I went to Dublin in early November and truthfully, it was a terrible trip. Nothing worked out the way I planned. I woke up on the day of the departure, all set to head to City Airport, when a text arrived from BA, letting me know my flight was cancelled. Damn London fog! I attempted to rebook online and was unsuccessful. Luckily, my BA Silver status got me through the massive phone queue within 5 minutes but there were barely any options the next day.
I departed for Dublin 25 hours later than expected. So that kinda sucked. But a surprisingly tasty dinner and some Irish whiskey at Cleaver East at The Clarence Hotel set me to rights.
Here’s where I ate and drank in Dublin during my short visit and before a group of guys tried to mug me after I checked out of my hotel on Thursday evening. (Yup. That not-stressful-at-all-thing happened. Always be alert.)
Cleaver East: I was practically the only diner at Cleaver East on the night I visited, and I stayed for a lonnnggg time. Service forgot about me for a bit but once they remembered I was there, we got on swimmingly. The early bird special — two courses for €21.95 — was a great value. Particularly because I ordered it at like 6:40 pm and the special ended at 6:45 pm! Hah! You really can’t go wrong with beef carpaccio in my book, and the pan fried sea bass was a generous portion. I enjoyed my meal here. The Verdict: I’d go back.
Winding Stair: Social media pointed me in the direction of The Winding Stair, a small bookshop and bistro facing the Liffey by the pretty Ha’Penny bridge. In hindsight, my generous starter of smoked trout pate would have been enough for lunch. I could barely finish my main of beef cheeks and colcannon. (Lunch special: 2-Course €19.95, with glass of house wine €25.95) I liked the Winding Stair although I really would like them to refinish the staircase. It has seen better days. The place has a bit of a rickety feel, which might make it loveable to some. Me? I wanted to sand and stain everything. The Verdict: I’d go back for the food and view out onto the Liffey.
The Stag’s Head: While walking through Temple Bar on my 2nd evening, we dropped into this popular corner meeting spot for some Guinness. There’s a comedy club upstairs too so expect a lot of entrances and exits. (It was slightly distracting, the constant “Where is the comedy club?” questioning.) I can imagine the ground floor is unbearable when it’s too crowded. The Verdict: I’m not sure I would go out of my way, but it’s a nice enough spot.
Jule’s: I hadn’t eaten all day on Thursday so before I checked out of my hotel, I stopped into Jule’s for the lobster special. (As you do.) At 19€, it certainly wasn’t a bargain. Tasty enough, but a tiny portion. More fries than lobster. Staff were super helpful and friendly though. The Verdict: On the fence. Would want to consider price-to-value ratio in more detail first.
The Porterhouse: The Porterhouse, with its fantastically wide beer selection and central location, made for a perfect meeting spot. It also had the advantage of being right outside the doors to my hotel, The Clarence. (More about The Clarence in a later post.) Seriously great beer selection, not too crowded and live Irish music! I could have spent more time here. The Verdict: I’d go back here.
I may have enjoyed my time in Dublin, but as you may be able to tell, I did most of my eating and drinking relatively close to my hotel. (I’m selfish like that.) This was partly convenience and partly because my plans were thrown off by my flight delay. I like Dublin though so I’m sure I’ll be back. Always good to visit somewhere where everyone can pronounce your last name.
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