- The Troubles I’ve Seen: Northern Ireland, Day 1
- Whiskey is a Food Group, Right?: Northern Ireland, Day 2
- Call Me Flower If You Want To: Northern Ireland, Day 3
- Where Did All These Irish Come From?: Northern Ireland, Day 4
- It’s Not a Conspiracy If It’s On a Plaque: Northern Ireland, Day 5
- Boa Hoo Hoo: Northern Ireland, Day 6
- All’s Quiet: Northern Ireland, Day 7
- All Time Favorites: Northern Ireland, Day 8
- Downtime, Uptime: Northern Ireland, Days 9 and 10
- Dublin Denouement: Northern Ireland, Days 11+
- Dublin Din-Din: Restaurant (and Hotel) Wrap-Up, Northern Ireland Post Scipt
Hi there! While we still think wrapping up the last few days of Dublin into one post makes sense (there really wasn’t that much that actually happened, as you read last time) we still realized as we put the thing together that if we took our usual time with describing meals and lodging that it would make for an extraordinarily long post. And so, since this is a free and gratis blog that can’t get itself in trouble with its advertisers (ha!) we’re going to slow our roll a little here at the end and give a separate look at where we stayed and what we ate in our last few days before returning home. In case you’re wondering just what exactly you’re in for today, here’s a quick summary: two yummy meals and one sub-mediocre hotel stay. So if that whets your appetite, read on!
On the day we arrived in Dublin we scooted right over to our hotel, the Wilder Townhouse. Presumably it was once the townhouse of somebody named Wilder (cool it there, Sherlock! yeah yeah…) but it is now a “Small Luxury Hotel of the World” which is a weird co-op of shmancy lodgings scattered all over the place. We only know about it because SLH may be independent but it has a relationship with Hyatt. Presumably, Hyatt is able to leaven the offerings on their website with these boutique-ish places and the SLH joints get added exposure. All that matters to us is that we get our Hyatt benefits at SLHes (in theory; hang on a sec) and during the pandemic Hyatt was making promotion in their points world obscenely easy. As a result, we are spending at least this year in the peak category, “Globalist”, so Hyatts give us all kind of bennies like automatic room upgrades, late check-out/early check-in etc… Well, the Wilder seems not to have received the memo, because the only way to describe the room we were in is “shoebox.” It was absurdly small, not just for a “luxury hotel” but even for a “Victorian squatter’s hovel”. I assume that’s a category. We have had bathrooms bigger than this room. Which, you know, we’re not totally precious about these things, but this being a special trip and all we had actually splashed out a bit on the lodging, and this is not how you want a special treat to play out. Compounding matters, the staff could not have given less of a crap about the situation, or the breach of policy. We could pay for an upgrade, but as I’ve already intimated the place already wasn’t cheap, so no thanks.
As soon as we dropped our bags off in the Wilder (thus completely filling the room :p) we whipped up a few quick restaurant reviews and made for a neighborhood joint called 31 Lennox. It was midday on the weekend, which meant brunch! One of the strange frissions on this trip has been breakfast – either we’re in a hotel with an at-best mediocre buffet, or else we manage to swing something truly scrumptious in an actual restaurant. This was the latter, and it was really great. Lisa had a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich thing (we first had to ask if we could infer the word “fried” in the “buttermilk chicken” offering, which it turns out we could) and I had a perfect eggs benedict. I actually don’t care for the use of runny eggs in.. well, anything really. The one exception is benedict style. Go fig. It was a great way to reset our day after the bus travel and the less-than-stellar accommodation situation. We could also hear from all around us that this was by-and-large a local joint and not typically tourist fare. It’s a bit two-faced(?) of us to be so anti-tourist when we are being tourists ourselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that we take it universally as a good sign when everyone else in a restaurant seems to be a local. Gods only know what us being there signals to the locals.
We snacked our way through the evening, rummaging together a meat and cheese selection from a local Spar (that’s a 7-11 to my American friends); don’t judge us, you weren’t there. (heh) We compensated for such a meager supper by turning things up a couple of notches the next day at Suesey Street, whose tagline is “A Taste of Home in Every Bite.” This may very well be true, but they cheat by being super vague about where “home” is. I presumed France based on some of the things on the menu and the accent of the kid who was serving us, but Lisa swears he was just Irish of a region we hadn’t encountered. In any case, the food was excellent, the wine list was not extensive but was thoughtfully put together, and the décor & ambiance were nice enough that we had a rare moment of feeling like we maybe weren’t dressed well enough. Still, it was a quiet afternoon and as with any truly good service we were never made to feel uncomfortable with the situation. It was an excellent way to pass a meal.
And that’s what (else) we have to say about the end of the trip. Thanks for following along and we’ll see you next time!