In Dublin: Dublin Bay Cruises

Dun Laoghaire, the place where my 14 year old self would spend most of my time and too much money on white hot chocolates. The sea front is always a busy spot, on a weekend, the pier will be packed with people but it’s also one of the three locations where you can catch a boat trip with Dublin cruises. phoebegill160723031There are many different options to choose from from Dun Laoghaire to Howth, from Howth to the City Centre and many other variants, if you want to get full details check out their website! phoebegill160723884I went on the Howth to the Dun Laoghaire tour, it takes about an hour and has a commentary on Dublin bay and the Islands off Dublin, it’s really interesting information that gives you a greater understanding of our coastline. If you are more into the cruise side of boating there is a bar downstairs to enjoy a beverage! The trip from Howth to Dun Laoghaire cost €22. phoebegill160723898I really enjoyed this boating excursion, although I do enjoy any boat adventure. The sea is my favourite part of Dublin, the coastline is so beautiful that seeing it from a different perspective is gorgeous. This trip in the height of summer would be perfect but if you happen to go on a typical Irish day, it is still beautiful.

Happy Travels!

In Dublin: Blas Cafe

Have a fact before we start the post. A Blaa is a flowery roll/bap from county Waterford in Ireland. It is usually had a breakfast time with your usual fry. Typically I would have one if I was down for a family funeral. They are a simple yet glorious thing.

When I heard that we would be having our InstaMeet here is was immediately intrigued and excited to try somewhere new. Bla’s Cafe is located  on King’s Inn Street, at the side of Cineworld cinema off Parnell Street. It has a very independent feel about it, it’s the perfect location for Sunday brunch. PhoebeGill160709327So as my control meal I always choose the eggs Benedict, unfortunately it was way too hot to test their coffee but the eggs Benedict was perfect. The eggs were runny, the ham was delicious, there was just enough sauce, which is crucial to the dish and there were roast potatoes that went perfectly with it. They also provide free water which is alway a plus. Check out their menu here. PhoebeGill160709307Blas is located in The Chocolate Factory, which is a space for people to sell their creations, there is jewelry, cakes, art work, crafts and other lovely things. It’s a real collective shared space and has such a nice feel to it. I definitely recommend you check this place out and it is so close to the cinema you could grab brunch and a movie to make the perfect weekend outing. PhoebeGill160709342A big thanks to Ramona for making this wonderful gathering happen. Check out her photos they are amazing! 

Happy Travels!

In Dublin: The Best Burger?

When I travel they are always the thing I’d choose, they are a safe option. Also my friends and I go for burgers quite a bit, when we were younger we’d go to Eddie Rockets, when you walk in the doors a layer of grease descends on you and you end up eating way too much and feeling like a ball going out the door, it’s the perfect way to destroy your healthy eating. When deciding where we’d go, we realised that we’d grown out of Eddie Rockets. It’s time to move on to better things.

The Counter

 To give you context this chain has restaurants all over the US, Australia, Malaysia and the Middle East. Oprah has said this is the best burger in America! So you know when O likes it, it’s good! Ireland has two restaurants, one in Dundrum and one on Suffolk street. The inside is nice and warm with nice decor. You can eat at the bar but there is not much room for big groups, it’s tables of two are four so if your panning a shin dig you may want to plan ahead. One thing to note is that there will be a queue to eat here and they don’t take your name but the wait time in my opinion was worth it!

They have menu items or you can build your own. Perfect for the fussy eater/children or vegans as they cater to vegans and vegetarians.! Lots of veggies for you and they have vegan cheese! As you can see from above, I went with a less green choice  and more of a give me crispy deliciousness. Also as a treat I chose a Bundaberg ginger beer (€3.25) , my favourite beverage, it was the perfect accompaniment to the burger.Now for the show stopper. The burger itself. It was delicious. The only thing that was missed is that you can choose how you want you burger and my dining party would rather a medium well rather than well, which I agree with. To cater to people like my father, who love a good burger but wants it to be pink in the middle they should have that option. The fries were so good and the sweet potato fries were crispy and moorish ! The crispy onion strings made the burger and the bacon was tasty and had little fat so it was just smoky and delectable!

The garlic sauce! If there is one thing that makes a meal it’s garlic. This garlic sauce is fantastic! It has enough for you to put lots on your burger and have enough for dipping.

So is it the best burger? Well it’s definitely the best one I have eaten in a long time! This meal cost my €14.40 which is an average price for a custom burger and it was close to perfect. I think it says a lot when there is a queue out the door continuously on a Friday night. So a tip would be to go early and be hungry.

I haven’t tried one of their shakes but Id also check them out, they have lots of flavours from simple to whacky.

So you looking for a place to eat tonight? Go with The Counter!

Happy Travels!

In Ireland: Makers and Brothers

Makers and Brothers

You know when you find a shop that reflects the inside of your brain, well this is mine. It’s Irish, it’s family run and the products are beautiful!

Makers and Brothers is run by Jonathan and Mark Legge. They believe in simple, beautifully designed, practical crafts and design. There is a vast array of products from kitchen implements to clothes to children’s toys.

