As a traveller who is often wanderlusting after far away places, I often forget to appreciate how many incredible European cities are just a stones’ throw away from my home of London. The glorious thing about these European cities is that whilst they’re just a short flight away, they can still provide you with the cultural contrast and sense of adventure that all travel-lovers crave. Dublin is one of these cities and last weekend I had the pleasure of being invited on a bloggers weekend to stay at the 5* Westbury Hotel
Fellow bloggers on the trip included Niamh Sheilds from Eat Like A Girl, Emma Gannon from Girl Lost in The City, Emma Bates from My London Lifestyle Blog and Rachel Billings from Grazia online. I love meeting new bloggers and we all got on so well from the moment we met at Heathrow airport. We didn’t have much more than 24 hours in Dublin in total so it was essential that we crammed in as much as possible to our itinerary. Visit Dublin was keen to help showcase the city to us and to highlight the rich design and food culture that the city is not primarily known for. After checking into our super luxurious bedrooms and a quick hotel tour of The Westbury, we set off on a guided walking tour of Dublin, courtesy of Fab* Food Trails. Temple Bar Market Our first foodie stop was Temple Bar Market, a clustering of foodie stalls hidden in a little courtyard with entrances from all sides. The food stalls were all serving up an abundance of fresh Irish produce including incredible cheeses and freshly caught oysters.
Of course, being on a Fab Food & Fashion Trail of Dublin, it would have only been right to stop and sample some of the produce, so we were welcomed into the Oyster tent for a little tasting.
We all took our seats along a communal table and waited for the oysters to be served up along side white wine in plastic cups. The clear mix of locals and tourists was charming and it was lovely to see Dubliners enjoying their local produce as much as we were.
I have to say, it was absolutely bloody freezing, but as we sat sipping our wine and chatting amongst ourselves, we all seemed to forget about the plummeting temperature.
The Oysters were served up fresh from County Sligo from the West Coast of Ireland and we were told that they were ‘as fresh as they come’. The group tucked into their oysters and the more reluctant ones were ‘dared’ to try one.
Sean Osborne Jeweler
Our walking tour lead us next to the higgldy piggldy workship of Sean Osbourne, a back-alley Dublin Jeweler with an unmistakable passion for his trade. Sean took the time to talk to us about the craftsmanship of what he does and the kind of work he creates. He is a well-known Dublin Jeweler and has commissioned pieces for the likes of Bono and other world-famous ‘rock stars’.
The next stop of our tour was to Dublin’s very best handmade chocolatier, Cocoa Atelier. Both a café and a chocolate shop, Cocoa Atelier is particularly famous for it’s signature hot chocolate.
Dubliners frequently pop in for a cup of the best hot chocolate in town, which we got to sample as we stopped by. So warm, so rich, so satisfying! It was like drinking liquid chocolate. We stayed inside for 10 minutes or so warming up from the Irish chill and admiring the dreamy Macaroon displays in the shop window.
Powerscourt Townhouse Centre
This place a hub of activity that combines both food and fashion in one place. An eclectic mix of high-end boutique fashion stores and vintage jewellers surround a central atrium of restaurants and Italian eateries.
We spent some time wandering around the boutiques and were treated to a freshly baked bagel with salmon and cream cheese from The Pepper Pot, who served up the most incredible tasting bagel to ever touch my lips! I would definitely recommend having a little explore of this place if you are visiting Dublin.
The Design House
Another place well worth checking out if you’re visiting in Dublin is The Design House, an impressive 3-storey building housing the work of Dublin’s local designers. All the work on display can be purchased which range from jewelery and clothing to crockery and wall art. We received a warm welcome and were given some tasty samples of Sheridan’s cheese to try as we browsed.
No.10 St Stephen’s Green Wine and Cocktail Bar
And as if we hadn’t indulged enough, our last stop of the walking tour was at new cocktail bar No.10 St Stephen’s Green. Not only does it share the same number as the prime minister’s front door, it also looks exactly like the prime minister’s front door. The bar is super glamorous with chandeleirs and lounge-like sofas and I opted for an Espresso Martini for a little pick me up, which certainly packed a punch!
After the walking tour I broke away from the group to meet up with another blogging friend of mine Louise O’Reily from Style Me Curvy. I met Louise at The Cosmo Blog Awards two years ago and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.Through the joys of Twitter, Louise saw that I was coming to Dublin so we spontaneously arranged to meet up. Of course, being the fabulous fashion blogger that she is, Louise took me to Dublin’s answer to Harrods, Brown Thomas.
Brown Thomas is an iconic luxury department store located on Grafton Street. The next day I went back to Brown Thomas for some a little Sunday pamper session, where we were treated to hand an arm massages at Jo Malone with some chocolates and champagne.
The Little Museum of Dublin
One place on our itinerary that I absolutely loved was The Little Museum of Dublin. Located centrally on St Stephen’s Green, it’s less like a museum and more like a fascinating townhouse full of Dublin’s historical artifacts that help to illustrate the cities’ passionate and turbulent past.
The museum is beautifully curated in the style of a house with artistic wall hangings and design features. It’s nothing at all like the stale glass-cabinet museum you might expect and you can get around the whole thing in less than an hour. A MUST-DO for anyone visiting Dubin.
My trip to Dublin was short but extremely sweet. It was my first time to this city and it exceeded all my expectations. Dublin is a place of style, design, history and unmistakable Irish charm. The people are warm, friendly and proud of where they live and there is so much more to this city than pubs and Guinness. Last weekend has left me wanting more and I will definitely be planning another trip back when my feet begin to feel the itch again.
Want to read more about my trip to Dublin? Check out my Westbury Dublin Hotel Review
A Few Local Recommendations :
McDaids – An authentic Irish pub just off Grafton Street next to The Westbury Hotel
Bruxelles – A friendly Irish pub serving great food and pints
The Quays – Temple Bar pub with live music and bands every night
Folkster – Amazing vintage clothing shop in Temple bar right next to the food market
Balfes – For the BEST steak and chips in town
What did you think of my whirlwind weekend in Dublin? Have you visited any of the places on my list or are you planning a short break to Dublin yourself? Leave me a comment in the comment box below, I love receiving them!x