Having never been to Ireland before I was so excited to finally be going to the Emerald Isle. Dublin was everything I had hoped it would be. Cobbled streets, gorgeous architecture, friendly people, delicious food and drink, and of course loads to do and see. I only spent 3 days there so crammed as much as I could into my little weekend away.
For Friday night, I stayed at an amazing hotel called House Dublin. It was gorgeous, the ground floor had a beautiful bar and cosy pub feel, which in the evenings, opened its doors and became a lively, and very popular club, with a dance floor and plenty of cosy, private booths. During the day, the rear of the building played host to an enormous shabby-chic-style orangery where baby showers, casual weekend coffee dates and ‘ladies that lunch’ could meet. Walls lined with vines, flowers, Parisian style pots and furniture just added to the charm of the hotel and it felt like I had stepped into a secret garden, nestled in the heart of a city. On top of all that, were 3 floors of beautifully decorated hotel rooms with romantic, dimmed lighting and dark luxurious décor, making them feel like something out of an old cabaret movie.
After checking into my hotel, I took a stroll into town to explore and see what was around me. The town was packed with shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and pretty much everything you would expect from a city. What I was amazed by was that whether the building was a boutique, café or museum it was beautiful. The architecture of the city was just lovely, houses and offices had Victorian style tiles lining the way to their brightly painted front doors.
After spending some time without a map, just wondering around I came across this amazing little vintage shop called The Harlequin. I had landed in heaven! Baskets filled with bow-ties, sequin purses and costume jewellery; clothes rails stuffed with Sherpa jackets, fur coats, mom jeans and other thrift store treats, I could have spent all day there!
After a spot of lunch, I went off to find the Natural Museum which was showing an exhibition of both local and exotic wildlife. The museum was crammed with displays, all of which were free to look at and the exhibitions themselves didn’t disappoint.
Having been unusually unorganised, I hadn’t booked anywhere for dinner and struggled to find somewhere to eat in the evening. In the end, this actually worked out quite well as I went for dinner at a place which I probably wouldn’t have normally chosen. It was called Xico, and was a Mexican, Day of the Dead style restaurant. I had an incredible miso, salmon and ginger salad with a huge piece of cheesecake for pudding (Sorry not sorry). The restaurant had a very cool feel to it, it was huge inside, played great music and the menu was very reasonably priced.
The next day the weather was glorious, brilliant sunshine and blue skies which meant I decided against breakfast in the hotel and opted instead to get breakfast at a little local bakery, eat in the park, then get a taxi to Phoenix Park and go to Dublin Zoo.
Dublin Zoo was great, and for only €14 to get in it was great value for money. The staff were all really friendly and were more than happy to answer the 101 questions I had about the animals. I do love going to Zoo’s but I am still in two minds as to whether I like them. I understand their importance, and that they are necessary to be able to research and protect certain species, as well as encourage breeding programmes and fund conservation etc. But I also have a small ache in my stomach when I look at beautiful animals in enclosures which should be running free in their own habitats. Dublin Zoo was lovely, I felt every effort had been made to stimulate the animals and the enclosures were carefully thought out, which made me feel slightly better about it all.
On Saturday night, I changed hotels and stayed at the spectacular K Club Hotel. It was unlike any other hotel I have ever stayed in. The grounds were absolutely out of this world, golf courses and green open spaces stretched as far as the eye could see. The building itself was like the lovechild of Downton Abbey and Buckingham Palace. The lobby had an impressive crystal chandelier with corridors and doors splitting off it from every angle. Antique walnut furniture, huge country-style paintings and old English-style sofas and chairs, even a chess board were dotted about the hotel communal areas. It felt very luxurious but still warm and welcoming.
As the sun set, I enjoyed a couple of drinks on the terrace, including a Guinness of course, well… it would be rude not to, and thought how lucky I was to be sitting in such a lovely place.
My room… OH MY GOSH, this thing was divine. Super king bed, huge bath, glorious high ceilings, arched windows with a view which overlooked the golf course and every amenity I would ever need. I felt like a queen!
That night I decided to have a typical girlie night in. I went down to the spa, had a lovely swim in the hotel pool, a dip in the already bubbling outdoor jacuzzi and a quick session in the steam room.
Overall it was a lovely trip, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I couldn’t recommend Dublin enough. Only going for a long weekend wasn’t enough and I am looking forward to going back and continuing where I left off.
Until next time Dublin…