On our fourth day in Dublin (and our first full day on our Rick Steves tour), we did a lot of two things: walking and eating. It is my belief that, when on vacation, the former always justifies doing quite a bit of the latter. Am I right or am I right?
Anyway, our day began with a walking tour of historic Dublin. Because my mom and I had arrived in Dublin to sightsee on our own for a few days before our tour began, we had already seen several of the spots on our morning walking tour. However, it’s always nice to hear about them from an expert, and our local guide, Tommy, was just that. As we learned about Dublin Castle’s history, I couldn’t resist snapping a few more pictures, even though we had already visited. Plus, it was neat to see the progress that had been made on the sand sculptures in the courtyard.
As we continued our walking tour, I also found myself snapping lots of photographs of the streets themselves. I loved Dublin’s architecture, and I couldn’t get enough of the Georgian flourishes, the colorful facades, and the overflowing flower baskets. What a pretty city:
While walking down Dame Street to our next destination, we paused for a moment in front of the Bank of Ireland:
…and then continued on to Trinity College. Our main objective there was to see the Book of Kells and the Harry Potter-esque library. I wasn’t allowed to take any photographs of the Book of Kells, but it was a bit underwhelming anyway. Yes, yes, I realize that this Celtic manuscript (circa 800 AD) is an extremely precious treasure, but it’s also hidden away behind glass and absolutely mobbed by tourists. I had to pull some of my best aggressive tourist ninja moves to even get a glimpse of the thing, and the space was so crowded that my mom didn’t even try.
The library – while still crowded with tourists – was much more interesting. The space is grand and glorious but, I must admit, I still like to think of the Michigan Law Library as the real Hogwarts.
Upon leaving the library (and hitting the library gift shop, naturally), we headed outside and wandered around the college’s campus for a bit. By that time, the sun was shining – an often fleeting occurrence in Ireland – and the campus was really looking lovely.
After a morning of exploring, we were ready for lunch. I had read about Skinflint, a pizza joint, on French Foodie in Dublin and was intrigued. Skinflint is tucked down a tiny lane off Dame Street and is oh-so-hipster. It was also a tourist-free zone, which was a nice change of pace.
Most importantly, Skinflint serves up a mean pizza. I selected the “Breda,” which came topped with spicy sausage, onion, and assorted other yummy things. Each table comes with a pot of Skinflint’s Firebee honey on it, which you can drizzle on your pizza. At first I was skeptical about the honey + pizza combination, but after one drizzle, I was totally hooked – it’s brilliant.
Later that afternoon, while my mom rested her feet for a bit (she had sadly sprained her ankle before our trip), I wandered around town on my own. I popped into some of the stores on Grafton Street, then went exploring down some of the side streets for a while:
In the evening, I stopped by our hotel to pick up my mom and we headed to dinner at Farm Restaurant, which features locally-sourced, organic food. And not only is their food organic, it’s also quite tasty. To start, my mom and I shared the spicy chicken wings (so good!) and the homemade chickpea hummus:
For my entree, I selected the Irish free-range chicken, stuffed with a chorizo and brie mousse. While this dish was good, it was a bit more understated than I was expecting – the chorizo flavor wasn’t very strong, so it tasted more like a standard chicken dish to me.
For my dessert, I chose the tiramisu, which came with a homemade white chocolate and hazelnut cookie. The tiramisu had a distinct “bite” to it, which I enjoyed as I like my tiramisu with a strong coffee flavor.
What both our dinner at Farm and our lunch at Skinflint showed me was that Dublin is quite a good town for foodies. Before coming to Ireland, I wouldn’t have rated its culinary options as one of the things I was most looking forward to. But, I was pleasantly surprised by many of our meals, and I would have to add the food onto my ever growing list of things I loved about Ireland.
- Trinity College: College Green, Dublin 2 | +353.1.896.1000
- Skinflint: 19 Crane Lane, Dublin 2 | +353.1.670.9719
- Farm Restaurant: 3 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 | +353.1.671.8654