GUINNESS is so closely linked with Ireland, they share the harp as their symbol.
But whether or not you are a fan of the black stuff, there is something for all tastes in the Irish capital of Dublin.
Even if you are not the biggest fan of Guinness, Dublin offers something for all tastes[/caption]
The Fair City is the subject of this week’s City Stay Q&A.
Why should I go? The home of Guinness is a great place for a tipple and the craic.
Locals swear their Guinness has a unique taste thanks to the water from the River Liffey which divides Dublin’s north and south.
Try it in the city’s many lively bars and pubs. You can also sample some great traditional music and Ireland’s fast-improving food scene.
STAYING THERE: One night, room only, at the 3* Buswells Hotel is from £65.17pp based on two sharing. See buswells.ie.
GETTING THERE: Flights to Dublin are from £9.94 one way. See ryanair.com.
MORE INFO: For more on Dublin, go to ireland.com.
Are these streets made for walking? Yes. The centre of town is compact, with Trinity College — the highly rated university where Oscar Wilde studied — at its heart. Next to Trinity is the main shopping concourse of Grafton Street, while the Temple Bar district and its numerous watering holes are just minutes away.
The Guinness storehouse — an old brewery showcasing everything to do with Ireland’s most famous export — is just a 30-minute walk from the university at St James’s Gate.
There are sights to see along the way, including St Patrick’s Cathedral, where the saint is said to have baptised converts — and now the seat of the country’s Protestant church. You can use the Luas tram system to get around.
Visit Trinity College, the university where Oscar Wilde studied[/caption]
Anything for the bucket list? The old library in Trinity College is home to the Book of Kells, a beautiful illuminated Christian manuscript dating back to the year 800.
The university, founded in the 16th century, is mainly made up of 18th and 19th-century buildings and gardens. Built for English gentry, 14 Henrietta Street is a Georgian mansion that later became a tenement housing 17 Irish families.
It offers a fascinating insight into the splendour and squalor of Dublin’s social history by peeling back the layers of the house.
Dublin is a Georgian-era gem but you can see how the future is shaping up down at the Grand Canal, the docklands area of pricy flats getting ready for financial firms to relocate from the UK in the wake of Brexit.
While you are there you can visit Epic, a digital museum dedicated to the Irish diaspora of 80million people and their accomplishments.
See characters from local history brought to life by actors at The Vaults Live on John’s Lane West.
I was surprised to learn the Vikings settled in Dublin and that Dracula author Bram Stoker was a Dubliner.
The old library in Trinity College is home to the Book of Kells[/caption]
Where should I eat? Ireland is enjoying a food renaissance. The focus is on the quality and provenance of ingredients. My favourite was the Ely Wine Bar, on Ely Place, where the organic meats on the menu come from the family farm in The Burren, Co Clare.
Fallon & Byrne has based itself on the successful Dean & DeLuca formula in New York — a restaurant on top of a deli that really comes to life in the evening.
I fancy a drink . . . Temple Bar runs from Dame Street to the river and is where most visitors head for a night out. Many bars offer free music while summer heralds outdoor movie screenings and street theatre.
We go instead to The Irish House Party. Despite its name, the show features traditional jigs and reels performed by all-Ireland champion musicians and dancers. The Guinness storehouse has brewing and advertising exhibits, as well several bars, including one where you can learn to pour the perfect pint.
The city’s oldest pub is the Brazen Head, which dates back to 1198 and is in the heart of Viking Dublin. Enjoy a pint in the courtyard.
Temple Bar runs from Dame Street to the river and is where most visitors head for a night out[/caption]
Locals swear their Guinness has a unique taste thanks to the water from the River Liffey[/caption]
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Where should I stay? Traditional Buswells Hotel is hard to beat for its location, being right next to the Irish parliament and a short walk from Trinity College. The lobby of this 3* boutique hotel has a cosy fire and a huge chandelier. It is where political types go to gather gossip. In winter, you can snuggle under its heavy goose-feather duvets.
Rockers U2 are behind the 4* Clarence hotel on the quayside in Temple Bar.
For a splurge, go to the Merrion Hotel, a classy Georgian affair which boasts a cocktail bar and two Michelin-starred restaurants.
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