McMahon’s café in Glasnevin

One of the things I wanted to do when I started this blog was talk about favourite places-to-visit I’ve come across, most of which are in Dublin (for now anyways). Apologies if you don’t live in/near Dublin – but who knows? Maybe you’ll visit someday…

Found just off the Tolka river and up the road from the Botanic Gardens, with bright red outdoor chairs and pastel walls, McMahon’s is a gorgeous café. The cute-and-clean décor is just perfect, with pots of real flowers, crafts for sale at the door, cookbooks mcmahon's cookies with BOWpiled in a corner and bows on the sugar bowls and cakes. No, really.

Eating there is an absolute pleasure. Every time I’ve been there the café has been full, and it makes me really happy to see this little business thriving. Also, the food is DIVINE – I almost wanted to order a second sandwich instead of a dessert, it was that nice. It’s so easy to go to Costa or Starbucks and get your usual order without needing to look at a menu – I find it refreshing and satisfying to be supporting somewhere like this. I 100% recommend it. 🙂

For more information, and a map, see their Facebook page.

Galway City

I was in Galway City recently, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. Galway is really beautiful, and what I especially love is the way (in the city centre at least) the ancient parts of the city have been not only maintained but also mingled with the modern communities and buildings. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, so I also enjoyed a great atmosphere, excellent buskers, and the gorgeous seaside walks nearby.

Here are the two favourite places I visited on this particular trip:

all the teabags in cupan tae shop
There was also a little shop – I have never seen so many teabags in my life

Cupán Tae: Eating in this café was an experience in itself. Cupán Tae (which translates as “Cup of Tea” in Irish/as Gaeilge) is decorated with beautiful paintings, lace and linen tablecloths, floral curtains, and flowers displayed in teapots. There is a booklet of several pages dedicated to the different kinds of tea available, and the teas are then served in prettily decorated, matching china (the teapot for my peppermint tea was covered in green flowers.) There was also a selection of cakes displayed just inside the door, ranging from “chocolate biscuit” to “lime and courgette” (surprisingly tasty).

Although the café felt ever so slightly cluttered, that would be my only criticism. I really enjoyed eating there and would definitely recommend it. Cupán Tae can be found around the corner from Shopping Street, beside Cobwebs antique jewellery shop, and identified by its intricately decorated sign. Their website can be found here.

pic-ballerina music box

Wooden Heart: I’m glad I was never in this shop when I was younger, because I would have spent every penny in my little purse. This toy shop has the loveliest collection of traditional toys I have ever seen. From a doll’s house, to a toy oven, to snow globes, to a wooden Noah’s ark, there was some surprise in every corner. The shop itself even had a spiral staircase. (Little Me would definitely have blown all my money on that music box.)

Found on Shopping Street in a restored stone house, originally built in 1580, this shop is worth a visit whether you need a present for your nephew or not. Take a look at the website here.