My oldest friend and I have a tradition. Every year for her birthday we go and do something for our birthdays rather than buying each other presents. Over the years this has ranged from a trip to the SAW maze (utterly terrifying) to Sister Act with a live gospel choir (distinctly less so).
A couple of weeks ago she turned 30 and to celebrate we hopped on a flight to Dublin for a weekend of one on one time. Only a an hour from London it’s fantastically easy to pop over for a couple of nights.
After a quick dump of the bags we hot footed it over to Coppinger Row for dinner.Whilst we waited for a table, we settled in with a cocktail for a perusal of the menu. We very boringly both opted for the same cocktail, the De La Frontera. A mix of Whiskey, Jerez Vermut, ginger, lime and sugar it was a perfect way to kick off proceedings.Before long we were escorted inside and went about the important process of ordering the food. Kicking things off with the most delicious burrata bruschetta with artichokes and parma ham. This was the highlight of the meal, definitely one to order if you happen to find yourself here.For the mains we ordered the crispy pork belly with mustard mash, caramelised apples and black pudding. This was good, meltingly soft meat and crispy, crackly skin; the mustard mash packing enough of a punch to cut through the richness.
Our next order was a little less successful. The rib eye special with bone marrow, watercress and horseradish. Sadly the steak was a little tough and the bone marrow a little under cooked for our liking but the atmosphere is great, as are the cocktails. Next time I think i’d be tempted to pop in for drinks and starters rather than a full dinner as they were the definite stars of the show. After dinner we headed to bed, ready for a full day of exploring the next day.
Home for the weekend was Grafton Guesthouse. Located on Great South Georges Street, it’s smack bang in the middle of the action and the perfect base for exploring Dublin.
Lemon PjsI firmly believe that there are few better ways to start the day that sitting in bed with your bestie, waffling at each other and drinking tea. Although we eventually decided we should drag ourselves out of bed and go exploring.
Which is exactly what we did. For the whole 1 minute it took us to walk to San Lorenzo for brunch…..
Something of a Dublin institution it was packed to the rafters with families, friends and cosy couplesI’d definitely recommend booking a table
Despite the rather large menus, we made our decisions pretty snappily, 2 things jumping straight out at us. The breakfast tacos, because, well because why not.
Now I must admit, there was nothing particularly breakfasty about these tacos, other than the fact that we ate them at 11am. Nevertheless, the were bloody delicious.
As was our other choice of the crab cake eggs benedict with asparagus. Light, lemony hollandaise pairing so well with the sweet crab.
Full and happy, we set out to walk off breakfast and see some more of the city.
Flowers spill over the doorways of every pub you pass, making everything look lush and full of life, even on the gloomiest of days.
When the weather took a turn for the worse and began to pour we made a dash for Dublin’s answer to Harvey Nichols, Brown Thomas. Where we lost ourselves for a few hours before taking ourselves off the bar for a glass of champagne.With the weather showing no signs of letting up we did the only logical thingTea and cake in bed! And maybe a little nap – apparently we’re old now.
That did mean that a couple of hours later we were full of energy once more and ready to head to Sophie’s at The Dean for cocktails, pausing for the obligatory swing shots on the way in.
Managed more gracefully by some than by others…We sat and chatted whilst making our way through a Ting cocktail and admiring the Dublin skyline twinkling through the windows before taking ourselves over to Drury Buildings for a late supper, still busy and buzzing at 10pm.We ordered ourselves a bottle of wine – really good, order it if you spy it on a menuLaughed, chatted, made plans and generally just relaxed.Before too long our starter arrived. Heirloom tomato salad with mozarella and pesto, the last taste of the summer with plenty of juices left to mop up with bread.Followed by clamarata pasta with guanciale and pecorino for herAnd crab linguine for meGreat food and a lively atmosphere, it’s the perfect palace to go before hitting the town for a boogie, which is exactly what we did next.