In Part 2 of the Ireland Diaries we find ourselves in the heart of Dublin for the sights and eateries of the city.
The Temple Bar area is filled with things to do, from nightlife (or so I’ve heard, I am a grandma and go to bed early :p ) to delicious food and shopping. The main temple bar building is beautiful with hundreds of string lights, especially at night. The Temple Bar Trading Company has great Ireland souvenirs for all the people in your life. They had some great postcards which I got for my uncles and they had other cool things like shamrock seeds and lots of shamrock shaped jewelry.
There are some vintage shops to explore in Temple Bar, ironically right across from the Urban Outfitters, and both of the window displays had the same style clothes. One of the shops is sold by kilograms instead of by each item which I thought was cool, except I don’t know how many kilos are in a pound so that wasn’t going to be any help to me.
The first night in Dublin we went to dinner at a place called ‘Elephant and Castle’ which is right in Temple Bar. The food there was delicious. I got the Seafood Chowder and it was really really good. I wish I could get a bowl of it here at home, that is how good it was. For dessert my roommate and I split a lemon sherbet which was insanely good and refreshing. 10/10 would recommend. This restaurant actually started in New York City before opening one in Dublin, they also have locations in North America including D.C, Seattle, and Chicago.
My second day in Dublin my roommate and I went to Eatokyo Noodles and Sushi Bar to grab lunch right down the street from Elephant and Castle. It is also next door to an Escape room and across from the Ha’penny Bridge, so overall a great location. I was surprised at how good the sushi was, and it made me laugh that I ate sushi in Ireland and the restaurant was playing music in spanish. It didn’t all add up but the meal was good. We split some rolls, a smoked salmon roll, a tuna roll, and something else that I don’t remember what it was.
If you are craving a sweet treat then stop by The Bubble Waffle Factory right in the Arch to Temple Bar. You can choose your topping and ice cream flavor all stuffed into a cone made of bubble waffle. There is no way you can go wrong with it. I got vanilla ice cream topped with fruit and chocolate drizzle, I can almost taste it as I type.
As my roomie pointed out to me while we were walking around Dublin has a lot of random donut shops, so obviously we had to go to one. The Rolling Donut shop, on O’Connell street was our stop. We both got a hot chocolate and the apple cinnamon donut. I have never been a fan of donuts with filling but this was a dang good donut. They have a ton of different ones, some with Bailey’s, a peanut butter one, and they even have some vegan ones.
Another place we tried for dinner was The Merchant’s Arch restaurant located right at the arch entrance to Temple Bar. The Merchant’s Arch is a bar and restaurant with live music every night, which is why we decided to dine there. The restaurant had a great atmosphere and once again the food was great. I got a cheeseburger that had goat cheese and it was insanely juicy, the fries were the best ones I had the entire trip and I couldn’t help but be sad when I finished it. My grandma got fish and chips and on the side of hers was, much to her surprise, a cup of mashed peas! For dessert my roomie and I split the Banoffe Pie, which is a biscuit based pie crushed with filling of toffee and banana served with vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream. Basically it was the feeling of warmth in a pie, I am so glad that I did not skip dessert.
You may be thinking “Alexandra are you finally done talking about food?” The answer is ALMOST. Last spot for food I want to talk about is The Shelbourne which is a 5-star luxury hotel and first off, the building inside and out is itself just gorgeous. I mean even the BATHROOM was pretty. They do your afternoon tea but unfortunately I didn’t have the chance too, for sure next time. I love tea parties and you can check out my post about why you should have a tea party >here<.
My grandparents and I did brunch at The Shelbourne and it was lovely. I got a pot of tea, mainly because I love the lumps of sugar, and a glass of Antioxidant Juice from their Juice bar. For my meal I ate the Shelbourne Benedict which had Irish fillet of beef instead of the typical ham. Once again, delicious.
Moving on to things to see/do it is always fun to do a little shopping. I wanted to go into all the stores that I can’t go in here in the USA so of course I had to go to Penney’s. For years my irish cousins would send me shirts from there and I always wanted to go. Penney’s is from Ireland but in other countries it is Primark. I got a cute top because there was no way I could leave empty handed. Even if you don’t want to buy anything it is fun to go look in shops that you can only find in Europe.
Our big stop of the roommate Dublin adventure day was the Dublin Castle where you can go see the State Apartments. It was fun to see and walk through while making up stories of what we think went down in each of the rooms. I also just really love the style mirrors that can be found throughout, they are so pretty and I would love to have one in my future home. They have guided tours where they go to a few more parts of the castle or the self guided tours which is what we did. It is nothing too exceptional to see but it was still fun.
Lastly another cute place to go to is the The Winding Stair Bookstore. My grandma had printed out things she thought I would like to see and this was one of them. My roommate and I just happened to cross the street look up and see it so we had to go in. The Winding Stair is a bookstore on the main level and a restaurant upstairs. It is one of the oldest surviving independent bookstores in Ireland. Being the bookworm I am, I totally loved looking around and admiring all of the books they had. They sell hand bound notebooks that are bound at the oldest bindery in Dublin. We both grabbed a small notebook as a souvenir.
Was over half of the things to do related to food… yes they were, so what, sue me. *shrugs*
I do suggest if you don’t have specific places to visit to do a hop on hop off bus tour because it takes you on a beautiful tour of the whole city and there are tons of great stops to get off at.
I had a great time exploring Dublin, but don’t worry there are still more Ireland diary entries to come.