We actually spent most of day three away from the city in our weekend exploring Dublin, in the beautiful Irish countryside visiting Conor’s family. It was a totally refreshing time having a little break from our usual busy city lives, picking apples, relaxing and having plenty to eat and drink. Even if we did have to watch Ireland lose out in the rugby…
We arrived back into the city around 7.30pm and went straight to check into The Kelly Hotel for the night – a lovely, lively little boutique hotel based in the heart of the city. Our room was at the top of the building (stairs!) and very small, although as somewhere to lay our heads down for a night or two, the size was fine. The hotel is actually above L’Gueuleton – where we’d had dinner on our first night. The inside of the hotel links up to ‘The Bar With No Name’ (mentioned in my last Dublin post) – and the whole place definitely has a vibrant, young travellers’ vibe.
Plans to pack lots into our final day meant a relatively early night. So after a brief wander around the area to experience a bit of Dublin by night, finishing off with a Passion Fruit Cachaca in the hotel bar, we actually headed back to our room early-ish and bedded down with a Star Wars Episode IV DVD that we’d borrowed from reception. Rock and roll travel at its finest.
Waking up early(ish) on day four, it was contintental breakfast in L’Gueuleton and checkout at The Kelly followed by the chance to explore a bit more of Dublin, as our London flight wasn’t until 7.30 in the evening. Although we’d taken a walk through Trinity College as part of the Literary Pub Crawl, it was pretty awesome to see it during the daytime and appreciate the architecture in the daylight – particularly the stunning bell tower at the centre.
The Irish Whiskey Museum
Another ‘When in Ireland…’ moment happened when we found ourselves standing outside the Irish Whiskey Museum, and felt like we kinda had to go in. As you can see below, Conor looked particularly happy. Seriously, LOOK AT THAT GRIN. D’aww. We got there just in time too, as a tour group was about to leave, so we joined in and took a journey through the history of Irish whiskey. The visual elements of the tour were really well thought out and all the wisdom imparted was delivered in an easy-to-understand way.
The guy leading the tour was brilliant – super friendly and majorly enthusiastic about whiskey – he clearly really knew his stuff. Probably due to it being a Monday (none of those Monday blues for us, y’see), the tour only had four other people on it so it felt really intimate and I actually learnt quite a lot. Learning and booze. Aren’t they awesome together? I’d totally recommend the tour, despite the fact the bits on the screen weren’t working, our tour guide managed to make them feel completely unnecessary anyway and upgraded us to the VIP tour option. Winning.
At the end of the tour, we were taken upstairs for possible the most exciting part of the tour – a TASTING. Yep, we got down to sippin’ on that whiskey when we hadn’t even had lunch yet. I’m not like, the BIGGEST whiskey drinker beyond JD and coke (don’t hate me, whiskey purists), but some of them were pretty darn tasty and definitely warmed up my insides a bit. As a result of being on the VIP tour, we also walked away with fabulous mini glasses as souvenirs from our visit. So despite there being some awesome stuff including A MILLION (not quite) different whisky bottles to take away, we resisted the souvenir shop.
For the rest of the afternoon, we grabbed a cheap and cheerful Italian lunch deal, visited Penney’s (aka the Irish Primark, where I picked up the most amazing Adventure Time PJs and didn’t make Conor sit around waiting TOO long), and took in the pretty grounds of Dublin Castle.
Before jumping on board the Aircoach to take us airport-bound, we made one last stopoff at a place we’d spotted earlier called Yogism for some frozen yoghurt with some of their many, many toppings. And seriously, the AMAZINGNESS of the toppings – I could probably have eaten a bowl of the Fererro Rocher sauce just on its own (hint because it’s nearly Christmas, I REALLY LIKE FERERRO ROCHER). If you guess the weight when given a 100g range, your yog’s on the house – I managed to only fall 5g out on my guess. FIVE MEASLY GRAMS and I would have had seven more Euros to take to Amsterdam (eee!) in November. Dammit. The fro-yo WAS incredible though.
Despite minor flight delays, I managed to be back at home by midnight (not at all ready for work the next morning). I’d definitely recommend Dublin for an easy-to-get-to city break, with a flight time of around an hour from London. It’s not the cheapest of cities – we were paying around €5-€5.50 for a pint, and a meal for two with drinks could cost anywhere from €40 upwards, with casual dining costing €6-€10 pp for the food. Flights can be super cheap – RyanAir sometimes do deals where it can cost as little as £15 one way, so keep an eye out for the deals!
Anyone else been to Dublin? What did you enjoy most about it?