Can you believe Matt and I have already been here a month? I can’t. It somehow feels like we’ve been here forever and we’ve just arrived at the same time. It’s been an adventure so far! From arriving and finding a place to live and getting registered with immigration and setting up taxes and a bank account and starting a new job…it’s been a whirlwind. I think we’re doing really well with it so far! We’ve also been able to get out and explore our new city, which we’ve loved doing.
That’s why I wanted to make a quick list of all my favorite things in Dublin so far that I haven’t already talked about. So, without further ado, here are my favorites from the first month!
Best seller is this super cool cafe inside the building that used to be the National Bible Society of Ireland. They’ve tea, coffee, wine, yummy pastries, and a super cool atmostphere. And honestly, their food is so good. They have open faced sandwiches, soup, antipasti, gluten free treats, and all sorts of breads. And that’s not to mention their cocktails! There’s walls filled with books, plush vintage furnature, and a super strong wifi signal. It’s also right by St. Stephen’s Green, so it’s a great place to refuel before heading back into the city.
South Williams Street is a district in Dublin that is well known for its amazing pubs, restaurants, and local shops. It has an older feel to it, but the energy around it is infectious. There’s always lots of people walking around and places to go and things to see. It also has some of my favorite pubs and places to eat, like Pyg or Lemon Crepe and Coffee (try the power crepe, you won’t regret it!). It’s a really nice area to walk around when the weather is nice.
You’re probably thinking, another pub Kaity? Really? But this is no ordinary pub. It’s right next to the castle in Dalkey, and the building itself has been there since medieval times. It was actually licensed to sell alchohol in 1787, which makes it one of the longest operating pubs in Dublin. This particular spot is close to where we live, so we go somewhat frequently. The staff is friendly and there’s a large fireplace and a bar that wraps all the way around. It feels like a nice neighborhood spot, and I like coming here after work for a pint of bulmers.
St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful victorian park just south of the River Liffey. There’s beautiful running paths and gardens and ponds. It’s especially gorgeous now as the leaves begin to change. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy the weather when it’s nice! It also smells so good and fresh while you’re walking around in it, which is crazy to me because it’s in the middle of the city. Definitely check it out while you’re in Dublin!
Barry’s tea is quite literally a staple here. It’s made right here in Ireland, and people absolutely love it. A lot of my friends and coworkers have 6-7 cups a day. It’s basically just a breakfast tea, but you have to pour some cream into it. It’s also really yummy if you have a biscuit to eat while you drink it. You just turn on the electric kettle and minutes later you are ready to have some delicious tea! I also really enjoy the tradition around tea here; it’s almost like a ritual. I still drink coffee in the morning (an americano), but I like to drink tea throughout the day and in the evening when I get home.
Penneys and River Island
You really haven’t lived until you’ve shopped at Penneys and River Island. They’re the most amazing stores in the game. Penneys is less expensive than river island, and they have an amazing selection – everything from clothes to home goods to makeup and accessories! It’s a super cute one-stop-shop. River Island is more high-end than Penneys and they mostly focus on clothing. What’s great about River Island is that they put a large emphasis on sustainability and protecting the envoirnment. AND they have the cutest clothes – I currently have my eye on a coat(s) for later this winter. Anyone that loves to shop NEEDS to visit Penneys and River Island!
The Irish take their takeaway very seriously. The main places you get takeaway are at a chipper, a deli, or a chinese takeway. I’ll breakdown the differences below.
A deli is usually located in a convenience store or petrol station. Now before you freakout, it’s good here! The food is clean and edible! It was so against ever fiber in my being to eat food from a convenience store (because in the US you’re basically asking to get food poisoning if you do that), but in Ireland everything is fresh and usually even organic. There’s sandwhiches and salads and meats and cheeses and it’s great for when you want to grab a quick lunch.
A chipper is a fish and chip shop, or more generally a cheap fast food outlet, typically selling chips and other deep-fried foods. A chipper is the best during a night out when you and your friends inevitably want something to eat!
The chinese takaway is probably something that sounds familiar to you. However, it’s not like chinese takeout back home. A chinese takeway is usually just a small room with a high, flat counter. They’re usually only open in the evenings. They typically have everything from Chinese food to Indian food. It’s popular to get something called a Spice Bag from a chinese takeaway – it’s basically a bag full of chips (fries), chicken, veggies, and lots of yummy spices. Apparently this is only a thing in Ireland and not elsewhere in Europe, so make sure you try one of these! They even sell spice bag seasoning in the grocery stores here!
Alright, I could go on forever. But this blog post has to come to an end eventually! I’m currently working on a few posts about how to move to a foreign country and things like setting up a bank account and getting a job abroad. I hope it will be helpful to y’all!
This weekend Matt and I are headed to Belfast, so I’m sure I’ll have lots to say about that next week!