio and crudo, then each ending with something hot and hearty. I loved my wholesome gnocchi dish, while a certain someone slurped his way through a big bowl of mussels! Every single dish was a joy to eat; fresh and vibrant in taste and looks, this restaurant delivered on all counts!
Have you been to Dublin?
Where are your favourite spots for food and drink?
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