Yes it’s been longer than I’d anticipated since I posted – April has been rather a busy month, kicking off with a weekend in London, a visit from the other half up here for Mum’s birthday weekend which was filled with visitors, flowers and proseco and then Dublin! And we’re only just over halfway through – there’s more to come yet. But I thought I would share some of the fabulous things I saw in Dublin.
Well to be honest it was a last minute decision, Christmas Eve last year I was panicking as I didn’t have anything for my dad. A quick search on Songkick and I realised that I could take him to a Christy Moore concert. I love Christy Moore almost as much as my dad does – he’s taken me twice to see him so I thought it would be nice if for once I took him. The options were limited – London or Dublin. We all know I love London, but Dublin felt more special. I was sure Christy would be on fire in his homeland and I was not disappointed.
I got flights for a bargain £9.99 each way and a cracking deal on a hotel -so I thought – opposite Christchurch Cathedral.
Dad was delighted with it and off we set on Tuesday morning from Leeds Bradford bright and early. Now some people give Ryanair a bad time personally I thought it was great for the money, I had plenty of legroom and 10kg was perfect for two nights away.
We were in the city for 8.30am and attempted to check in to the hotel. Oh dear. The hotel in question reckon I cancelled the booking. I still had my e-mails from booking.com confirming it and I continued to get them throughout the trip advising me to have a great stay. The hotel manager could only offer us another room on the north side of the city, nowhere near where we wanted to be, in addition they couldn’t guarantee the price either. Since I booked the cost had gone up by over £100. I smelt a rat!
Never-mind, armed with my trusted phone I found the trusted, budget but adequate Travelodge which came to the rescue at €100 less than our original hotel booking and as it turns out it was in an even better area than the first one.
But first, coffee!
We headed for breakfast to Cornucopia which was recommended in the AA travel guide. Cornucopia specialises in vegetarian and vegan food. After much deliberation I chose the buckwheat crepe with spinach, cherry tomatoes and cheese. It was delicious. Most excitingly though was the choice of teas. Whilst only small, with a selection of just four Wall & Keogh blends, I had to try the Unicorn Tears. It sounded like something straight out of Harry Potter. It was very sweet but refreshing. Unfortunately they were out of stock of bags for me to buy and Wall & Keogh themselves were just a bit too far for me to get to in our jam packed schedule. Next time though I will bring some as it was the perfect morning pick-me-up.
From tea to history
Christchurch Cathedral was nice to look around, we did Dublinia first, a museum dedicated to the history of Dublin from it’s Viking roots through Medieval times to present day. We spent about 90 minutes looking around. It was a great attraction with lots of interactive exhibits, if you’ve got kids it would be great. We bought the combined ticket which meant we could venture over the connecting bridge straight into the cathedral.
Inside the cathedral was beautiful and it was nice just to take a pew and appreciate the beauty of the impressive architecture.
Much to my delight and probably my dad’s disdain, we were right in the heart of the shopping area St Stephens, near Grafton Street. Shopping was amazing around here. Powerscourt Centre reminded me much of Leeds’ Corn Exchange. It boasts a few cafes, designer boutiques, antique and jewellery shops as well as bridal wear, a theatre and most importantly a knitting shop! This is Knit was like a little mecca in the centre of Dublin for me. I always go by the mantra ‘Don’t buy what you can get back home’ when in a wool shop so I spent a lot of time choosing before leaving totally empty handed – I had a project in mind but needed to check it out on Ravelry.
On the second day, we headed out of the hotel and straight into the shopping district, heading for the museums. We never made it that far. We ended up going to the Powerscourt Centre again to Bewley’s Lunchtime Theatre to see Rebel Rebel. A special production which celebrated the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising by telling the background story of James Connolly and Helena Moloney, two actors caught up in the rebellion. It was a fantastic show. I’d highly recommend the theatre, it was an enjoyable way to pass an hour.
Following that we headed over to Vicar St for the main event – Christy Moore in concert. Vicar St is also a fab venue, not too big, just the right size. We were seated at a table at the back but still had a fab view. Luckily the other couple sharing the table moved to proper seats on the balcony due to a bad back, meaning more leg room for us.
The highlight had to be when Christy announced “And we have Gemma in with her father and they’ve flown over from Scunthorpe, so this ones for you’s”. I had no idea whether or not Christy would have received my e-mail asking him to give a shout out to my ol’ man, but he did! Dad was over the moon and soon announced “I’m welling up!”
And it wouldn’t be a real shopping trip unless it involved…
Wool and Tea!
Of course I checked out that pattern on Ravelry, the Jewelled Cowl and opted for a ball of Juniper Moon Farm’s Findley, a merino and silk blend in a beautiful emerald (Irish) green. The pattern itself will give me chance to try out a beading technique which I’ve never tried despite a demonstration at Woolfest (which remains my only festival to date) but I’m sure I’ll manage. That is after I finish the mammoth projects I already have on the go…. I also splurged on some funky needles after a quick tweet to Dublin Airport to check I could get them back through security. Apparently a yes, despite their sharpness, knitting needles are not on the confiscated items list for hand luggage.
As for tea, my trip to Dublin was like a tea-tour in itself. I started off at the Palais des Thés where I was impressed by the range but unfortunately did not buy as I was worried about that 10kg baggage allowance and I’d already been wooed by Gurman’s range of tea and coffee. I came back with a bag of Cherry Pie and Raspberry Kiss. The lovely owner also gave me some matcha to try. Thanks to R I’ve been drinking proper coffee from a cafeterie more often so I brought some Java Moka too. A full review will follow soon.
Overall I’d definitely recommend Dublin and I’m looking forward to going back.