One of my first jobs when I moved to Ireland was in an office in Merrion Square. Since then I do love to go for a stroll around my ‘old grounds’. Let me take you on a small walk around Dublin 2.
One of my favourite places to go to is National Gallery of Ireland. Located on the corner of Merrion Square, it was a place to get away from my desk. A blissful 20-30 minutes spent wandering around admiring paintings, prints and sculptures, or once blissful 20 minutes spent in a semi-meditative state in front of Monet painting. You just can’t help but feel at ease even after the short visit.
Presently the National Gallery has European Art 1850-1950 exhibition on, where you can see artworks of Yates, Leech, Vermeer, Picasso and van Gogh, as well as the very same Argenteuil Basin With a Single Sailboat by Monet, the very same one that was brutally damaged in 2012, now restored and back on display.
Whether you have few minutes or few hours, I’d highly recommend a visit. Entry is free, and you will not regret stopping by.
From there on, and to continue with food for the soul, a little haven for every book worm, Ireland’s oldest book store Hodges and Figgis is just a short stroll away on Dawson Street. While Amazon makes it so easy to buy any book you want with few clicks, I love nothing more than arming myself with a cup of coffee and disappearing into the store. The orderly rows of the books, the smell of new pages, the excitement of finding something that you absolutely have to buy and read immediately – no online shopping can give you that.
And did I mention comfy chairs and couches they have dotted around the store? Pick up few books, and relax for a while browsing through them and sipping on the coffee. I bet you won’t be able to leave without buying a book!
From the food for the soul to actual food, Dublin 2 has a lot to offer for different tastes and budgets. I do enjoy trying different restaurants and cafés, but 4 times out of 5 I will end up in Murphy’s ice-cream shop on Wicklow Street for my sugar fix. It’s a winner for me as ice-creams and sorbets are so smooth, they have unusual flavours (sea salt, caramelised brown bread or gin ice-cream anyone?), and aren’t too sweet. Flavours tend to change from time to time depending on seasons and whims of the makers, I’d guess, and I love seeing and trying what’s new every time I visit. And I do visit a lot:)
Although last week-end I had Dingle sea salt and mango sorbet – yum!, my favourite flavour is Dingle gin ice-cream. It blows my mind that it’s an ice-cream, not a sorbet, and it goes amazingly well with a second scoop of sorbet, usually raspberry or blackcurrant. I can’t get enough, and wish they’d start selling it in tubs so I can always have some at home.
Visit and sample every flavour that is calling your name, you’ll be a convert like me.
Hope you enjoyed this little wander with me.