Hazel and I book a holiday abroad every year and this time around we decided to visit Dublin, Ireland for 3 nights. Hazel found a great deal with a hotel called The Mont on Bookings.com (Please click on the link to receive £15 when placing your first booking). I found cheap flights on the Aer Lingus website; £131 for return flights for the both of us. In total, the holiday cost £280 each; for flights and hotel.
I booked a 10:55 am flight so no 3.30am pick up this time. The taxi driver was a character but the journey to Gatwick wasn’t too bad. Hazel and I went to a lovely restaurant called WonderTree for breakfast. Hazel chose The Little English (Bacon, Pork Sausage, An Egg, Beans and Grilled Tomatoes) which was a mini English Breakfast and I went for The Protein Fry up. The Protein Fry Up included Grilled Steak, a Poached Egg, Mushrooms, Roasted Tomatoes, Wilted Spinach, Smashed Avocado and Beans. Yes, I had this for breakfast :). The flight was quick and only took an hour.
On arrival to Dublin Airport, we found the bus stop and jumped on the 757. The journey took 30 minutes and the bus stop was across the road from the hotel. The moment we arrived at the entrance, we knew the hotel was going to be amazing. The receptionist advised that the hotel had only been open 2 weeks due to renovations so everything was brand new.
Our room wasn’t ready yet so we decided to grab some lunch and was advised to check out Kennedy’s which was a pub that served great food. I fancied a typical Irish so wasn’t going to say no to a pub lunch. The pub had beautiful floral decorations at the front which brought me back to the Ivy Chelsea Gardens (check out the blog post here). Hazel and I opted for the Guinness and Beef Pie which was served with mash potato. The pie was delicious. The beef was cooked to perfection and I couldn’t taste the Guinness.
When we arrived back at the hotel, our room was available. The room was a nice size with 2 double beds, the bathroom was spacious with a big shower, a big flat screen was fixed to the wall and we were presented with a lovely package of sweets to snack on.
We fancied a curry for dinner so I searched on Trip Advisor and found an Indonesian Restaurant called Chameleon which specialises in Asian Tapas. It was straightforward to book online and was only a 14-minute walk from the hotel. The restaurant was quite small but cosy. There was a variety of choices to choose from on the menu, from a set tapas course or you can order individual dishes. The waitress advised that we should order 3-4 dishes if we have an appetite. I chose the Fish Fingers(tiger prawns and squid Katsu) and Sambal Sauce, Short Rib Bao (slow-cooked beef short rib, hoisin and sriracha) and Spiced Rice(basmati rice seasoned with galangal & garam masala). Hazel selected the Fish Fingers and Sambal Sauce, Buttermilk Chicken Bao(free-range chicken thigh, marinated in herbs and spices, Asian slaw, sweet sriracha mayonnaise) and Chips on the side.
The fish fingers were crisp and crunchy. The tiger prawns and squid were flavoursome and overall the dish was very filling. The short rib bao was amazing. Each bun was soft and the short rib was divine with a kick of spice. I became full quickly; the portion sizes looked very deceiving.
Overall, the food was amazing; full of flavour and very filling. The bill came up to £58.80 which was a bargain for the amount we ate. This restaurant was a 10 out of 10.
When exploring things to do Hazel discovered a Vintage Tea Tour. I booked the Vintage Tour for 11:00 am which allowed us to have a lay-in and grab a hot drink at breakfast in the hotel. The pick-up point was a short walk from the hotel and easy to find. We hopped on the vintage bus and was directed to a lovely table on the top deck. A selection of sandwiches and cakes were already on the table when we arrived. The table was equipped with built-in cup holders for your hot drink so you didn’t get scalded en route. Eimear, our tour guide was friendly and told us about the interesting Irish History. I wasn’t overly impressed with the selection of sandwiches as I’m not a fan of coronation chicken or egg mayonnaise. The scone was delicious and the assortment of cakes was luscious. The cakes included passionfruit cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, a chocolate cake, lemon drizzle, bakewell tart and red velvet. Phoenix Park was the highlight of the tour with 1752 acres of land. You could fit New York’s Central Park inside twice so you can imagine how massive it is. I rate the tour 7/10.
The next stop was Malahide Village. Hazel and I saw a leaflet in the hotel and the grounds looked beautiful so we decided to visit. It was about a 35-minute journey on the train. Malahide Castle and Gardens was a short walk from the train station. The grounds included a Rose Garden, Walled Garden, Pond and the Castle. It cost €14 for the entrance fee and a tour of the castle. The tour guide led us through to each room of the castle, explaining the history and what events took place. After the tour, we decided to explore the village and visit the beach. The village is made up of stylish boutiques and cute cafes. When we were walking to the beach it started to rain so we didn’t get to see as we went back to the train station. I rate the castle and village 8/10.
By the time we arrived back at the hotel we were hungry. Hazel fancied Italian so I looked on TripAdvisor to see what restaurants were available. I found a restaurant called Pacino’s which has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. I booked a table, we freshened up and we took a stroll to the restaurant. The restaurant was busy and we were seated at a nice table in the quieter section. We were starving so we ordered Pizza Garlic Bread as a starter which ended up coming with the main meal which defeated the object. I saw a photo of Spaghetti Carbonara on TripAdvisor and when I asked if it was available the waitress advised it was part of the lunch menu. She asked the chef if he could make it and he agreed which I was grateful for. Hazel ordered the Lasagne Bolognese which was the traditional lasagne with bolognese sauce instead of a crispy cheese topping. The carbonara was the best I’ve ever had. The portion size was just right. Overall, the staff were welcoming, the food was delicious and the restaurant had a lovely ambience. Rating: 9/10.
We decided to visit Dublin Castle and check out the shops on Grafton Street. The town had normal high street shops like H&M and Next as well as little cafes and souvenir shops. The castle was a lot smaller than Malahide Castle but it was nice to see. The castle was full of beautiful artwork and the architecture was eye-catching. Rating: 6/10.
For our last meal in Dublin, we opted for Thai food. I booked a restaurant called Red Torch Ginger which we found the night before when exploring the nightlife. The atmosphere was buzzing and the restaurant was packed. They have a bar at the front where you can sit if you just want cocktails.
I went for the Yellow Curry which is a change from the Green Curry I normally go for. The curry was flavoursome with onions, fried baby potatoes, bean sprouts, fried shallots and Tiger Prawns. I paired the curry with Jasmine Rice which a perfect combination. Hazel chose the Sweet Chilli Chicken Crispy Chicken with egg noddles. Hazel enjoyed the dish and said it was very filling. Red Torch Ginger was another great restaurant. I rate this 8/10.
Day 4 – Home Time
For some reason, I had the flight time as 2.15pm so had a lovely lay in. We took our time getting ready and strolled to the lift to go to breakfast. As we waited for the list my ticket flashed up on my phone and said boarding at 11.50. It was 10 at the time and I checked the flight and it was 12.15. We rang back to the room, I called the reception to book a taxi, we collected our suitcases and left the room. We were lucky the airport was only a 20-minute drive from the hotel so we arrived on time. I have never mixed up my flight time and was so happy we arrived on time. The flight took an hour and before I knew it, I was home relaxing.
Overall the holiday was awesome. We were able to relax as well as explore the city and learn about history. The hotel was in a great location with everything within walking distance. I will visit Ireland again.
I hope you enjoyed. Please follow my blog to keep up to date with my latest posts. Until next time.