Having arrived hungry after typically inedible United Airline meal service (though our flight was good) and, therefore, much in need of sustenance and good coffee, Noel and I unloaded our bags at the delightful Westbury Hotel, and raced out for a good brunch at Bewley’s Café (www.bewleys.com).
I savored tomato basil soup and soda bread while Noel sipped seafood chowder, claiming it “the best I’ve ever had.” One pint of Guinness for him and a strong café latte for me prepared us for our afternoon exploration around the city.
A few highlights:
First up: Irish Historical Walking Tours (http://historicaltours.ie). Owner Tommy Graham’s regaled us with humor and history in and around Trinity College, including Old Parliament House, City Hall, Dublin Castle, Wood Quay, and Christ Church Cathedral among others. I easily give him a five star rating.
Tommy suggested chicken wings at Elephant & Castle (www.elephantandcastle.ie). Not being fans, we opted for dinner there instead, and were quite pleased with our crab cake appetizers and shrimp pasta. A pint of O’Hara stout for Noel, of course.
If you go…
Take in an evening’s performance at Gate’s Theater. We saw Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, and the actors were easy to understand.
Go on the Literary Pub Crawl in and around Temple Bar—Hint: Listen carefully to the actors as they drop clues. There’s a quiz at the end, with a prize t-shirt. And as the winner on our Crawl–yes, the winner!–I’m the proud owner of that T. Photo link:(https://twitter.com/FearlessShopper/status/469077601932165121/photo/1
Admire the wealth of writers the Irish claim at the Writers Museum.
Browse Chapter’s Bookstore, but don’t go on the self-guided James Joyce walking tour. I’d never do that again. The tiny audio chips the size of USB ports had a minute screen–impossible to see, and the button to manipulate the audio was not user friendly. We gave up after the first stop at the Joyce Center, and returned the equipment after the first recording. On the upside, I noticed that they were carrying Five Hundred Buildings of Paris—one copy on the shelf, and they asked me to sign it. So all not lost.
Wander over to the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (a few doors down from the Writers Museum) to take in whatever contemporary show they may have. Most importantly, Do Not Miss the re-creation of artist Francis Bacon’s Studio. And I thought I worked in a mess! Hah. I don’t even come close. It is a sight to behold.
Meander through the Portobello neighborhood, once home to a thriving Jewish population and stop in at the two-story townhouse that was a synagogue, and now is the Irish Jewish Museum (www.jewishmuseum.ie/).
Finish off any day with a pint at Parnell Heritage Pub, wherewe both had smoked salmon—delicate and delicious on brown soda bread, or sip one at JW Sweetman’s Craft Brewery and enjoy a savory a cheese platter snack.
You’re never far from a pint or a bit of Irish music. The choices are endless: The Duke, M.J. O’Neill’s, Quay’s, Old Strand, Davy Byrnes, above which Becket once had a room.
No wonder the Irish are the friendliest people I’ve encountered just about anywhere I’ve traipsed around the globe.
Francis Bacon Art Studio
Happy at Parnell’s Heritage Pub
I didn’t drink it all. Really.
James Joyce Center
Outside The Duke.