Dublin has always been a city I’ve been desperate to visit. I’ve always heard great things, but it was after visiting Edinburgh I suddenly had a thirst to explore places closer to home. We picked the best weekend to head over to Ireland, as well as coinciding with mine and B’s three year anniversary, the sun was shining all weekend which made the trip all the more enjoyable.
We stayed at the beautifully designed Dean Hotel, which was definitely Instagram gold. With quirky interiors and contemporary artwork (including a Tracey Emin), our room had lots of cool features such as a Marshall amp, record player and vinyl’s to play at your leisure. The bathroom was equally beautiful with dreamy white subway tiles teamed with matt black fixtures and fittings. On the top floor of the hotel was ‘Sophie’s Bar’ which by day dished up delicious food with panoramic 360 views of the city, and by night served tasty cocktails you could sip on the rooftop bar. Hanging swings marked the hallway into Sophie’s and we had a little too much fun swinging on them before I smashed into the wall behind me..!
One fun aspect of staying at The Dean was that they have retro bikes you can take out for the day, so we took full advantage of this and borrowed them to ride around St Stephen’s Green nearby.
//Things to do
Like with any city break, we enjoyed just mooching around and seeing where our curiosity took us. St Stephen’s Green was beautiful in the sunshine and was full of sunbathers taking advantage of the weather. We also strolled around Dublin Castle and found some colourful backdrops to pose against! We wondered around Trinity College and ideally wanted to visit their famous Library to see The Book of Kells, but annoyingly the queue (there was a queue!!) into the library was ridiculously long and we ended up giving it a miss. The college was immaculate and a serious tourist attraction, with more tourists than students.
‘When in Dublin’ we of course had to visit the Guinness Storehouse, even though I had never actually tried Guinness before. We were lucky enough to have a private tour around the brewery, which included a few cheeky Guinness tasters and a brief Irish dancing performance (by professionals, not some drunk tourists). We ended the tour with a free pint in the ‘Gravity Bar’, which looked out on Dublin’s skyline. Initially I wasn’t too fussed about the Guinness tour but having been I would definitely recommend it.
Keeping with the drinking theme, while in Dublin we also attended the Jameson Distillery to learn all about their famous whiskey. Usually the tour holds up to 30 people but we got lucky and were just two of three of the people on this particular day! I’m really not a whisky fan, so when it came to the tasting I had to grin and down the shots. You also a free drink in ‘JJ’s bar’ afterwards, but as we had the flight home to catch we gave our tokens to some enthusiastic American girls instead!
The Little Museum of Dublin was a fun, fast way to learn all about the history of the city. For 45 minutes we had a very excited guide who weaved in many jokes and funny anecdotes into his narrative, but beware there is a high amount of audience participation and not many places to hide! All of the articles were donated by the Irish locals, which made for an interesting collection.
//Places to eat
We stumbled upon the aptly named ‘Wow Burger’ while searching for somewhere to lunch, and I must have said ‘wow’ about five times while eating! It was such an amazing burger, albeit a dirty one. Located in the basement of a bar, the burgers are dirt-cheap and all toppings are free! Garlic butter fries were the perfect accompaniment to our meal, and they also offer ‘thick shakes’ and sundaes. I really wish they had Wow Burger in London, it would be crazily popular!
We had a delicious breakfast at ‘Sophie’s bar’ on the top floor of our hotel, I opted for french toast while B had huevos rancheros. We also found a lovely coffee shop in the city centre called ‘Industry & Co,’ which served beautiful baked treats as well as being a part-homeware shop. It had heavenly interiors, with gold and marble being used throughout, and a colourful tiled floor.