Dublin, Ireland. There’s always a first time – even though a few years back, I visited a beautiful castle in Dromoland, Shannon. I recently had the opportunity to visit the city and in those 3 nights, 4 days… I can confidently say, I fell in love. The one thing that catches on to me during my travels are the people followed by a ton of other things… but the people make the city. There was something so charming about the city made out of the kindest people I’ve ever met. During my trip, I was lucky to stay at a lovely hotel, eat at fab places and check out Irish fashion. As my trip was quite short, here’s a mini guide of Dublin, Ireland.
STAY: The Westbury Hotel
During my trip, I stayed at the Westbury Hotel, an Irish family owned hotel part of the Doyle collection on Grafton street. Considered a luxury hotel, it also felt very boutique-like, which I loved. In the heart of Dublin, you pretty much can get everywhere by foot staying at The Westbury, which was lovely. I stayed in a beautiful studio, which included one of the largest bathrooms with Aromatherapy Associates toiletries. Their food was also one of the best I’ve had in the city. If you ever stay there, make sure to have their delicious Spinach salad with feta, pomegranate and beets at their lobby with the view of the most vibrant flowers (they have amazing florists on the streets of Dublin) as well as the Wilde restaurant named after the Irish hero, Oscar Wilde.
HIP & HAPPENING: Opium
For a lounge dinner in the city, the most happening place in Dublin would have to be Opium. A Thai, Industrial style bar and restaurant with a night club upstairs. Perfect for a night out of dinner and drinks – make sure to go for the Cashew chicken and rice dish.
DRINKS: Vintage Cocktail Club
If you’re looking for a cosy haunt to grab drinks at in Dublin, The Vintage Cocktail club is a great option for drinks with girlfriends or even with a friend.
COFFEE FIX: Butler’s
When I was picked up at the airport, I asked my amazing driver, Dennis on where I can pick up coffee and his first response was Butler’s – Ireland’s luxury chocolate store. They have quite a few stores in the city and have everything from coffee, hot chocolate, caramel machiatto to iced coffee. The sweetest part? With each drink, you get a chocolate piece of your choice – I loved the white flake truffle.
SHOP: Brown Thomas
Their top luxury department store in the city would have to be Brown Thomas – at the same level as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. I was impressed with the curation of brands as well as the buy in store – they pretty much had a lot of the top and upcoming brands with carefully bought pieces, not to mention one of the most beautiful beauty halls (I tried a session with their beauty shopper, who is great at recommending the right products for you without being biased). Their contemporary floor as well as the living floor at the top were impressive. One thing that I was so happy to hear about was their CREATE concept. One month during the year, they block off a section on the designer floor supporting Irish designers at Brown Thomas. Applying and being chosen takes a lot of work as they carefully handpick designers that are on the same level as the international ones, but this is a great initiative to make the designers work a lot harder to reach a level in to which they can reach a larger audience – whether it’s the Irish luxury consumer or international tourists. If you’d like to check out some Irish designers, here are a few to check out:
-Richard Lewis: who works with knitted, matte jersey – everything he makes is simple, yet wearable.
-Richard Malone: A CSM graduate, who won an LVMH scholarship is a sustainable designer that works with leftover fabrics.
-Maria Dorai Raj: A jewellery designer that works with silver and gold using a contrast of textures, everything she makes is handmade.
-Fiona Muholland: A sculptor by trade and now jewellery designer, makes interesting colourful jewellery pieces using Plexiglass.
-Rebecca Marsden: A knitwear designer using fine knits in earthy tones. Her pieces are unique and uses manipulation in all her work.
-Honor Fitzsomins: My personal favourite, the CSM graduate focuses on texture and thick knits.
-KDK: A designer of cashmere scarves.
-Helen Cody: Another personal favourite, the pieces are bespoke and makes the most beautiful depresses without showing too much.
-Margaret O Connor: A fab milliner who has made hats for stars like Lady Gaga to name a few.
IRISH FASHION: Design House
If you’d like to check out Irish fashion designers, stop by Design House – they have a collective of designs including fashion & beauy from over 40 Irish designers or pieces that are made in Ireland (which is super expensive). Everything there is for showcase and retail, so not only can you look around, but leave with a few pieces. A few of my favourites include Chupi (a gorgeous jewellery brand) and Dublin Herbalists (a natural and organic beauty brand)
BEAUTY BAR: Benefit Beauty bar
I love a cute beauty bar. During my stay, I got my hair done at the Benefit beauty bar (by the actual beauty brand, Benefit) in Dublin – they have every beauty service from hair, waxing, brows, nails and tanning. It’s more of an experience, so definitely one to do on your visit.
HIGH TEA: Merrion Hotel Art Tea
Other than the Westbury, The Merrion Hotel is one of the most famous luxury hotels in Dublin. During my trip, I went to check out their famous art tea, which was a lovely choice to have a proper tea time, and is definitely one of the most beautiful drawing rooms I’ve seen. The hotel have one of the largest private collections in Ireland, and so their art tea is inspired by their art collection. They also have one of the largest tea selections. Highly recommend this as a stop
-Dublin is a lovely city for walking, make sure to walk through St Stephen’s Green, their public park.
-The city is known for their historic campus of Trinity College owned by Queen Elizabeth I, which is worth checking out.
-If you would like a shopping spot indoors incase it rains, I highly recommend you head to Dundrum Mall – they have everything from Urban Outfitters to Harvey Nichols!