You cannot come to Dublin and not take a stroll through Temple Bar, the cultural quarter of the city bursting with art, music and cafes. Strolling along the cobbled street, sounds of traditional live Irish music leak from open doorways of famous pubs like The Temple Bar or The Quay. If there is any place in Dublin to feel particularly Irish, it’ll be in here. Temple Bar is just a street away from the River Liffey, that cuts right through the center of Dublin. With a free afternoon, we spent some good time pounding the pavement from Grafton Street, through Temple Bar and then across the Ha’penny Bridge.
Our day started like a normal shopping day, until we hit Temple Bar. If it isn’t the colourful art everywhere that catches your eye, than it’ll be the music for sure. We sat inside The Quay to listen to an Irish folk song…something about mussels and cockles, that made me hungry for lunch. Speaking of lunch…
The Elephant and Castle is just a stop on the Bakerloo line to us Londoners, but in Dublin, it’s a famous local favourite. It’s no frills, good home cooking and even at 2:30pm on a mid week afternoon, the place was packed.
They’re most well known for their chicken wings- people go nuts for their wings. They’re American style, served in a tangy hot sauce and a couple of sticks of celery. One portion alone is more than enough for two people; we ended up taking half of it home with us.
In fact, all portions are massive. Ismay and I also shared a huge Mexican salad with grilled chicken, avocado, chickpea, crispy tortillas and a few squeezes of fresh lime.
See those bones? Picked clean. Ohhhh yeah.
Then, after crossing the Ha’penny Bridge, over to the North side of Dublin- I had a mission in mind.
Primark is originally Irish, and called the rather more appealing Penney’s over in Ireland. A happy hour later, I walked out of Penney’s with a bagful of winter knits and plaid (a girl’s got to keep up with the plaid in East London) and had barely burned through a £20 note. I imagine being in a cage full of angry lions to be less stressful than a London Primark shopping experience; which is why I rarely step foot inside one in the city. But outside of it, I am like Fraulein Maria with my arms outstretched in freedom.
So, some handy dandy links for the places we went to (and all locally recommended!)
The Elephant and Castle restaurant (just off Temple Bar Square) You have to get the chicken wings.
The Temple Bar Pub in…well, wouldn’t you know, it’s in Temple Bar! Buy a Guinness and pull up a stool by the stage. There’s always someone playing!
Cross the Ha’Penny Bridge over to the Northside. Some people leave love locks on the bridge, but they’ll just get removed…save that for Paris!
Some other Dublin adventures in the past: