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 piled 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.
These guys are Irish, so I suppose I’m biased in their favour – maybe that’s why I feel the need to share. But whatever.
Harry and Alfie are brothers whose music I came across on Youtube. My sister bought their first album, Singing for strangers, last year; every song is distinctive and there is not one I don’t like. The songs tell stories, and the lyrics have actual meaning (“Put me in a box and tick it/don’t tell me I can’t be who I am”; “There’s no one hanging ’round since they ripped out the soul of the town.”) Also, I went to their concert in the Olympia (in Dublin) last May and it was an amazing night. The atmosphere was incredible; it was one heck of a show.
Obviously music is even more subjective than some of the other things I’ve recommended on here, so there’s no particular reason for you to agree with me. But do have a listen.
A few of my favourites are Battles, Care, Holly, and Weapons.
I love bookshops much more than I should for the amount of money I have. One brand-new book is enough to make me happy, but shelf after shelf…gets dangerous.
I like Hodges Figgis a lot, but my favourite bookshop in Dublin has got to be Chapters on Parnell Street. It’s independent (Ireland’s largest independent bookstore), Irish-owned, and the sheer volume of books…it can be hard work finding the back wall of the shop.
Chapters also buys second-hand books (or CDs or DVDs) for cash or store credit. The upstairs of the shop is a huge second-hand section. I don’t bring all my books there – there are a lot of options for second-hand stuff, I also like book swaps and car boot sales – but if I’m looking to buy something specific, or if I have some good quality hardbacks, this is my go-to.
The one criticism I would have is that, to me, the Young Adult (YA) section feels a bit understated. It’s hidden in the corner so you have to search to find it, and the selection is not the best or the most varied I’ve seen. That said, Chapters has a way of making other books appeal to me in a way many shops don’t. The classics section is lovely.
If you’re in Dublin and you think you’d like to visit, there’s a map at the bottom of their website, linked above.