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!

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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 Life: I Went To BLOGGERCONF

In a very last minute decision I decided to go to the first ever BloggerConf event. Held in the very pretty Marker Hotel in Grand Canal Square on a very cold Sunday, bloggers gathered together to listen and engage in every aspect of the blogging world.

One thing that I thought was fantastic, was that the conference was very inclusive. It wasn’t just the big bloggers or all beauty bloggers, it was lots of different people of all ages coming together to share their stories. Although I think there was a lack of travel bloggers, to be fair I just want a room of us all together sharing stories and showing off our photos from our travels, it was a great event!

Each speaker brought something different to the table. Joan Mulvihill, the CEO Irish Internet Association, gave a really important talk emphasising  that we need to be responsible when making online content, this is something that I think is crucial when making any blog posts, Youtube videos, tweets, Instagrams, all of them. Not to say you can’t speak your mind or you have to completely sensor yourself but it is the way in which you communicate, the way in which you use the internet is very important, especially if you have an audience.

Samantha Kelly, TweetingGoddess, spoke about the wonders of twitter and  how being kind online is really important. I completely agree, I have had multiple people online respect the fact that I don’t name call or get defensive in an online debate. Talking to people like you would if they were face to face is something that a lot of people forget about when they are behind a keyboard.

Simeon Quarrie is a wonderful speaker, he is funny and engaging. He talked about cameras, one of my favourite things, as a photographer they are essential, he gave loads of vlogging advise and camera kit recommendations.

Anouska Proetta Brandon gave a talk about her photography. I remember back when flickr was used, I saw her photography and that led me to her blog. She has an incredible eye for imagery and design. Her content is always high quality and consistent.

There were other panels and talks that gave lots of information and advice. I went to this conference because I really wanted to start upping my game in the blogging world and there was one thing that everyone said to do and that is ‘find you niche.’

I know that having a niche focuses the attention but to be honest, no one is one thing or another. We are all multifaceted with so many opinions and interests and if I want to talk about science or nature or food, I will because thats what I like, that’s what I am interested in and my blog is mine.

Perhaps one day I will have a niche but the BloggerConf made me realise that I don’t want to fill my blog with ads, I don’t want to make lots of money off this blog or my YouTube and I don’t really want to be a brand. What I want is for this blog, like when I started it, to document my time, for it to be a resource for travel and to maybe start a conversation with people from all around the globe.

I will definitely go to the next one and I will probably go to lots of other conferences in the future but right now there is no pressure to make this my carer or make money. My goal is to make useful content, get better at whatever I do, be it blogging, vlogging or general digital media and to meet like minded people.

The conference gave lots of really useful information and tips. It started great conversations and was incredibly interactive, also there was goodie bag so I definitely recommend going next year!

Have you been to a blogging or vlogging event? Do you recommend it? 

Happy Travels!

In Airlines: A Guide to WOW Air

WOW air is relatively new airline. Established in 2011, it is a low cost airline that connects Iceland with Europe and the USA. In June 2015 the connection between Iceland and Ireland was established and I am very thankful it did.PhoebeGill150915010

Before WOW air the only way people travelling from Ireland could get to Iceland was catching a flight to London or Copenhagen and then on to Reykjavik. It was annoying having to go an hour or two further afield when Iceland is straight above Ireland.

Firstly:

They brought in Online Check in! Woo, thanks WOW Air! 

Baggage:

One carry on at 5kg (Free). You can buy two extra kilograms online if you wish.

One check in bag at 20kg (Best paid for online as it is cheaper) The rates for extra kilograms are really expensive once you reach the airport so make sure you have everything in order. Here are all of the extra fees and charges. 

From Dublin:

You will be flying from Terminal 1. This information is not on booking confirmation so just take note. When you are flying with WOW air, it is pretty simple. You check the board in departures for where WOW air’s check in desk is located, both times I have been, it has been row 9. You check on the screen above the desk what country you are flying to and you stand in line. Simple.

In busy Summer months, this queue will be crazy busy (Now that they have online check in it will be a bit quicker). At any time of the year make sure you allow yourself plenty of time. Two to three hours. With the addition of a very busy Dublin security and the walk to the gate (Or the walk to Siberia as I like to call it) you need plenty of time!

From Keflavik:

In Keflavik it is a little different. When you arrive in departures there will be a wow section with lots of desks. On one side is the flights to main land Europe and on the other side are the flights to Dublin and London. So you are lumped in all together and just because there are lots of desks doesn’t mean they are open. No no. There has been two people on the Dublin/London side, both times I have flown with them. This is not enough people at all for the amount of passengers. And this is 4:30am!

Again I would be in Keflavik about two to three hours before your flight as once you check in you have to go through security, which has slowed down even more with the addition of a new tray dispenser system they have installed. Then once you get through security, you have to go through passport control and then you have to walk to the last gate in Keflavik airport. So two hours minimum!

When On Board:

On board, you have to pay for all of the food and drinks. I don’t think there are any complimentary items at all. They have a selection of food and Icelandic snacks, they also have duty free if you feel like buying something.

Flight Time:

The flight is around the two hour mark. A really easy flight to take and the flight path is almost all over the sea. There may be some turbulence, so just be aware of that before you fly.

I will definitely be flying WOW air again! Although a slower process and a little stressful to figure out how much your baggage weighs, it is worth it!

If you have any questions about WOW air leave them below and I will gladly reply! 

Happy Travels!