Last week, I moved back home to my parents after four years in the capital. I’d had quite a life set up for myself in Dublin, and I’d quite fancied myself more than a blow in.
I had a plethora of services at my doorstep around the city, so here’s a run down of some of them. For those planning a move to the city for work or college, it’s an introduction to some of the sights and sounds you can expect to greet you in the fair city. For natives, it could present new ideas.
A lot of these choices are city centre-based too, so getting to them is a doddle.
Favourite places to eat
Harry’s on the Green, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Harry’s is a fantastic spot for beginning an evening on the town. Its evening meal menu is widely varied, with choices ranging from pastas to steaks to burgers. It also has an on site cocktail bar, from where you can get any cocktail you would like under the sun delivered to your table. Now that’s a great place to get your Friday evening kicked off.
Little Ceasars’, Balfe St, Dublin 2
Where the hell is Balfe St, you ask? Just beside the Westbury, and just off Grafton St. Simple.
Anyone who knows me will be more than aware with my intense love for Italian food. I’m a pasta fiend, and the simple carb in its many forms makes up the majority of my meals. Little Ceasars is the answer to my prayers.
Their early bird menu picks four starters and four mains (thankfully, their chicken wings- which are to die for- always feature on this early special) and it’s changed every time I’ve been in the restaurant for a catch up with friends.
Il Corvo, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Il Corvo featured previously in my piece on dining solo, and if you head there it’s not hard to see why it holds a spot in my heart. Like the above Ceasars, Il Corvo serves Italian food.
It may be a little further out of the city than any other place I’ve recommended- it’s just opposite St Pat’s Teacher Training College, but the food- as well as the service from staff- makes it more than worth the bus journey from the city centre. Their bruschetta is incredible, and two courses and a glass of wine won’t even take €30 out of pocket.
Best place to get your hair did
Peter Marks, various salons across Dublin
They say you should get your hair trimmed every three months or so, to combat the dreaded split ends. Peter Marks makes coming back something you’ll want to do a lot sooner than that, though. Every one of their salons is bright and airy, with staff who couldn’t do more to help you. Most salons also have a colour expert in house, so whatever your query there will be someone to give the best advice.
Tea or coffee when you arrive is a given, but the real clincher is the chairs when going to the sinks. Who here hasn’t wanted to bring a massaging chair from Peter Marks home with them?
Preen Salon, Dame St, Dublin 2
Admission; I’ve never actually had my hair cut here. Nor coloured, despite having had an in depth conversation with one of the senior stylists about what colours would suit me. But, I was in this salon for a style shoot back when I was interning in a magazine in Dublin. Prices for cuts aren’t too steep, starting at €60 (most salons I’ve seen in Dublin start at €50), but the best part?
Your tea and coffee comes out like this. HOW BLOODY FANCY IS THIS?
Places you should go for a coffee
KC Peaches, Pearse St, Nassau St, Dame St or Stephen’s Green, all Dublin 2
Dublin is a pretty busy place, so it’s nice to have somewhere quiet to pop into for coffee and a sandwich or slice of cake. KC Peaches caters for everything- it has a selection of great tasting coffees, a sandwich bar where you can get any of their fantastic choices (I recommend the Italian Stallion) made fresh in front of you.
There’s also a well stocked salad bar, some hot dishes, and plenty of mouth watering cakes and cookies to keep you well fed for the rest of the day. After 5:30 pm they start into their evening menu, and on Fridays they host a Ladies’ Night, with two main courses and a bottle of wine setting you back only €25. Score, wha?
The Queen of Tarts, Dame St and Cow’s Lane, Dublin 2
The name suggests quality cakes, and there’s no disputing how well they deliver. Their range of scones, tarts and cheesecakes are incredible, and just have to be sampled to be believed.
Despite what the name may make you think, it’s not just a bakery behind the red doors- there’s also a substantial array of savoury tarts and sandwiches for something a little more filling. If you’re a brunch kind of person on a Sunday, then this is definitely one for the to do list.