It’s is an online retailer but they do have a pop up shop in their Shed from time to time. It is two floors of amazing things I want to buy. I love simple design and the products they sell are good quality and beautifully crafted.

Even their displays are aesthetically pretty. They have really designed every inch of this space to show their creativity to the max.

There is also a coffee shop attached to the Shed. I definitely recommend their hot chocolate. Outside is decorated with a christmas tree and lights, again something that makes you feel like they made an incredible effort to have a space that is well thought out and reflected their attention to detail.

I couldn’t recommend this place more. Definitely visit their site and fall in love with everything like I have https://makersandbrothers.com/ or visit the pop up shop, all information is on their site.

Happy Travels!

In Ireland: Dublin Horse Show 2015

The RDS building is best know for concerts, convention days, exams and talks but there is another feature to this location which I love. There is a load of stables at the back of the building. These stables house magnificent creatures during five days of equestrian madness. I have been going to the Dublin Horse Show since I was about 4 years of age. We as a family have never been ones for horse riding or any equestrian sport but there is something about this day out that is just so much fun! PhoebeGill150807024

There are large paddocks which show horses and riders in junior competitions and just the general showing of how magnificent the breeding of Irish horses really is. There is also a band stand where live music is played all day as well as lots of food trucks and stalls that sell every bit of equestrian gear you can think of.
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One of the things that my family love is the RDS Craft and Student Art Awards Exhibition. My house has currently 10 pieces of art from going to this show every year. There are some amazing pieces and is definitely worth a look around. I always love the wood work, some of the pieces are just so wonderfully made it is incredible! PhoebeGill150807077The Nations Cup has always been our day, always on a Friday. In my opinion it is the best value for money as tickets for the main arena and general entrance is not cheap. It is 8 teams of four riders who jump 14 jumps. There are two rounds and whoever knocks down the least amount of fences, wins. The excitement of this is amazing.PhoebeGill150807078Generally everyone is behind every team but mostly for Ireland obviously. It is a shame when any fence goes down but we do love it when Ireland doesn’t knock any. This year was quite exciting because Ireland needed to do well in order to make it to the top 8 in the final in Barcelona so we needed to win! PhoebeGill150807091The course seemed quite challenging this year with last years winners, USA, finishing on 32 faults! That is quite the difference from last year! The faults for most teams were quite high.PhoebeGill150807101There were even a good few refusals on the water jump, maybe it was the lighting but it was all very exciting! There is something amazing happens when Ireland gets a clear round. The stands go mental! There is nothing like the noise we can make when Ireland clears a round and, even better, when we win! Which we did! PhoebeGill150807061The presenting of the cup is fantastic and I recommend you stay around for it. The first three teams come out and circle the ring. We all cheer and clap and all is well. One of my most favourite things is the pipe band that plays. They are fantastic. I love the drums and the noise. I love the last lap where they get back on their horses and gallop with the cup. It’s amazing!
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Tips:

  1. Get a score sheet. It is a lot of fun tracking the progress.
  2. Bring a good jacket, it can go on till about 7pm so it can get cold.
  3. Bring a picnic and your own beverages, queues are long!
  4. DO NOT smoke in the stands.
  5. Turn off your phone! I know this is a shock but the riders can probably hear a phone going off. It’s an arena.
  6. Don’t talk for the entirety of the jumps, in the breaks that fine but as the riders are jumping, shut it and be respectful of others around you.
  7. Don’t put your feet on the backs of people seats…is this not obvious to you?
  8. Don’t be crap. There are a lot of people who are, don’t be one of them. PhoebeGill150807128

I had all of these things happen around me this year. To Mary, Ann Marie and Michelle behind me, you were all awful people. I know their names because they didn’t stop talking for the entire three hours of the event. You had zero respect for others and were just generally horrible. Hope you fall down a hole.

I love this day! I think it is fantastic and well worth it! You can get just general admission tickets but bring a camping chair and a rain poncho. It is a really great day out and I 100% recommend it! Have you been to the horse show? Is there anything like this where you are?

Happy Travels!

In Dublin: Natural History Museum

In Dublin: Natural History Museum

It’s that time again! This is the third Natural History post on my blog, can you tell I like them? If you want, check out my posts on Berlin’s NHM or London’s NHM.  PhoebeGill150205009This is probably one of my favourite places in Dublin City Centre. This unassuming building houses some really impressive specimens and is a perfect way to spend some time!

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These beautiful Giant Irish Deer are the first things you see when you walk in the door. It is amazing to think these were roaming Irish lands all those years ago! The entrance level are the speices that are native to Ireland.PhoebeGill150205022This museum is one long building with four stories. The third and fourth levels are closed because they do not comply with safety regulations and will need government funding to ever open again…so you may not want to hold your breath to see upstairs.PhoebeGill150205032The building was built in 1856 and it opened in 1857. There are 10,000 specimens on show in the natural history museum and they are amazing to see.

PhoebeGill150205065I love that the museum has these glass cabinets, they are beautiful and house the collection so well.

This free museum has so much more to see and do, I definitely recommend you drop in and see for yourself, Dublin’s impressive collection and learn about the amazing creatures.

Happy Travel