Our First Night in Dublin

Have you ever been to Ireland? Last week Gordon and I jetted off to the Emerald Isle to celebrate his 30th birthday in style! We arrived in Dublin with hungry bellies on a cold, rainy afternoon. After checking into the super stylish Fleet Street Hotel in the heart of Temple Bar, we headed out to explore the area.

Grafton Street was pretty with all the sparkly Christmas lights and got us feeling festive! Balfes is located just off Grafton Street, on Balfes Street (funnily enough) and is one of The Westbury Hotel's restaurants. I had read reviews before so when we stumbled across the restaurant we headed straight in. Everything at Balfes was right up my street. It has a sophisticated New York vibe, was full of well dressed diners and served great cocktails. 

The food was just as good - we both had burgers in perfectly toasted brioche buns which were massive and difficult to eat, but tasted amazing. Despite all of this, I wouldn't recommend a visit. Unfortunately the service (or lack of) was a total let down. We were seated, our orders taken, food served and that was it. Nobody asked how our food was, if we'd like more drinks, if we'd like water (I was dying of thirst!) or even if we were finished when they eventually whipped our plates away, without so much as a smile! Meanwhile we watched as they fell over themselves to top up water and wine glasses for others. I can only assume it's because we were dressed more casually? Whatever the reason it was a total disappointment and we decided to leave rather than enjoy more cocktails as originally planned.

It was a blessing in disguise though as we ended up drinking at 37 Dawson Street - a quirky late night haunt that resembles some sort of vintage champagne bar. It was dimly lit, with high ornate golden ceilings, full of mismatched furniture, antiques and random... stuff. I honestly can't think of a better word than stuff. There was a gold sequin horse for God's sake! I'll let you see for yourself... 

We came in from the rain to cosy seats by the fire, with Rudolph above our heads! Cheery, friendly waitresses brought us cosmos and long island iced teas and humoured me when I made them take cheesy photos of us next to the heart shaped fireplace. We could of stayed here all night but dragged ourselves away to explore another bar, just a few doors down the street.

Peruke & Periwig...

Another cool, dimly lit cocktail bar with great service. The two bartenders were happy to chat away and tell us about the drinks and things to do in the city. It was a very relaxed, open atmosphere and again we felt comfortable enough to stay all night. Both Peruke & Periwig and 37 Dawson Street serve food which is ideal if you wanted to just do everything in one place!

That may look like a glass of water... it's actually an Invisible Iced Tea! Basically a long island iced tea made with cola essence, rather than actual coca-cola. Gordon said it tasted like cola cubes. Most of the cocktails were classics with an unusual twist. My "X-Rated" was a Pornstar Martini made with lychee and served with a shot of sake.

I loved their Cocktail Alphabet and all the quotes written beneath the drinks. One of which felt particularly fitting for our first night in Dublin...

"For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home."

Christy xx

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