Hey everyone, Happy St Patricks Day!! Okay, so I’m a little late on the greeting, but for those of you who celebrated, I hope it exceeded your expectations and you’re still carrying those happy vibes around with you. Being born on St Patrick’s Day, I have always wanted to celebrate my birthday in Ireland and this year I finally made it to Dublin!
Arrival… cute cottage houses and a sea of green
As Luca and I stepped off the plane, we were hit with a forceful gust of wind. As the icy chill cut through my body, I looked down at my ripped skinny jeans full of holes and tears, and all I could think was I am so not prepared for this weather. I had heard that Ireland rained a lot, but I wasn’t expecting near freezing temperatures. I knew the minute we got to our accommodation I was going to have to change outfits and put on basically everything I brought with me. Because it was cold!
Making our way to the Airbnb, I was mesmerised by the varying shades of greens that coloured the grass and trees. I had never seen grass that looked so vibrant and healthy! And the cottage houses that lined the streets, with their beautiful stonework, large front yards and pretty flowers that lined the porches, they were some of the cutest houses I’ve ever seen. I immediately imagine myself inside, warm and cosy, drinking tea by a roaring fire, either writing or reading away.
Arriving at our accommodation, it was more modern than the cottage style I had been admiring during our walk, but still really nice. When it came to our room though, well there’s only one way to describe it… small. Teeny tiny small. Images of the show tiny houses flashed through my mind, only this was the tiny room edition. An attic room in design, I can’t even remember how many times we bumped our heads walking from the bed to the bathroom. Not to mention the floors had some kind of lacquer on it and we almost went down a time or two. I mean, the room was lovely and extremely clean, but at 160cm tall, if I can’t stand upright, then I’m not sure who can… It was definitely an experience and we shared a lot of laughs. Gotta look on the bright side of things!
Day One… pre St Patricks Day exploring
I was surprised to find that the vibe of the city was quite similar to London. Busy streets with a mixture of historic and modern architecture, and a lively atmosphere where there’s always something to do, somewhere to eat.
Which suited us just fine, because before we could start exploring, we were in need of breakfast. I’d done my research and heard that Balfes was the place to be, so we moseyed on over and when we stepped into the buzzing atmosphere, we knew we were in for a treat. The interior was a perfect combination of casual dining meets French elegance with a menu to match. I ordered a hot chocolate to go with my breakfast, because why not, and when it arrived, with a hint of orange added to it, it was by far the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.
After breakfast we really didn’t have much planned, we figured we’d just walk and see where the streets would take us. After about an hour, we ended up at Tivoli Theatre, and its adjoining car park featuring a ton of incredible graffiti work. We learnt that every month, the car park closes for a weekend, the walls are painted black, and upcoming artists are invited to tag the walls and share their work. What we saw was amazing and I love that there’s a dedicated space for creatives in this field.
With the weather at -2 degrees and dropping, after a little more exploring, we decided to call it quits on our self guided walking tour, and opted for the cafe lifestyle instead. We came across a cafe called Kaph and when you need a little sit down and a cup of hot something, then this place will do the trick. It’s small but even during peak time, we managed to get a seat upstairs and by the look of our company, it was more of a local hangout than a tourist spot, which I absolutely loved.
After out cafe pit stop, we were in need of something more substantial to fill our bellies so it was time to find a spot for lunch. We walked the streets for a while, both undecided on the cuisine we felt like, but then we came across Acapulco and as soon as we read the word burrito, we were sold. Stepping through the door, we were greeted by friendly staff and a décor that reminded me of a Mexican fiesta. Colourful chairs, unique lampshades and fairy lights hanging throughout, it was such a happy and vibrant atmosphere.
Trying to keep out of the cold as much as possible (especially when it started snowing), we did a little shopping and I went back to the Airbnb with my very own four leaf clover necklace. I love what the clover represents. Faith, hope, love and luck, there’s just something so magical about it.
Day Two… St Patrick’s Day, donuts and Trinity College Library
If I’m travelling to a place that has a beautiful library or bookshop, then that’s where you’ll find me. For over a year I’d wanted to visit Trinity College Library and the minute we woke up, I practically ran there. Happy Birthday to me! I was all smiles as we approached the entrance and being St Patricks Day, the majority of people were off celebrating the holiday somewhere, so we had the place practically to ourselves.
Now who needs a birthday cake when you have donuts! Having just purchased a baileys donut from The Rolling Donut, we were happily eating this ball of goodness when we walked past another donut shop. Off Beat Donuts. This one had crowds of people lined up outside, fun quotes painted on the walls, music playing and the staff looked like they were having the time of their life. I looked at Luca and said “we need more donuts!” Stepping inside I was immediately transported to donut heaven. Needless to say, I ate more donuts in two days than I have in the last two years. My favourite – the lemon meringue.
All sugared up, it was time to see the St Patrick’s Day parade. I’m not a huge fans of crowds, all that pushing and shoving, trying not to lose the people you’re with or get lost yourself. But I know it’s something you have to endure if you want to experience these once-in-a-lifetime events. So we immersed ourselves into the crowd, cheered alongside locals and tourists dressed in festive green outfits and celebrated my 31st birthday.
As we walked along various points of the parade, we realised that we had highly underestimated the amount of people who would be watching. There were people everywhere! Crowding around the barricades, standing on building ledges, atop of bins and even plant pots just to get a glimpse of the festivities. Once the parade had finished and the crowds started to dissipate, we decided to head indoors for a drink and to escape the freezing temperatures outside.
The Yarn, had a cosy yet vibrant atmosphere, and their cocktails were amazing. I had a mixed berry spritz and it was soooooo delicious. I decided to skip the traditional pint of Guinness, knowing I’d have a sip and then pass it straight over to Luca.