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Idyllic Ireland

18 Jun

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How gorgeous is this photo I took when my friend Laura and I took Paddy for a walk at Glendalough on Saturday? The way the light comes through the trees looks a bit spooky and it reminds me of the forests in Twilight. If only Robert Pattinson had emerged from in between them!

Enjoying the sunshine at Glendalough

15 Jun

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Shaken not stirred!

15 Jun

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Last week, Lost Society posted on Twitter about a competition they were running to win a free cocktail class for 10 people. All you had to do was retweet and email them your contact details and the winner would be picked at random. So far, so simple. I retweeted their message, sent in my details, and miraculously I won! This is the third thing I’ve won since moving to Dublin, (guess I have the luck of the Irish now!) but by far the most impressive.

The class was to take place the following day, and after a few frantic texts and emails I finally managed to find 9 other willing cocktail-drinkers to come along with me.

I’ve mentioned before that Lost Society is one of my favourite bars in Dublin, and one of the reasons for this is that the cocktails are always delicious – so the prospect of learning to make my own was a very welcome one! We were taught how to make a Mary Pickford (think Sex-On-The-Beach), and the ironically named White Lion, which turned out to be shocking pink in colour.

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We were shown the ropes by resident mixologist Ronnie, and although he showed us each cocktail step-by-step the amount of Havana rum consumed means I’m a little fuzzy on the particulars. We had a riot and I’d love to go back again and learn how to make my two favourite cocktails – a Cosmopolitan and a Caipirinha!

If anybody wants to sample a cocktail making class or just to try out one of the trendiest bars around, click here or follow them on Twitter @lostsocdublin.

DD xX

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African princess

11 May

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I love this beautiful graffiti I saw on O’Connell Street last week. There’s some great street-artists in Dublin.

Free micro-chipping with the DSPCA

10 May


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The DSPCA is launching an initiative called Microchip 2016 whereby they are offering to microchip 2,016 dogs for free in the next few weeks. This is a fantastic opportunity as it can cost around 40 euros to get your dog microchipped, and soon it will be mandatory for all dogs to have a chip. I’ve booked Paddy in for next Saturday – I doubt he’ll look as happy as he does in this photo afterwards but at least I’ll have peace of mind! 🙂

For more info check out the DSPCA webpage.

Birthday bonanza!

5 May

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My lovely birthday cake from Il Valentino bakery – tastes as good as it looks!

I’ve had a lovely birthday weekend with the boyfriend and my sister and brother-in-law who came to visit us.

We’ve managed to pack quite a lot into four days. On Friday we visited Howth, which has always been on my list of places to visit in and around Dublin. I’ve heard it’s the place to get fresh sea-food and has lots of lovely restaurants and bars, but unfortunately we got confused and only made it as far as Howth Junction which has a very small sea-front and only a couple of shops.

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We had a bracing walk and some ice-cream and then headed back to Dublin in time for a delicious birthday meal at Luigi Malones. We ended up dancing (and drinking) the night away and woke up on Saturday feeling rather delicate!

We had pre-booked an hour’s kayaking on the Grand Canal with Extreme Time-Off, and the prospect was not a very welcome one when we first woke up with fuzzy heads! It actually turned out to be a great way to banish the last vestiges of a hang-over. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any photos as I didn’t fancy coming away with a soggy iPhone, but it was a lot of fun and none of us fell in – yay! If anybody fancies giving it a try, they say wetsuits are optional but I would go for them if I were you. We opted out but we didn’t realise that there were holes in the bottom of the kayaks and we came away with rather considerable wet-patches, leading to our new nickname “The Wet-Bottomed Bandits”.

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The beautiful waterfall at Powerscourt, Wicklow

 

Today we drove out to Powerscourt Waterfall and Glendalauch. The sun was shining and the scenery was beautiful; I can’t actually say which I preferred as they were both stunning in different ways. The waterfall is so high and powerful, and the lauch is peaceful and idyllic. It’s definitely one of the best things we’ve done since we moved to Ireland, and Paddy has been snoozing for hours after expending all of his energy taking in the new surroundings!

To say I’m tired is an understatement but the weather has been glorious, the company has been great and I feel very content!

If you’ve been or have other places to suggest, I’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday 🙂 DD xX

20130505-213413.jpgThe beautiful Upper Lake at Glendalauch

Perfect date venue

18 Apr

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Had a lovely impromptu date night at Ely in the IFSC tonight. I always thought the Grand Canal branch was my favourite, until we were led downstairs at the IFSC to this beautiful dining room.

