A city break in County Dublin

I've been meaning to go back to Ireland for ages. Our friends live there - we went over for their wedding, back in 2013, and tied in Olly's 30th birthday with that trip - and ever since they had baby William last year, I've been meaning to sort out a trip. I finally did, and at gruelling o'clock we flew over to Dublin - the thinking being that we've have a full day to enjoy ourselves. It worked out that way, but it was still made for a tiring day - even for a quick journey across the Irish Sea.

Our friends have moved from just outside of Dublin to Skerries, which isn't Dublin, but it is County Dublin. Plus it's right by the sea, which is especially lovely at this time of year when the weather is sunny and the sky is blue. (Word of warning, it may say it's a mere 18°C, and it may be Ireland, but you can still get burnt. Embarrassingly, my forehead and nose suffered some pretty savage sunburn. Turns out the SPF in moisturisers and foundations isn't adequate enough protection.)

We spent out first day in Skerries, catching up and taking in the sea air, with a quick detour beforehand to Bettystown for brunch with a goregeous seaview at Relish whilst William had his swimming lesson. Skerries is a picturesque seaside town on the east coast of Ireland, famous for its mills, though we only saw them from afar when we headed to the train station to head to Dublin on Monday morning. Trains from Dublin to Skerries only take around 35 minutes if you're interested in a sojourn to the sea, and a single ticket costs €4.75

Upon arriving in Dublin we headed to have a mooch around Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university, where you'll find one of Pomodoro's Sphere within Spheres (the other one I've seen is in Vatican City) and the Book of Kells (€14 and a lengthy queue to visit Ireland's medieval manuscript of the four Gospels telling the life of Jesus - we we didn't bother). Lunch then called at Umi Falafel - perfect if you're a veggie or falafel lover - before we checked into our airbnb by St Stephen's Green (use this link to get £25 off your first airbnb booking).

For me, St Stephen's Green is the ideal area of Dublin to stay in, though I found compared to the last time we were there, the price of hotels have shot up. We previously stayed in a suite at The Dawson (called La Stampa when we were there), but the price was ridiculous this time round so airbnb it was. Ours was cute enough, and ideal for what we needed - somewhere to sleep and ideally located.

From St Stephen's Green you're right at the top of Grafton Street, Dublin's main shopping street, a five-minute walk to the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History Museum and National Gallery of Ireland (we visited both), a ten-minute walk to Trinity College, and a fifteen-minute walk to Temple Bar. If you want to head to O'Connoll Street, Dublin's other shopping area, it's around a twenty-minute walk. We stuck south of the river on this trip.

One of the other main reasons we were in Dublin was to see The Killers perform at the RDS Arena - they were excellent. Supported by Franz Ferdinand - another 2004 blast from the past, and also great - I enjoyed The Killers more in Dublin than I did their Brixton gig last September (apart from the lack of Woody Harrelson this time round).

Food-wise, we had dinner at Red Torch Ginger (great Thai food, and if you sign up to their mailing list, you get a free round of cocktails), brunch at San Lorenzos (far too much food, but nice enough), dinner at Bison Bar (fab ribs, but I thought the brisket was better at Pitt Bros in Dublin, based on my experience from last time) and brunch at Eddie Rocket's (pancakes FTW), and sourdough donuts from The Rolling Donut (great toppings, but I prefer a traditional donut).

We also spent a few sunny hours sat in the window of Hugo's enjoying some wine (me) and craft beers (Olly) - located near St Stephen's Green (and opposite our airbnb), I'd highly recommend a visit. We didn't eat there, but the food menu sounded yum. And then, of course, there was our visit to Teeling Whiskey Distillery - which I've blogged about here.

All-in-all, an excellent break in County Dublin. Have you been away this summer?

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