Grey skies and rain were the weather highlights from our trip to Dublin over Easter. Thankfully the food and drink and Irish hospitality were fabulous. Everywhere we visited, pub, to cafe, and restaurants, all supported local produce and could identify their suppliers.
Our first stop (I went with my husband, a rugby game on Sunday was pivotal to our trip!) was the Guinness Storehouse. There were hundreds of people traipsing around the shiny happy store. My husband remembered it from 25 years ago when you saw the actual brewing process, this is a bit more of an ‘experience’.
Five floors of brewing theory, history and the iconic adverts, with a pint of Guinness at the top floor where you can admire the view on a clear day. Worth a visit to get out of the rain but if you want to learn about the brewing process go and visit your local craft beer brewery.
Our restaurant of choice that night was Drury Buildings, such a cool building with limited signage that we walked past it! It is lovely when you get in, the downstairs bar and atrium area had a great atmosphere and were busy. Upstairs the Italian restaurant was quieter, the food and service were excellent and the set menu great value for money. Mark’s roast guinea fowl with cep, hisip cabbage and wild garlic was the stand out dish.
We struggled to find great coffee on our visit, a cappuccino we ordered came with a 2 inch layer of whipped cream rather than milk, a bit like an Irish coffee but sadly missing the booze! The Bestseller in Dawson Street was as close as we got. It’s a lovely environment with everything you can see for sale, including the flamingos. They serve coffee, tea, wine and cocktails and some cold snacks. A very easy place to chill out and read the papers. Cafe en Seine, on the same side of the street, is worth a pop in and drink to admire the over the top French decoration.
In a celebration of all things potato, you must visit Gallahers Bistro in Temple Bar. They have a platter of potatoes three ways, chips, bread and dumplings. In 1988 Mr Gallagher developed the Leitrim Pan Boxty, which is a pancake mix that maintains the traditional 70% potato content. This is then used in either a boiled, baked or pancake version. The chips are actually grated raw potato, cooked mash and flour, made into a batter with fresh milk and slow cooked in a pan until golden brown, they are delicious and very moreish.
Our final meal in Dublin was at Chapter One who have just had their 25th birthday. The food and service were excellent and you can absolutely understand why they have won all their awards, including a Michelin star. We had the set menu, which was such fantastic value for money that in my professional capacity I can’t see how they are making any profit out of it. The providence of the food was outstanding in its detail, from the smoked bacon from Fingal Ferguson down to the butter from Cuinneog.
A couple of places to try that we didn’t manage to get to, for celebrity spotting, Sam Smith was at Chez Max the day before our visit. Bunsen is a local burger business which always had queues out the door. They support local produce and suppliers and have four sites around Ireland.
We enjoyed walking around and visiting the historic sites in-between our food and drink stops, but will plan to visit in the two day window of summer next time!