Whodunit??

15 Apr

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I love this graffiti near the Bolands Mill in Grand Canal. Bit more original than the usual ‘I waz ere 2013’ rubbish!

Getting back on track…

14 Apr

I have been quite quiet recently, mainly due to feeling ill since February and just wanting to hibernate instead of going out to investigate new areas of Dublin. I don’t know about you but I’m a bit of a bad patient so I kept working and going out with friends and therefore prolonging my infection… not the brightest idea! I finally took some time off to recuperate at the beginning of March so I’m now feeling much brighter, and have resumed business as usual.

Here’s a break-down of some of the nice things I have managed to fit in since my recovery:

1) Going to see ‘The Full Monty’ at the Bord Gaís Energy Theatre. My friend Karen bought me tickets for Christmas, and neither of us could believe how quickly it came round! It was a fantastic night; the show was absolutely brilliant and when we left my hands were stinging from clapping so hard. I would definitely recommend seeing it if it comes to a town near you!

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Not your typical strippers…

2) Coming firmly last place at the Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum. One of my friends Heather had seen half-price offer on one of the deal websites, so four of us went and had a ball showing off our “skills”. It’s normally €9 each for adults, but you get a lot for your money and can have pizza and wine whilst you wait so would make a great date night as well as being a fun group outing. Check out their website for more details.

3) Being taken for a lovely romantic evening out to The Tea Room Restaurant, which is Bono’s restaurant in the Clarence Hotel in Dublin city centre. I have always had a bit of a grudge against Bono after reading once that he chartered a plane from the UK to New York to carry his lucky hat, because he couldn’t go on stage without it. This is clearly the behaviour of a baffoon, but I did not let it ruin my enjoyment of his establishment! The food was lovely if not a little gourmet in terms of portion-size, but the restaurant was very empty and there wasn’t a lot of atmosphere. We followed it up with cocktails at my favourite bar, Lost Society, who you can follow  on Twitter @lostsocdublin. Don’t forget to follow me whilst you’re at it – @dublin_diaries 🙂

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Me and my beloved ❤

4) Enjoying the “sunshine” with Paddy. We’ve had a few reasonable weekends recently, so I’ve been a very dutiful owner and taken the pug for some nice walks near the canal and to the park in Merrion Square. He is never happier than when he’s outside causing mischief chasing other dogs and people’s children!

Paddy enjoying the beer garden at The Bath Pub in Ballsbridge.

a Paddy enjoying the beer garden at The Bath Pub in Ballsbridge.

5) Going to check out the Farmer’s Market in Dún Laoghaire. This morning I met my friend Laura in Dún Laoghaire for a wander around the weekly farmer’s market. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while as I’ve heard good things, and as previous readers of my blog may know, I LOVE Dún Laoghaire. With the sun shining and the stunning views over the bay, you feel like you’re on holiday and I wouldn’t mind making the move out there if I was ever to leave my current flat.

The bay in Dún Laoghaire - beautiful!

The bay in Dún Laoghaire – beautiful!

The farmer’s market is lovely, much better than the paltry Christmas market I visited at the IFSC in December which had a bit of a jumble sale feel to it. The Dún Laoghaire version mainly sells delicious food, such as fresh breads, olives, chutneys, relishes and cakes. There was almost too much choice, and in the end I opted for a tomato and mozerella pizza from Dave’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co., whilst Laura chose a falafel. Both of us were satisfied with our decisions!

Lovely fudge!

Lovely fudge!

Dave's Wood-fired Pizza

Dave’s Wood-fired Pizza

Yum!

Yum!

Lovely lavendar

Lovely lavendar – it smelled amazing!

The smells were amazing and it was lovely to peruse the different stalls, although I was tempted by far too many of them! In the end I settled for my pizza and a pair of lovely hand-made earrings from Trinket Box. I can’t wait to visit again when my sister comes to visit in May – I know she’ll love it just as much as I did!

My lovely new earrings from Trinket Box.

My lovely new earrings from Trinket Box.

So that’s me up-to-date – I’d love to hear from any of you if you have any suggestions of nice places to visit in or around Dublin. Leave a comment below or tweet me 🙂

DD xX

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

16 Mar

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Paddy getting in the festive spirit! Happy Paddy’s Day Eve to one and all 🙂 DD xXx

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