Hello everyone! I wanted to share a little of a recent trip to Dublin. Ali and I have been lucky enough to go to many lovely places just this year but we realised we hadn't been away just the two of us for quite some time. Alistair's aunt recently treated us to some experience gift vouchers and we used them on a Fab Food Trail of Dublin. It was a really wonderful afternoon and I would highly recommend it!
Our first stop was Sheridan's Cheesemongers which was one of my favourite stops on the tour. We were treated to some really delicious cheeses and told about the history of cheesemaking in Ireland - I was surprised to love the Crozier Blue cheese when I thought I hated blue cheese. Delicious!
After Sheridans we visited The Pepper Pot and sampled some of their cream cheese and salmon bagels. They make their bagels by hand in store and I was craving another bite! My only negative here is that sadly they are closed on Sundays and we had hoped to get our breakfast there. It was truly tasty and the owners clearly had a real passion for food.
After the Pepper Pot we went to Blazing Salads, a healthy pitstop that has been around in Dublin for many, many years. They do really fresh and varied salads as well as freshly baked bread. We sampled the lavender bread and learned about dulse (that's seaweed!) and it's many uses in cooking.
By now it was approaching midday and time to pop into one of Dublin's most historic pubs, The Swan. A shot of Power's Irish Whiskey and a great talk on the history of the Pub by the charasmatic barman perked us up for our next location.
Our next treat was a sample of Savage Sausage from Lolly and Cooks in George's Arcade. A little spicy and sweet, we were told this is a common hangover cure for the Dublin party goer. It was very tasty!
After that we popped into Cocoa Atilier to try some of their chocolates made just outside of Dublin city. We had the chestnut honey and it reminded me of the floral honey Ali's parents buy in France. Yum!
Around the corner from Cocoa Atilier is the food store and café Fallon and Byrne where we browsed the aisles and were amazed at all the fancy foods out there - I think you could probably find anything out of your Nigella cookbook there. They had so many specialty and imported foods as well as a meat and fish counter. We had strip steak and horseradish on soda bread (or Wheaten bread to us Northerners).
Our last stop was the Temple Bar Market to try some Oysters...or, rather ashamedly on my part to watch Alistair bravely try an oyster and then be forced to also eat mine. I was assured that the onion and tomato vinaigrette and Tabasco sauce made them go down easy but Oysters are just not something I am brave enough for.
And that was our Saturday morning/early afternoon in Dublin! It was a walking tour but very manageable, and took around 3 hours in total. Our guide was very informed and friendly and you should definitely check them out if you are visiting Dublin. After we finished, Ali and I walked out to The Cake Café, it took us a little while to find and yes it is tucked down a little backstreet, so keep going if you think you are lost - you'll find it! I opted for the Victoria Sponge as that's my favourite cake. Sadly I was a little underwhelmed, it was a bit dry and tasteless. Ali had the lemon and poppyseed cake with fresh cream which he was really happy with and said it was tasty. We ordered the homemade lemonade to drink - I'm not entirely sure this is what we got as it seemed to be orange flavoured but it was very refreshing!
My bacon ribs at The Woollen Mills.
Although not on our tour I also wanted to mention The Woollen Mills which is where we opted to go for dinner. It is on the opposite side of the river from The Temple Bar, right beside the Ha'penny Bridge. It had only been open a few weeks and we had heard good things from our tour guide.
I had a raspberry sours cocktail which was fresh and sharp, for my main meal I chose the Bacon ribs with mashed potato, cabbage and mustard seed. Now - this was probably the most delicious meal of my weekend. The bacon ribs were so tender and bursting with taste and the jus that covered the meal sealed it for me.
Sadly, Alistair had worse luck! He was a bit confused by the menu, and felt more descriptions would be useful. He played it safe and ordered the chicken and chips. If you visit The Woolen Mills, do not order the chicken and chips. It's a total waste with so many other tasty offerings on the menu. You literally will get roasted chicken with no seasoning or garnish and plain chips. It was dry and disappointing and to be honest completely not fitting with the rest of the menu.
Luckily the dessert made up for Ali's main. He got an oreo chocolate peanut butter tart and it was completely amazing. I know this as I decided on the 'platter of nice things', an intriguing risk! Luckily it paid off, I got a selection of desserts including a taster of the aformentioned tart and some of the most light and fluffy marshmallows I have ever eaten and am still dreaming about 2 weeks later.
Overall I would really recommend The Woollen Mills, just don't try to play it safe! Oh and here is a bonus photo of me chowing on a chicken burger at Eddie Rockets the night before, I don't think I have ever been to Dublin and not indulged there!