Friday, 25, July 2014

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The Westbury

The Ultimate Dublin Foodie Guide from Girl Eats Dublin

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Catherine is also a longtime fan of The Westbury Hotel, so we thought she was the perfect candidate to give us the lowdown on places to eat and explore around town. "

Follow Catherine’s recommendations if you do wish to go further afield than our own  Wilde and Café Novo!

“When I lived in London a few years back, one of my favourite treats was to stay a night or two at The Westbury on a trip home to Dublin. Now that I’m back home, alas, I’ve no such excuse, so instead I’m going to live vicariously by offering you my pick of the many great dining options you’ll have on your doorstep during your stay. You couldn’t be better located for a weekend of shopping, sightseeing and of course, eating.

Brunch Buzz

One of the only positive legacies of our “Celtic Tiger,” and still an affordable post-recession luxury, a visit to one of Dublin’s many popular brunch spots should definitely be on your agenda. It’s an all-weekend occasion in Dublin these days, but if you’re planning to sample our fine nightlife on Saturday night, there’s no better cure on a Sunday.

With no more than a 10-minute stroll from The Westbury in mind, you could go straight for the original Dublin brunch Mecca, Odessa on Dame Court for classic brunch dishes, like Eggs Florentine and Huevos Rancheros, or maybe the Odessa Breakfast for more of a “Full Irish” experience. Or try one of the newer kids on the block, such as The Whitefriar Grill on Aungier Street (order the Gambas Benedict with the house Bloody Mary), or San Lorenzo’s, a short stroll away on George’s Street, for their “Brunch of Champions” – signature brunch dishes with an Italian-American twist. 

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(Photo credit: Odessa) 

Shopping Pit stops

No doubt you’ll be hitting Brown Thomas (or The Mothership, as I like to call it) and the rest of Grafton Street for some retail therapy during your Dublin weekend. For post-shopping refreshments, I’d recommend wandering off the main drag to South William Street, where you’ll find a quirkier selection of cafes and shops. Coffee enthusiasts should head straight to Clement & Pekoe, for amazing coffee, teas and a very tempting selection of sweet treats. Squeeze a seat on the steps outside - it’s a prime spot for people-watching. 

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If you can’t wait any longer to get stuck into a Guinness, or you need a more substantial snack, go two more doors down to Peter’s Pub. A sneaky afternoon pint and a toasted sandwich, in the pristine and friendly surroundings of Peter’s, is one of the finest ways to spend an hour on a Saturday afternoon in Dublin.

Finally, for the ultimate daytime treat, especially if you’re on a girlie getaway, you need look no further than the Gallery at The Westbury, where the indulgent Afternoon Tea is a Dublin institution. Make sure you get a window seat to enjoy one of the best street views in Dublin.

Saturday night dining

For any city break, I always like to pick somewhere special and book ahead for Saturday night. If you’re similarly inclined, here are my top venues for a super Saturday night dinner in our fair city.

Splashing out? Then go straight for Restaurant Forty One, housed in swanky private members’ club Residence, on St. Stephen’s Green. Here you’ll find Michelin-quality cooking (surely only a matter of time before it’s officially recognised), using organic Irish ingredients, served in sumptuous-but-not-stuffy surroundings. Main courses start from about €30.

Secret tip: as an added bonus, diners get to enjoy the usually members-only club afterwards. Relax in the garden or piano bar, enjoy some live music and a perfect Mojito – you might never leave.

For something a little more down-to-earth, but no less special, strike out to the grittier surrounds of Wexford Street, where alongside Dublin’s legendary live music venue, Whelans, you’ll find a great range of bars and my most favourite restaurant, Las Tapas de Lola. Make sure to reserve ahead, and you’ll enjoy authentic Spanish tapas and drinks served up with plenty of Irish “craic” by Vanessa, Ana and their team. Tell them I sent you (and try the Albondigas). 

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The lovely Ana and Vanessa of Las Tapas de Lola

If you prefer to just play it by ear, there are a host of great walk-in dining options a stone’s throw from your hotel. Try Bear, on South William Street, for superb steaks in hipster surroundings; Damson Diner across the road for Asian-American bar bites and wicked cocktails; or sample some seafood delights in the shiny surroundings of Super Miss Sue, Drury Street’s favourite new hotspot. 

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The Seafood Platter at Super Miss Sue

So that’s brunch, shopping and a great dinner all covered – for me the ingredients of a perfect Dublin foodie weekend. If you don’t get to try them all, you’ll have to make sure to come back soon.

Visit Catherine's blog at www.girleatsdublin.com or follow her on twitter @cathyfly.


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