Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics
19 posts • Page 1 of 1
If you have not selected all your hotels, consider the Irish Tourist Board approved B&Bs - they've had a program like this for over 50 years and the options can be particularly lovely. I stayed in one many years ago where we not only had the most amazing dinner and breakfast, but the host's daughter and I borrowed some horses from a neighbor and explored the area just for fun.
A few comments from our trip (Labor Day 2014):
1) All of the activities for our "American" football game in Dublin was centered in Temple Bar. It was a fun atmosphere given that there were thousands of peope from my alma mater and all in college gear. Other than that, I stayed out of the bars as I found them way too crowded and loud. There is a very nice farmers market on Saturday mornings in the Temple Bar area where they have Irish breakfast sandwiches cooked to order, as well as the local farm fare.
2) We ate at Patrick Guilbaud on our first night in Dublin and it was so good that we booked a return trip on our last night. It is very low key for a Michelin starred restaurant. There are lots of servers and white table cloths, but the wait staff was helpful and we enjoyed both visits. The spring pea agnolotti is too die for and I'm still dreaming about it. They also offer wine pairings per course by the glass.
3) We had dinner one night at the Winding Stair - a highly rated dinner place on the Liffey River. It was the worst meal of the trip. The portions are huge, but other than that I found it boring, non-inventive, and bland.
4) In Dublin, don't miss the GAA Museum/Skywalk and the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College. The library is worth the visit alone and reminded me a bit of the library at the abbey in Melk, Austria.
5) We stayed at both the Morrison Hotel (across Liffey from Temple Bar) and at the Westin (next to Trinity College). Both were excellent choices for the activities that we had planned. Without the football game, I'd likely return to the Westin and not the Morrison.
6) Cabs are inexpensive in Dublin and we generally walked & cabbed it everywhere with no problems.
Outside of Dublin, we drove north to the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, and the Innishowen Peninsula. We enjoyed the differences in the topography and the beautiful day and sunshine on the coast.
We headed west to Cong, visited Cong Abbey, and then stayed for a few nights at Ashford Castle. The highlight of the trip (other than our team winning the game in Dublin) was the Hawk Walk - hubby and I took two hawks for about 1 mile walk letting them fly and return across the castle ground and through the woods. Amazing experience. We had one dinner at the fine dining restaurant, George V. I was hesitant to try the tasting menu as they are usually too much food for me, but this one was perfect. Excellent meal. We also dined in the "Dungeon" and chose the "Old Ireland" menu. Duck confit, Beef with Guiness, and Ham Steak with Potatoes. Very good and a fun atmosphere in the Dungeon. Highly recommend a stay at Ashford Castle!
The Irish Times just published their annual list of the 100 best places to eat in Ireland. Its a long read but worth it. Cafes to Michelin stars.
http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-styl ... -1.3002817
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This thread has some good tips: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=133599
If you will be in Dublin, I'll reiterate that the Kilmainham Jail Tour is awesome (better than Trinity / Book of Kells IMO).
Kilkenney is on your way between Dublin and Cork... Worth a stop if you can make it work.
Thanks Jim. This is very helpful.
I agree. My wife and I stayed mostly in Irish B&B's on our trip a few years ago. Great experience. I've written plenty of restaurant tips for Dublin and other places... the original poster just needs to do a search.
When in Dublin, going to the Temple Bar area, while highly touristy, is still a great place to see a wide variety of pubs. The Red Stag serves probably the best pint of Guinness in Dublin. I've been there three times and they haven't failed me yet.
Dave, I think you mean The Stag's Head, right?
Other good old school pubs:
- Toner's (probably my favorite)
- The Long Hall (gorgeous long bar, great for an afternoon pint)
- L Mulligan, Grocer (a bit out of the way, in Stoneybatter, get a cab there and back but the place is great, they serve excellent craft beer and it has some of the best pub food in the city - you probably need to reserve if you plan to eat there).
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We were in Ireland last August. Stayed at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin and also ate at Patrick Guilbaud which is adjacent to the hotel. Both were excellent. We also ate well at Delahunt and Cavistons on the Dún Laoghaire seafront. After Dublin we drove via Kilkenney (as Jim said, well worth a visit) to Ardmore which is on the coast between Waterford and Cork. We stayed at The Cliff House Hotel, a smallish place overlooking the sea with good rooms, a first class restaurant and a very nice spa.
