What a blimmin marvellous weekend we’ve just had ay? Judging by my timeline pretty much everyone was sunning themselves in the glorious weather, stoking up the BBQ and drinking loads of icy cold beers/wines, well it would be rude not to! My weekend wasn’t much different except that the BF and I hopped over to Dublin for a few days, mainly under the premise that we had tickets to the pro 14 Rugby final (did I mention he’s rugby mad? I’m pretty sure I have ha!), but then spent the other 3 days eating and drinking our way around the city. As I mentioned in my last Dublin blog post
, this is a city I’ve visited a lot, I’ve done the usual tourist attractions: been to the Guinness Store 3 times, the castle, General post office, Trinity College etc. so when I visit now it’s more about soaking up the atmosphere and discovering cool new places to hang out. There are some amazing places in this city, and it isn’t all about pints of Guinness and bowls of Irish stew, although that is good too! So if you’re looking for a cool brunch spot, a special dinner or somewhere to enjoy an Aperol Spritz I have a few suggestions of where to eat in Dublin.
The Pigs Ear, Nassau Street
Right opposite Trinity College and set in a three-story town house The Pigs Ear serves really high-end modern Irish cuisine in a relaxed setting. I had pressed suckling pig terrine, followed by an amazingly melty braised ox cheek with king oyster mushroom and celeriac puree, and finally cheesecake served in a cute little jam jar. Absolutely everything about it was top notch, from the bread and butter to the coffee too, perfect for a special treat.
The Baths at Clontarf
The old baths on the seafront at Clontarf have apparently been sat derelict for a couple of decades until the new owners bought and renovated it. The pool isn’t open for swimming yet, but the restaurant and bar is worth the short journey out of the city alone. We went for Sunday brunch after a pretty heavy night on the beers watching the Rugby, needing a little pick me up we ordered a couple of Bloody Marys straight away, which was the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever drunk, nice and zesty with just the right amount of spice and a good kick of vodka. Hangover subsiding a little we ordered a few dishes to share: Lobster roll with fries, Eggs Royale served on potato farls instead of English muffins, waffles with berry compote and yoghurt and the creamiest Affogato eveerrrr. They have a soft serve ice cream machine, which clearly makes all the difference. Not only is the food delicious at The Baths, but the décor is really quirky, the new owners have really gone for the bath theme with bath tub chairs, showers on the walls and a big rubber ducky in the pool, this place is an Instagrammers dream!
The Klaw – Capel St, Temple Bar
Sample some of the best seafood Ireland has to offer with out the stuffiness of a formal restaurant. This is a tiny hole in the wall place that does what it does extremely well. The menu is all on the chalkboard and the couple who run Klaw can make suggestions if you’re struggling to choose which particular oysters to have. We just went for it, ordering a selection of Irish oysters, lobster mac n cheese, seafood chowder and lobster roll, all of it was absolutely EPIC and went really well with a couple bottles of their own brewed beer.
Bull and Castle – Lord Edward Street
Less of a seafood freak and more of a meat n veg fan? You can’t go wrong with a meal at The Bull and Castle, a traditional pub come steak restaurant. We both opted for medium rare Rib eye steaks, which were perfectly cooked, a couple of sides and a really good bottle of Malbec. Not a cheap meal, but worth every penny. Handy if you’re visiting Dublin Castle or in The Christ Church area.
Chez Max – Palace street
This cute little French bistro delivers exactly what you’d expect. Round tables with chequered cloths, French jazz playing, huge bowls of steaming moules et frites with bottomless baguette baskets and excellent wine. Sitting outside on the terrace and watching the world go by is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.
Cloud 9/off Beat Donuts- Temple Bar
I’m not ashamed to say I’d been stalking Off Beat Donuts on Instagram for months; their posts are just pure food porn! They have a few shops around Dublin, but I was so happy when I discovered they had a counter in Cloud 9 Ice cream parlour opposite the famous Temple Bar pub woo hoo! After a few ice cold drinks in the pub ice cream and donuts were the perfect way to round off a really fun weekend. I can totally recommend the lemon meringue pie donut, YUM!
Sophie’s, Dene Hotel – Harcourt Street
What else is there to do on a rare scorcher of an evening in Dublin than drink Aperol spritz’ on a fancy hotel roof terrace ay? Sophie’s bar at The Dene Hotel does swanky roof terrace very well with an outside area playing Balearic beats, strewn with cushions and blankets in case it isn’t quite so warm, and an inside restaurant area with wrap around glass so you can still enjoy the view. We didn’t eat there, but the food coming out of the kitchen looked amazing: wood fired pizzas, sharing platters, salads, steaks, and all kinds of yummy stuff. Instead we worked our way through the cocktail menu; my fave was “Tonight we dance” – Vanilla vodka with passion fruit and raspberry mmmmmm.
Brazen Head – Lower Bridge Street
Yeah it’s a tourist trap, I can’t imagine you’ll find many locals hanging out here on the weekends sipping a Guinness BUT it is cute and fun, especially if you sit in the bar when they have live music which TBH is pretty much all of the time. In my opinion this place is way better than the Temple Bar if you’re looking for that traditional Irish pub vibe. Plus the food offering is really good; massive portions of Irish stew, fish and chips and steak and Guinness pie a plenty.
Dublin really is a foodies dream, plus it has loads of great bars which is why it’s such a fun weekend city break, there are still a tonne of places I’d like to try out so I don’t think it’ll be too long before my next trip over there.