Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Recent Trip to Dublin - My Food delights

So I found myself in Dublin for a little over 24 hours and decided to cram in as many of my favourite spots as possible. As well as trying to eat in my favourite restaurants I was also catching up with friends so I was a little bit all over the city. I won’t bore you with too much information but I've decided to do a short review on each place that I visited. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos as my phone decided to jump into some water so I’ve lost everything (and NO I DID NOT HAVE MY PHONE BACKED UP!!) I must admit I had some amazing photos – from the cool tea pots in Wuff and the Westbury Hotel, to beautiful surroundings in Hugo’s restaurant to a beautiful breakfast display in Brother Hubbards.

My first morning started off with an amazing breakfast in Wuff, Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Wuff is just a little bit off the beaten track but it is close to Smithfield and Stoneybatter, both areas are enjoying a bit of a revival and have a number of amazing places to eat. Wuff is on the luas line (tram) that takes you from the city centre to the train station, so it is very easy to get to. I decided that because I was in Dublin I was going to treat myself to a mini fry and my friend had the eggs benedict. I had a lovely fresh orange juice, a pot of tea (in the cutest pot) and an Americano. My friend and I sat there for nearly two hours just catching up and never once did we feel under pressure to leave. There was a nice crowd in the restaurant and a great atmosphere. Our food was just delicious. I really do love this spot. Wuff's Website

The next spot on the list was Hugo’s on Merrion Row. This is very central and is just off St Stephen’s Green. I was meeting my old work crowd here for a spot of lunch and a catch up. There were 8 of us. Hugo’s is very pretty inside – lovely chandeliers and décor. I went for the duck wrap with chips, the majority of the others went for fish and chips. My lunch was huge – I only ate half the wrap and a quarter of my chips but it was very tasty. The wrap wasn’t a skinny little thing with nothing in it – there was loads of duck in it (and because of my late breakfast I couldn’t eat it all). It was lovely and tasty. I think everyone enjoyed their lunch here. We also had teas and coffee. We had a very friendly waiter and were not rushed out the door either. Hugo's Website

I had an hour or so to put down before my next slot so I decided to go to the Westbury Hotel for a pot of tea (I’m devastated that I don’t have the photos to show you of my tea here). The Westbury is a lovely hotel just off Grafton Street, I suppose for us Irish it’s a bit of a landmark. It is just so beautiful inside – mind you the bar area where I had my tea is always a little on the dark side but the fixtures, fittings and furniture are spectacular! My pot of tea was lovely, as was the atmosphere! The Westbury Hotel's Website

My next stop wasn’t for food this time around unfortunately. However, the next time I’m in Dublin it is where I’ll be having my dinner. My friend and her husband (Claire & Phil) have opened a new restaurant in Harold’s Cross, Dublin (just a short taxi ride from the centre of Dublin) called Craft. My trip to Dublin was a week before it was due to open but thankfully the guys let me go in and have a speak peek of the place. I was there the night before their ‘soft’ opening so things were really coming together. The place looked great and I really loved the décor especially the light fixtures (I was slightly obsessed with them to be honest - especially the ones in the window). Craft is officially open now – best of luck Claire & Phil. I can’t wait to try it out. Craft's Website

So back on the food trail - Claire, Phil and I decided to head to Ranelagh for some food. Ranelagh, just like Harold’s Cross, is a short taxi ride out from the city (or you could even walk it – I walked back into the city after dinner). We went to Dillingers for dinner. We were seated in a window seat and it was a great spot to watch the world go by. Claire and I both went for the nachos (I’ve had the nachos from here loads and they are just amazing, so every time I’m here I generally just get the nacho’s but there is are wide variety of dishes on the menu). Phil went for the lamb special. The portion of nachos were HUGE, Claire and I probably could have shared one portion but neither one of us are into sharing ;-) I really love everything about Dillingers. There is a great vibe in Ranelagh, there is always such a buzz and the buzz continues into Dillingers. We visited on a Tuesday night and there was not one free table in the place. It’s pretty cool and quirky. Dillingers Website

