An abundance of birthdays

If the queen can have two birthdays, then why can’t I?

Saturday was my birthday, but I started my celebrations a LOT sooner than that. When you’re six years old, you can have just one birthday party, on your birthday (or the weekend closest to it), and all your friends will come. When you get older, things like jobs, families and responsibilities get in the way of everyone coming together, so a multiple day party is in call. It’s like a three day festival, dedicated just to you.

Who knew, there's actually an Aoife festival.

Who knew, there’s actually an Aoife festival.

The week of 23 kicked off on the Monday, with a birthday dinner with my friend and college roommate Anita. Anita and I are almost birthday buddies- her birthday being on Friday- and she’s a year younger than I, so she’s started her Taylor Swift year. Work had us both busy on the day of each others birthdays, so we settled instead for the Monday preceeding both dates.

Myself and my beautiful Monday guest Anita, in possibly the best lighting in the world.

Myself and my beautiful Monday guest Anita, in possibly the best lighting in the world.

Our usual haunt of Captain America’s left to the side, we felt our birthdays was a good enough reason to spoil ourselves. We headed instead only a few metres up the road to Harry’s on the Green, across from the Gaeity Theatre and right beside Stephen’s Green shopping centre. We spotted a three cocktail for €12 offer, valid before 9.30pm, and wasted absolutely no time in availing of it. I went for the old reliable- a strawberry daiquiri,  and then had a glass of white wine to “class myself up”. Anita chose a mojito and, on the recommendation of our waiter, a Porn Star Martini. This was a beautifully fresh passionfruit flavoured drink, and I would definitely recommend it if you were to ever pop in.

We just missed the early bird food menu, so instead went for the regular food on offer. I’d had drinks with some of my friends in Harry’s before, but I’d never eaten in there. I was definitely not let down by the menu- the choice is amazing! Anita opted for a cheese and bacon burger (which came out bigger than her head, and she needed a fork and knife to hack though. She also inhaled it within seconds so unfortunately there are no pictures of this beauty.)

Once an open steak sandwich caught my eye, I was sold. Unlike some steak sandwiches I’ve ordered before, this one was cooked to your liking (medium well, thanks) and the meat was cooked to perfection- it was the right mixture of tough and chewy for me, and the bed of rocket, lettuce and tomato went perfectly. I’ve always firmly believed steak should be served with garlic butter, so the garlic mayonnaise on the ciabatta the steak came on made my night.

After the meal, we ventured to our usual home, Capitol on Auniger St, where I discovered raspberry daiquiris are a thing and nearly lost my mind.

Thursday night myself and my friend Margaret went to Nandos in Santry’s Omni Shopping Centre. There are no pictures of this, because we’d been waiting so long for food the two of us were starving by the time it arrived.

Saturday was my actual birthday, and the biggest of all celebrations. Myself and a few friends went to the Mongolian Barbecue off Fleet Street, then to Thunder Road for some drinks.

The Mongolian BBQ is an incredible experience, and one I’d really recommend- even if you’re not very big on spicy food. You’re given a little bowl to fill with as much meat, vegetables, noodles, spices and sauces as you like. You bring this to the cooks, who pop it on the massive barbecue and cook it for you right in front of your eyes, so you know there’s nothing added but their care.

Following our feast (where we each went up at least twice) we hit Thunder Road café nearby for a few cocktails and pints. It was a Saturday, but it was also the day of Pride Parade, so the bar was hopping- there were people everywhere, and the music was incredible.

On Sunday, a very fragile polka dot met my friend Róisin for dinner and some drinks after work. Big Italian food lovers, we headed to South Street on George’s Street on Róisin’s recommendation, and she didn’t let me down. We both got a full three courses, and a drink each, and it came in under €50. The food was incredible as well, and I’d very highly recommend it if you’re looking for Italian food around Dublin. Once again, we ended up in Capitol sipping on raspberry and toffee daiquiris, which were like velvet toffee in your mouth. That said, I rather preferred a regular raspberry daiquiri- perhaps I’ll pick one up on my next visit there.

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