Second the Merrion in Dublin. Had a fabulous stay there last December. Walking distance to Grafton street and all museums, yet quite tucked away from the hustle and bustle. Elegant and classy but without pretension. Might be one of my favorite hotel stays ever. Going back this June.
As you head south out of Dublin, the next county you will hit is Wicklow (not to be confused with the town of Wicklow). The little town of Delgany, just five minutes off the motorway in county Wicklow, is worth a stop for either breakfast/brunch (the Firehouse Bakery) or the Pigeon House Restaurant (open all day for Breakfast, lunch and Dinner.) Pigeon house is an informal place with fresh innovative cuisine and eclectic btg wine list. If you want to stock up on groceries, the same location has a very upscale grocer.
The little coastal town of Greystones is another 10 minutes along the same road. The Happy Pear (run by twins -- hence the pun) is an informal breakfast/lunch spot which is delicious and with lots of vegetarian options. If you find yourself in Greystones at night, The Hungry Monk is a long standing Greystones restaurant with solid French-inspired food and a comprehensive wine list. (You can also drive around to the harbor at Greystones and see the monstrous ugly marina that has just been installed where once a quaint little fishing pier used to be. But that's a whole other story. If you feel like a hike, the coastal trail from Greystones to Bray is about 5 miles long, and stunning.)
When I was there last fall we had a great meal at Out Of The Blue in Dingle. For lodging we stayed at the Castlewood House and had great food and hospitality from the husband and wife that run things there. The distillery in town is definitely worth a stop if you're a whiskey and/or gin fan. Also, we had a great time at Foxy John's Pub with live music and a proper pint served in the hardware store/pub that it is.
My trip centered around a sales meeting that was held at the Carton House hotel and golf club. Wonderful grounds with 2 18-hole courses and a lovely spa to complement things. Nearby we did a tour of the Kilbeggan distillery and enjoyed the variety of options in their offering.
I only had one day/night to enjoy Dublin so it was spent wandering the city mostly. Drinks at Brazen Head and following our ears for live music mostly.
Todd- Lost In The White Room
It has been many years since our trip to Ireland, but I still look back on it fondly. We started in Galway ending in Dublin. Highlights (and some low lights) as follows. Most beautiful area to me was Conamara just North of Galway. I want to return some day. Cliffs of Moher outside Galway beautiful, but went twice (couldn't see it first time due to rain and fog). Stayed one night at Ashford Castle and got food poisoning on raw Galway Bay oysters that lasted 3 days which made driving interesting (lots of pit stops). Spent 1 night in Limerick partly in the dark. Power strikes in Ireland from time to time in different parts of the country (no hot water or lights at Ashford Castle on waking up for the same reason). In Limerick, lights go out while having dinner. Restaurant staff pulled out candles and we finished dinner without a hitch, and then walked back to our hotel by car lights. Next, Lakes of Killarney region both beautiful and special to me. When we woke up the sun was shining (and no rain thereafter on our trip) for the first time in 4 days, and stomach ailment disappeared. Did both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula drives. Both fantastic. Enjoyed Kinsale next. Foody paradise and architecture that reminded me of New Orleans. Kissed the Blarney Stone further on (waste of time-my wife already had the gift of gab). I saw little of interest in Cork that I recall. In County Wicklow, south of Dubin, we loved Glendalough National Park, Powerscourt House and Gardens and Charles Parnell House. Dublin fun too of course. Also, learned to appreciate Irish Whiskey. 2 extras, I ran out of gas in Glendalough and a man in a Rolls Royce pushed my car to a general store in the park to buy gas. Of course it came in a can with no siphon to put in my side fill gas tank. Bought an ice cream cone and used that after ripping off bottom and throwing away the ice cream. My wife was very impressed. Owner of the Rolls turned out to be the American Ambassador to the Vatican. Even though my last name is 2 simple sylables, it gets butchered everywhere (USA included), but not in Ireland. Why? I learned then that there is a Clan O'Broder in Ireland. Made me wonder who admitted my relatives at Ellis Island. For sure not Eastern European. Wonderful trip, food poisoning, power strikes and early pouring rains notwithstanding. Truly the Emerald Isle.
19 posts • Page 1 of 1