A few months ago I found myself with a day in Dublin. It was my second visit. (you can read about my first trip here) I had visited many of the touristy sights the first time around so this visit I wanted to wander the streets and see what I could discover myself. I decided to begin my wanderings by heading to The Winding Stair, the oldest independent bookshop in Dublin. The bookstore is on the first floor of the building and there is a restaurant upstairs. I was going to be doing a lot of walking so I needed to fortify myself first! The door on the left, under the awning, will lead you to the second and third floors. The menu is not your run of the mill bookstore cafe fare. This is fine dining with a cozy atmosphere being surrounded by bookshelves, an antique bar and hard wood floors.
Once I had eaten my fill, I ventured back downstairs to enter the bookstore and have a proper look around. They have a nice selection of local Irish authors.
Right outside the door is the Ha'penny Bridge. The bridge opened in 1816 and was named the Wellington Bridge, after Duke Wellington. It was the first iron bridge in Ireland. Because of the half penny toll to each citizen crossing the bridge, Dubliners dubbed it Ha'penny Bridge. The toll was later dropped in 1919. This bridge was the only pedestrian crossing of the River Liffey until 2000.
From there I wandered the streets to admire the architecture and the beautiful flowers that adorn many of the buildings in Dublin.
I turned a corner and there she was, Molly Malone in all her glory.
Another wonderment I stumbled upon was Powerscourt Centre. This unique shopping centre is in an elegant Georgian house that was originally built in 1774 to entertain guests during the Parliament season. I'm not a big shopper, but I just relished walking around and admiring its beauty. It's also the perfect stop for a good cup of tea and a pastry.
As I reached the second floor landing, a lovely surprise awaited me. A yarn store! On my first visit to Ireland, I tried desperately to find an Irish yarn store so I could purchase some souvenir yarn. I was so excited I think there may have been an actual squeal of delight. This is Knit is an independent, family owned yarn shop. They offer yarn from local hand dyers, spinners and mills and patterns designed by Irish knitters. Of course I had to purchase a skein of Townhouse Yarns, which is their in-house yarn dyed by one of the owners. I also purchased a pattern designed by Carol Feller. She is a world renown knitwear designer and teacher who is based in Cork, Ireland. I gotta keep it local!
My day was quickly drawing to an end and it was time to meet my husband for dinner. On this trip I was learning that it doesn't have to be all about the pub food while in Dublin. There are many amazing restaurants. We chose to meet at The Pig's Ear, a restaurant overlooking Trinity College. It's easy to miss so just look for the bright pink door! The menu is full of Irish fare, very fresh and with a modern touch.
What is the perfect ending to a day wandering the streets of Dublin? An ice cold pint and some local music!
We headed to The Cobblestone. It's located in one of Dublin's oldest neighborhoods, Smithfield. They host traditional Irish music played in the round every night. I would definitely go back to this spot even though I had a wee bit too much of the drink and was "two sheets to the wind" but isn't that the proper way to leave Ireland?
"May your heart be warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
And forever and ever after." -Irish Proverb
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