Well, long time no update. To be honest I’m thinking of stopping blogging… or rather stopping doing so publicly. I’m starting to get a bit more paranoid about people I don’t want finding this finding this. We’ll see though…
Anyway, we’ve just been to Dublin! Was really nice. We flew out late-ish on Tuesday and returned very early Friday morning, so we had Wednesday and Thursday in the city. We stayed at a nice hostel called Barnacles, which has quite small rooms, but they’re all en-suite, which is a huge advantage. Plus it’s right in the Temple Bar region of the city – the main social area in the city.
Thursday we went out for a drink in a quant little bar called The Palace Bar, where they had some live (but not loud) traditional irish music, which was great for atmosphere… had a pint of Guinness (you’ve got to, don’t you?)
On Wednesday we got on a hop-on-hop-off tour bus and went round the city once, seeing all the sights, explained by our very pleasant guide who even sang traditional irish songs for us a few times. Towards the end of the tour we had to swap buses, so we got a new guide… this one was rather cynical… and very amusing. At least you know they’re not just reciting the stuff they’ve been told to – all quite original.
We started going round for a second time on the bus and got off at the Guinness Storehouse. It was rather expensive to get in and go round the self-directed tour, but pretty worth it as it took a good couple of hours and could easily have taken longer. Plus we got a free pint of Guinness each… probably the freshest pint of Guinness I’ll ever have. Oh, but I actually had 2 pints since Lizzy didn’t like it… even with a good helping of Blackcurrant added. Got a bit dozy after two pints mid-afternoon!
Went out for a meal at an Italian/Mexican restaurant called Mexico To Rome where the food was good, but the service was a little oppressive… think that was because they let us in on their early bird a bit later than they would have liked, so wanted the table for full-price-paying customers. Then meandered off to find a pub for some drinks. We walked into The Temple Bar and were looking for somewhere to sit… evidently looking a little aimless… and an Australian woman came up to us and asked “Do you two have any plans for tonight?”. Of course, we were suspicious of what she meant, but we replied that we didn’t. “Oh, do you want some free tickets to see Feeder tonight?” she said. We were gob-smacked as we’d gone to see if there were any tickets for Feeder earlier in the day. So this kind Australian gave us 2 tickets to Feeder… we bought her and her friends a drink in return. And off we went to see Feeder.
I’ve seen Feeder before, but back then (2 and a bit years ago) I knew all their songs really well… so I enjoyed it much more that time. This time they played mostly stuff from their new album, which I haven’t heard yet. They were good, but not awesome. In fact I think I enjoyed the support act a bit more… not because they were better but because I had no expectations on how good they’d be. (I think they were Halite if Feeder’s website is correct). So that was nice!
Thursday we sauntered around town for a bit, popped into the National Gallery, got bored of that fairly quickly though. Went into a few shops, tried some clothes on, looked for some arty things for the house, didn’t buy much, stopped for a coffee and a chat… Then went back to the hostel to get ready for another money-saving early-bird meal. We chose a seriously lovely restaurant called Thai Orchid, who had a good early bird deal on, which we took advantage of. Starters we had satay chicken with peanut sauce and spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce… both were lovely and a great appetiser for the main course. For main course I had honey & sweet chilli crispy beef with cashew nuts, which was simply gorgeous. Just thinking about it now my mouth is still watering… as it was every time I went to put a mouthful in. Possibly the best main course I’ve ever had. Only problems were that the beef was a little gristly in places and the portion wasn’t big enough… although I think I could have kept eating it all night if it had been bigger! Then we had a lovely dessert – a warm chocolate cake with nice vanilla ice-cream. The wine we got, the Ernst & Julio Grenache Rosé, was lovely and fruity and fresh. So all-in-all it was a fantastic meal.
Then the next morning we got up at 5.20 and headed to the airport and back to England. Was a good few days, but it wasn’t dirt-cheap. Part of me thought that it was just another city and why not go do that somewhere in the UK. But then there were some big advantages of it:
- NO SMOKING IN PUBS. Do not underestimate the added enjoyment this gives to going to the pub. Let’s have it in the UK ASAP!
- A new city, a new place to see. Obviously only this time 🙂
- Different currency makes you feel like you’re really on holiday
- Guinness over there is so much nicer than here… so fresh!
- NO SMOKING IN PUBS. Do not underestimate this!
Those are just a few that come to mind… so why don’t you go and see if you have any others.
[Oh, and I think I fixed the template now so the search box on the left doesn’t mess things up in IE and sort of in Firefox… let me know of any issues]