After a very happy Crackbird introduction to Dublin’s finest…
…followed, by an evening becoming even better friends with what Anthony Bourdain describes as: “This stuff. This delicious, some say magical, probably nutritious, unparalleled beverage, this divine brew is so tasty, creamy, so near chocolatey in its rich buzz giving qualities that the difference between this stuff here and the indifferently poured swill you get where you come from is like night and day. One is beer. The other, angels sing. Celestial trombones.”
We decided on the Guinness Storehouse as the main objective for the day. And, to really make a day of it, we also checked out the Jameson Distillery.
We started with brunch at Herb Street, where I discovered a new favorite carb, Irish Spelt bread. Herb Street looked out at the canal, and it was fun eavesdropping on Dubliners at the tables next to us, griping about the same things friends gripe about over brunch in the US: commutes, work developments, to stay or not to stay in a city, and do you have almond milk? (Pretty sure the last one was from an American and I’ve definitely been guilty of that question. They did not).
Despite the delicious breakfast, I was feeling a bit tired and out of it, and almost backed out of there Jameson tour. So happy I decided to go. I perked back up once we got to the distillery and the tour was great. The tour guide was hilarious, and the history was surprisingly interesting. I don’t generally drink whiskey, but the Jameson Ginger Lime at the end of the tour was so refreshing, I’m now a fan.
From there, we took the overground to the Guinness Storehouse. It’s interesting to see what skills different countries hope to cultivate. If this advertisement from the National College of Ireland is any indicator, it appears as though cloud and data skills (cloud computing and data analytics) and managing employee relations (employment law and pension management) are growing industries in the EU.
The summer after Freshman year, when I visited the Guinness Storehouse during a weekend while studying abroad, I had no appreciation for Guinness. In fact-and this is an embarrassing admission-at the end of the tour, I declined the free pint and requested a Diet Coke. Determined to right this wrong, we made our way to the Gravity Bar, through the self-guided tour. The tour is absurdly dramatic, and it’s almost silly that they charge for it, since it’s all a massive commercial for Guinness. The advertising history floor is my favorite part-the Toucan and vintage prints are awesome.
Finally at the Gravity Bar, we got our perfect pour. It was delicious, topped off by the 360 degree view of Dublin.
The only other to-do was to check out Grafton Street. Like London, Dublin is very festive for the holidays, and the streets were covered in lights.
Tucked off of Grafton is Sheridan’s Cheesemongers. You can actually smell the cheese outside the store-it’s that intense. The shop is quiet and lovely, and the clerks answered my many questions about Irish cheese. We settled on a version of an Irish Brie and we’ve been enjoying it with some Irish spelt bread all week.
Back at the hotel, I was TIRED. It was a lot of walking, and I was starting to get anxious about the long flight back and the impending work week (turned out, both were totally fine). Picking something up from the hotel and hunkering down sounded very tempting. David was curious to try Chop House-another Layover recommendation. After soaking my feet in the gorgeous hotel tub, I felt a bit more awake and agreed to check it out.
Again-so happy we ventured out. Chop House is in a quiet neighborhood gastropub, with candles, leather sofas so you an enjoy dimmer side by side. It was a relaxing and delicious, and a happy way to cap off the trip.
via the Chop House website
The next day, I loaded up our bags with delicious Irish bread from the bakery, we saw our first glimpse of Irish sunlight and bid adieu to a hearty, charming city :)
So thankful for this trip and the opportunity for quality time exploring the world with my favorite travel navigator!