For my next stop I decided to gate crash Mr EmmaEats work dinner. They were also in Dublin for a few days and on this particular night they were having dinner in Sophie’s at the Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street. Sophie’s is my favourite place in Dublin for brunch and dinner (I’ve never been there for lunch but I’m sure its good). Sophie’s is on the 5th floor of the Dean Hotel and as a result has amazing views of the city.  When I arrived the boys were just finished their main course and ordering dessert. I just ordered a mint tea and I got a lovely pot of fresh mint tea – I’m so sad but I just love when I get fresh mint tea!! Sophie's Website

On my second morning I went to Brother Hubbard’s for breakfast – my aunt (who is well into her 70’s) and I used to go here for brunch and I know Aunty Carol now brings all her visitors here for lunch. Brother Hubbard’s is fairly central. It is on the north side of the city just a short stroll from either the River Liffey or Henry Street. It really is a great spot. I remember the first time I came here was with Aunty Carol and I thought ‘oh dear she is not going to be comfortable here’ as the seats are in fact just stools – however it doesn’t seem to have put her off and it was never an issue for me. I had the breakfast special which was porridge, toast, tea or coffee and a glass of orange juice (if memory serves me right this was only €10). The porridge came out with great quality honey and the toast came with the most amazing preserves. My only complaint was that the toast came with hard butter – what good is that to me when I’m trying to spread it on my toast (in fairness it’s normally not an issue for me as I try not to eat butter but because I was on my holidays I was having butter)! But that is only a small complaint and I’m wondering if it is a health and safety issue – maybe you are not allowed to leave butter out so that it is at room temperature. The photo of my breakfast was also amazing. I am clearly devastated that I lost my photos. I think I’m more upset over loosing my photos rather than loosing my phone. Brother Hubbard's Website

My final port of call was to Clodagh’s Kitchen which is located in Arnotts department store on Henry Street. Arnott's is another institution for the Irish. To be honest – this is not somewhere that I would pick for myself but my mum had come up to visit me for the day and due to dietary constraints (well she claims to have dietary constraints – I just think she is the fussiest eater in the world – and I wonder where I picked it up from??). I have been here with her before so I knew she would find something on the menu to suit her needs. To be fair it is a lovely dinning space and there is a great buzz about the place! There was a beautiful old china teapot on our table full of beautiful daffodils (& yes I HAD a lovely photo of this). I went for the three egg omelette and it was delicious. My mother had the fish dish. This dish came with mashed potatoes that had some herbs mashed through it which my mother can’t eat so she asked could she have it with something else. The waitress was great, she said that this wasn’t a problem and listed of a number of things my mother could get instead. My mum really enjoyed her lunch. I also had two glasses of wine with my lunch. Clodagh's Kitchen Website

So once I said my goodbye’s to my amazing mum I headed back to the airport and was Glasgow bound.

Dublin really is an amazing city and has gone through an amazing food revival over the last few years. There are so many great places to pick from, you are spoilt for choice in Dublin (just as you are in Glasgow). If you are planning a visit to Dublin you should check out Lovin Dublin - it is a great resource. Lovin Dublin Website

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma Mai xx


  1. Sorry to hear about the phone. Another place worth trying in Stoneybatter is Boqueria. They do a sort of Irish twist on tapas, with larger portions and some fun dishes such as a "burger and chips" dessert. And just down the road from it, L Mulligans gastropub is worth a visit, and Love Supreme for its croissants and cakes.

    1. Oh I've never heard of Boqueria. I'm back in Dublin next week for a night so I might try it out, it sounds great. I've never been to L Mulligans but my friend goes there regularly enough. I will have to add Love Supreme to the ever extending list of places to visit. There is just not enough time ;-) thanks a mil for reading. Emma Mai