A 45 minute drive from San Sebastian Food’s store in San Sebastián-Donostia to Biarritz airport in the Basque Country, then a two hour direct flight, and you have arrived in the ancient streets of Dublin, a viking port turned medieval trading hub turned modern city full of character on every corner.
I dropped in for lunch at the aromatic Bewley’s Oriental Café on Grafton Street, a historically scented café serving beverages since 1895 when Samuel Bewley with his son Samuel defied the East India Company’s monopoly arriving directly from Canton to Dublin. Piles of scones, seafood chowder and friendly staff, like barista Michael and manager Kiko, welcome you to seats once graced by James Joyce. This celebrated restaurant, which also houses a theatre with lunch hour acts, is Ireland’s only carbon neutral café and all their coffees are fair trade.
Speaking of eco-innovative places, across the Ha’Penny Bridge, the waste-reducing wooden spoons at Murphy’s ice creamery serve a sweet surprize as every mouthful melts quality locally churned ice cream. Try the Dingle Sea Salt flavour for a taste fresh from the Irish shore. A nice walk across the city and a perfect after lunch place, I snapped this photo of the lovely staff serving up the creamy smooth Irish ice cream in their Dublin store.
If history, hearty food, great beer and fun-loving people are on your list of a great getaway, Dublin might be the place for you.
By Jonathan McCallum